Vanessa Klassen

Vanessa Klassen

DW Studio Administrator/Owner, Ballroom, Seamstress
B.A. Music / Piano (Grade 10) / ORFF (Level 1)

Originally from Oakville, MB, Vanessa has numerous years of experience and training in music. Supplemented by her work with children and youth over the years and in various capacities, she continued her training in college with a Bachelor's Degree in Music, offering her opportunity not only to tour Canada, but also part of Europe.

While attending college, Vanessa joined Richard in his work and adventure providing multiple support and initiatives with her talents in music, administration, and costuming. She has been involved in these areas for over 20 years in numerous capacities. Vanessa has been involved as studio administrative assistant for over 15 years and lends her talents/training in music, piano, as well as in Tap and Ballroom.

Vanessa has served on community and church committees and boards. She is a mother of 4 boys, and as the lone woman in her household she balances her time with family, studio, church, and her husband's productions.

Dance - Morden Studio

Cathy Savage

Cathy Savage


Cathy moved to Morden from Winnipeg and has taught Celtic with DanceWorks for a number of years. Celtic dancing or Irish Step Dancing has become famous from the shows Riverdance and Lord of the dance. With numerous years of dance training and teaching in Celtic, Cathy originally danced with three different instructors, and achieved several dancing accomplishments. Dancing competively for several years has given her the chance to compete in many competitions and she has participated in the North American National Dance Championships for a number of years. Cathy has achieved several awards and top placings at several competitions across Canada and the U.S.A. Irish Dancing gave Cathy the chance to perform many shows including Winnipeg’s summer festival of Folkarama at the Irish Pavilion; and at Epcot Center in Orlando Florida Disney World for two weeks.

Cathy has most recently brought her own students to perform not only for the Folkorama Festival in Winnipeg, but to a number of other festivals and events in southern Manitoba.

Cathy is currently working towards achieving her Teachers Certificate from the Registered Teachers Association of Irish Dance from the Irish Dancing Commission of Registered Teachers Association in Dublin Ireland.

Tanya Schobert

Tanya Schobert

Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Tap

Tanya began her training in Jazz and Ballet at the age of eight in Fort St. John, BC. At the age of 15, Tanya moved to Edmonton, AB, to study Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. She holds her Major Advance Level Certificate through the Royal Academy of Dance. Tanya has traveled and performed with various shows and companies from Vancouver to Denmark and has taught for many years with DanceWorks.

The DanceWorks Studio is privileged to have Tanya teaching with us as she has an extensive understanding of dance. Her choreography has been seen in various performances including the Manitoba Winter Games Ceremonies, and Candlewick’s production of “Joseph: Man of Dreams” which was also interviewed for a CBC Television series.

Tanya is a superb instructor/choreographer who lives in the Morden area.

Bretton Selent

Bretton Selent

Street Dance, Hip Hop
XDC, Trained Fitness Instructor (FIS), Camp Supervisor, Director of Urban Studies - Xcompany

As Xcompany’s Senior instructor, Bretton has a lot under his belt. Bretton is a touring performer and choreographer with ‘ONE’ Performance Collective, for its “Book of Angels” (2007), “Five Animals” (2008) and “Shadow of the Dragon” (2009) productions in Manitoba and British Columbia. Other stage performances include features in “Guys & Dolls,” “Grease Lightning”, “Beauty and the Beast.” and “Seussical the Musical”. Bretton has also choreographed school productions including “Footloose”.

Bretton’s classes have placed gold in the Southeastern Manitoba Dance Festivals, his choreography has also been seen at the opening/closing ceremonies for the “2010 power-smart MB Winter Games”. Bretton is a Director of the advanced dance troupe “Mo’mentum” who has performed around the province at various events and festivals. Although Bretton loves teaching he is always eager to learn new street styles. Bretton is currently dancing and performing with cental Canada’s top Hip Hop dance crew “SIKAT”. Taking first at MB and Toronto street competitions and trains with Bob “Boobjester” Vuerula of Dangerous Goods Bboy Crew.

Most recently, Bretton and his new wife, Lyndsay have taken over the X-Company Steinbach Studio.

Bretton knows what really matters. He currently is also a signed artist with "Kingdom Music" record label, working with 3 time juno nominee "Fresh IE" as his concert choreographer and as a recording artist. working with Fresh IE, Bretton helps bring encouragement to todays youth. Bretton's involvement with “Heartstrings World Mission”, a Christian organization that works to support african orphans is still in the works. 

Nelsia Malenchak

Nelsia Malenchak

Ballet, Dance Exploration, Dance for Special Needs

Nelsia is he Founder, Director, and Teacher for Grass Roots Movement Studio in Morden, Manitoba. The studio, in the Grass Roots Chiropractic Centre, is Pilates based, however Nelsia draws from her background in Dance and other movement disciplines as well as the performing arts to offer classes that go beyond Pilates. Nelsia has a degree in Dance from York University in Toronto along with certifications in Pilates Mat and Reformer work from internationally respected studios in Vancouver, Minneapolis, and Toronto. She also has several years of professional voice instruction and experience singing both as a soloist for various occasions and as a choral member with highly acclaimed choirs.

