Canada's Ballet Jörgen

Faculty

Faculty

Adrián Ramírez Juárez

Adrián Ramírez Juárez

Ballet & Repertoire - Summer Dance

Read Adrián's Biography

Adrian is a current CBJ member – starting in the Junior Company, securing his apprenticeship and now dancing lead roles such as Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty.

Adrian began teaching master classes in ballet and repertoire while on tour with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, inspiring young dancers coast to coast. Adrian also teacher as part of the Junior Company and Summer Intensive IV CBJ programs.

Here is what Adrian likes about teaching:

As a teacher I really focus on the little details that make a big difference in the dancer’s performance, like where to look, where and how to place the head. The hands can be so expressive if you know how to use them to your favour. Something as simple as walking on stage can make a huge impact on the audience. I really like teaching repertoire because of all of the above. Technique is very very important but it is nothing without a soul that reaches the audience. Technique needs that soul otherwise it is a speech without content; you are only doing dance steps that an audience doesn’t understand. Often times, after a performance, kids and adults come and talk to us and tell us how connected they were to us. So as a teacher I try to pass that knowledge and experience onto the young dancers so they can start creating their own speech for their own souls.” 

Annelie Liliemark

Annelie Liliemark

Ballet & Repertoire - Summer Dance

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CBJ Junior Company Member [2012]

CBJ Company Member [2013 -]

Annelie’s roles with CBJ have included Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Lady Birch in The Nutcracker a Canadian Tradition. Annelie began her training at Balettakademien, Stockholm, Sweden in 1998, joining the Royal Swedish Ballet School in 2002. She is the recipient of the Agda Cecilia Rilton Scholarship (2007) and the Carina Ari Scholarship (2008, 2009). Annelie comes to us from the Royal Swedish Ballet with whom she danced from 2010 to 2012 performing roles in The Nutcracker, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Swan Lake, The Rite of Spring and Coppélia. A 2011 graduate of the Royal Swedish Ballet School, Annelie attended summer intensives at The Gotland International Dance Seminars, Visby, Sweden (2007, 2008); the International Summer Course at Canada’s National Ballet School (2009); and The Bartholin International Dance Seminars at the Royal Danish Theatre (2010 on scholarship, 2011). She was a finalist at the Stora Daldansen ballet competition in Falun, Sweden (2010).

Dance for me is the ultimate challenge! I love the fact that there will always be things to work on and I will never be satisfied with my performance. It can be extremely frustrating at times but it inspires me that I always have a higher goal to work towards. Also dancing is a great medium of emotions. If I am feeling happy or sad I can use whatever is in my heart and make it mirror in my body. Or if I have emotions that I don’t want to deal with in the moment I can allow myself to get lost in the dancing so I don’t have to focus on it.

Apolonia Vasquez

Apolonia Vasquez

Hip Hop - George Brown Dance

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Apolonia Velasquez is a passionate dancer, choreographer, and educator whose drive has brought her to major cities worldwide. Originally from Montreal, now residing in Toronto, her fulfilling dance journey began at an early age. Renowned for her performance, freestyle and choreography skills, she stands out by her distinctive energy and her refined professional work ethic.

Making her an established versatile dancer, her dance repertoire has evolved and grown immensely through the years. Her expertise on emerging street dances such as House and Waacking, along with her extensive training in Hip Hop, Ballet, Contemporary, Afro Brazilian and Folkloric dancing make her an exceptional sought after artist.

Apolonia can be seen as Principal Dancer in the tv show Scare Tactics and in commercials for So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Staples and Dove and featured Actor for Wal Mart, Virgin Mobile, Nike, and Bell. She has performed at the Much Music Video Awards and worked for artists such as Katy Perry, Massari, Eva Avila, Rochester, Jully Black, Shawn Desman, Cory Lee and Thunderheist. As the co-artistic director of Gadfly, her work has been commissioned for Dance Weekend and presented at Ted Talks Toronto, Luminato, Toronto and Montreal Fringe and Nuit Blanche. The company’s repertoire includes the Dora Award Winning Klorofyl. Also, she has contributed to organizations such as “Keep-A-Breast”, “The Speech and Stuttering Institute”, and “Rethink Breast Cancer”. She is the co-founder of the Toronto Urban Dance Symposium, Skills & Soul Series and the Gadfly Anniversary.

She is thankful to have learned and exchanged with some of the most trust worthy dancers and choreographers out there, and is eager to share her knowledge and savoir-faire with others.

