Leslie Scott is well known not only for her talents but her unwavering work ethic, inspiring public speaking, contagious positive energy and bold use of movement to spread a positive message! She is on Faculty at the Edge Performing Arts and Millennium Dance Complex, guest faculty on several conventions and is represented by the agency McDonald Selznick Association (MSA) in Hollywood, California. Leslie is the Founder of the non-profit “Youth Protection Advocates in Dance” (YPAD) whose Mission is to build empowered dance communities through education and activism and stop all exploitation of children in performing arts and keep youth happy, healthy and safe in dance. She also founded the E.D.I.F.Y. Movement, a division committed to using dance to highlight social causes and leads groups of young dancers to teach creative arts at local shelters and orphanages in Mexico and Africa. Leslie is a sought after Artistic Director/Choreographer and well known for the breakthroughs dancers experience in her inter-active seminar “Self-Esteem in Performing Arts” as well as her seminars for parents and educators. Leslie and her team at YPAD/EDIFY have developed the first-of-its kind Dance Education Certification that focuses on the psychological, physical and sexual safety of children and teens in the arts. She has been teaching for 27 years and has been instructed in 22 countries and 48 states to spread her unique teaching methods, artistry and teaching the ideology of “Spirit Swag”, a term Leslie coined to give value to the style of a person’s heart and character, not just their talent, aesthetics, fashion, popularity, social media presence or ability to follow trends in culture. She has traveled the country week after week with her Purpose Partner and amazing husband Joseph and her lil toddler Carmella to share the YPAD education with the dance community. Recently, she has presented YPAD/EDIFY at Pulse and Camp Pulse, Dance Educators of America, Dance Teacher Web and was the keynote speaker at The National Honor Society in Dance Arts in Boca Raton, Colorado’s Hip-Hop Madness and Studio Owner University in Las Vegas. She is a contributing writer to More Than Dancers and the American Psychological Association’s Psychology Benefits Society sharing her cutting edge research linking several Psychological Effects on the identity and brain wiring of Performing Artists who are not mindfully processing the potential consequences of today’s Dance Culture and Entertainment/Social Media on Self-Esteem and Identity. Leslie is a Dance Activist!
During Leslie’s commercial career she has worked with Beyonce, Ciara, Hi-Hat, Jermaine Jackson and Choreographed Brittany N’s video “We’re Beautiful” and has been featured at The Carnival’s Choreographer’s Ball 22 times including the sought after, invite only, Anniversary Show seven times. She has been a featured choreographer on two seasons of the web series Wallbreakers. The Industry Voice Awards in Hollywood has nominated her twice for “ Best Class of the Year” and “Artist of the Year” for her Humanitarian work with E.D.I.F.Y. Movement. Leslie was featured in Nylon Magazine as one of America’s leading forces in Hip-Hop and quoted in Dance Spirit magazine regarding appropriate facials for young dancers. She was selected as a judge for USA Hip-Hop International Championships hosted by the creators of Americas Best Dance Crew and Hip-Hop International. She is a certified Life Coach through Chonique Sneed and Lisette Bustamante’s Creating Opportunities and was honored to present their seminar “Performing Like a Pro” at the Monsters dance convention in Los Angeles. Leslie also designed a clothing line with inspirational quotes in dance and life called Groove Gear: Wear the Message, BE the Message!
As a professional dancer Leslie experienced hypersexualization, sexism and sexual harassment within the professional setting. For many years she played into the pervasive messaging that objectification was empowerment. When she shed that myth, Leslie made a commitment that all aspects of her artistry would be a powerful representation of a human’s value and worth. As she witnessed consequences in her young students, she became increasingly concerned with the dance industries’ normalization and encouragement of superimposing hypersexuality and the glorification of celebrity on very young dancers. This journey led to her current purpose to educate and activate the global dance community to embrace young dancers from a Holistic perspective!
Leslie is well respected in her industry and uses dance as a vehicle to help her students, dance parents and clients reach their full potential as whole beings in a complex dance culture and world. Leslie believes dance and music has a powerful influence over our greater culture and has the power to heal and unite our communities when used with positive intent and integrity!
SUZANNE BLAKE GERETY
Sponsored By: DanceStudioOwner.com
Suzanne Blake Gerety is the director of DanceStudioOwner.com, the leading online resource for dance studio owners world-wide, she provides information and inspiration to start, run, and grow your business.
