The Pro Arté Faculty

Pro Arte Centre is pleased to have a team of world-class, certified teachers with a vast array of experience and expertise. both as teachers and as professional dancers on the international stage.  Being guided by best practices and ensuring the health and safety of our community, we place these operating mandates as priority.

In addition to our regular faculty, Pro Arte has Adjunct Faculty who invest the wealth of their knowledge in our students — providing individual mentorship to meet the unique needs of each dancer/.

Dance Mentor

Elizabeth was born and trained in Vancouver under the tutelage of Chan Hon Goh with several years performing and traveling with the Goh Ballet Youth Company.  She and has just completed four seasons as a demi-soloist with the State Opera Stara Zagora Ballet in Bulgaria. While in Europe, she has had many performing opportunities abroad, from tours in Germany, to traveling around all of Bulgaria. Her performance repertoire includes, but is not limited to, Entré in Don Quixote arranged by Arshak Ghalumyan, the four Fräuleins in Andrei Bossov’s Sleeping Beauty, Big Swans in Swan Lake, soloist in Alessandra Scalambrino’s “Lotus”, as well as corps de ballet in Constantin Urlowski’s The Nutcracker, Chopiniana, “Getto” choreographed by Mario Piazza, and Vasily Medvedev’s original “Pilate’s Dream” as well as others.

Elizabeth has had the privilege to work alongside world-renowned professional dancers and choreographers, Iana Salenko, Marian Walter, Arshak Ghalumyan, Denys Cherevichko, Mikhail Kaniskin, Andrei Bossov, Paloma Herrera, Elizabeth Murphy, Frances Chung, and Sylvia Tomova.

Elizabeth is very passionate about classical ballet and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.  She seeks to mentor and model this to the young dancers at Pro Arté and is delighted to begin her new path as a dedicated ballet mentor at Pro Arté.

Dance Mentor

Frankie is a native of Newfoundland with a BFA in contemporary dance. With additional training in commercial styles, she has two acting diplomas and has studied a variety of techniques for theatre, film, TV, and voice over.  Frankie is signed with da Costa Talent and her latest credits include: Riverdale (CW), Honsla Rakh (third highest-grossing Punjabi Film), Apex Legends (EA SPORTS), Canadian Country Music Awards (Tenille Arts), Pan American Games opening ceremonies (Cirque du Soleil), MOVE (Peggy Baker), IOU2 EP (Lido), and The Main Event with choreographers CJ Damaso, Ken Yung, Everest Shi, and Malia McMullen.

Frankie’s love for freestyle and movement led her to become a Teacher/Choreographer. Sharing her creative voice and watching student take on new means of dance and expressions continues to fuel her commitment as an educator. Teaching since 2012 she choreographed many works including: The Convoluted (2018 IGNITE Festival), Stars music video (Chloe Morgan) and The Beatles Spectacular (Gros Morne Summer Music). Frankie applies creativity as a ritual in everything she does while being known for her vibrant personality and versatility. Her passion, diligence and willingness to learn fuels her artistry and looking to inspire her students.

Dance Mentor

Haley is a multi-disciplinary performer with a passion for creativity, education, storytelling, and connection to rhythm and musicality. With a degree in Musical Theatre and a Bachelor of Performing Arts, she teaches Musical Theatre, Acro, Acting, Singing, Tap, Jazz, and Contemporary. Haley brings her knowledge and love for performance, personality, and style into classes. Skilled in many styles of dance, she is also an actor, singer, musician, gymnast, and athlete. She brings strength, discipline, and athleticism into her classes, while still focusing on grace, balance, and agility. Haley is an actor and dancer, with a variety of experience including musicals, commercials, film and tv, performance art, and choreography.

Her passion for dance and movement education has led her to teaching week long dance and physical literacy in schools, as well as establishing her own creative works with kids and young adults in Vancouver and some Northern BC communities. Theatre credits include: We Will Rock You (Theatre Under the Stars), Pier 21 (Canadiana Musical Theatre Company), A Chorus Line (Fighting Chance Productions), and Newsies (Theatre Under the Stars). She received the Aida Broadbent Award for Professional Conduct and Performance (2020) and the Ovation Award for Outstanding Newcomer (2020). Teaching has always been a strong passion, and she strives to inspire future performers to reach for their goals, step outside the box, and try new skills. Haley cannot wait to start dancing, exploring, and creating with you at Pro Arte Centre!!

Dance Mentor

Samantha Ryan is a natural performer and engaging teacher who embraces all dance has to offer. A former gymnast turned dance entertainer, Samantha hails from Windsor, but not before stops in LA, Michigan, NYC and Toronto in an effort to discover, shape and develop a career in dance and entertainment.