Chris Tsujiuchi

Chris Tsujiuchi

Music Theory - George Brown Dance

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A graduate of Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Performance program, Chris’ Musical Direction credits include 35MM (Toronto premiere), A MISFORTUNE (Next Stage Festival), HAIR (FirstAct Productions), ONE SONG GLORY ’10 ’11 & ’12 (ActingUp Stage), A JOYFUL NOISE (co-composer/lyricist, Smile Theatre), MICKEY & JUDY (Toronto Fringe), and BARE: THE CANADIAN PREMIERE (WatersEdge Productions). Chris has worked as an accompanist and teacher at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, and George Brown College. He has toured extensively with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale as a singer, and with Sharron Matthews as an accompanist/arranger. He can be seen in his biannual “CHRIS-TERICAL” cabarets at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

Clea Iveson

Clea Iveson

Repertoire - George Brown & Summer Dance

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A Toronto native, Clea Iveson began her dance training at Mrs. Daniels School of Dance in Toronto at age 4. She continued her studies at the National Ballet School, the Joan Kohal School of Dance, and the Lois Smith School of Dance. She graduated from the School of Dance at George Brown College (now George Brown Dance) before accepting an apprentice position with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen in 1991.

Clea Iveson has been with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen for 23 years including as a full-time dancer. Her work has included the creation of 55 original dance works, 6 full-length ballets, and 4 original children’s ballets. She has appeared on stage in 190 different Canadian communities and danced in over 1400 performances. For the last 12 years Clea has also managed and developed the Education Programming for the company and remains an important part of the creative team for the development of new ballets.

In her current role as Education Manager, Clea is responsible for honing and developing the company’s programs to inspire young dancers and dance enthusiasts. This includes managing the full-time dance programs at George Brown College, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen National Education Programs (Local Participants programs, master classes, workshops) and Summer Programs. She also continues to dance character roles in various company performances.

Cynthia L. Macedo

Cynthia L. Macedo

Ballet - CBJ, GBD & Summer Dance

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Cynthia Macedo was born in Carmel, California and entered the National Ballet School at the age of 10 under the directorship of Betty Oliphant. While training, she received a Peter Dwyer Scholarship and the Firemen’s Fund Scholarship. She joined The National Ballet of Canada as a corps de ballet member upon graduating from grade 12, eventually being promoted to soloist.

Cynthia danced many roles from the classics to the contemporary that ranged from corps de ballet to principle. As a soloist with the National Ballet, she worked with many directors and choreographers such as Erik Bruhn, Rudolph Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Alexander Grant, Glen Tetley, David Earl, Robert Desrossiers, Danny Grossman, Bengt Jorgen, John Alleyne and David Parsons. She also performed in the inaugural days of Ballet Jorgen Canada.

Upon retiring from dancing professionally, Cynthia pursued a teaching career. She is currently a company teacher and rehearsal coach with Ballet Jorgen Canada, a full time ballet instructor George Brown College and an open class teacher at Dance-teq in Toronto directed by Kevin Pugh. Her teaching credits include the National Ballet of Canada, Ryerson University, Royal Academy of Dance Canada, Creative Dance Workshop and the senior girls program at Dance Trax in Chicago Illinois. She has coached Junior and Senior World ranked figure skaters in artistry on the ice to develop performance enhancement.

Dana Bondy

Dana Bondy

Jazz - GBD & Summer Dance

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Dana’s training began in Fort Erie ON, at Peacock School of Dance where she became a principal dancer and instructor. Her love of dance and passion to perform led her to Toronto where she attended George Brown College and graduated with a certificate from the Performing Arts Program.

Upon graduation from George Brown, Dana trained and performed with dance companies, “Thrive” and the “Honeykats”. She has also received international recognition performing in Europe, Japan and Dubai. Further Credits Include – Women of Tango (Stratford Summer Works), I’m A Soulman (Da Blooze Bros), The Spiegel Show (LuminaTO/Harbourfront), Hank and Mike (Darius Films), Stardust Follies Musical Review (Diamond Entertainment), Vegas Live, Fashion Cares, Moulin Rouge and West Side Story (PWA Foundation) as well as numerous Toronto industrials.

Dana continues training and performing with ‘Creative Habitat’, (a contemporary dance company for social change) working closely with Toronto Sick Kids Hospital. She is also a featured performer and dance captain for the very successful Toronto Cabaret Troupe, ‘Les Coquettes’, Dana has 10 years of experience instructing various styles for children and adults, from beginner to Advanced levels and is currently teaching hip hop and jazz for the Performing Arts Programs at George Brown College. Other Specialty Workshops and classes include the York University Dance Team, Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and Seneca College as well as numerous competitive and recreational studios. Choreography credits include, The Weight of Tradition (Three Eagles Prod.) and Twilight Express (Bravofact).