Suzanne is the second-generation owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios where she and her mom, Kathy Blake, continue to run a thriving studio, which has been in the family for 40 years. Suzanne was born into the dance studio life and brings the perspective of an owner, educator, mom, and businesswoman to her work.
Suzanne and her mom, Kathy are the long time featured columnists for Dance Teacher Magazine’s, “Ask the Experts”. She regularly teaches and presents business seminars at the Dance Teacher Summit, Dance Teacher Connection, and for other various industry events. Her love of marketing combined with her real-life examples make the information she provides timely and immediately useful for audiences.
Suzanne is a featured contributor in the The FabJob Guide to Become a Dance Studio Owner, FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites. In addition to a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Child Development from Colby-Sawyer College, Suzanne has training and experience in communication and leadership from one of the world’s foremost personal development companies.
Suzanne is a mom of two children, married to a great guy, she loves her family and her dance studio family too! She is a passionate advocate for dance studio owners and dance education throughout the world and brings the resources and support to current and future owners to help them achieve success.
JAY T SCHRAMEK
Sponsored By: Dance Attack Competition
Deborah Vogel is a dancer, author, and master teacher who conducts workshops nationally and internationally for student and professional dancers and dance teachers. Her numerous articles on dance technique and injury prevention have appeared in Dance Spirit and Dance Teacher and Pointe magazines. She writes the popular Ask Deb column for Dance Teacher Magazine. She has been active in the dance medicine field since 1978 and co-founded the Center for Dance Medicine in NYC with Dr. Richard Bachrach. Deborah’s numerous books and products on dance education can be found at thebodyseries.com. She uses her expertise and knowledge to educate teachers and dancers how to enhance their technique using sound anatomical principles as well as optimizing their performance both in the classroom and on stage.
Sponsored By: Revolution Dancewear
Sponsored By: The British Association of Teachers of Dancing
Sheila Barker is a New Yorker where her well rounded artistic training and roots were cultivated. Her working career as a performer and choreographer allowed her to see the world through touring on many stages and on television. Sheila’s creative dialogue just wanted to continue to share this voice as teacher,choreographer and into mentoring.
Currently she’s teaching at the profound Broadway Dance Center in New York and Marymount Manhattan College as a Jazz Dance Professor.
Sponsored By: So Danca
Tiffany is the successful owner of seven Tiffany’s Dance Academy locations with over 2500 students and enrollment of over 4000. She produces four Nutcracker’s each December, a professional dance performance each year and her 300 performing company dancers participate in 4 convention competitions each season. Oh yeah, she also still teaches 15 hours a week and produces 25 annual recitals during the first two weeks of June. Tiffany is a regular guest speaker at Dance Teacher Summit, DanceLife Conference, Danceteacherweb Conference and contributor to Dance Teacher magazine, DanceStudioOwner.com and Dance Informa Magazine.
She was born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1973 and has had a rich and exciting career as a professional Jazz Dancer. In 1992 she was awarded a one-year scholarship to the renowned Tremaine Dance Center in Hollywood. At the completion of her scholarship she performed as the Tremaine Scholarship Show Featured Dancer. She continued her professional studies at the prestigious School of Dance at the University of Arizona, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance in 1997. Tiffany’s career highlights include: performances with Quinn/Williams Jazz at the 1995 Jazz Dance World Congress in Nagoya, Japan; the 1996 Jazz World Congress at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the opening of the International Theatre School in Amsterdam, Holland in 1997 and at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona. She was also a member of Zohar Dance Company, has performed in many industrial shows, including the Microsoft Global Summit and American Greeting Cards, and was a soloist with La JAZDANZ of Louisiana, a company she was instrumental in bringing to the Amador Theatre in Pleasanton. Tiffany is now extremely excited to share her Twinkle Star Dance™ curriculum with studio owners worldwide.
About Twinkle Star Dance
Founded by Tiffany Henderson, owner of seven Tiffany’s Dance Academy locations in California, Twinkle Star Dance is a complete toolkit for studio owners that enables them to “plug” a recreational dance program into their existing studio without increasing their workload. Our mission is to help dance studio owners re-focus their efforts on the backbone of their studio….. the recreation 2-6 year old dancers and the tricky 6-12 year old beginners.
Learn more: www.twinklestardance.com
Sponsored By: Dance Attack Competition
Kerry currently resides in Toronto but has spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival. She just choreographed HMS Pinafore for the 2017 Stratford season. Other productions she has worked on include Crazy For You, Fiddler On The Roof, 42nd Street, Camelot, and Two Gentlemen of Verona.You might have seen her on the CBC reality TV show Triple Sensation Season I and II as a dance judge and choreographer.
