Our Adjudicators

Our Adjudicators

Stephanie Lilley

Stephanie’s involvement in dance is fueled by her passion and training in jazz, contemporary, ballet and Ukrainian. Stephanie is the artistic director and choreographer of Viva Dance, a contemporary company based in Edmonton. Viva Dance is known for creating and presenting highly emotive yet accessible dance art with the perfect combination of athleticism and artistry. The company has performed in over 100 shows since 2012 including Fringe Festivals across Canada and the US, Western Canada Fashion Week, the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree, the City of Edmonton’s Salute to Excellence Awards, Women of Vision Awards, Feats Festival, Skirt Afire Festival, corporate events, fundraisers and various shows to promote dance programs in Edmonton Public Schools. The company has donated their dance art to help raise funds and awareness for the Stollery Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Wish Foundation, the University of Alberta’s Mental Health Symposium and others.

In addition to many commissioned works, Viva Dance has presented 3 full length shows. Can’t Contain My Dance in the 2013 Edmonton Fringe Festival had the single highest attended show at the entire festival. Dreamscape: Our Dreams Told Through Dance toured 5 Fringe Festivals and was awarded the Critics Choice Award for Best Dance Show as well as reviewed with 5 stars. Sweet Nothings was a Valentine’s hit at the Art Gallery of Alberta showcasing 8 original love themed works.

Stephanie is the dance coordinator for the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree. Along with choreographing and casting dancers, she also performs in this prestigious show. Stephanie was part of the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers as a dancer, choreographer and artistic consultant for 5 years. She completed a 23 show China tour and a 20 show Canadian tour. Stephanie danced in Citie Ballet and Freefall and has also performed with the Edmonton Opera. She has collaborated with the Movement Dance Ensemble, an Afro-Caribbean dance company, as a choreographer and performer. Stephanie is a faculty member of Orchesis, the University of Alberta’s dance club, where she has been teaching contemporary jazz since 2008. To her credit, she has performed for both Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line and has appeared in countless industry productions as a dancer and model.

As an adjudicator, Stephanie has judged the Zirka Dance Challenge, the Vitaemo Ukrainian Dance Festival, the Camrose Music Festival, the Kalyna Festival, the Northern Star Talent Quest, the Drumheller Music Festival as well as the Athabasca Dance Festival. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (B.PE) as well as her Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). Although an experienced teacher and performer, she continues to be a student herself in both dance and yoga.

Vincent Rees

Vincent Rees has been a prolific dancer, director, choreographer and connoisseur of Ukrainian dance, art and culture for many years. Raised in Victoria BC, Vincent moved to Edmonton in 1992 to join the world renowned Ukrainian Shumka Dancers, where he danced for many years. Vincent has served on Shumka’s Artistic team and took on the role of Artistic Director of Shumka School from 1999 to 2004. He instructed many clubs throughout western Canada and also created several of his own productions. From 2011-2013 he served as Artistic Director of the Viter Ukrainian Dancers and Folk Choir, created several new works, and toured Ukraine with them in the summer of 2012.

Vincent studied dance extensively in Ukraine, taking workshops in regional dance and choreography at the Institute of Ukrainian Folk Dance, in Lviv and the Virsky Studio. In 2004 he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Ukrainian Language & Literature and in 2007, his fascination with Ukrainian dance and culture lead him to complete a masters’ degree in Ukrainian Folklore from the University of Alberta. During this time, he studied ethnochoreology in Norway, Romania and Canada all while regularily travelling to Ukraine to continue his pursuit of knowledge. Currently Vincent teaches a course on the culture and history of Ukrainian Dance at the University of Alberta.

In 2011, Vincent created Cobblestone Freeway Tours, which specializes in travel and tours to Ukraine for dance groups and the general public. More recently, Cobblestone Freeway has expanded its operations to offer culturally rich tours to other parts of Eastern Europe and South America and even Ireland. You’d be surprised where Ukrainians are living around the world!

Vincent continues to instruct and adjudicate across western Canada. He is still very involved with the Shumka dancers as is the choreographer in residence for MY Ukrainian Dance Academy in Edmonton and the Troyanda Ukrainian Dancers of Selkirk, Manitiba.

Vincent believes that learning about Ukrainian dance and culture can help us better understand the world we live in. To that end, in 2014, he was integral in creating Ukrainian Dance World, a very popular page on Facebook as well as website and now sucessful publication.

Learn more about Vincent and his projects at: www.vincentrees.ca or if you’re interested in his original cultural tours, visit: www.cobblestonefreeway.ca.

Culture FUZE is the bridge to the many different types of cultural dances in Alberta.

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