Debbie Wilson

Debbie Wilson

Ballet & Yoga - Summer Dance

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Debbie Wilson is an independent artist who has worked in Canada since 1980. She began her professional career at the age of 12 with the Cincinnati Ballet Company, where she became a soloist performer and rehearsal assistant. She was the rehearsal mistress/dancer for The American Dance Machine, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Howard Richard & Dancers, and Ballet Jörgen. She also worked for the Judith Marcuse Repertory Dance Company, the Randy Glynn Dance Project and many independent choreographers across Canada and the United States.

As a choreographer, she created a repertoire of critically acclaimed productions including Aphrodite Unveiled, Raphael is Whispering, and Homo Office Sapiensis, which in 2002 received a Dora Mavor Moore nomination for Outstanding New Choreography. Through her international collaborative works like Planetarium (with Macedonia) and Diary of an Exile (with Trinidad and Tobago) she has introduced exceptional foreign artists in dance, music, and art to Toronto while representing Toronto and Canada on the world stage. In October 2005, Wilson was honoured to be invited to present Planetarium at the United Nations’ Assembly Hall in Geneva, Switzerland, for one of the events celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations.

Since 2009, Wilson has been mentoring several female dance artists who are developing their own unique choreographic voices: Lua Shayenne, Roshanak Jaberi, Victoria Mata Soledad, Esie Mensah.

Derek Sangster

Derek Sangster

Jazz - George Brown Dance

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Derek Sangster was appointed Associate Director of George Brown Dance September 2012. One of Canada’s most sought-after dance instructors, Derek holds a BA in English from York University and a Diploma in Dance from Ryerson University. In addition to his current position at George Brown College, he is also Director of Dance for Brant Lake Dance Camp in New York and a faculty member of Sheridan College and Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. Derek has taught as a guest instructor at B.A.T.D, the University of Michigan, York University, Harbour Dance, various studios in Australia, and summer programs in Nice, France. Derek is the founder of Urban Studio Theatre, Toronto’s most progressive dance studio, and held the post of Director from 1997-2004 before residing as the principal jazz instructor for DanceTeq with Kevin Pugh at the National Ballet of Canada from 2004-2012.  No stranger to film and television, Derek has created work for YTV, CBC, CMT, and MuchMusic. His film and television appearances include Superstar, Borderline High, Rita and Friends, and New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls. Recently Derek portrayed Andy Warhol in Moze Mossanen’s docu-drama Nureyev. Combining his love for both music and dance, Derek has worked extensively with some of Canada’s leading musical artists as dancer and video choreographer. Derek also has an extensive theatre career which began at the Stratford and Charlottetown Festivals. His choreography credits for the Stratford Festival include bothNight For Life, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Derek was commissioned for a new work by Ballet Jörgen Canada for the company’s 2011 – 2012 Season. His contemporary ballet, Good Mourning, premiered to sold-out houses at Toronto’s Betty Oliphant Theatre in March 2012.

Gustavo Hernandez

Gustavo Hernandez

Ballet & Repertoire - Summer Dance

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CBJ Junior Company Member [2011 & 2012]

CBJ Company Member [2012 -]

Gustavo’s repertoire with CBJ includes Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Lord Birch in The Nutcracker a Canadian Tradition, Pas de Trois and Jester in Swan Lake and Suitor in Cinderella.

Gustavo began his ballet training at the age of 11 in the Provincial School of Arts. In 2007, he graduated from the Cuban National School of Ballet in Havana, under the direction of Ramona de Saa. In 2004 and 2005, he took home the bronze medal from the International Ballet Competition in Havana. In 2007Gustavo received the bronze medal in the first edition of the National Competition UNEAC. After graduating, Gustavo became part of the National Ballet of Cuba and under the direction of Alicia Alonso was promoted to the category of Coryphaeus three years later. He danced major roles such as Alain in La Fille Mal Gardée and the Mouse King in The Nutcracker. There, he also performed in productions of Don Quixote, Giselle, Coppélia, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, as well as in works from Balanchine, Bournonville and Contemporary ballets.