She has spent 13 seasons at the Charlottetown Festival as part of the creative team and the Director /Choreographer of the Confederation Centre Young Company. Kerry was also the Children’s Casting and Resident Director for the North American premiere of The Sound Of Music with Mirvish. Her performance credits include: Anne of Green Gables (Charlottetown Festival); Gigi, Love’s Labour’s Lost, My Fair Lady, Romeo & Juliet, The Boyfriend, The Gondoliers (Stratford Festival); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, and Guys & Dolls (Stage West); Grease (Elgin Theatre); Oedipus Rex and Hansel & Gretel (Canadian Opera Company.)
Her choreographic credits include: Mamma Mia, Shrek-the Musical, Elf-the Musical, Miracle on 34th Street, Rocky Horror, Cinderella, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Wizard of OZ, Anne Of Green Gables, Forever Plaid, Nunsensations, The World Goes Round, Annie, the Canadian premiere of Batboy – The Musical, My Way, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Hello Dolly, and Songs for a New World.
Kerry is co-owner and Creative Director of Hoopla Entertainment. She has taught at many theatre institutions such as Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, St.Clair College, St.Lawrence College, Etobicoke School Of the Arts, and George Brown College.
Kerry has been a dance adjudicator for festivals across Canada for twenty years.
“To dance is to be out of yourself, larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.” Agnes de Mille.
Sponsored By: Acrobatic Arts
Mandy Yip is the creator of the Acrobatic Arts Certification Program and Syllabus, and considered an expert in the art of AcroDance. She currently manages the Acrobatic Arts program through hundreds of dance studios and thousands of students following the curriculum throughout North America, Australia and Europe. As the past owner of a highly successful dance studio, she understands the demands for an exceptional product and a well trained dance teaching staff in the studio.
Highly sought for clinics and workshops world wide, Mandy is known for bringing passion, technique and in-depth practical knowledge to engaging classes.
Sponsored By: Acrobatique Canada
Melissa Klassen: Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus
As creator and director of the Internationally-renowned Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus, Melissa Klassen is your expert of choice for AcroDance. Her methodology and syllabus can be found utilized in hundreds of dance studios across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, the U.K, and the U.S.
Her modern acrobatic techniques, and safe and systematic AcroDance curricula, have become a game changer for dance studio owners. Strong AcroDance education and programing is the competitive edge that studio owners are looking for, and now plays a vital role in the future of professional dance.
With an eye for precision, a passion for mentorship, and a clean and understandable approach, Melissa Klassen is your industry-leader for all things AcroDance.
DANCE EDUCATORS INTERNATIONAL
Sponsored By: GRISHKO
Dance Educators International (DEI) focuses on developing knowledgeable dance teachers. A professional training program that offers hands-on practical approaches to key teaching fundamentals in dance education. These strategies can be applied to multiple dance genres and age levels. Our training programs cover topics on health, student development, class structure, lesson planning, implementation of technique, and offers insight into the business of being a dance teacher. We offer more than just a syllabus for new and experienced dance teachers.
DEI advocates building an international community of highly qualified dance educators.
Sponsored By: Jazzmatazz Costumes
Carolyn Keefer is one of the best-known names in Toronto’s Dance world. A skilled dancer, teacher and choreographer, Carolyn Keefer has over 38 years of experience, teaching dancers of all ages, from pre-school to professional. She has danced professionally with a notable and varied host of companies, including Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Ottawa Dance Theatre, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and the Ontario Ballet Theatre.
She has enjoyed the opportunity to train with many renowned teachers and choreographers, including Lois Smith, David Adams, Fernand Nault, Grant Strate, Earl Kraul and Erik Bruhn – to name a few. Now, many of her former students are dancing professionally themselves: in Ballet companies, on cruise ships, in stage performances as far-flung as Japan, or on the popular television show So You Think You Can Dance. Many others have become teachers themselves, and operate their own dance studios.
An accredited, lifetime member of the Royal Academy of Dance, she has entered thousands of dancers into competitive performances and examinations, where they regularly excel. Her choreography has graced stages both locally and abroad, and has won numerous special awards and recognition at dance festivals and competitions in both Canada and the U.S. Through classes, seminars and published teaching materials and textbooks, Carolyn Keefer continues to pour her passion and experience into inspiring and equipping the next generation of Dance Educators.
