I feel grateful to have been a student of Astrid Sherman for the 8 years I trained at Pro Arte Centre. I have known Ms. Astrid since I was 9 years old and I can say her devotion, generosity, and care as a teacher is what allowed me to blossom over those years. While there, I also had the privilege of being coached and taught by the incredible Beverley Bagg. I am lucky to have had both of these teachers because their expertise, passion, and mentorship is what helped shape me into the dancer I am today. Pro Arte is where I built my strong foundation of technique and to this day, the excellent, holistic training I received is recognized in the professional world. After my time at Pro Arte, I was able to continue my training and move forward to attend one of the top dance conservatories in the world—The Juilliard School. I graduated with my BFA in 2015 and since then have worked for numerous classical, contemporary ballet, and modern companies/ choreographers. Currently, I am working with Twyla Tharp Dance in New York City. Ms. Astrid and Ms. Bev are wonderful teachers who develop dancers with the training, artistry, and intellect to meet the demands of the dance world. It was there at Pro Arte where I discovered my love of movement and dance. With the tools I learnt there, I realized my dancing dreams and that it was possible to pursue dance professionally.
The training that I received at Pro Arte (under Astrid Sherman) was invaluable in preparing me for my professional dance career, and I am forever grateful for my time there. After graduating, I worked with Alberta Ballet (with then Ballet Mistress Beverley Bagg who is now co-teaching with Astrid Sherman at Pro Arte Centre) and Ballet Jörgen Canada in nationwide tours of several classical and contemporary productions. I then moved to England to dance principal roles with Ballet Theatre UK in their national touring productions. I have most recently transitioned into working in a musical at Disneyland Paris, where my technical background in ballet is a noted asset. It is thanks to the diverse, personal, and in-depth training at Pro Arte that I have been able to have such an enriching and varied professional career so far, from dancing Giselle and Myrtha to being a tap-dancing Genie Girl. I will always be appreciative for the teachers there who taught me to work safely and smartly, and helped me to become the best dancer I could be!
Pro Arte is very proud of their grad Andrea Pena who will be joining BJM (Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal ) in April. Since her graduation in 2008, Andrea went on to the Alonzo Lines Program in San Frrancisco, Ballet BC Mentor Program and The Banff Centre’s Professional Dance program.
Pro Arte graduates Andrea Pena and Raquel Lefebvre Lanziner were honoured and privileged to be nominated by Ballet BC and Le Jeune Ballet du Québec to attend the prestigious Banff
Drawing on a 60-year legacy as one of Canada’s premier sites for creative development in dance, The Banff Centre’s Professional Dance program brings dancers to Banff for three weeks of intensive classes and rehearsal, followed by a week of mainstage performances and offer an intense professional rehearsal and performance schedule for young dancers of exceptional promise.