Back in 1994, Thrive Dance Studio (originally North Otter Society of Performing Arts) was opened as an after-school program at North Otter Elementary by the talented and dedicated Cinda Herndl. Over the years the studio has grown and is well known for it's passionate and energetic teachers and enthusiastic students!
Students and Teachers have come together to create a strong Dance Family where dancers feel safe, loved, and inspired!
Cinda Herndl has been teaching Classical Ballet for over 20 years.She has a unique gift working with children to develop creativity and enjoyment of dance while building a solid technical foundation. With over 21 years of training that she received on scholarship at the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grande Ballet, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cinda has a thorough understanding of Classical Ballet to share with her students. She continued her studies in Ukraine for four intensive summers at the Ukrainian Folk Dance Institue in L'viv, Ukraine. She is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Program and performed on Tour with the Company. She has also completed the Teacher Course at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and has received a diploma in Child Psychology. After running her own successful dance school for eight years, Cinda founded Surrey Society of Performing Arts. In her role as Artistic Director and Instructor, she guided the organization for 15 years creating International exchange programs to Spain,Hong Kong, Macau, France, Austria, and Ukraine. For the last eight years, she has been an Instructor with North Otter Society of Performing Arts. Cinda has conducted workshops for the Cecchetti Society of Canada,the 2002 Dance & Wellness Seminar sponsored by the Surrey Festival of Dance, and has adjudicated several Dance Festivals in the Ballet, Character, and Ukrainian Dance categories.
Melissa Medalla started dancing at the age of 13 and began learning the basics to many dance forms. Melissa has competed and performed throughout North America and Europe including; The International Edegem Folk Festival in Belgium and for the launch of A.D.I.D.A.S. Porche Line in Vancouver, BC. She has won numerous awards at competitions and dance conventions including winning silver at the Hip Hop International Dance Championships in August 2013. During the 2010 Winter Olympics she performed with the Surrey Celebration Dance Team in front of thousands at many events including the Olympic Torch Relay. Melissa has trained in Los Angeles, CA, New York City, NY, and Seattle, WA. She has studied with the Drive Dance Centre’s Scholarship Program in which she broadened her knowledge in contemporary, ballroom, ballet, and jazz. Melissa teaches in the lower mainland and currently performs with Project Soul Productions.
Karry attended courses for Bachelor of Arts in Social Services from the University of the Fraser Valley and has completed summer dance programs at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She has a vast knowledge in Kineseology, Dance Anatomy, Dance Psychology and Dance History from the courses she took at the University of Waterloo. Karryʼs students performed in opening ceremonies for 2010 Paralympics, B.C. Place opening, Grey Cup Game and Home Opener 2012/13, and Team Canada 2012/13. She has adjudicated internationally for Dance Magic competition and has received many choreography awards from Dance Magic, Peak Invitational, Dance Power, Dupree Dance Expo, Footloose, 5-6-7-8 Showtime, Coquitlam Dance Festival and the Surrey Festival of Dance. She was named teacher of the year at national & international competitions and also taught classes for Chilliwack area Middle & Senior High Schools, Colleges and Universities. Karry taught healthy living and cap day classes at Chilliwack area Middle & Senior High Schools and choreographed the B.C. Summer Games Opening Torch Lighting & Closing Ceremonies. Karry represented Minter Gardens in the Miss Chilliwack Pageant in 1989 in which she was first runner up, as well as Main Stage performance at Expoʼ86 in Vancouver British Columbia. She appeared on The Variety Club Telethon as a performer Karry also appeared on Vancouver produced “Second Honeymoon” television game-show. Karry has been presented with various volunteering awards for her efforts in the arts in the community. Karry is extremely excited to bring her vast knowledge to new and accomplished dancers.
Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, Caylea began dancing at the young age of 6 years old. Her love of dance from those first years grew into an active pursuit as she found herself in the studio almost everyday. Trained in a wide variety of movement styles such as, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, jazz, and ballet-Caylea finds her primary passion in contemporary dance. Thrive Dance Studio became her second family where she now continues to share her passion for dance with younger students teaching through out the week. To compliment her training Caylea participated in a musical theatre program at DW Poppy from 2014-2016. She also danced on the BC summer games hip hop team in 2016. She now is a member of the Chilliwack Chiefs Dance Team. Caylea is very excited to see what the future holds for her dance career as she continues to push forward.
Vanessa Heard trained at the Wessex School of Dancing in Hampshire, England, in The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) methods. She majored in RAD ballet, Imperial Ballet and Classical Greek. She also studied ISTD National, Modern Stage, Historical and Tap. After graduating in 1970, Miss Vanessa taught Ballet, National, and Classical Greek in academic schools in the south west of England. Following her desire to explore the world, she took a break from teaching to travel, returning to England in 1976 where she met and married her husband Peter. They eventually settled in British Columbia with their two small sons and after two more children, a son and a daughter, Vanessa was ready to again teach. In 1987, re-establishing her Membership with the RAD and ISTD, she opened a small studio in her home.
By 2003, Morning Star Dance moved to larger premises where it flourished until 2017, when Vanessa decided to leave the business side of dance. She is now looking forward to sharing her love and passion with students at Thrive and beyond.
Vanessa’s expertise is in teaching the fundamentals of ballet technique in an interesting and inspiring way. She is excited to introduce students to the little-known world of Classical Greek.