Canadian born and first trained in Victoria, B.C., Annette has always had a keen interest to teach and mentor young dancers. Annette’s post graduate studies included training with some of the world’s leading dance masters with whom she took every opportunity to develop her teaching skills. Her years of dancing in London, England, New York and Stuttgart gave her the advantage of working with the world’s most renowned pedagogues at the time. They included principal Ballet Mistress with The Royal Ballet, Eileen Ward, as well as Merle Park and artists of the Royal Ballet, in New York with David Howard, Maggie Black, Marjorie Mussman, and many other Joffrey masters and ultimately 5 years in Stuttgart with the John Cranko Schule and Stuttgart Company.
Under the direction of Marcia Haydee, Annette performed in most of the classical traditional ballets, as well as being privileged to work with John Cranko, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Uwe Schultz, Glenn Tetley and many others who are still setting the choreographic standard today. Returning to Canada, Annette fulfilled her deepest desire and upon completing her teaching certificate through The Royal Academy of Dance, she co-founded The Richmond Academy of Dance with partners Heather Joosten-Fair and Jozef Jakubowski. For the past 28 years Annette has directed the Academy’s ballet and modern programs.
Under her directorship and tutelage, and with her esteemed faculty, Annette has trained dancers who are now in companies all around the world. Graduates of 10 or more years with Richmond Academy include Heather Ogden (Principal, National Ballet of Canada) , Nicole Caron (Principal, Alberta Ballet), Tara Williamson (Les Ballets Jazz and Ballet BC) Stephanie Amurao (Batsheva Dance and LA Dance Project), Kristina Roper (Ballet Spartenburg), Kamilah Sturton and Brenddan McCooey (Ballet Kelowna) amongst many others.
Annette’s goal to provide Richmond Academy with the most professional classical training possible on the west coast of Canada has led to internationally renowned masters and directors guest teaching at the Academy’s classical professional division. They have included Veronica Tennant (National Ballet of Canada), Diane van Schoor (Principal, Royal Ballet School, London, England), Susan Toumine (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens), Mercedes Bernardez (National Ballet of Canada), Edmund Stripe and Janet Tait (Alberta Ballet), Svetlana Masianova (Moscow City Ballet), Karin Averty (Paris Opera Ballet), Josh Beamish, Simone Orlando, Summer Lee Rhatigan (San Francisco Conservatory) and many other distinguished masters.
Annette shares her time as she can adjudicating festivals and assisting dance organizations. She was honored to receive the 2013 Ethel Tibits Award in the Arts category for Women of Distinction who have contributed significantly to the Richmond community. She looks forward to Richmond Academy continuing to produce Canada’s newest young professionals as well as training young artists for the love and joy of dance.