Passionate, genuine and welcoming teacher. It was helpful to take time to understand the dance style, movements and song, and then, to learn and let go through a beautiful choreography. Thank you so much!
Passionate, genuine and welcoming teacher. It was helpful to take time to understand the dance style, movements and song, and then, to learn and let go through a beautiful choreography. Thank you so much!
As a professional dancer, Andy has performed principle roles in TV shows such as The Next Step and Degrassi: Next Class. Along with his twin brother Stanley, they had the opportunity to choreograph multiple sections for their routines on The Next Step. In addition, he has performed at events such as SXSW in Austin, Texas and The Pan-Am games in Toronto in 2015. Training with industry leaders such as George Jones Jr. under The Vibe Men and at many local Toronto studios and conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop, he is a well versed commercial and hip hop dancer. Andy has been featured on TMZ TV with his former crew while they were in LA and have showcased their talents on the World of Dance stage many times.
Amy Hampton is a graduate of L'École Supérieure de Danse du Québec where she was a member of Le Jeune Ballet du Québec . She has performed nationally and internationally with CORPUS and has danced with The Chimera Project, Kaeja d’Dance, Tiger Princess Dance Projects, Anandam Dance Theatre and Larchaud Dance Project. Independently, she has originated roles in works by Kathleen Rea, William Yong, Meagan O'Shea, Lydia Wagerer, Keiko Ninomiya, Lincoln Shand and Michael Caldwell and participated in a three-year collaboration between choreographer Robert Desrosiers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
Her choreographic work has been commissioned by The Parahumans, Cadence Bridges Ballet, and Anandam Dance Theatre as well as by schools and youth companies. Her most recent work presented at the dance:made in canada festival won the Paula Citron Award for Choreography.
In 2007, Amy founded AKA Dance with Keiko Ninomiya. The company has since received two Dance Ontario commissions and has performed at Tokyo’s Dance Ga Mitai, Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge, the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, LuminaTO and Dusk Dances and its work for young audiences continues to tour throughout Ontario.
Amy is a certified Pilates instructor and is active in the community as a teacher, rehearsal director and as Program Manager at Dance Ontario.
A.J Simmons trained as a full scholarship student and graduated from the Italia Conti Academy of Arts, London, UK and has enjoyed several years of working across four continents in Film, Television and Theatre, working in front of the camera and behind it. He and his brother Ben, of the Bailey Brothers, are former UK tap dance champions and were close affiliates of the late great Steve Clark of the Clark Brothers. As a choreographer, AJ has worked on several music videos, on the silver screen for Channel 4 UK and on several International live events.
Amy’s journey began in Mississauga, Ontario where she trained for many years as a competitive dancer in a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, musical theatre and pointe. As a dance graduate of the Regional Arts Program at Cawthra Park Secondary School, Amy furthered her technical training in modern (Limon and Graham techniques), cultural dance styles, choreographic skills, improvisation, dance history, kinesiology and nutrition.
Amy furthered her education at McMaster University, attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour. While she completed her studies at McMaster, Amy co-Founded and co-Directed a highly successful competitive university dance team called Verve Dance.
Amy is co-founder and co-Artistic Director of a professional contemporary company, based out of Toronto, called Point Of View Dance Project. The company completed two successful show runs of a full length work titled, “Wireless Connection”. P.O.V. Dance Project has choreographed work for Fever After Dark, The Bazaar, Toronto Fringe Festival, CNE Bellosound “Sketch Stage”, Raise The Rhythm fundraisers, and many more. The company has also been featured in The Dance Current Magazine.
Amy is a certified Barre fitness instructor and a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance. She teaches, choreographs and adjudicates across Canada, with award winning choreography and recognized students. Amy strives to continually grow and develop as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. Leading by example through hard work and determination, Amy loves to inspire and share her passion with others.
Avinoam Silverman was born in Jerusalem, Israel and began his training at The Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. After completing grade 10, he moved to Toronto to continue his studies at Canada’s National Ballet School. He graduated in 1996 and joined The National Ballet of Canada as an Apprentice. He became a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1997 and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2004. In 2009 Mr. Silverman retired from The National Ballet of Canada. In 2010 Mr. Silverman created a work for Cadence “City Connect” titled 'Change' which marked his choreographic debut for a dance company. In 2012 Mr. Silverman has graduated from the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School. Mr. Silverman has participated twice in Ballet Jorgen Solos and Duets working with the companies dancers and recently performed in the show “60 times 60” to his own choreography. At this time he is pursuing a career as a freelance choreographer dancer and teacher.
In addition to Essentrics, Jeff is also a Pilates apprentice and has trained in boxing, Capoeira, and other martial arts and sports which allows him to address specific training and rehabilitative needs looking through a variety of lenses.
Elisha Ladeza, a force to be reckoned with in the Toronto dance scene, was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. Elisha’s passion for performing sparked very early on. Starting with her training in Filipino folk and Hawaiian Hula dancing, her love for performing only grew from there.