Hanna Kiel

Hanna Kiel

Repertoire & Composition - George Brown Dance

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Hanna Kiel is from Seoul, South Korea and moved to Vancouver in 1996. Since then, she has been pursuing her goal as a choreographer.  Hanna’s work has been presented at 12 Minutes Max, PlanB Singles and Solos Festival, Rainbow Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, Asian Heritage Month Festival, Pulse at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, Roundhouse Centre, Surrey Arts Centre in Vancouver, Lynda Raino Dance in Victoria and New Face Dance Festival in Seoul Korea. In 2007, she choreographed and danced at the Centre A collaborating with Yoko Ono. Hanna moved to Toronto in 2008 where she continues her dance career as an independent dance artist. She choreographed and performed at Series 8:08, Dancemakers Centre for Creation, Rivoli Dance and Dance Ontario Nuit Blanche in She choreographed for Cadence Contemporary Ballet Company and Canada’s Ballet Jorgen. She was commissioned by Maindance School, Choommy Dance Group in Vancouver, George Brown Dance, Ryerson Dances, ProArteDanza and Kenny Pearl’s Emerging Artist Intensive in Toronto and Garion Contemporary Dance Company and Soong Hee Woman’s College in South Korea. Hanna is also the 2012 winner of Northwest Dance Project ‘Pretty Creatives’ international choreographic competition in Portland, Oregon. Hanna Kiel presented her full evening work in December 2013, Project L – The world that you created for which she was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award in the Best Choreography category.

Heather Berry-MacPhail

Heather Berry-MacPhail

Modern - George Brown & Summer Dance

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Originally from Alberta, Heather MacPhail is now an independent dance artist and teacher based in Toronto. Heather has been on faculty at George Brown College since 2011. As well, she is an instructor for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, a past instructor at the George Brown Theatre School and a freelance rehearsal director. Heather is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

As a performer, Heather has created numerous roles with many noteworthy art makers, including blackandblue dance projects/Sasha Ivanochko, Zata Omm/William Yong, Darryl Tracy, Allison Cummings, Peggy Baker, Sharon Moore, Michael Caldwell, David Kraft and Lynndsey Larre. She spent two seasons with Toronto Dance Theatre and was a company member for 10 years with Forcier Stageworks. Heather was a founding member of the Crazyfish Collective, a collective devoted to the creative risk of emerging artists. She has performed across Canada, New York and England, on stage and screen. She has also presented choreography across Toronto.

Additionally, she is a certified Pilates instructor, teaching classes throughout the city as well as focusing on rehabilitative private clients.

Heidi Lange

Heidi Lange

Vocal & Music Theory - George Brown Dance

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A native of Burlington, Heidi is returning for her fifth season at The Oakville Academy for the Arts. Exposed to a wide variety of music, she has studied violin, piano, voice and music theatre. Heidi studied music theatre at the University of Windsor and Applied Jazz (Voice) at Mohawk College. She continues private voice studies in Toronto and the U.S. with Alan Reid and Dorothy Stone. Heidi has performed onstage in everything from English-style music hall productions to classic shows such as “Hair” and “Godspell”, to critically acclaimed musicals, including “Rent”, “Avenue Q” and “The Last Five Years”. She also performs as a soloist and band leader in clubs and private functions, recorded and released a CD in 2008, and is working on a follow-up. In her time at OAA, she has had the pleasure and honour of leading student singers at the Oakville Santa Claus Parade and Kerr Street Ministries. Performing with her colleagues at the year-end dance recitals is another highlight. Having performed in almost all genres of music, Heidi brings a wealth of musical and cultural knowledge to her students, as well a genuine excitement about introducing new songs to them. Heidi looks forward to the coming year at OAA and discovering and developing the gifts and talents of her students.

Hiroto Saito

Hiroto Saito

Ballet & Repertoire - George Brown & Summer Dance

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CBJ Company Member [2007 – ]

In addition to his role as a leading dancer, Hiroto organized Dance for Japan, a fundraiser show with CBJ to support earthquake relief in Fukushima, Japan. He also teaches and coaches students all around the world. Hiroto was a teacher, private coach, and rehearsal master for CBJ’s Summer Intensive and Junior Company since 2012. He was also the choreographer for The Marvelous Girl, a short film produced by CBJ (the film was part of both The Cannes Film Festival and The Montreal World Film Festival).

