Solera Arts and Education Society supports the communities of Costal British Columbia to achieve balance between the five elements through the exploration and development of Arts and Education.
We support Dance, Music, Theatre, Fine Arts, Academic Study, Languages, Athletics, Horticulture, Crafts, The Healing Arts and Culture.
We strive to create opportunities for students, aspiring and established professionals of all ages, cultural and economic backgrounds to explore, learn and share via performance, presentations, lectures, classes, courses, workshops and events.
Founded in Tofino, Solera also serves the communities of Ucluelet, Ahousaht, Bamfield, Nanaimo and Victoria, BC by supporting and creating Workshops, Performances, Dance Camps, and Classes throughout the year.
We gratefully thank the BC Arts Council - Gaming Commission and the District of Tofino for its financial support through a series of Grants.
Countless people have been touched by our programs, with particular benefit through our work in the more isolated communities. The grants have enabled Solera to bring talented instructors to both classroom and stage, thus also providing employment opportunities to dedicated artists while they share their gifts with our communities.
This year Solera expanded its activities into the broader realm of Healing, Arts and Education.
We will continue to offer our full range of Performing Arts programs and activities, as we work towards the development of our goals through our expanded focus.
Please let us know if you would like more information about our upcoming year. Perhaps you have ideas, time, energy, or finances to contribute to help us grow ~ We welcome your support!
Kendal Wright is originally from Calgary where she trained and competed in various styles growing up. While studying at University of Victoria she lead The UVic Dance Company for multiple seasons.
Kendal then went on to train with The Source Dance Company and Kill the Lights hip-hop crew in Vancouver, BC. She also taught for a season at Dansko Studios in Victoria, BC.
In 2015 she created The Space Collective. The Space Collective was born out of a desire to respond to growing community interest in adult drop in dance class opportunities in Victoria.
Kendal has always held community development at high regard as she has played integral roles at various non-profit organizations throughout her career.
Positive mindful teaching is at the heart of Kendal’s work and she hopes to continue to contribute to the vibrancy of Victoria through dance.
Kelly Henderson started dancing and studying Argentine tango in Montreal 2006 with Bulent Karabagli and Marika Landry. After moving to Victoria in 2009 she continued her study of the dance by taking classes with local and visiting instructors, as well as by travelling to study with teachers far and wide. Kelly has been travelling to Buenos Aires annually since 2018 to continue to grow her skills a a dancer and as a teacher. She has been teaching tango in Victoria periodically since 2011. Her style of dancing is focused on connection and musicality and has been highly influenced by Corina De La Rosa, Alejandro Andrian, Dana Frigoli, Noelia Hurtado and Carlitos Espinoza, among many others. Kelly loves both leading and following in tango and encourages her students to explore both roles, or whichever role they are most interested in.
Eric Pedersen also started dancing tango in Montreal in 2006 and he and Kelly have been organizing tango events in Victoria since 2014. They currently run a weekly practica and a beginner series at through Solera Arts and Education Society at Solwood Studio in downtown Victoria, more information for can be found on their website www.alivetangovictoria.ca
Along with being Solera's Founder and Artistic Director, Janine Wood also plays a roll as a volunteer for many of our activities and events, including our website design. She also teaches a variety of modalities including dance, pottery, food preparation (preserves) and the crafting of natural products such as soap, lotions, and natural herbal body care and herbal remedies,
For the last couple of years Janine has been sharing her time and skills with the Nanaimo school district 70 through Island Connect Ed, sharing her skills with some of the students ages 13-17.
Last year Janine began her work as an aspiring film maker and is currently working on a First Nations Language initiative. See the program page for details and her full bio in the Board of Directors section for more details about her education and background.
Founder, Kristy Durst is a student of Bachata who has a passion for this dance form and for bringing people together for the purpose of connection, joy, and well-being.
Kristy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, an Entrepreneur's Program Certificate, and an extensive background in leadership as a Program Coordinator, Educator, and Registered Yoga Instructor.
Kelly Shears is from the East End of Vancouver BC. She considers herself a 3rd generation West Coast child, with family roots connected to her Scottish-Pict and Metis ancestors and blessed to have grown up in the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people.
Kelly began writing children's stories while attending Langara college in 1993. As an artist, story teller, and educator, her goal through her creative work is to inspire indigenous and non-indigenous youth to come together to find new pathways towards truth, understanding, peace and a Spirit-Heart-Earth-Conscious future.
Kelly lives in Vancouver with her life partner Kelly Dixon, aka Bear and all their human and animal kingdom family and friends.
With her love of music and insatiable appetite for learning, combined with a solid background steeped in dance, yoga and pilates, Sahra offers a variety of fitness classes ranging from
Dance fitness fusion, Pound drum Fitness, Holistic Dance Fitness Fusion ( Bellyfit ), and Classical Pilates. All is taught from a passionate lens of good bio-mechanics.
Irene Booth, Owner of Tempo Dance Academy, has been a very important part of the dance scene of Vancouver Island for decades. Irene is a certified Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Instructor as well as a Jazz and Tap instructor and has shared her gifts with countless students for decades.
For many years Irene has been a mentor for many up and coming RAD student teachers as well as an adjudicator for BC Dance Festivals and an official Examiner for The RAD. We are grateful for the integrity and wisdom that Irene brings to Solera through her vast experience.
Janine Rudolph has spent much of her life as a student of dance. Originally she studied ballet, Jazz and Modern dance at Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver BC, though she continued her studies after moving to the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
Janine is currently focused on raising her young family in Nanaimo BC, while she lends her support to help Solera through her work on the Board of Directors and as a volunteer at our events.
Lucy Brings an intelligent and enthusiastic force to her work as our President.
Lucy has a deep love of education and is also a busy parent of a young child.
In years past Lucy ran in a local election for the roll of School Trustee.
We are grateful for her work in our organization both as President and as a volunteer at our events.
Artistic Director - Janine Wood
Janine Wood brings a lifetime of dance to her roll as Solera's Artistic Director. Starting with Classical Ballet at age 3, she is a certified Royal Academy of Dance Instructor. As a youth, ballet was her focus, but she also studied tap, jazz and contemporary.
In 1993 Flamenco stole her heart and she has studied with Vancouver Island's Veronica Maguire and Monique Salez and is planning her 9th trip to the source of Flamenco, Andalusia, Spain.
Janine has been teaching dance since 1997 and focuses much of her time promoting arts, education and performance opportunities for students as well as aspiring and professional artists on Vancouver Island.
Beyond dance, Janine spends much of her time growing and gathering organic food, fruit and herbs from which she creates a variety of natural products for healthy living, "Solwood Essentials".
She has studied a variety of healing modalities including Reiki, Thai Massage and is a twice published writer.
Janine launched a variety of programs through the local school district 70, sharing her skills with the students of Island Connect Ed.
Janine is also the manager of Victoria's Solwood Studio which provides space for many of our current programs