She would later decide to study Musical Theatre and Performance at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario. Upon graduating, she moved to Toronto and soon after began developing her career by training in more commercial dance styles such as hip hop, jazz funk and heels from various teachers and choreographers across the city. Her training eventually took her to Van Nuys, California where she trained as an apprentice at The Performing Arts Center under the mentorship of Joseph Malone. There, she was able to improve her skills in genres such as Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, as well as Singing and Acting.
Elisha is determined to be as well rounded and versatile as possible, in all aspects. She works hard and is dedicated to becoming a stand-out in the industry. As a teacher, Elisha brings an encouraging and nurturing energy to her classes while establishing a safe and inclusive environment. Her main goal and focus is to provide quality training with an emphasis on teaching proper technique and foundations while having fun! She strives to ensure that her students leave class feeling challenged, empowered and having gained a little something more than what they came with.
Holly Pocket became an elite member of the street dance company and crew “Footnotes” in 2014, lead by Mariano “Glizzi” and Andrew “Pyro” Chung, where she trained and studied street styles such as Hip Hop, Popping, Locking, Breaking and House for the past 4 and half years. Popping became Holly’s first love as she was drawn to the funk and soul within this dance. Learning from various teachers all over North America, Holly Pocket searched for the roots of this dance through “The Electric Boogaloo’s”. Learning from the creators of this dance as well as many others pushed Miss. Pocket to find her own style within this dance.
In late January of 2018 Holly then became the co-founder and creator of “House Of Hunniez” dance crew”. Holly and three of her closest friends/Footnotes members, have created an all female Hip Hop crew. Collectively and individually choreographing, teaching, performing, and battling all over Canada and USA. Holly Continues her training inside and outside of the country developing her craft. Holly is now sharing her knowledge as a teacher down town Toronto with regular classes throughout the week.
Born in Miramichi, New Brunswick. Christopher started dancing at a very young age. Growing up, he was also a student teacher for many years and choreographed his own work performing them across the east coast. In 2008, Chris was chosen to attend a Dance Tour in London, England in training with some of the world’s best choreographers as well as classes with the cast of WICKED the musical.
At 18 he moved to Toronto Ontario to attend George Brown Dance College where we furthered his technical training. While at George brown he received high achievements in choreography. After graduating he then moved back to Nova Scotia and became the artistic director of Precision Dance Company. While under the direction of PDC Christopher was frequently awarded for his choreographic works while his students excelled. During these years he also co-created a Canadian East Coast event called “The Entity Tour” that inspires and trains students every summer since 2014.
Recently Christopher has had the opportunity to choreograph for George Brown College students and had it performed at their graduation show “Unleashed.” George Brown has also used his work for advertisement for their post-secondary program. He was also honoured to create work “Toronto’s Choreographers Ball ” ,“Fever After Dark “ as well as “Dance Weekend” for Dance Ontario! All events showcasing Toronto’s talent in the industry.
While Christopher works towards his future plans, he has had the opportunity to teach at multiple professional level training venues throughout the city. Christopher is currently working full time at “City Dance Corps” downtown Toronto where he teaches and choreographs weekly!
Creating stories through movement and watching it come to life is his calling. He brings passion, technique and energy to all his creations. The biggest lesson he loves to leave with students while teaching is just to dance from your heart, be yourself, have fun and never let go. Dance is his life and he is now ready to share all he knows with the world of others who share the same love.
Matt Tanko Grand's dance journey originates from a love of music and a need for movement. He remembers being at family weddings as a child and admiring those who could dance. His desire to dance was further fueled by his Mom's love for dance shows like “Dancing With The Stars”. In 2016, Matt walked up the steep stairs of CDC's Queen Street studio and was ready to shake what his Momma gave him. Taking the CDC salsa curriculum from start to finish several times, Matt applied his dance knowledge to the world of social dancing where he attended every salsa and bachata social from Friday to Sunday. He also regularly took the classes before the socials where he learned different styles and techniques from other Latin dance school instructors. Since 2017, Matt has trained and performed with the CDC Latin Dance Company under the direction of Tina Nico and Jerome Jean-Gilles. As a member of the CDC Latin Dance Company, he has performed at CDC showcases, Latin dance socials, and salsa congresses in Toronto and Montreal. In February 2020, Matt completed his salsa teacher training with CDC under the instruction of Tina and Jerome while shadowing with CDC instructors, Melanie James, Cornell Mannings, Alejandro Freire, and Celina Lee. Matt's teaching approach is high energy with emphasis on fundamentals, technique, and musicality. In addition, he enjoys teaching students about the origins of salsa music and dance while continuing to educate himself through literature, films, and workshops.
While taking a degree in English and International Development Studies at King’s College in Halifax, Jennalee fell in love with Hip Hop dance and quickly began to change her life’s focus. Jennalee grew up studying many forms of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Acadian and Highland. In her teens she landed many roles for stage, print and television, including a national television campaign for YTV.
