Master Class with Céline Gittens

The Vancouver Ballet Society is pleased to present a Master Class with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Principal Dancer, Céline Gittens! Sunday, July 29th from 10:00-11:30am, all levels are welcome! $25 for VBS members and $30 for non-members. Contact us to register today: 604-681-1525,, or fill out the form here:

Céline Gittens joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2006 and is one of our most recently promoted Principals. She was born in Trinidad and grew up in Vancouver, Canada, where her training, both with her mother and at Vancouver’s Goh Ballet Academy, led to her winning the gold medal and audience choice award at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance Genée International Ballet Competition in 2005. Céline is a dancer of immense strength, her powerful technique being redolent of the kind of dancing we most readily associate with North America and which has already been seen to such strong effect in performances as the Striptease Girl in Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Fortuna in Carmina Burana and the leading role in Elite Syncopations. Having spent all her professional life with a British company, however, Céline has developed a more understated side to her performances which is standing her in good stead for the classics. She debuted the dual roles of Odette / Odile in Swan Lake in 2012, but her big breakthrough came during our 2015 tour to Japan when, due to another dancer being injured, and with only one day’s notice, she stepped in to perform this most taxing ballerina role on opening night in Tokyo to great acclaim. Other leading roles which are garnering her plaudits include the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanilda in Coppélia, the Gypsy Girl in The Two Pigeons and most recently a very demure and youthful Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Celine also gained a Master of Philosophy from the University of Birmingham in 2012.

VBS Spring Seminar 2018


Spring Seminar 2018 was a great success! Our guest instructors Avatâra Ayuso and Véronique Jean were so great to work with and we loved seeing the dancers perform. This year we were able to provide $16,000 in scholarship funds.


Scholarship winners from Intermediate class are:

Sabina Nelson (Top Intermediate Dancer, Margot Fonteyn Trophy, Jean Lewis Celebration Scholarship), Isabel Medalla (Mary Auerbach Memorial Scholarship), Maya Chandrashekaran (Neil Wortley Memorial Scholarship, Helen & Lionel Wace Memorial Scholarship for most improved), Emma Tomlinson (Marian Allen Memorial Scholarship), Nicholas Mihlar (Mona Tarling Memorial Scholarship), Caitlyn Woo (Zabelita Fraser Scholarship for Most Musicality), Malia Bell (VBS Scholarship), Samantha Woo (VBS Scholarship), Ana Wu (VBS Scholarship), Sophie Malcolmson (VBS Scholarship), Kaelani Stern (VBS Scholarship).


Scholarship winners from Advanced class are:

Mya Kresnyak (Top Female Dancer, Evelyn Hart Trophy, Pearley and Norine Brissenden Scholarship), Connor McLeary (Top Male Dancer, Erik Bruhn Memorial Scholarship), Mikaela Kos (Top Contemporary Dancer, Ruth McLoughlin Memorial Scholarship), Kyra Soo (Earl Kraul Memorial Scholarship), Kristian Arciaga (VBS Scholarship), Ashley Coupal (VBS Scholarship), Sophie Higgins (VBS Scholarship), Pauline Koeplin (VBS Scholarship), Margot Lorette (VBS Scholarship), Mabel Lundie (VBS Scholarship), Tessa Browning (VBS Scholarship).


Congratulations to all of you who completed the Spring Seminar!

“Fantastic week teaching at the Vancouver Ballet Society (VBS) Spring Seminar 2018. It has been a great inspiration to work alongside the wonderful teacher Véronique Jean and meet the board of directors and the super motivated students. I hope we can see each other in the future! I will miss Vancouver and its people.” – Avatâra Ayuso (right)

“What a chance for the Students to work with Avatara!… Thank you to all of you: dancers, musicians, administrations! Beautiful artistic adventure!”
Véronique Jean (left)