Sponsored By: More Than Great Dancing
Misty Lown is the founder, president and energized force behind More Than Just Great Dancing® – A licensed dance studio affiliation program that has a positive impact on more than 60,000 dance students around the globe each week. She is also the founder of MoreThanDancers.com, an online lifestyle magazine for young people that has over 100,000 visitors each month.
Her dance studio, Misty’s Dance Unlimited, founded in 1998 and named a “Top 50 Studios in the Nation” by Dance Spirit Magazine has provided more than $250,000 in scholarship for dancers and other community initiatives. Misty has been a speaker at the PULSE Teachers Convention, Hollywood Connection, Dance Teacher Web, Dance Teacher Summit, and the DanceLife Conference. She has also been the keynote speaker for the Australian Teachers of Dancing Convention. Misty is on the staff of Dance Revolution Convention, a faith based dance convention, and has authored over 40 industry articles.
She is a sought after speaker and recently shared her business methods as a guest blogger on SUCCESS.com and as a speaker at IF:Gathering Local and the US Army Garrison Woman’s Equality Day. She has been recognized as “Teacher of the Year” by Eclipse, “Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year” by the YWCA and awarded the “Pope John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service” by Viterbo University and the “Philanthropy Award” from the Red Cross.
Misty is an entrepreneur at heart. In addition to her dance studio and licensing program, she owns a dancewear store, a dance competition and a self-storage business. Misty’s favorite part of the day is spending time with her husband and five beautiful children.
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.
Sponsored By: Dance Studio Owners Association
Clint fell in love with the world of performing arts when he stepped into his first jazz class in his hometown in Western Sydney at the age of 9. Since that moment, he knew that dance was going to play a big role in his life but never quite imagined that it would become such a huge driving force.
When the opportunity arose for Clint to join forces with with his friend and open their own studio at the age of 16, he jumped in headfirst. After all, running a studio is easy when you love to dance and love to teach, right? Well, not quite.
It took a lot of time, education and the guidance of an amazing mentor before Clint found his business mojo, and discovered that there was more to owning a studio than working 60 hour weeks for little reward.
After selling his studio Clint went on to build and sell 3 businesses before his 28th birthday. One of which was Australia’s leading dance competition and publication ‘Dancelife’. Another was ‘Make The World World Move’ – a leading online website where over forty of the world’s leading experts in personal growth and development wrote for the website, impacting the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world monthly. Following the overwhelming success of these businesses, Clint was named as one of the top entrepreneurs under 30 by Anthill Magazine.
After touring with the internationally acclaimed musical Jersey Boys as tour manager, Clint made the decision to get back to the dance studio – this time to make an impact on the lives of those whom he had seen working the longest hours for the smallest reward in the industry. Dance Studio Owners.
In his role as a mentor, from the moment Clint started working exclusively with studio owners 7 years ago he knew that these were the only people he wanted to share his expertise with, and where his strengths and passion surfaced in a very real way.
This is what led Clint to found the Dance Studio Owners Association, one of the largest online education platforms for Dance Studio Owners around the globe. With his team and expert contributors the DSOA is impacting the lives of over 13,000 dance studio owners each and every week.
The impact he was making on the dance studio community sparked a fire in Clint and propelled him to fulfil a lifelong dream – to write and publish a book. Within a week of it’s 2016 release, “Dance Studio Transformation” was an Amazon bestseller and sat on the shelves of dance studio owners from all corners of the globe.
Clint’s mission for studio owners today is simple – to bridge the gap between being a dance teacher to becoming an entrepreneur with a thriving business.
As a speaker he has presented internationally at Dance Teacher Summit, Dance Teacher Web Live, Canadian Dance Expo, Come Together, Victorian Dance Expo, Dance Studio IGNITE, IDEAS Dance Seminars, Pulse Annual Teachers Conference and Dance Studio Makeover.
Clint has also been featured as a contributor on Huffington Post, Addicted 2 Success, Business Chicks, Under 30 CEO, MX, and Sydney Morning Herald.
In 2016 Clint joined forces with babyballet founder Claire O’Connor to bring the UK’s leading preschool dance program to Australia and New Zealand. He also founded ‘Raise The Barre’ productions, which is currently planning workshops with world-class choreographers for a once-in-a-lifetime Australian tour in 2017.
A firm believer in ‘giving back’, Clint is currently working with World Teacher Aid to build a performing arts classroom in Africa. As an educator and more importantly a learner, Clint knows the value of how the arts can transform the lives of children everywhere and can’t wait to bring the gift of education to children in need.