Seanna Bailey is a powerful artist who constructs with a unique perspective. She feeds solely on the connection of the mind, body and heart when dancing and creating. Born and raised in Lantz, Nova Scotia, Seanna began her extensive training in various styles such as Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip hop, Ballet, Musical Theatre and Modern at R.S.I. Danceworks. As she continued through her training, she became a competitive dancer, which opened a tremendous amount of doors for opportunity. Traveling to Los Angeles (BeDiscovered/Choreographers Carnival) and Greece (View Dance Challenge) for intensive training and major performance opportunities were a trivial part of her journey. Taking all the knowledge and passion from her past, she is on a new path as an emerging artist in Toronto. She has had the pleasure of dancing with Inhayle Dance Company (Urban Contemporary based) led by Hayley Payone, as well as previously dancing and choreographing as a member of the Unapologetic Dance Collective, artistically directed by Kahvontay Slaughter and Kaitlin Kawam. Seanna is focusing on exploring movement and pushing the barriers of the dance world with her intricate style and vision.
Henry Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."
Since moving to Toronto, Trina has co-founded Vintage Taps; a song/dance group with a focus on Vaudeville Era tap dancing. Trina has also performed with the Toronto Rhythm Initiative, Soul Symposium, Sapphire Dance Productions, Studio 60, KOKUS Productions, and the JL Experience. Venues have included the Fringe Festival, Talent Defined, Bazaar, Comedy Tonight, PRIDE, MTV Canada, and the Stella Adler Theatre on Hollywood Blvd, CA.
Sarah Schmidt is a dancer and choreographer from Toronto.
At age 3, Sarah marched her sass into her first dance class and instantly fell in love! She has trained in RAD Ballet, Graham Modern, ADAPT Jazz, various lyrical and contemporary styles, even taking courses in African and Indigenous dance styles. She has attended two Dance and the Child International conferences, one in Taipei and the other in Copenhagen where she had the opportunity to study and collaborate with professional choreographers and dancers from around the world.
Since becoming a teacher in 2011, Sarah found her passion in sharing her knowledge of dance, curiosity of human movement and creativity with her students. She completed an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology in 2016 and has since taken the science of movement to the next level by pursuing a diploma in Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences.
Movement and creativity are what keeps her going and nothing gives her joy like teaching at CDC!
Tia discovered her love for dancing at the age of 8 when her mom enrolled her in her first ballet class. Wanting to grow and learn more about different dance styles, she took ballroom, modern dance and contemporary dance as a teenager. She found her passion for Latin dance in 2006. She started to perform and travel with I free style dance company in 2008, performing at Canada Salsa Congress, United States and Bermuda. Tia joined the City Dance family in 2017 and performed with the Latin Dance team. She has completed her teacher training with CDC in 2020 but still takes different styles of dance to continue growing as a dancer. She believes that dancing is so much more than just grooving on the dance floor. In fact, you will be surprised about how many benefits are associated with dancing. Dancing is not only beneficial to your physical state but mental as well. Dancing improves your general well-being, boosts your self-esteem and improves your social skills. “Dancing is my happy place.”
From a young age, Esra has been passionate about sharing her love for dance with others. With a background in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Contemporary dance, she has had the opportunity to perform recreationally and competitively for over a decade. Esra studied ballet throughout her childhood and adolescence through the Royal Academy of Dance, completing all the graded and vocational examinations up to Solo Seal. After training at the Ontario School of Ballet and Related Arts for 10 years, she began her studies at Ryerson University in the Early Childhood Studies program. Esra has simultaneously been working to complete the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies programme through the Royal Academy of Dance in order to become a certified ballet teacher with the RAD. The combination of these two programs has shaped Esra’s philosophy of teaching; through inclusion and differentiated instruction, her goal is to create a playful and safe atmosphere for children to physically explore their bodies and express their emotions.
Jean-Marc’s passion for dance started at an early age. Growing up in a culture where dance is celebrated led him to freely experiment with various dance styles. He frequently performed in high school and university dance shows, and frequently competed in various House dance battles in Toronto and Montreal.
In 2015, his passion for dance was introduced to Salsa dance and he has not looked back since. He has become an active and passionate member of the salsa dance community in Toronto. Since 2016, he has trained and performed with the CDC Latin Dance Company under the direction of Tina Nico and Jerome Jean-Gilles. As a member of the CDC Latin Dance Company, he has performed at CDC showcases, Latin dance socials, and salsa congresses in Toronto and Montreal. He is always looking to grow as a dancer by taking workshops with some of the best salsa artists in the world.
Jean-Marc believes in uplifting people through dance by creating a welcoming and safe environment where folks can learn in a variety of different ways. This means understanding the importance of a strong technical foundation, then ultimately dancing in a way that celebrates your own energy, flavour and personality.
