A graduate of the professional training program at DancEast Dance Centre de Danse, a featured artist of DancEast & Friends’ “The Nutcracker”, and a soloist with the DancEast Young Company, Kashena Collins is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and instructor. She was also an essential contributor to the DancEast Young Company for ten years. Kashena joined the faculty of DancEast in 2001 and studied at the University of Moncton in Leisure, Sports, and Tourism. She received her diploma from the University of Moncton in May of 2009 while continuing to be a part of DancEast’s ongoing development. Her tremendous passion for dance has led her to perform extensively in Canada and to have appeared to rave reviews at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
She has also trained with noted dance authorities such as Debra Brown (choreographer at Cirque du Soleil), Margie Gillis (choreographer and independent soloist), André Lucas (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens), Trish Armstrong (Danny Grossman Dance Company), Dina Leitsch (ballet mistress), Charmaine Headley and BaKari E. Lindsay (founders of COBA, Collective Of Black Artists), Annie Wood (founder of DanceFuzion), along with several others throughout the past thirty plus years. She has taught dance to thousands of dancers as well as to numerous gymnasts, synchronized swimmers, baton twirlers, and various other athletes. In 2001 she competed in the finals of the dance category of Les Jeux de la Francophonie in Ottawa. She has been invited to participate in such opportunities as guest teacher for the dance program at the University of Moncton.
Kashena worked in collaboration with vocalist Kathy Hayden-Maillet for Hospice Greater Moncton. In April of 2009 she choreographed a piece which was performed during the 2009 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship. During the summer of 2009 she felt privileged to be assistant choreographer for the 2009 Canada Games. In the fall of 2009 she opened a new dance school on Prince Edward Island, Dance Virtuosa, and has been the sole owner and operator ever since. Furthermore, she has organized an intensive summer dance program since the school has been founded, which has brought in instructors from across Canada and the United States, as well as students from both countries. Also, she performed as a featured soloist at the Atlantic Dance Festival in Moncton in 2011. During the summer of 2011, she choreographed and performed an opening number for a Neverest concert in Summerside, followed by choreographing a piece which was showcased during a Victoria Duffield concert in Charlottetown in 2013. Ms. Collins was lead the choreographer for the Island Storm pro basketball team’s dance team, the Storm Chasers. In recent years, she has developed two performance based companies who have performed extensively on and off Prince Edward Island, as well as having represented the island on an international scale. Her passion and devotion to her art has also translated into her volunteer work with Hospice PEI’s Dancing With The Stars.
Her truly innovative skills, which have driven her to multiple creative successes, provide her with a genuinely imaginative new light on dance.