Sponsored By: Dancewear Centre
Paula Morgan is one of California’s most sought after dance teachers. She is a brilliant teacher and a great iconoclast, someone who totally breaks the mold. Paula Morgan has a varied professional background that includes numerous film credits, ballet company work and choreography in several regional and local productions. She has devoted her life to developing her technique, which looks like a combination of yoga, pilates and ballet yet it is totally unique. Ms. Morgan knows what it takes to become a great dancer. She believes a dancer must lay a foundation of impeccable strength, flexibility and technique in order to let the brain and heart express the language of the choreography through movement. Paula’s main purpose in life is giving back to the world of dance that has given her such joy.
Teaching Background: Paula Morgan has taught for over 41 years and has owned her own studio throughout that time. She continues to teach privately while travelling across the United States, Canada and Italy for Master Classes, Teachers Workshops, Conventions and most recently Certifying Teachers in her Technique.
Former Students include: Paula Morgan is known to be the “secret weapon” to a list of students that is a veritable “who’s who” in the dance world such as Tyce Diorio, Steve LaChance, Manette LaChance, Bill Burns, Jessie Hartley, Tina Caspary, Aaron Cash, Nick Florez, Reed Kelly, Keri LaGrand, Nancy O’Meara, Ray Leeper, Eddie Mikrut, Cory Finn, Katie Holmes, Matt Tseng and many more.
The experience Ms. Morgan has is endless, her wisdom, knowledge and eye for detail brings much needed direction and guidance to both students and teachers today.
MR. BRIAN FOLEY
Sponsored By: ADAPT
Dance Educator – Examiner – Adjudicator
Mr. Foley is one of Canada’s busiest-and most renowned director/choreographers.
A Toronto, native, Brian made his professional debut at the tender age of ten, and has worked and trained with many great choreographer/directors including Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse.
At age nineteen, he choreographed his first television series and has gone on to rack up an impressive list of credits. Among them, over 600 TV shows, numerous feature films (including “Heavenly Bodies”, “Ice Castles” and “For Your Eyes Only”.
He has choreographed and directed over 100 professional stage shows including, Broadway Musicals, Ice Shows, Las Vegas Revues, Roller Skating and Gymnastic Spectacles across Canada the USA, England, Europe, South America, Russia, and the Far East.
Mr. Foley has staged, choreographed and directed many major corporate “live show events”. These include shows across North America and Europe for companies such as American Express, Air Canada, Canada Post, The Hudson Bay Company, The Canadian Fashion Industry, numerous Corporate Award Shows and many more. As a director and choreographer, his major corporate clients in the past have been Toyota Canada, Honda and General Motors Of Canada Limited.
Since 1996 Mr. Foley has been choreographing the world renowned Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show. In 2002 he was offered the prestigious position to direct and choreograph the annual Grandstand Show “spectacle” and at this time, continues in the role as the Director for the “The Greatest, Out Door Show On Earth”.
In 1980 Brian and his wife Faye created the dance syllabus certification system called ADAPT. Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers is the leader in technical dance training and is recognized as one of the best “teacher training tools” offered in the dance teaching industry. ADAPT also offers a yearly teacher’s training school program known across Canada as T.T.S. as well as teaching products which include syllabus books, DVD videos, music CD’s and yearly subscriptions for all ADAPT teachers and Examination studios. Those who compare, choose ADAPT.
Sponsored By: So Danca
She began her professional career twenty years ago and has performed on stages across Canada including three seasons at The Stratford Festival and five at the Charlottetown Festival. She has directed and choreographed over fifty shows at regional and summer theatres including The Little Mermaid, All Shook Up, Dogfight, Crazy for You, Mary Poppins, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Addams Family andThe Sound of Music. She is the recipient of a Dora Award (Toronto) for Outstanding Choreography Musical/Opera for The Wild Party. Upcoming projects include: Kiss Me Kate and Shrek-The Musical.
She is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance Program and has trained at the National Ballet School, Carousel Dance Centre, Banff School of Fine Arts, Broadway Dance Centre (New York City), in London, England and Sydney, Australia.
She has been on the faculty at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, George Brown Dance and has guest taught and adjudicated extensively across Canada. She currently teaches and coordinates a Theatre Jazz class at Metro Movement in Toronto and is the Intern Artistic Director at the Musical Stage Company.