Kei Nakagawa is a House dancer and performer born in
Kei started his dance journey when he joined his high school dance club. Since then, he went to dance studios, joined his university dance club, and performed in many street dance events all over the world such as Japan, Canada, US, Taiwan, Australia, and other countries.
Kei has worked with many organizations and the dance community such as AGO, Warehouse Jacks, and so on. Moreover, he has performed at a lot of places for competitions, clubs, weddings, pubs, and streets.
Kei has been a member of the dance/event organizing crew Funky Facilitators since 2019 and has worked with Parks ‘N Wreck group and many more. He and his crew primarily organize street dance battles, sessions, and workshops to support the street dance community.
Jennifer’s introduction to dance began at a young age, training in various dance styles such as Jazz, Acro and Tap. Although her studies and career led her to become a Chartered Professional Accountant, she recently decided to make a change to explore movement as a Pilates instructor after working in a predominantly sedentary environment.
As an avid dancer, she takes time to give back by creatively coupling her financial expertise with her love for dance to help cultivate awareness about the dance community. By leveraging experience gained throughout her career she is able to help organizations such as City Dance Corps, UNITY, Gadfly, Toronto Urban Dance Symposium (TUDS), DTRC, Dancemakers, CDA, and TAPA further their cause and support our local talented dancers.
Talia is a creative, and versatile dancer, teacher and choreographer based out of Toronto. She has also been a part time teacher at City Dance Corps since 2017.
Talia has been a passionate competitive dancer from age three having trained extensively in Lyrical, Contemporary, Acrobatics, Jazz, Tap and Ballet. Talia has also drawn on her experiences as a competitive gymnast, integrating gymnastic inspired techniques and coaching within her acrobatics course.
Talia graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce. While attending, McGill Talia continued to pursue her love of dance and was selected to be part of the Contemporary dance company called Mosaica for three years. While training with Mosaica, Talia strengthened her dance knowledge and teaching techniques across various genres.
Talia has also performed in performances at New York City’s Capezio ACE Awards, The Pulse and Toronto’s Choreographer Ball. She’s placed 3rd overall for senior soloist division at NUVO’s Nationals and won several dance scholarships to attend summer workshops in NYC (e.g. The Pulse) while competing.
Talia continues to share her passion for dance, encouraging students to challenge themselves by giving them the training and tools to achieve their goals. Her formal management and organizational skills help round out Talia’s ability to get the most out of her dancers. Talia is both excited and honored to be a part of City Dance Corps faculty and can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!
Since moving to Toronto, Natalie has mainly worked in the music and television industries. Natalie can be seen in music videos for artists such as Karl Wolf, Jully Black, Victoria Duffeild and Shawn Desman to name a few, She has performed on stages all across the world for TIFF, Fringe Festival, World Pride, Nike, Choreographers Ball, Fever After Dark, Mirror Awards and for the Hot Mess International Waacking Festival. Natalie has also been on shows and commercials for Tim Hortons, Minute Rice, Get Up and Dance, Much Music, YTV, The Family Channel and a recent web series called Bitten.
Natalie is a qualified Pilates and fitness instructor and dance instructor. She has taught many classes and workshops all over Canada. Natalie's versatility, strong work ethic, charisma and unique sense of creativity, along with her passion for dance have made her an inspiring teacher to learn from.
Vanessa's love for dance began at the young age of three at the Ontario School of Ballet and Related Arts, where she studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop. She was a competitive dancer for over twelve years, and was a member of the Trillium Dance Company, and TAP! Dance Company. Throughout her childhood, Vanessa studied the Royal Academy of Dance, and ADAPT syllabi, completing many Ballet, Tap, and Jazz exams at advanced levels. In 2018, Vanessa graduated from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts with an arts specialization in dance, and continued on to compete in a national titleist competition later that same year. Vanessa is very excited to share her gift and love of dance with the next generation of dancers!
Since 2000, Cornell has been teaching Latin Dance to students of all ages has taught well over 10,000 hours representing Canada at the Miami and Puerto Rico Salsa Congresses as well as the Montreal Salsa Convention.
His students who have won a combined total of over 40 gold medals at the Dancesport Canada event held annually in Montreal as well as several top ten finishes in various pro-am Salsa competitions.
He has created over 100 choreographies for various competitions and Anniversary Balls, which are built to suit the strengths and talents of the students involved.
He is also a wedding first dance specialist and has created over 100 unique and memorable first dances.
If there was a reason why people like his class is that he makes it fun to learn. “I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel but teaching students the way that they learn best.”