Nelsia has over 21 years of teaching experience in Pilates and creative movement. She has taught people of all ages and backgrounds ranging from toddlers to seniors, people with special needs, atheletes, and professional performing artists. She truly believes in the benefits of movement and the arts for physical, emotional, and social well-being. It is her desire to work with more young people to equip them with invaluable skills, confidence, and joy that comes with movement and expression that they can carry with them into their various activities and into their futures.

Nelsia loves sharing her knowledge and ideas with others and she continues to teach devotedly to her adult clientele of 18 years in Winnipeg in addition to teaching in her Morden Studio. She is delighted to join DanceWorks this year as a member of their teaching staff and is looking forward to working with everybody there.

Shalen Martens

Shalen Martens

Dance Exploration, Tiny Dancers

Shalen has been dancing in various dance disciplines for many years and has been a part of DanceWorks not only as a student but also as a teacher's assistant and in performance teams. Since graduating, Shalen has been teaching with DanceWorks for a number of years. Her experience in dance, in performance, and in behind-the-scenes technical work have given Shalen a well-rounded experience base.

Shalen looks forward to working again with the studio as a teacher, and comes well recommended.

Tristan Klassen

Tristan Klassen

Street Dance / Hip Hop / Jazz

Tristan has been involved both as a student and more recently as a teacher with the studio for over 15 years. He has taken Ballet, Celtic, Jazz (successfully completing exams), Hip Hop, Tap, Street, and Theatre.

Over the last number of years, Tristan has been involved with numerous productions including playing such roles as "Robertson Aye" in Mary Poppins, "Shrek" in Shrek the Musical, "Maxwell Smart" in Get Smart, "Rev. Moore" in Footloose, "Mr. Frank" in Diary of Anne Frank, "The Prince" in DanceWorks' Cinderella, "Maxmillion" in Count of Monte Cristo, "Nathan Detroit" in Guys and Dolls, "LeFou" in Beauty and the Beast, "Inspector Clouseau" in The Pink Panther Strikes Back, "Mr. Bingley" in Pride and Prejudice, "Algy" in The Importance of Being Earnest, amongst many others.

Tristan has also competed in a number of Provincial competitions both in vocal as well as Track and Field, earning awards in vocal competition. He has been a member of the Central Manitoba Youth Choir for several years.

In terms of dance, Tristan has performed both with DanceWorks in the 2014 Manitoba Winter Games, and with X-Company for the 2010 Manitoba Winter Games, as well as a cameo role with Ballet Jorgen when they toured to Winkler several years ago. Involved both with the Dynamix Troupe with DanceWorks and more recently the "Mo'mentum" Troupe of Wpg, Tristan is known to love dance and performance. He has been involved with the Teacher's Training Program and has been involved with assisting and teaching a number of classes in Morden as well as satellite workshops in Manitou, St. Claude, and Killarney.

Tristan has graduated with a Bachelor in Youth Ministry and is currently living in Morden with his wife Jessica, while working part-time with the Green Room Drop In (Manitou) as well as teaching dance as an Artist in the School.

Melanie Chaboyer

Melanie Tremeer

Ballet, Dance Exploration, Jazz, Tiny Dancers, Tap, Urban Jazz

A.D.A.P.T. Certified Instructor

Hailing from Manitou, MB, Melanie has been involved with DanceWorks since its original inception in Manitou over 16 years ago. Melanie has studied numerous classes in dance and has had active involvement with DanceWorks' Performance Troupe and Teacher's Training Program. Melanie has been teaching with the studio for a number of years and though she took a year off from teaching, she continued to be involved as an assistant in the Ballet program. Since 2007, Melanie has taught classes in Manitou, Carman, and Morden.

Melanie has excelled in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, and Tap and has taken additional training with Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Kickit (Wpg), as well as Teacher's Training with A.D.A.P.T. in Moose Jaw and Toronto. She has not only successfully completed exams in Ballet, Jazz, and Tap, but has also successfully placed students in the ADAPT exam program over the years.

Melanie is currently living in Winkler with her young daughter.

Jasmine Reimer

Jasmine Reimer

Dance Exploration, Tiny Dancers

Jasmine started dancing ballet at DanceWorks at age 3. She is currently involved in several styles of dance including ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, tap, and hip hop. Jasmine was part of a teachers in training program, has assisted in teaching a number of classes, and has taught at Danceworks for one year as well as provided teacher's assistance for several years. She has experience with stage managing and helping behind-the-scenes with several productions. Jasmine has also assisted with summer Triple Threat camps as a choreographer and production assistant.

Her confidence and dedication to dance is evident, and she looks forward to starting her second year of teaching.