Sponsored By: Inspirations Dancewear
MTV Music Video nominated choreographer ,TOKYO, has a very unique induction into dance as he was not introduced to dance till he was a Senior in high school. Tokyo grew up in the martial arts and began training at age 5. By the age of 15 he attained several black belts in various arts in addition to training in Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing and MMA (Cage Fighting).
At age 17, after a promising undefeated amateur record, just a few months shy of making a professional career in MMA (mixed martial arts/cage fighting), TOKYO discovered dance and his life changed drastically. Since leaving the “fight” world and entering the dance world, TOKYO has been fortunate enough to have done master classes and choreography in the US, Canada, Australia, Central America, France, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Mexico and UK for many TV shows, music videos, musicals, studios, companies, colleges, casinos and Cirque Du Soleil. TOKYO is returning from France where he choreographed the largest musical production in France’s history, Adam et Eve. In addition, during his time in France, TOKYO choreographed and directed several music videos and TV shows. Most recently TOKYO choreographed several pieces for SYTYCD-Ukraine as well as for Paula Abdul in Russia. TOKYO is on faculty at the world renowned professional dance studio Millennium Dance Complex as well as guest faculty with EDGE and Broadway Dance Center.
Due to TOKYO’s background in martial arts his approach to dance movement, philosophy and teaching is very unique and has been received and loved by many. TOKYO has recently teamed up with Alisha Captain to produce MOVEtheWORLD, a charity event giving people around the world financial support for medical surgeries and bills.
He is extremely excited to give back to those that have given so much to him, through the art of dance!
Sponsored By: Luv 2 Dance Competition
With an extensive background in the arts, the driving force behind the Award Winning choreographer, creative director and creative consultant Jeff Dimitriou is his desire to actualize a vision, collaborate idea’s and inspire. His versatility, innovative style and empowering sense of direction have led him to be in constant demand internationally.
Jeff has been named Head Choreographer os the 2015 Pan American Games closing ceremonies.
He was a key member of the choreography team with the critically acclaimed Cirque Du Soleil, where they choreographed and directed the 2012 Opening Ceremonies for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan. His recent work includes: The smash hit ‘Cabaret’ & Top of the Pops: British Invasion at Theatre Aquarius, the World Premiere of “Summer in the City” and the smash hit ‘Return to Grace’ which hit the Mirvish Stage! It was such a success that the show has earned a trip back to the Mirvish stage in 2016! Jeff’s work has also been seen recently in Come Dance With Me (Hallmark Films/CTV), Warehouse 13 (Syfy Network), feature film remake of Carrie and the up-coming ‘Cowboy for Christmas’.
Other choreography credits include: Odd Squad, the GLAAD Award Nominated: The L.A. Complex, resident choreographer of the EMMY Award winning series Degrassi, and Associate Choreographer on the CW’s: Hellcats, Sucker Punch (Warner Bros), So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Saga, and Girl Walks Into a Bar. Jeff was also a part of the choreography team which worked on the feature film Mirror, Mirror starring Oscar Winner – Julia Roberts and Tony Winner – Nathan Lane.
Jeff was choreographer and creative director of the 2014 World Pride Closing Ceremonies in Toronto. A massive international festival, that for the first time a North American city hosted The festival had an estimated attendance of 3 million people.
Sponsored By: MONDOR
Was accepted into a Professional Stage Theatre Arts School, and while studying all of the above disciplines she continued performing in Musicals, Opera’s and Pantomimes, across Europe.
At the age of 16 Julie was accepted in to the prestigious London College of Dance and Drama. This is where her love for Modern dance grew; training in the styles of Graham, Duncan, Cunningham, Horton, Limon, and having the opportunity to perform with the Nexus Modern Dance Company. Julie graduated at the age of 18, with BA (Hons) Dance -(LCD), and Teaching qualification – A.I.S.T.D.
To pursue her career further, Julie ventured to Alberta Canada; Instructing, choreographing and Adjudicating in the disciplines of Modern, Contemporary, Interpretive dance, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, National, Tap and Musical theater. In addition to Julie’s accomplishments she also earned a Bachelor of Applied Interior Design in 2004. This has afforded her the wonderful opportunity to learn more about the history of Canada through being the assistant designer for the Fairmont Hotels and resorts, as well as being part of shaping Calgary’s skyline and communities.