Born and raised in Costa Rica, Lorena Perez is a dancer, choreographer and passionate instructor, graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She acquired her MFA degree in dance with an emphasis in performance and pedagogy. As a member of NYU’s Second Avenue Dance Company, she performed works such as “Grace” by choreographer Ronald K Brown and was one of the dancers selected to perform this piece at Radio City Music Hall. During her time as an MFA student, Lorena had the opportunity to teach at the NYU Future Dancers and Dancemakers program and choreographed for the SADC company and various concerts at the Jack Crystal Theater. After graduating from Tisch, Lorena performed in site specific performances by choreographer Kate Harpootlian and joined VALLETO dance company as a company member. During her time at NYC, working as a professional dancer, instructor and choreographer, Lorena was also part of the faculty at Ballet Hispánico (Emerging Teaching Artist).
Throughout her life as a dancer, Lorena has performed in a variety of national and international venues from television to non-profit events, such as Nigel Lythgoe’s Dizzy Feet Foundation in Los Angeles. Moreover, she has appeared in several opening numbers in the show Dancing with the Stars, Costa Rica and has acted and danced in episodes for Costa Rican T.V. Show Dele Viaje. In 2015, she landed the role of a ‘Jet Girl’ Minnie in West Side Story, which was the first Broadway musical in Costa Rica. Before obtaining her MFA in Dance, Lorena graduated from College, earning a BA degree with high honors in Business Administration from Universidad de Costa Rica.
Lorena has more than twelve years of experience teaching tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, and ballet and has choreographed multiple works for various studios around her country Costa Rica, New York City and Toronto. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada and feels honored to be part of the faculty at City Dance Corps.
Dance gives us a chance to have a voice and immerse ourselves in a never ending investigation process. I define myself as a “forever unfinished” artist. Choreographing is an experimental frame in which we can imagine, practice, fail and discover. As an artist, I long to create rhythmically, visually and emotionally stimulating dance experiences. My work showcases the individuality in each dancer while thematically revolving around relationships, connectedness and blankets of tension and release. I am drawn to exploring human emotions and relationships, as well as playing with different patterns and rhythms created by moving bodies in space. I enjoy working closely with dancers, collaborating with them, sharing ideas and getting to know them further. Furthermore, I passionate about creating a safe space for dancers to discover their creative voices and to express themselves in their own unique way.
“What colour will you not dye your hair? “is a common question that the young aspiring Creative Director and Entrepreneur often gets asked. Unapologetically black and gifted, she is the walking definition of living life like there is no box.
At a tender age in her native land sweet Jam Dung (Jamaica) was where her talents were first discovered. She was born with art in her blood. Constantly being around cousins, other family and friends who danced, sang, acted, modelled, played instruments and painted are roots that she will never forget as they have been apart of shaping the young artistic woman she is today. She has entered competitions in musical genres of Soca, Contemporary, Dancehall, Kumina, other African Folk-dance forms as well as Cheerleading competitions and Drama festivals while under training with her school teachers as well as Edna Manley School of performing arts Summer Programs when not in school.
She furthered her training of being a versatile dancer after moving to Canada in 2011. Kelly-Ann pursued Jazz training at Jacqueline's School of dance, the ballet program at the City Dance Corps and Hip-hop, jazz funk, Vogue and afro amongst other genres at the drop-in studio, Underground dance centre while taking acting classes. Kelly-Ann manages to do all her artistic training while being inspired by three peculiar women who boldly stood on their beliefs and shaped the world, which further pushed Kelly-Ann to give birth to two multifaceted platforms ERN (Esther. Ruth. Naomi) In Motion and Dance With ERN. Her first platform showcases numerous self directed and collaborative modelling/artistic and lifestyle projects with artists from across the globe. Her second platform, Dance With ERN displays how she breaths and holds the heart of rhythm through workshops, performances, collaborations and dance pieces. She has received performance opportunities with artistes, Active member of the TKBA (Toronto kiki ballroom alliance) within the Supreme Kiki House of Christian Siriano, choreographed for artistes such as Baby Cham, directed dance projects, appeared in music videos with artistes like Rhianna and drake, etc worked in productions behind the scenes and on stage with Urbani Toronto as well as model in fashion shows.
She is an eccentric trailblazer who plans to make positive impact and leave her mark on the world while pursuing and achieving through faith her dream career of artistic direction.
This is Kelly-Ann Johnson
Cristina Aranda started her dance studies with Classical Ballet with Vaganova & Cuban method in the Cultural Institute of Aguascalientes. Searching to broaden her dance styles she went to Mexico City to take Dance Intensives Courses at “Black Studio” & “The National Dance Contemporary & Classic School”, taking Lyrical Jazz, Hip Hop, Floor Barre & Contemporary.
She arrived to Canada 3 years ago to study the Dance Performance Program in Centennial College where she graduated with honors. She was able to travel to New York with her generation to take classes in Alvin Ailey, Broadway Dance Center & Steps Studios.
She has participated in several dance productions in Canada & Mexico, from Nutcracker seasons, Aerial performances, Concerts, Exhibitions, Music Videos and more.
Cristina loves sharing her passion for dance through her classes, with more than 10 years’ experience, from teaching beginner groups to training competitive teams contributing to raise the new dance generations.