Sponsored By: Bloch
Kim O’Neill is an established dancer, teacher, choreographer, director of the O’Neill Academy of Dance, and also a graduate from the University of Western Ontario. She is trained extensively in all dance disciplines.
Kim continues to peruse her dance career, represented by Da Costa Talent Agency in Toronto. With more than a decade of professional work under her belt, Kim has become an established performer. She was a featured dancer for the Helix Dance Project, (Linda Garneau), Je Danse (Siona Jackson), has performed at numerous industrial shows including the Celebrity Gala, Crystal Ball Charity Event, the C.I.M Awards, the Contessa Awards, the Steve Nash Charity Event, World Pride 2014, the 2016 / 2017 Hold Em’ for Life Gala, the Gilda Awards alongside Eric McCormack, the Mary Kay Event Gala, and the Chandelier Ball” (Elgin Theatre’s 100th anniversary spectacular ), to name a few. Kim completed a series of appearances on CBC’s “Over The Rainbow, “ “Warehouse 13’s” finale episode (42nd Street segment), and can be seen in the motion picture “Save the Last Dance 2: Steppin Up,” “Camp Rock”, starring the Jonas Brothers, and “Canada’s Smartest Person.” Kim’s theatre credits include: Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Song and Dance”, Drayton Entertainment’s, “Aladdin”, “Cinderella”, Robinhood, and Peter Pan, Dance Legends, Big Band Legends, Rock n’ Roll Legends, Assistant Choreographer for “Dance Legends” at the Grand Theatre, “Return to Grace” (Ed Mirvish Theatre, Fallsview Casino, Bangkok Thailand, and Canadian National Tour), had the pleasure of dancing as a soloist for singer, Chad Brownlee, at the 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards,
Kim has had the honour of assisting many re-known choreographers including Matthew Clark, Gino Berti, Jeff Dimitriou, Trudy Moffatt, and Sean Cheeseman. She continues to train, adjudicate, and teach master classes across North America, and is also a choreographer for World Performers Canada, and the Five Star Dance Company
Sponsored By: Dance Attack Workshop/Competition
Jacques Monfiston started dancing at the age of 7. He fell in love with the sport the day he stepped into a dance class at the Ottawa Dance Academy under the direction of Deborah Lamothe. After attending Ottawa University for 3 years and taking a long break from dance of over 10, he decided to train again at the age of 25 at Greta Leeming Studio of Dance. One of his many highlights has been to represent Canada at the World Dance Championships and bringing back home the gold medal. He adjudicated regional competitions for the Canadian National Dance Championships and was the 1st Canadian judge at the 2001 World Jazz Dance Competition and also adjudicated the 2002 World Tap Dance and Show Dance Championships in Germany. Jacques was also the tap adjudicator at the Manitoba Dance Festival in 2008. Jacques continues to improve his talent by being on scholarship to two leading Performing Arts Training Centers. He has taken numerous dance classes at Edge Performing Arts Center, Broadway Dance Center, Steps and also has worked with some of L.A. and New York City’s top choreographers. Jacques’ professional work includes traveling the world as an entertainer with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Costa Crociere Inc. Jacques was also part of the inaugural dance company Helix Dance Project in Toronto under the direction of Linda Garneau. He was also in numerous commercials, industrials such as Bell Mobility, Coca Cola and Radio Shack to name a few. Jacques was also in South Africa where he conducted workshops and choreographed numerous dance routines for various dance institutions. Jacques also teaches, conducts workshops and does competitive choreography for studios worldwide. Jacques made Tokyo, Japan his home for over 2 years working for Walt Disney at the Broadway Music Theatre. He was also in musicals/plays such as My Fair Lady, Cats, Cyrano De Bergerac, Annie, Guys And Dolls, Dance Legends, Chicago, Anything Goes and the smash hit West Side Story at the Stratford Festival Theatre. Jacques was recently in Germany, Poland, China and Japan where again he was the 2009 Canadian Judge at the World Tap, Modern and Jazz Dance Championships. He also conducted workshops, did some choreo and a bit of modeling during his travels in Europe and Asia. Jacques was also a featured dancer and the assistant-choreographer in the smash hit show Dance Legends. Jacques also co-directed A Chorus Line with Faye Rauw for the Toronto Theatre Company and was selected by the Toronto District School Board to be a Dance Mentor for a project called Dare To Dance. He has also worked with the Canadian Opera Company in a show called Nixon In China. Jacques is also the 4 time gold award winner Team Canada National Choreographer. Jacques is the proud owner of Five Star Dance Company and World Performers Canada Inc where he provides performance opportunities to dancers and cultural experiences abroad. On top of his busy schedule, he continues to teach for the Peel and Toronto District School Board and at numerous dance studios, schools and conventions around the world. LIVE LOVE DANCE… www.jacquesmonfiston.com