Best known for her innovative and compelling choreography, Julie has won an abundance of awards all over the world: George Lon Memorial Choreography Award, awards for American Dance Choreographic Achievement, Memorial Choreographic Award for “outstanding artistic performance” in memory of Julian Paul Masi. Cathy Wade Ensemble Award in Division II at the “Dance under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, California” and was recently nominated for a Canadian Special Events – Star production award with MYX Group
In addition to her immense experience, Julie has had the opportunity to choreographing for the 55th Oilman’s show held in Banff, and recently stepping into a new role as Choreographer, Costume designer, Stage Management and Artistic direction with MYX Group in Canada and Germany
Now a member of the Adjudicator Alliance as well as, the International Dance Council, she hoping this will allow her to share her passion and love for dance to both dancers and audience members all over the Globe.
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
As creator and director of the Acrobatique AcroDance syllabus, the highly sought after Melissa Klassen is the “go to” expert in the field of AcroDance in Canada. Her modern techniques and fresh approach to Acrobatics have become a game changer in the dance industry. Strong AcroDance training is the competitive edge that dancers are looking for; and is the future of dance studios in Canada and abroad.
For over 20 years, Melissa has mentored under several of the industry’s top players to build her career as an expert in AcroDance, injury prevention, gymnastics, adjudication, and instructor mentorship. Melissa travels the world teaching her Acrobatique syllabus, and has worked with students and teachers from across Canada, the U.S, Mexico, the Bahamas, the U.K, and Australia.
With an eye for precision, sharp technical skills, and a passion for teaching and mentorship, Melissa Klassen is the Canadian industry leader in the exciting world of 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
Melissa Williams is one of the most innovative director/choreographers working in the entertainment industry today. Seasoned in providing professional and expert consultation in areas that include casting, production, dance choreography, musical staging, movement, and creative direction, Melissa is recognized for her sexy, stylized, athletic choreography and her distinct ability to work with all types of talent, including dancers, non-dancers, singers, actors, recording artists, athletes, and models. With credits spanning the globe, Melissa has worked with some of the most established artists, actors and directors in the industry.
Born in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, Williams had her first taste of the industry at 16 when she competed in the ubiquitous talent show Star Search making it to the semi-finals. Moving to LA at the age of 19, Melissa embarked on a four-year experience with ‘Mr. Purple Rain’ himself, Prince. Hired by award-winning choreographer/creative director Jamie King, Melissa’s first job in LA was dancing in Prince’s late night cabaret Erotic City at his nightclub Glam Slam. This lead to performing with Prince on several awards shows and appearances including his tribute performance on The American Music Awards. Simultaneously Melissa had landed her first feature film, Showgirls. Melissa played the bitter marble-tossing character Julie, in one of the most controversial cult films of all time. Prince hired Melissa to choreograph the three-act dance concert tour featuring the music of Prince and the NPG, Around The World In A Day. After spending months at Paisley Park studios choreographing, rehearsing and helping to develop the New Power Generation Dance Company, Melissa was hired by a European production company to direct and choreograph California Dream Men– the first male revue to perform at Les Folies Bergere in Paris where it premiered and went on to become a huge success in France, Germany and Italy.
After the success of CDM’s tour Melissa was commissioned to choreograph and musically stage Grease-the musical and Hair-the musical, European tours. Back in LA, Melissa was choreographing for the new television/internet show Farmclub.com, a musically based show featuring the hottest bands in the industry, choreographing Michael Caine, Catherine McCormack, and Randy Quaid in the movie The Debtors, and in pre-production meetings with Jamie King, Angelo Medina Entertainment, and Mandalay Bay to choreograph and musically stage an original Latin production for the Las Vegas Strip called Storm.
Shortly after, Melissa began to write, direct and choreograph original shows and industrials for Cruise ships and Casinos including Generations, Bon Voyage, Piano Man and Undercover. In 2000 Melissa also founded Extreme Dance Conventions and Competitions, a dance workshop tour featuring some of the top working choreographers and teachers in the industry.
In 2005 Melissa returned to Canada, settling in the Windsor area. Since her return, Melissa has been a choreographer on seasons 1 & 2 of the new hit series Bomb Girls, an associate choreographer on Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale Tour and was a guest judge and choreographer on seasons 1 through 4 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
Melissa has also directed local/regional productions including A Chorus Line, Grease, Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Most recently, Melissa has been choreographing in Toronto for various projects. You can find her choreography in the newly released, 2015 film PIXELS starring Adam Sandler and Josh Gad, as well as on the Pan American main stage for the the opening ceremonies of the 2015 ParaPan Am Games. Keeping her finger on the pulse Melissa continues to push the envelope in every direction of her creativity, and in the future, looks forward to continuing with current projects, as well as further defining her creativity for the Broadway stage, television production, new artists and feature films.