Ria is currently a part-time faculty member at Centennial College where she teaches an Indian dance course. She is also a Groove Edgeucator who facilitates community building sessions and professional development workshops in schools to help integrate dance and movement into classrooms. Ria is a dancer for Culture Shock Toronto, a non-profit Hip Hop organization, and the co-artistic director for Culture Shock Toronto's youth troupe, Future Shock Toronto. You can also catch Ria performing and teaching fusion pieces as one half of the quirky comedy-dance duo, Giggle Queens.
Her classes are accessible, high-energy and fuse elements of Bollywood, classical Indian dance, Bhangra, and urban dance.
See you in the studio! Let's learn to fly together.
Zuri began learning and developing her love for dance at a young age. Her training includes 10 years of competitive dance at Denise Lester Dance Academy where she worked with choreographers including Raffaele Brereton, Brandon “Bizzy” Owusu, Ming Bo Lam, and Bailey Woodman. She also studied at the arts high school O’Neill C.V.I. where she got the chance to work with artists like Lauren Cook, David Norsworthy, Jaz-Fairy J, Kristen Carcone, and many more. Zuri currently studies at York University for her BFA in Dance Choreography/Performance. She’s also participated in a few different events including The Next Step, the Pickering Mayor’s Gala, Tim Hortons’ Black Tie Gala Fundraiser, the Toronto International Youth Festival, and Ignite. Zuri is excited to continue learning, growing, and sharing her passion and love for dance.
Stephanie has been training in dance since the age of three and competing since the age of twelve. She has competed and trained in various styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, theatre and hip hop. After high school Stephanie went to George Brown College where she pursued dance, singing and acting. Her dedication, perseverance and passion towards the arts led her to pursue dance outside of the studio and into the professional Toronto entertainment industry as a young adult.
Now in her 20’s, Stephanie has had the opportunity to work with and assist some of Toronto’s highly accredited choreographers (Angela Mahoney, Leah Totten, Hollywood Jade, etc). Some of her professional credits include back up dancing for various artists at the MMVA’s including Omi, various shows with Hedley, Karl Wolfe, Kardinal Offishall, Bad Bunny, and more. These performances have taken her around North America to places such as New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, as well as many in her hometown of Toronto. Stephanie’s dream is to continue pursuing her performance career as well as share her knowledge and positive energy in the classroom to her students. She believes that if you lead with love and realize that everybody is special and unique in their own way, you will find what works for you!
Shaniece Phillips’ first experience with dance was at a ballet class at a community centre in grade 2. While it didn’t stick at the time, dance was something she loved to do and fantasized about performing on stages. Her older sister was a dancer and teacher. Shaniece spent most of her time playing sports, specifically soccer. She rediscovered dance in high school, joined the dance club, and through inspiration of America’s Best Dance Crew and the Krump scene joined a crew with her brother and other friends. She continued to play sports, and went on to study Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber. But dance always had a place in her life. After experiencing a brain injury while playing sports and it sidelining her for months, she decided to step away from sports to make sure that nothing could take her away from dance that long, ever again.
Shaniece has performed at various shows in the city such as Fever After Dark and Dusk Dances. She has been a member of Culture Shock Toronto since 2015, which has given her the opportunity to perform on stages in Ottawa, Las Vegas, LA and Chicago. She is now the artistic director of Culture Shock Toronto’s adult troupe. She is currently studying Expressive Arts Therapy at the Create Institute. Her main styles are hip hop and dancehall. Her hope is that in teaching, she never forgets to share the true essence of dance, to pay homage to those who came before her and to always acknowledge the powerful role that art plays in society today.
Tarina Paquin is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who loves to share her passion with others. At an early age, she was accepted into the Professional Division at Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, under the tutelage of prominent teachers and choreographers. She also performed with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Romeo & Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and in the film, Moulin Rouge-The Ballet. Graduate studies with Arts Umbrella Dance Company offered her to work with many world-renowned choreographers like James Kudelka (National Ballet of Canada), Emily Molnar (Artistic Director, Ballet BC) and Giocondo Barbuto (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Nederlands Dans Theatre) which stimulated her desire to develop her choreographic voice. With Arts Umbrella Dance Company Tarina travelled to Holland, performing jointly with Noord Nederlandse Dans Company in Groningen and Rotterdam. Ballet Kelowna sought her out for lead roles in White Swan Pas De Deux, Pas de Quatre, and Double Variations by Simone Orlando and Joe Laughlin, amongst other eclectic repertoire. Upon relocation to Toronto, noted engagements have included 'Rusalka' with the Canadian Opera Company, 'Claudel' with WhoCreations Company, and theatrical productions of Koba Entertainment. Apart from her stage and teaching career, Tarina's creative strengths shine through her role as Artistic Associate with Koba Entertainment, building live theatrical productions from creation to realization.