Hiroto’s repertoire includes Romeo and Mercutio in Bengt Jörgen’s Romeo and Juliet, the principal roles of Nathaniel and Dr. Coppélius in Jörgen’s Coppélia and the leading male role, Dimitry in Jörgen’s Anastasia. During CBJ’s 25th anniversary season, Hiroto was involved in creating many roles in the company’s new production of Swan Lake. He toured Canada and the United States performing the principal role of Count Siegfried and the main antagonist Von Rothbart. Prince and Suitor in Cinderella, Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty and Lord Birch in The Nutcracker a Canadian Tradition.

Hiroto began dancing at the Sadamatsu Hamada Ballet School at age 7. He later studied at the English National Ballet School in London. Upon graduating, he joined Hong Kong Ballet under the direction of Stephen Jefferies. He worked with internationally recognized figures such as Wayne Eagling, Alexander Grant, and Susanne Farrell. Hiroto first met Bengt Jörgen while he was dancing with Hong Kong Ballet in Bengt Jörgen’s Romeo and Juliet. During the summer of 2013, he taught for Damansara Performing Arts Centre in Malaysia. He has choreographed many works such as 05:46 for Hong Kong Ballet, Lost and Found for George Brown Dance, andLord of the Rings for Toronto Youth Ballet/Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra.

Dance means a communication that transcends all deference of the world to me, through dance you can communicate without any words and inspire others to joy, happiness, sadness, beauty and love, all those beautiful things that can be felt in our hearts. You can see it to enjoy, feel it to get inspired, and dance it to embrace the whole experience.
It keeps me passionate, it keeps me going no matter how high the obstructions are or how deep setbacks are. In essence, dance means hope.

Jane Wooding, F.I.S.T.D., Examiner (Cecchetti)

Jane Wooding, F.I.S.T.D., Examiner (Cecchetti)

Ballet - George Brown Dance

Read Jane's Biography

Jane Wooding was born in Ottawa, ON. After graduating from Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, Jane studied in England, Holland and Germany. Entering the National Ballet of Canada in 1972, Ms. Wooding performed Romantic, Classical and Contemporary repertoire, working with exceptional mentors including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Erik Bruhn, Celia Franca, Karen Kain, Rudolf Nureyev, and Veronica Tennant. In 1978 Jane joined C’s NBS staff teaching ballet, repertoire, pointework and pedagogy for 8 years.

Presently teaching for George Brown Dance, Canada’s National Ballet School Teacher Training Program, and Hart House, Jane has also taught ballet on the faculties of York University and the Quinte Ballet School of Canada. She examines annually for the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Guest work includes summer courses, classes and workshops across Canada and the United States.

Junior Gaspar Caballero

Junior Gaspar Caballero

Ballet & Repertoire - Summer Dance

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CBJ Junior Company Member [2014]

CBJ/RBC Foundation Apprentice [2014-2015]

CBJ Company Member [2015 -]

Junior’s roles with CBJ includes Carabosse Minion in Sleeping Beauty.

Junior is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School where he studied on full scholarship due to his extraordinary talent. He won awards at several prestigious national and international ballet competitions including the Gold Medal in classical ballet and Best Dancer at the XIII National Ballet Competition in Paraguay, the Gold Medal at the XVII International Dance Competition in Argentina and he is a 2012 Prix de Lausanne finalist. Junior is an exceptional young dancer with a beautiful technique.

Dance means self-expression, career, passion, challenge and a sense of accomplishment.

Karen Andrew

Karen Andrew

Jazz - George Brown & Summer Dance

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Karen Andrew is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and has been extensively trained in New York and Los Angeles. Karen was an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical Ragtime, and also worked with the late Gwen Verdon in the Tony Award-winning musical Fosse. While on Broadway, Ms. Andrew performed in concert with Chita Riviera, Julie Andrews, Liza Minnielli, Glenn Close, and Rosie O’Donnell. In Canada, Karen played Anita in the Stratford Festival of Canada’s production of West Side Story. Her television and film credits include the Academy Award-winning film Chicagowith Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. As owner and Studio Director of Aurora Live Inc. Studios and Artistic Director of ‘A’ LIVE Dance Movement, Karen continues to create and produce ground breaking, thought provoking work that is well-received throughout the arts community.