Samantha Ryan completed the Broadway Dance Centre – International Student Visa Professional Program in NYC before she made her decision to move to Toronto and explore opportunities as a dance instructor and aspiring professional. She has gained certification as a dance instructor in Acrobatic Arts and Cecchetti ballet and as an adjudicator with the Professional Adjudicators Alliance (PAA) and Acrobatic Dance Adjudicators (ADA). Samantha is also on faculty with Dance Attack, a leader in Canadian dance workshops.

In addition to teaching in the heart of trendy Queen West at City Dance Corp, Toronto’s leading centre for dance and artistic movement, Samantha Ryan has had the pleasure of being invited by studio owners from multiple studios from Windsor to Sudbury to lead workshops, contribute to intensives and create choreography for competitive soloists, teams and school play ensembles.

Samantha is a member of ACTRA and the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists. In addition to honing her skills under the direction of some of Toronto and New York’s most proficient entertainers, Samantha has mentored under Toronto’s talented and beloved Allison Bradley and been guided professionally by the incredibly accomplished Amy Allen, one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after choreographers. Samantha’s experiences have allowed her to transition from dance entertainment to musical theatre and in front of the camera, having recently appeared in the movie Work It, a coming of age dance comedy produced by Alicia Keys for Netflix.

When not teaching, training or under contract, you can often find Samantha Ryan on stage performing in Town as a lead and accompanying dancer by invitation with some of the most revered artists at the industry’s most celebrated events.

In addition to teaching, and setting choreography, Samantha has experience in live stage performing, music videos, and the film industry.  She is passionate about giving back to the next generation and eager to mentor her students and help them all find their direction and see that what you love can also be your career!

Sarah Ahmadi


Cole Neumeier is a professional dancer/choreographer in Vancouver, BC. He started his career with the Intensive Training Program (ITP) held at Harbour Dance Centre, and has continued to train with TwoFourSeven company since and is currently captain. Some of his notable credits include working with Kenny Ortega, Nappytabs, and Mandy Moore on the sets of “Descendants 3,” “Queen of Mean” (Music Video Remix), and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” respectively. Along with film/television, he absolutely loves teaching and maintaining a fun class environment and can’t wait to dance with you!

Sarah Ahmadi

Strength & Conditioning

Omar is a movement specialist who, as a member of the mentor faculty team at the Centre helps dancers with their fitness goals both short and long term incorporating the three principles of Patience, Prosperity and Empowerment. He specializes in helping the younger and older generations approach health and strength training from a well balanced holistic viewpoint. He works with the dance faculty to  provide body composition assessments, SMART goals setting and nutrition guidelines. In addition, using his health and movement sciences knowledge and his teaching certification has allowed him to prepare and mentor future students who are considering studying health sciences, biology and kinesiology.

Omar pursues his passion for fitness and health and embraces   continuing education, working to bring the latest of health and science knowledge to provide students training for better functional health and is excited to work with dancers to spread the gift of health more effectively.

Sarah Ahmadi

Executive Director

Ms. Ahmadi is a seasoned professional in organizational development and administration.  With over three decades of experience in fund advancement and marketing, systems and planning she brings both knowledge and familiarity with administrative structures, development and marketing as well as team-building skills.   Her experience includes working with international funding organizations, not-for-profit management, marketing, fundraising and publications and working through challenges facing organizations that seek to embody and encourage positive change in the world.

Giving back to the community and investing in the lives of the next generation has been a particular focus and passion for Ms. Ahmadi.  She has held, and continues to hold, leadership positions in not-for-profit organizations that address the educational and training needs of young men and women in both high performance and recreational activities.  It is her privilege and pleasure to be able to apply her experience and expertise within the environment of Pro Arte Centre to encourage a new emerging generation of leaders in the fields associated with performing arts.

A few thoughts from Ms. Ahmadi’s blog:

It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are. Maxim 785. Publius Syrus. (42 B.C.)

I end all of my email communication with this quote. It reminds me that each of us must live our lives with authenticity, true to the values that we hold dear — disregarding the expectations of others — even those who are dear to us.

Why is this important?

At the risk of sounding clichéd, life is short and each moment is to be treasured. Every experience is one that should be affirming, building and nurturing both ourselves and others. One is not capable of achieving this end if one spends one’s time second-guessing the thoughts and opinions of others. This quote resonates strongly as it underscores that we — or I — must be more concerned with pursuing our goals with passion, striving for excellence.  Our values and our purpose that we hold paramount must remain fully in sight, and our daily work – our engagement with others – must build and support achieving these ends.

Adjunct Faculty

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Shahrzad trained with the Professional Training Program at Pro Arte Centre and graduated as a member of the CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre Company with Artistic Director, Astrid Sherman. In 2013, she moved to London, England and graduated with a BA (Hons) at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. While in England, she danced with Rambert Dance Company in their productions of Itzik Galili’s “A Linha Curva,” and “The Creation” by Mark Baldwin. She was also privileged to work with a wide variety of teachers and choreographers such as Darren Ellis, Antonia Francheschi, Kerry Nicholls, Arielle Smith, Jason Mabana, Charlotte Edmonds and Chris Thomas.  She has also modeled with her first modeling at a Breast Cancer Awareness event as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. While in the UK, she used London Modeling Academy to update her portfolio.