O’Shani was born to perform. Growing up, she was always the entertainment for family and friends, whether it be singing, dancing or making loved ones laugh. She has grown to be an ambitious dancer, both heavily involved in the worlds of commercial dance, and also excelling in the battle/freestyle scene of hip hop, locking, and popping.
She began her dance journey studying jazz, ballet and hip hop at Joanne Chapman’s School of Dance. As O’Shani’s passion for dance -more specifically hip-hop continued to grow, she transitioned from having dance as a recreational hobby, to making it her full-time career.
O’Shani is an Elite member of the street dance crew, Footnotes, lead by Mariano and Andrew Pyro Chung. After 4 years of training under these two Toronto legends, she recently co-created an all female street dance crew of her own, House of Hunniez, that aims to encompass the evolution of street dance, freestyle and choreography in one.
O’Shani has also completed her first world tour for Youtube sensation, Lilly Singh. She has been fortunate enough to travel internationally, and take workshops from current choreographers and creators of dance styles within this industry. As a versatile mover, O’Shani earned the opportunity to work with established Choreographers, via music videos for Rynx and Ruth B., and live performances with pop star Meghan Trainor at Toronto’s iHeart Radio MMVA’s 2018. More recently O’Shani has had the opportunity to be featured in several commercials, T.V Shows, and Movies on Netflix, such as Grand Army and Work it.
Moving forward, O’Shani aspires to further her training, and sharing her love for dance. As an artist she hopes to expand her horizon within the world of dance and build her crews House of Hunniez, and Footnotes.
Emily Rapley, is a Toronto based dance artist originally from Simcoe, Ontario. Her training has focused primarily on Contemporary, Modern, Ballet and strength training. Since graduating from York University’s BFA dance program in 2017, Rapley has been dancing and creating, being credited as “some of the inspiring talent flourishing in the Canadian dance community,” - David Silverberg, Now Magazine. Rapley has worked and collaborated with many in the community such as Kaeja D’Dance, Roberto Campanella, Susan Lee, Carol Anderson, Michael Greyeyes, John Ottmann, Jasmyn Fyffe and Bianca Trulli. Rapley has been a part of many festivals, films/shows and independent projects as she continues to pursue her career as a dance artist, teacher and performer. She is so happy to be sharing movement at City Dance Corps!
Stanley Chao is a professional dancer, dance teacher and choreographer from Scarborough, Ontario. He did his first professional gig in 2015 for the Pan Am Games held in Toronto which was choreographed by Luther Brown (DO DAT entertainment, So You Think You Can Dance). He also trained with George Jones JR a professional choreographer from LA under The Vibe. Since then, Stanley has done many professional gigs such as appearing on Family Channel’s The Next Step and Degrassi while also teaching at studios all over Toronto such as DanceLife X & The Underground Dance Centre. His hip hop style is unique with a lot of flavour and he always provides an environment that motivates everyone to be better so that they can grow their confidence in dance.
Stéphanie Visconti is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy’s Musical Theatre Conservatory Program in NYC. Her credits include the North American Premier of Bend It Like Beckham the Musical (Starvox Entertainment), Mamma Mia (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina), Mame (Riverside Theatre), Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert (Budweiser Stage), Anatomy of a Dancer (Breakaway Entertainment), Broadway’s Future Songbook Series (Lincoln Center) and The Producers & The Wizard of Oz (Lower Ossington Theatre). She was a member of the Canadian National Tap Dance Team in 2011 & 2012 and competed at the International Dance Organization in Germany where she celebrated many top scores including a silver medal. Stéphanie has also won the 2018 Toronto Broadway World Award for the Fringe Festival Breakout Performance of a Female for her work in Anatomy of a Dancer in the role of Judy Garland. She has choreographed for Marquee Productions in NYC as well as Breakaway Entertainment, Théâtre Novo and Nightingale Music Company in Toronto.
As a dance educator, regardless of the genre in question, Stéphanie’s primary focus is to help dancers discover how they can express clear stories by focusing on the ways that nuances in melodies, rhythm and lyrics can inform movement. She believes that all dancers should also be able to consider themselves as musicians.
Kahvontay Willis better known as Kahvontay Slaughter is a
natural performer and
passionate teacher who embraces dance as an expression of life. He is a Toronto
based dance artist. He is known for his expressive performance quality, captivating
stage presence and risk-taking physicality.