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
Sponsored By: Capezio
Alisha has been training and studying dance for over 20 years with very strong background in classical ballet. This technical training has aided her development in other styles, including Graham and Horton Modern Techniques, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Pom. She began studying tap and ballet in Louisiana with Susan Ferrera. She later studied at the New Orleans center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). At NOCCA, she was under the tutelage of Jan Miller, former professional dancer with the American Ballet Theater and Joffery Ballet, as well as Miguel Lopez, former professional modern dancer and director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Alisha has studied at the prestigious Boston Ballet and trained with or assisted instructors, including TOKYO, Brooke Lipton, Liz Imperio, Robert Battle and Denise Jefferson of Alvin Ailey.
Upon graduation, Alisha attended LSU to study Fashion Merchandising, and while there, served as a 4-year member and co-captain of the LSU Tiger Girls. following graduation she moved into the role of assistant head coach and Choreographer for LSU Tiger Girls. In 2010, Alisha choreographed and coached the Tiger Girls to their first Hip Hop National Championship, beating teams from 26 other Division 1A Colleges around the nation. In 2011, the team reached their highest ranking in the Division 1A Jazz category at fourth place.
Alisha teaches and judges for dance conventions, studios, and high school and college teams nationally as well as internationally, most recently teaching class at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Alisha has worked with Lynn Spears on projects with her upcoming artists and was assistant Choreographer for Paula Abdul.
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: Make Your Mark!
CHERYL BISHOP is a heart-centered speaker, author and Heart Connections Manager at Make Your Mark Training and Consulting Inc. Make Your Mark is the Ultimate Business Success System…with SOUL; a 7-Step System to six figures in profits or more, in 12 months or less.
Cheryl has assisted CEO, Colin Sprake, in building Make Your Mark Training since its beginning in 2009. She has been a huge support in creating momentum and growing the company’s reputation and following.
Cheryl embodies Make Your Mark’s core values of trust, respect for the individual, unconditional gratitude, integrity, and openness to possibilities with commitment to excellence.
Cheryl was in the banking industry for 16 years. She also had a Skincare and Fitness business where she appeared in local media and she was also involved in the direct selling industry for 14 years. She is devoted and passionate about helping people achieve more in life and in business, empowering them to do more than they ever thought possible.
She is an author of “Entrepreneur Success Stories” which she co-authored with 19 of Make Your Mark’s students and is currently writing another book on how words can affect your business.
You will often hear Cheryl say, “We are all a piece of a puzzle and somehow we all fit together to create that beautiful picture.
Sponsored By: Dance Attack Workshop/Competition
Emily Einsmann is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in Toronto. (Emily’s versatility forges the bonds between technique and artistry, and her co-existing levels of success in both the commercial industry and the contemporary dance world set her apart.)
After years of training under ballet mistresses from The Goh Ballet and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Emily went on to receive her B.F.A in Performance Dance from Ryerson University. Upon graduation, she was immediately launched into the commercial world, and has worked and performed with Hedley, The Weeknd, Drake, Kardinal Offishall, Naughty by Nature, Young MC, Sugarhill Gang, Rob Base, Karl Wolf, MuchMusic and YTV, to name a few.
Her dance adventures have taken Emily all over the world, including to China, Dubai, Qatar, and all throughout the USA. Emily recently cast, choreographed and danced in two full length original contemporary works that toured throughout Dubai. She also choreographed the official City of Toronto’s 2013 Tree Lighting Ceremony, a record production that drew in over 8000 spectators.
Emily’s dedication to dance and art is evident on and off the stage. Her ultimate goal is to transport audiences with her performance, and to pass on her passion and knowledge to up and coming artists!
Sponsored By: Terpsichore Dance Celebration
Scott G. Kufske had his own Dance Studio in Kitchener Ont. for 14 years.
“Scott’s Studio of Steps” was a nationally recognized and award winning dance centre with many graduated students moving on to professional dance careers in all aspects of the industry including Dance Studio owners themselves.
Scott is a critically acclaimed choreographer/director and is a member of the Canadian Actors Equity Association and has performed in 25 theatrical productions.
Mr. Kufske currently is a motivational speaker and director of many seminars that he has personally created. 1) “V.I.B.E.” … Valuable Information Better Education (A dance teacher seminar for better dance education) and 2) “The Competition Connection”… (A seminar designed for the competitive dancer and their parents)
3) “Professional Adjudicators Alliance” (PAA)… (An organization of Dance Competition Judges) 4) “CHOREO”… (A seminar for Dance Teachers on how to improve choreography for competitions and recital.
