Teacher Profiles


 

 
Irene Widdup

Miss Irene is the owner and artistic director of Footworks Dance Academy.  With 29 years of teaching and choreography experience, a Teaching Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance, Bachelor of Education Degree, Acrobatic Arts Certification, a Member of the International Academy of Dance Adjudicators and the President Alberta Dance Educators Association and 38 years of dance training, Miss Irene comes highly qualified. She makes sure to keep updated with the latest in dance by attending various dance conventions and master classes in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Phoenix, and even here in Alberta. She has published her S.T.E.P. Program for dance teaching preparation and has presented the program to various schools all over Alberta at the Alberta Dance Educators Association. At present she is working on organizing a dance teachers convention, Team Motivate, for dance teachers all across North America to attend. Her students have won several awards, as has her choreography. She has four girls, a small group in the dance world, a wonderful husband and her dog “Max” that travels with her on all her dance adventures! Miss Irene is enjoying her new studio space and is looking forward to another exciting year with all her dancers.

 
Gillian Bourgeois



This is Miss Gillian’s sixth year of teaching dance and her students love her! She danced with the Beaumont Society School of Dance for 16 years. She specialized in Ballet, Character, Jazz, Pointe, and Lyrical and has successfully obtained her Grade 8 level of RAD in Ballet and Character. Miss Gillian has attended numerous dance festivals and competitions in and around the Edmonton area. In 2004 Miss Gillian turned her focus towards obtaining a degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Language and Literacy. This past year she has also enjoyed teaching Kindergarten at Barrhead Elementary School. She enjoys spending time with her husband, her twin girls and her little boy Peter.  Dance has been such a monumental part of her life and she hopes to instill the same love for dance in her students.
 
Alana Friend
 

This is Miss Alana’s sixth year teaching for Footworks Dance Academy. She discovered dance at the age of 7 and has been going strong ever since.  She has trained in the techniques of Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, and Contemporary and is continuing to expand her knowledge to share with others.  Some highlights in her dance career have been taking classes at the Edge Performing Arts Center in California, Groove Street conventions, and the Peacock Dance Academy Summer Intensive where she was awarded a summer scholarship. She has trained closely with Alex Pesusich, Harj Rai, Ferdinand Tocol, Scott Augustine, and many others. She also spent a year dancing professionally in Vancouver but missed us so much she had to come back. At present she is dancing with a Hip Hop Crew from 3rd Street Beat called “Fierce”. Her passion of dance and teaching radiates in her classes, inspiring her students to not only reach their goals but exceed them. 
 
Alena Widdup
 

Miss Alena has been dancing since she was born! She is trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe, Musical Theater, Hip Hop and recently Contemporary. She has had the opportunity to dance in New York, and L.A and even performed on Carnival Cruise lines. She always attends dance conventions regularly and has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s best dancers and teachers. This was Miss Alena’s fourth year of teaching and she loved working with all her dancers. When she isn’t teaching dance she is at Grant McEwan University in the Arts Department! Miss Alena has a fun sense of humor in class and is always kind and loving towards her students. She is looking forward to working with her students this year!

 
Keanna Widdup
 

Miss Keanna began dancing at the tender age of birth! This was her third year of teaching at Footworks. She had the privilege of teaching Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, musical theater and acrobatics this year and thoroughly enjoyed her students. She is trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe, Musical Theater, Hip Hop and Contemporary. She has had the opportunity to dance in New York, and L.A and even performed on Carnival Cruise lines. She always attends dance conventions regularly and has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s best dancers and teachers. Miss Keanna brings a warm spirit to her classes and looks forward to teaching this year!!
 

Dustin Purnell
 
Dustin has loved and coached jump rope for 13 years. The sport has always been a family experience. His dad, three brothers, and three of his five sisters also jump rope. The family has coached and performed for around 65,000 people in central Alberta since 2004. He is married to the girl of his dreams and their three young daughters are their pride and joy. Dustin has integrated jump rope with counselling as part of the masters in counselling psychology program at Athabasca University. He looks forward to a career practicing “jump rope therapy.”