In December 2016, Shahrzad moved back to Vancouver as a freelance dancer and has worked and performed with various artists, some of which include Amber Funk Barton, Heather Laura Grey, Peter Bingham, Jennifer Mascall, and Judith Marcuse.  Shahrzad is currently in Calgary at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Shahrzad found a passion for exploring her own compositions. She has choreographed various group and solo works for local studio, competition and charity showings as well as her own professional solo and duo works and collaborations with Ben Cooper and Christian Lagasse which have toured the Island, Lower Mainland, and United States.

While Shahrzad has featured in music videos and film works and while her dance career is very important to her she is also passionate for teaching the next generation. She is an associate teacher with AFSA in Acrobatics as well as achieving her ISTD Associate Diploma in Ballet and Modern.  She loves working with students and creates a safe space where they can explore their creativity and grow as artists and people.

Alisha is currently on contract with Decidedly Jazz Dance Company in Calgary, following her passion for the extraordinary world and history of jazz.

Constanza Aguirre Hayes

Constanza Aguirre Hayes was born in Resistencia Chaco, Argentina. She was passionate about performing arts and received a full scholarship from the cultural minister of Buenos Aires to attend Teatro Colon where she worked with world-renowned teacher and director, Lidia Segni. She completed her Masters of Classical Dance and continued her studies with the Foundation of Julio Bocca, and Academy of American Ballet. In 2006 she auditioned and was accepted to the Ballet Contemporary Institute of San Martin where she completed a Contemporary Dance Technique Diploma and immersed herself in other courses such as music and movement, functional anatomy, improvisation, composition, and dance history. While in San Martin, Constanza became certified in contemporary techniques including Cunningham, Graham, Laban, Flying Low, contact improv and contemporary partnering. In 2010, she competed and won a soloist contract with Ballet Centro del Conocimiento. The next eleven years dancing with this company lead to career highlights like Aegina in Spartacus, Mercedes in Don Quixote, Suite of Angels, and Myrtha in Giselle. As well as having a successful career as a dancer, Constanza is a prolific choreographer and worked with the Cultural Minister in Brazil promoting contemporary dance in Brazil. She continues to work with Promodança as a consultant and Contemporary Program Director. Other experience includes an invitation to Grupo Corpo in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, guest teacher and ballet mistress in Contemporary Ballet of Chaco, and an invitation to Netherlands Dance Theatre by Thiago Bordin to study contemporary techniques. Constanza was also the Contemporary Program Director for Academia Ballet de Moscú del Parque del Conocimiento. She also established Posadas Ballet Studio where she trained professional and aspiring dancers. Constanza lives in Vancouver with her family and is looking forward to nurturing and educating future aspiring dancers.

Born in Abbotsford, Miguel’s love of the performing arts started at a young age, studying disciplines such as hip-hop, jazz, contemporary and ballet. Miguel attended the National Ballet School of Canada and Goh Ballet and other local dance studios. After high school, he was invited to participate in Orlando Ballet II under Peter Stark’s direction and danced roles such as Cinderella by Peter Stark, Bolero by Fernando Bujones, Nutcracker, Battle of the Sexes, and Corsaire by Robert Hill. In 2008, Miguel received the gold medal in IDO (International Dance Organization) in Oslo, Norway for best contemporary solo and received invitations to International Competitions in Helsinki, Finland, and Seoul, Korea. He also attended Jacob’s Pillow, where Director, Anna-Marie Holmes, helped Miguel receive his first professional contract as a soloist in the State Ballet of Georgia under the direction of Nina Ananiashvili where he performed works by Yuri Possokhov, August Bournonville, Alexei Ratmansky and George Balanchine. Other accolades in the company include Flower Festival and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. Miguel guested in schools and companies in Montreal and Mexico, eventually returning to Vancouver to dance with Coastal City Ballet under Li Yaming. In 2012 Miguel moved to Argentina and danced for seven years as a Principal Dancer in Ballet Centro del Conocimiento while also guesting throughout Paraguay and Brazil. Miguel was well known for the strength of his technique and charismatic personality in portraying lead characters such as Basilio in Don Quixote, Albrecht in Giselle, Siegfried in Swan Lake, Lucien in Paquita, and Solor in Bayadere.
From 2018 to 2020, Miguel was Associate Director of Posadas Ballet Studio in Posadas Argentina, a studio that focuses on preparing professional dancers and students in classical, jazz, and contemporary dance styles. Miguel also continues in his work for the Institute of Culture Promodanca, Brazil, as a consultant, judge, and guest choreographer. Miguel seeks to find scholarships and opportunities for Brazilian dancers and looks forward to hosting international dance students at Pro Arté when COVID restrictions ease.

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