He is the director of the Terpsichore Dance Celebration that has grown to be the largest and most respected Dance Competition in Canada and is currently in its 15th year of providing one of the most professional events in the industry.
Scott is recently most proud of producing “Dancing for Dogs”. A dance show benefit for Dog Rescue Groups.
Sponsored By: Calgary Dance Teacher Expo
Robin has been editing music for dance studios for 12 years now. In 2002, he began his career in radio producing commercials and station ID’s, and hasn’t stopped since. In 2010, he started a music editing business called “The Sound Solution”. His clients include Happiness Is Dancing, Paula Davey Dance School, Katie’s Dance Connection, Mitchell Jackson, KICKS Dance Studio and Project Dance among others.
Robin has refined his craft and uses his skills to take the choreographer’s vision and bring it to the next level. “Music is what connects the dancers to the audience, and I enjoy being a part of the process.” The Sound Solution is committed to completing edits to the highest artistic and technical standards at affordable and competitive prices.
Sponsored By: My Own Design
Amanda has been dancing since the age of 3 and practicing yoga for over 10 years. After completing her training at The Studio School of Dance in all disciplines as a competitive dancer, Amanda went on to dance professionally in New York, assisting acclaimed teacher Michelle Barber of Broadway Dance Centre. She performed as a dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines, Ottawa’s contemporary company Karma Dance Theatre, Culture Shock Ottawa – a Hip Hop dance organization dedicated to innovative performance, artistic development and community enrichment. Her award winning choreography has been showcased at local charity events such as Rogers House the Chance2Dance Gala, Bash Noir, and Bust A Move. She’s also been fortunate enough to perform for artists such as Benny Benassi, Steve Angelo, Diplo and Armen Van Buuren!
Amanda really discovered the joys of yoga while recovering from a severe hip injury at the age of 20. She loved the way it eventually complimented her dance so much that she attained her 200hr RYT Hatha and Yoga Tune Up ® certification at Rama Lotus and Pure Yoga in Ottawa! Her passion for educating students in the importance of movement comes through in her classes! Amanda truly believes that educating and developing dancers to create long lasting dance careers is her calling. After suffering and witnessing many career pausing or ending injuries, she knows the importance of body awareness to a dancer in order to prevent and treat injury. As dancers, our bodies are our instrument and therefore we need to take proper care in order to keep doing what we love!
Amanda is also a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition where she continued her education on the health of the body by becoming a Registered Holistic Natural Nutritionist.
Amanda’s joy of dance and yoga is infectious to her students, as she safely guides them through an informative, fun and creative class. Come see for yourself!
INTERNATIONAL DANCE ACCLAIM
Merle Sepel’s experience as an international judge began in 1993 when she was appointed as an examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance. In 2007 she was appointed as a judge for the American Academy of Ballet’s Performance Awards under the directorship of Mignon Furman.
Merle is a graduate and licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance in London, and an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).
She has taught ballet for in excess of two decades, initially in South Africa and then the U.S. where she opened the Academy of Dance. She has trained numerous dancers, many of whom went on to pursue careers with professional dance companies such as Austin Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, California Ballet as well as to major in dance at distinguished universities.
Merle worked for Mignon Furman for many years as a faculty member of the American Academy of Ballet’s Summer School of Excellence where she was responsible for the teachers training course. She is currently the director of American Pacific Ballet Company and is on faculty at California State University (CSUF).
INTERNATIONAL DANCE ACCLAIM
REBECCA TSIVKIN graduated with a Licentiate from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in London, and earned an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).
Rebecca has taught ballet in universities, private dance studios, and company schools for over two decades. Her students have gone on to attend advanced training programs in such places as the School of American Ballet (SAB) and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theater (JKO), and to dance in professional companies such as Ballet Austin, Sacramento Ballet and BalletX, among others.
Rebecca was on the teaching faculty at American Academy of Ballet, where she was also the executive coordinator and international judge for the Performance Awards program under the direction of Mignon Furman. In addition, Rebecca was the Head Children’s Instructor at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy.
Rebecca is co-director of Ballet Extensions NYC and International Dance Acclaim. She is on the faculty at Ballet Hispanico in NYC, teaching in both the General and Pre-professional Divisions, and travels frequently as a guest-teacher across the United States and internationally.
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.