2018 Performance Specialists

223 Kate Franklin 2014 Photo Andrea de Keijzer

KATE FRANKLIN – Ballet & Contemporary

Kate Franklin was born in North Bay, Ontario.  She received her early dance education at Barbara Treleaven School of Dancing, then undertook her professional training at Quinte Ballet School.  

She spent the first decade of her career based in Toronto, as an independent contemporary dance artist. She danced with numerous companies and choreographers, most notably Kaeja d'Dance, Company Vice Versa (Valerie Calam), Zata Omm Dance Projects (William Yong),  Matjash Mrozewski,  and Kate Alton, amongst others.  

Her own choreography was performed by dance training programs such as Quinte Ballet School, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, companies such as JD Dance and at festivals including At the Wrecking Ball, Porch View Dances and Dusk Dances.  

Kate was a mobilizing force in the Toronto contemporary dance community.  She worked with Series 8:08 for many years, and was the co-founder (with Tina Fushell) of Ambitious Enterprises, a company that produced five "At the Wrecking Ball" programs of interdisciplinary dance over ten years (from 2002-2012).  

With Kate Holden, Franklin founded firstthingsfirst productions in 2005.  Together, the Kates commissioned an impressive number of works from independent Canadian choreographers and produced three full-length evenings of dance.

Now living in Vancouver, Kate is the Associate Director of  Modus Operandi, she teaches contemporary dance and yoga and works with choreographers Justine A. Chambers, Meredith Kalaman and company Tara Cheyenne Performance.  She regularly returns to Toronto to work with Company Vice Versa (Valerie Calam). 

 Kate is the recipient of the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding Female Performance for the solo "Gotta Go Church" choreographed by Valerie Calam. 



Jyla headshot

JYLA DAVIS – Stage Dance

Jyla Davis, grew up dancing in Vancouver, BC – and her talent, love and passion for dance and theatre afforded her many opportunities to perform and travel throughout Canada, the U.S., and Europe. 
As a young performer, Jyla's provincial and national winnings awarded her scholarships to train in L.A, New York, and at the Randolph Academy in Toronto. Jyla was awarded the Senior Canadian Winner of the Triple Threat Dance Convention in 2001. She was also accepted into Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York to study musical theatre. 
Jyla’s professional career started as a singer/dancer for Norwegian Cruise Lines, which lead to her becoming an associate director for the company. She then toured throughout Canada and danced on Much Music Television, for singer/songwriter Janajana, and for Avril Lavigne in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.
Jyla then spent many years dancing and assisting for PRP Productions – a large scale, live event entertainment production company based out of Vancouver, BC. With PRP Productions, Jyla was a part of the character creation process of “Miga, the Sea Bear", one of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic mascots and then traveled throughout Canada on the mascot launch tour. Jyla was also a performance director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver and Whistler, BC.
Jyla's theatre credits include Peter Pan, South Pacific, “Cha Cha” in Grease, “Demeter” in Cats, “Joanne” in Godspell, “Lorraine Fleming” in 42nd Street, “Dorothy Parker” in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and “Mrs. Claus” in The Magic of Santa. She also played “Cranium, the mad scientist" on tour in Vancouver’s original Halloween musical The Great Big Boo! Jyla was an original member of the Vancouver based tap performing group Taptastic, which was seen on televised performances and live shows around Vancouver's Lower Mainland. TV and film credits include The Goodbye Girl, Life As We Know It with Kelly Osborne, and Nickelodeon’s TV movie Spectacular with Victoria Justice. 
Jyla's enthusiasm and love for theatre has recently encouraged her to broaden her creative horizons into directing! Her directing credits include Disney’s Aristocats KIDS, Disney’s Aladdin KIDS, Disney's Cinderella KIDS, and Disney's The Lion King KIDS. One of her most favourite projects to date was writing, directing, and choreographing an original Christmas musical Shrumped for the Holidays: A Christmas Satire, with music written by her husband, Chris Davis. 
As a recognized professional in her industry, Jyla has also been an adjudicator at various dance festivals and competitions, including The Brandon Festival of Dance (Manitoba) and Peak Invitational Dance Competition. 
And now, Jyla is the proud studio owner and director of Studio West Dance in Ladner B.C. Her commitment to her craft is evident in the passionate and inspired faces of her students. She is dedicated to providing her students with the knowledge and training to become exceptional dancers and people. 




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