JADE JAGER CLARK
Sponsored By: Gabies Boutique
Jade Jager Clark founded her dance studio Jade’s Hip Hop Academy (JHHA) in 2006 when she was just 18yrs old. With the goal of helping youth pursue their goals in dance she established accessible affordable programming for youth to pursue authentic Hip Hop and Street Dance Training in Brampton. Fast forward 10yrs and JHHA is now one of the most sought after entertainment groups. Overcoming prejudices and stereotypes about the professional abilities of young people and “hip hop” JHHA has successfully raised the profile of hip hop dance and has carved a path for young professional entertainers. JHHA’s reputation draws students from as far as Guelph, Barrie, Oakville, Orangeville, Milton, Toronto, Vaughan, Mississauga, Ajax, Hamilton, Woodbridge and Scarborough to train at JHHA’s highly acclaimed programs. JHHA has performed on THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW, Family Channel, YTV, TVO Kids, Tree House and has been featured on CTV, CBC, Global News, CP 24 and Breakfast Television. Jade’s clients include TIFF, Microsoft, CIBC, Canada Goose, Holt Renfrew, Free The Children/WE Day, Bombardier, Toronto PanAm/ParaPanAm Games just to name a few and their Routines have been tweeted and reposted on Instagram by The Rock, Missy Elliot and Iggy Azalea. Jade’s students continue to be cast in music videos and TV Series including Family Channel’s The Next Step and Backstage. JHHA continues to give back to the community by creating and performing Routines that address world and social issues to raise awareness and inspire hope and change. Jade has trained with the pioneers and creators of Hip Hop Dance, Popping, Locking, Breaking and House and continues to bring the history, knowledge and foundation back to her students.
Sponsored By: Dance Attack Workshop/Competition
Originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Kylie has been training in various styles of dance for over twenty-five years. She holds an honours degree in Kinesiology, and her diverse dance background and exposure includes extensive training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and musical theatre throughout her childhood, and in more recent years has taken to training in contemporary, improvisation, yoga, hip hop, house, and funk styles. Kylie is a founder of Toronto’s Point of View Dance Project, a contemporary company that she co-directs and co-choreographs with partner Amy Adams. Outside of her own work Kylie has also performed in contemporary works by Gadfly Dance Company (Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Portillo), Alias Dance Project (Lauren Cook and Troy Feldman), Keren Rosenberg (Israel) and Marie Lambin. While residing in Toronto she performed in various commercial shows including Toronto Original Choreographer’s Ball, ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche, Toronto PRIDE, Short Dances in Small Spaces, CONTACT, and Dance Matters. She had the privilege of performing alongside pop artist Kiesza at WE Day 2015 in Toronto. Kylie has taught and shared her passion for dance at over 50 different studios and dance companies across Canada; including Toronto’s Underground Dance Centre and Vancouver’s Harbour Dance Centre, both as a faculty member and as a guest teacher. She is also a faculty member with Dance Attack Convention. Kylie aims to inspire and motivate all those who she works with, and is dedicated to a life of making her passion her career.
Tim Buckley is a Physiotherapist from Melbourne, Australia. He has worked exclusively with elite ballet dancers, circus artists, acrobatic dancers and orchestral musicians during his 12 year career. He was one of two full time physios with The Australian Ballet from 2006-2008 and toured Australia, China, England and France. He joined Cirque du Soleil in 2009 and toured Japan, South America and North America with «Corteo» and «Quidam», before settling in Montréal with his now wife Meaghan Wegg to work at Cirque’s international headquarters as the Supervisor of Performance Medicine.
Tim toured full time with his young family, as the Head Physiotherapist on Cirque du Soleil’s production, «Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities» in 2014-15, before moving back to Melbourne with Meaghan in 2016, returning to The Australian Ballet as a full-time physiotherapist and commencing a Masters of Sports Physiotherapy through Latrobe University. Now based in Canada, Tim is the Australian Division Co-Manager of Acrobatic Arts, and co-owner of Move With The Beat dance competitions. He is passionate about educating dance teachers on all aspects of dancer health and injury prevention!