PD Artistic Faculty / Faculté artistique de l’école
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kendra Woo began dancing with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Recreational Division when she was 5 years old, taking ballet, tap, and musical theatre. In 2007, she was an Angel in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker. While in the Recreational Division, Ms. Woo received the Junior Achievement Scholarship.
From this experience, she knew she wanted to be a professional dancer, and entered the Professional Division in 2009. During her time in the Professional Division, Ms. Woo was selected to play Dieter in the RWB Company’s production of The Nutcracker and had the opportunity to work with world-renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp and repetiteur Anna-Marie Holmes. She was also awarded the Millicent Rockwell Donnelly Bursary in 2010. After four years with the Professional Division, studying the Vaganova method, she continued her training in the Recreational Division’s Intensive Training Program, expanding her knowledge of ballet to the Cecchetti method, as well as broadening her dance vocabulary to include jazz. During this time, she received the Senior Ballet Scholarship at the Manitoba Dance Festival.
To further her professional ballet training, Ms. Woo attended many summer intensives, including Arts Umbrella, Oklahoma City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy, where she was accepted for full-time training on a scholarship. This afforded her the opportunity to work with many renowned teachers, choreographers, and dancers, including James Kudelka, Thomas Klein, Gioconda Barbuto, Vera Kulikova, and Ilya Ryzhakov.
In 2014, Ms. Woo moved to Calgary, Alberta, to continue her professional ballet training at the Alberta Ballet School’s Professional Division, graduating from their ballet academic program with the Principal’s Award and completing her Cecchetti Advanced 2 exam with Honours. Ms. Woo successfully graduated from the Alberta Ballet School’s Post-Graduate Program and Alberta Ballet II, where she danced many roles such as the First Shade in La Bayadère and Kitri in Don Quixote. While in Calgary, Ms. Woo also had the opportunity to dance and tour with Alberta Ballet, in productions such as Ben Stevenson’s Dracula in the Bride Pas de Six. Ms. Woo also had the opportunity to work with Sir Martin James, Richard Chen See, Christopher Anderson, and Christiana Bennett.
In 2016, Ms. Woo had the honour of working with Diane van Schoor at a Cecchetti Society of Canada Workshop, hosted by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, where she began to work on the Diploma syllabus.
Ms. Woo moved to the United States in 2017 to dance with Milwaukee Ballet II. While dancing with Milwaukee Ballet II, Ms. Woo was sponsored by Robert and Faith Einhorn. Some of her most notable performances with Milwaukee Ballet II and Milwaukee Ballet include lead pas de deux couple in Timothy O’Donnell’s Momentum, Polynesian Girl in Kathryn Posin’s Climate Control 2, Waitress in Michael Pink’s Dracula, Diana in the Diana and Actaeon Pas de Deux, and a Russian Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade, staged by Fiona Fuerstner. Ms. Woo has also taught master classes for Milwaukee Ballet and led programming in their outreach programs, bringing ballet to school communities and to children with disabilities through their Ballet in a Box program and their Tour de Force program, respectively.
Wanting to pursue teaching, Ms. Woo returned to Winnipeg to train in the RWB School Teacher Training Program, graduating with distinction in 2022. She holds her Associate Certification with Distinction through Cecchetti Canada and looks forward to advancing her studies of the method with the Diploma and Associate Diploma work. She has also completed her training to become a STOTT PILATES Instructor under the instruction of Monique Lavoie. !
Ms. Woo currently teaches with the RWB School Professional Division, guiding students in developing their technique and artistry, and helps stage and rehearse works for performances, including the Professional Division student roles in the RWB Company’s production of The Nutcracker. Teaching with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Ms. Woo hopes to inspire students just as her teachers have inspired her!