Jeremy Malenchak

Jeremy Malenchak

Hip Hop

Jeremy has been involved in dance since he was approximately 7 years old, and has been training in the styles of Hip Hop and Break dance at Danceworks ever since then. He has had the benefit of training with highly respected instructors, both at Danceworks and throughout Winnipeg. He is very passionate about the urban genres of dance, and trains daily to perfect his technique. In addition to his own practice, he has been an assistant and a substitute teacher at Danceworks for the past few years, and is delighted to now be a part of their formal teaching staff. 

Jeremy's accomplishments to date include performing for both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2017 Canada Summer Games, achieving semi-finalist and finalist placement in several Winnipeg based dance battles where he competes against some of Winnipeg's most skilled dancers. He has been an urban dance instructor at the Danceworks Triple Threat Dance camp for the past two years, and has completed the Danceworks Teachers In Training program. He created and helped coordinate the Corn and Apple breakdance battle, hosted by Danceworks for the past two summers. 

Along with dance Jeremy seriously studies martial arts and has achieved a red belt in Ninjutsu to date, with the hope of earning his black belt in the future. Jeremy is also passionate about music and has obtained his grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music certification in piano. He enjoys playing gigs with his jazz quartet, Big Boy Jam. 

J-Remy says "don't break a leg, break-a-dance!"


Ruth Barker

Ruth Barker

Administrative Assistant, Xplor Drama, Dance Exploration
Theatrical Costuming

Originally from MacGregor, MB, Ruth spent a number of years teaching at a private school in Pine Falls before moving to La Riviere to engage in a Theatre Internship through Candlewick and Steinbach Bible College. Ruth brings with her several years of on-stage experience with Manitoba's Passion Play and other theatrical productions. Ruth has demonstrated her artistic abilities both on stage with accomplishment in a number of roles as well as in the Costume Coordinator position for Candlewick. Her costume expertise has been noted in numerous productions including: "Robin Hood: Dark of the Woods", "Mary Poppins", "Once Upon a Mattress", "Joseph: Man of Dreams", "The Unmentionables", "Duzent maejen Fallen", "Tarzan", "Count of Monte Cristo", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Christmas Post", "The Robe", "Fiddler on the Roof / Fidla oppan Dak", "Appointment with Death","Moses", among many others.

Ruth has been involved with the Xplor Drama for many seasons. She has not only assisted with a variety of children's theatre programs, classes, and camps, but has also taught several Dance Exploration and Tiny Dancers classes. Her dance experience also includes a number of years in Ballet, Street, and Jazz.

Ruth has also directed and co-directed a number of children's dramas including: "Aladdin JR", "Kung Fu Kitty", "Pride and Prejudice", "The Magician's Nephew", "The _urloined Letter", "A Bunsch of Munsch", "A Thousand May Fall", "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", "The Importance of Being Earnest", "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", "The Nutcracker", "The Long Red Herring", "The Worst Highschool Play in the World", and "The Clumsy Custard."

Richard J. Klassen

Richard J. Klassen

DW Studio Producer, Xplor Drama, Production
B.Th. / Exec. Producer (Candlewick Productions)
Theatre Professor (Steinbach Bible College)
Founder/Board Member (Manitoba's Passion Play)

Native of La Riviere, MB, Richard has had a passion for drama and the arts originating early on in life. With an extensive list of theatre, music, and leadership experiences, Richard has worked in a variety of theatre settings. He has also worked with youth his entire career, both as as a Youth Pastor in Arborg and Morden as well as in a variety of education formats.

In 1998, Richard founded Oak Valley Productions (developing the outdoor theatre in La Riviere and Manitoba’s Passion Play), and in 2002 he began Candlewick Productions. Richard’s numerous activities with Candlewick include: Drama Professor at Steinbach Bible College (for close to 20 years); teaching children’s theatre classes; directing Musicals in a partnership between Candlewick and the Prairie Spirit School Division; connecting with schools both as an Artist in the School (particularly hosting several successful ArtSmarts II programs) as well as a workshop host; coordinating both high-school and college internship programs; providing technical theatre rentals and assistance; directing and producing various theatrical productions; writing and producing a number of productions; and also serving in a number of contract arrangements.

Candlewick Productions produces a number of theatrical presentations throughout the year. Some recent notable productions Richard has produced/directed include: "Bye Bye Birdie", "Curtains", "The Little Mermaid", "Mary Poppins", "Once Upon a Mattress", "Freud's Last Session", among many others.

Richard serves and has served in various capacities of leadership on several community, church, theatre, and tourism boards. He has had a number of theatre endeavors including the creation of the Oak Valley Outdoor theatre (La Riviere) where he continues to act as a board member. He serves as chair of the Manitou Opera House Management Committee, as well as owner and renovator of the Kenmor Theatre (Morden). Richard has given consultation and assistance to other theatre venues within the province.

Over the past 28 years, Richard has acted or given direction in well over 210 plays as well as technical assistance to dozens of others. He has been involved with semi-professional acting groups, Winnipeg Fringe Festival performances, and had some minor involvement with the Film industry. Acting, directing, and working with youth and adults alike are his love and joy second to his family.