At the age of sixteen years old, he obtained his first job and
began to self-fund his
extensive dance training. After graduating high school, he moved to Toronto and
received his Certificate of Dance Performance from George Brown College. He has
trained with Dark Dance Company under the artistic direction of Allison Bradley, in
addition to training with notable instructors including John Ottoman, Niki Wozniak,
Patrizia Ferlisi, and Jami Lynn Harper, among others. Kahvontay was a feature
dancer with Inamorata Dance Collective for both their 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Kahvontay completed his final year of post secondary dance school with Centennial
College under the Artistic Direction of Celestine Eagle, inclusive of mentorship with
Kahvontay Slaughter’s teaching experience includes competitive studio instruction,
guest faculty workshops and intensives, and school settings including Centennial
College. At the age of 21 Kahvontay became the youngest person to ever become
faculty at City Dance Corps, Toronto's leading centre for dance and artistic
movement. As dance artist Kahvontay thinks it's very important to hold himself to the
same standards he instills within his students, so he’s always training and finding
new ways to fall in love with his craft. Over the recent years he has had the pleasure
of expanding his knowledge and performing in Los Angeles, New York City and
When not in the studio, you can find Kahvontay performing in and around Toronto
with his performance company Unapologetic Dance Collective and by invitation with
some of Toronto’s most revered dancers at the industry’s most celebrated events
including Fever After Dark and Choreographers Ball.
When introduced to Salsa in 2006, after a year of training and competing in both the smooth and Latin ballroom dances, Melanie was immediately captivated by the intricate and playful rhythms that Salsa music embodied and, in turn, set out to learn and discover more about the movement and spirit of the dance.
In 2009, Melanie joined the CDC family firstly training with their Semi-Pro Latin Dance Team and eventually earning a highly coveted spot on the Professional Latin Dance Team in 2011.
Melanie has steadily taught Salsa in Toronto and has performed at Salsa congresses and festivals in Canada, The United States, Bermuda, Germany, Israel, and China in addition to many other countries around the world.
A familiar face in the Salsa clubs, whenever she is out dancing, Melanie is sure to entertain with her boundless musicality and creativity on the dance floor.
Although she has become a well known name in the Salsa scene, you will often find her taking classes at City Dance Corps where she continually strives to enhance her own knowledge of all genres of dance.
Founder of the internationally renown Ground illusionz - Hip-Hop Collective based out the G.T.A., Canada with membership & affiliation spanning worldwide to Taiwan, South Korea & Japan.
Frost Flow is internationally respected as a dynamically progressive and passionate signature B-Boy artist; performing and opening for legends such as Maestro fresh Wes, Oscar Peterson, KRS One, Masia One, Grubson, Talib Kwali, Melle Mel & the Furious 5, to name a few and has been featured on MUCH, Global, CBC, CTV, TVO & Rogers TV and various international broadcasts since 1999.
As a Canadian B-Boy champion, Frost has lead and trained members of his crew to win countless titles both locally and internationally over the last 18 years, while earning his own esteemed solo titles with conviction: Ottawa “Cipher Champ” 2008, Toronto “Style Champ”, 2008, “Absolute Canadian B-Boy” 2009, Toronto “TopRock Champ” 2010, “B-Boy Lifestyle” Award 2011, “Manifesto Arts education award” & Top nominations 2011-2013, “Skillz-O-Meter” National Champion 2012, "Manifesto Top Rock Champ" 2013, UBL top 4 in Toronto 2015.
Along with competitive experience, Frost has also become a national ambassador, local leader and pioneer of many grassroots public health initiatives for youth including: "The Word Project" 2004’, "Behaviour Arts Fest" 2009-14’, "R.H.Y.T.H.M." & "Let Go Expo" 2011’, "Share Our Spirit" 2012-14,”The HUB” 2015-17, “STORYTiME” (Japan) 2015-17 & “Full Step Saga” 2016 all while supporting and representing world recognized organizations & companies such as “BBoyizm”, “UNITY Charity” & "BluePrint Pathways” as a performer, producer, program coordinator, facilitator, and senior staff. He has also been instructing for City Dance Corps since 2005 and officially has the longest running Breakin’ class in Toronto!
Frost currently shares knowledge of Hip-Hop Culture and promotes the arts through continual effort and inspiration on a multitude of platforms: From street-level to stage performance, to speaking at universities and along world-class innovators at TEDX. Frost Flow represents a definitive essence of his craft.
As a choreographer McKnight has presented work at The Toronto Choreographers’ Ball, various corporate events, The City of Toronto, Ottawa’s Bridal Shows (4 years running), and Toronto Pride.
Zamyla Morgan Chan is known for her musicality, fluid body movement, and keen attention to technique. Over the past 10 years she has studied salsa, bachata, Latin Ballroom, and tribal fusion bellydance. While in Boston, USA she trained and performed with Michelle Garcia - Volante, Ana Masacote, as well as Island Touch Dance Academy. Always seeking to enhance her dance knowledge, she was ecstatic to receive an invitation two years in a row to train with Korke and Judith, the creators of Bachata Sensual. After their intensive Teacher trainings she came back to North America to teach weekly classes in Boston and create bachata choreographies for all bachata styles: Traditional, Modern, and Sensual. Be prepared in her classes to work hard, and have fun!
Passionate, genuine and welcoming teacher. It was helpful to take time to understand the dance style, movements and song, and then, to learn and let go through a beautiful choreography. Thank you so much!