Kathleen Rea

Kathleen Rea

Contact Dance - George Brown Dance

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Kathleen Rea is a graduate of the National Ballet School and has danced with Ballet Jörgen Canada, the National Ballet of Canada and Tiroler Landestheater (Austria). In 2000 she formed REAson d’être productions, an organization that umbrellas her artistic endeavours as a teacher, choreographer and producer. Rea recently received a Master’s degree in the Expressive Arts from the European Graduate School in Switzerland and is a faculty member of the George Brown Dance Department. Kathleen has choreographed over 20 original works for various organizations including the Before During After Festival of Duets, Bravo Television, Ballet Jörgen Canada, Canadian Olympic Association, Decadence Films, fFIDA, Good Hair Day Productions, the National Ballet of Canada, princess productions, Prologue to the Performing Arts, REAson d’être productions, Studio 303 and Toronto Dance Theatre. In 1999,  Kathleen was the recipient of the prestigious Choo San Goh Choreographic Award and her work was mentioned in the Now Magazine Top Ten Dance Shows of 2002 as being “Imaginative, richly theatrical.with a clown inspired whimsy…. a delight” (Glenn Sumi). Most recently Kathleen co-wrote and choreographed Lapinthrope, a full length dance film which is to be premiered in 2004 and she is setting choreography from her repertoire on the Ryerson University dance students for their 2004 Winter Showcase.

Laetitia Clement

Laetitia Clement

Ballet - CBJ, GBD & Summer Dance

Read Laetitia's Biography

Originally from France, Mrs Laetitia Clément graduated with Honours from l’Ecole Supérieur de Danse du Québec, where she studied under the guidance of Mr. Daniel Seillier from the Paris Opera.

At the age of 18, she joined Les Grands Ballets Canadians as an apprentice. She then worked as a guest with the National Ballet of Maryland and at the Banff Center for the Arts.

Soon thereafter, Mrs Clement was offered a company position with the Alberta Ballet in Calgary, first under the artistic direction of Mikko Nissinen and subsequently under the artistic direction of Jean Grand Maître.

After starting as a corps de ballet , Mrs Clement moved up to soloist to eventually become a principal dancer in 2001.

Her repertoire includes many works from Georges Balanchine such as Serenade, Allegro Brillante, Four Temperaments and Who Cares as well as classics such as the Nutcraker, A Midsummer Night’s dream and Sleeping Beauty.

Mrs Clement favourite roles include the title role in Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella, Emilia in Othello, The Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker, Michaela in Carmen and The Diamond Fairy in Sleeping Beauty.

She was part of the original cast of nationally acclaimed contemporary works such as The Fiddle and the Drum or Love Lives Bleeding from famous Canadian choreographer and artistic director Jean-Grand Maître.

Mrs Clement has performed and toured extensively in France, China, Japan, USA and Canada . Her final performance took place in Vancouver while dancing in the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Olympique Winter Games.

After 15 years as a professional ballerina, Mrs Clement retired from the stage to be more dedicated to her family. She also brings 16 years of teaching experience as she’s always kept teaching while performing.

Soon after leaving the stage, Mrs Clement was invited to teach in the Professional Division of the School of Alberta Ballet, under the artistic direction of Mr. and Mrs. Kilgour, senior pedagogues from the Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada.

Mrs Clement is an American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Certified Teacher (Levels 1 to 8) and holds her Intermediate and Advanced Cecchetti diplomas (with Honors) as well as a College Degree in Performing Art/Dance.

She owns the International Dance Teacher Associate Ballet qualifications (IDTA) and she is a Mutually Recognized Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance.  Mrs Clément is thrilled to be part of the Dance Faculty at Georges Brown College and a company teacher for the Ballet Jorgen of Canada.  Recently Mrs Laetitia opened her own school, L’arabesque Ballet, located in Thornhill where she teaches kids all ages and presents them to RAD exams.

Mrs Clement is known to bring the best out of her students in a joyful, inspiring and positive

Marisa Falcone

Marisa Falcone

Chorus Repertoire - George Brown Dance

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Marisa Falcone- BFA, B.Ed (In progress)

Marisa is an established performer, choreographer and dance educator with advanced training in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, contemporary, musical theatre and hip hop.  She holds certifications from the Cecchetti Association, C.D.T.A. and R.A.D. As a teenager, she enhanced her dance training at Cawthra Park Secondary School in the Regional Arts Program for Dance and also earned her Grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music certifications in Voice and Piano.  In 2008 she graduated from Ryerson University’s Theatre Dance Program under the direction of Nadia Potts, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with Honours.  Marisa is a proud member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, ACTRA and the Professional Adjudicators Alliance.  She has taught at a number of dance studios and has been a guest artist for various arts high schools in the GTA.

Marisa’s professional performing career has taken her to many exciting places.  Favourite credits include: Crazy For You and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford Festival), Francisca in West Side Story (Rainbow Stage), Demeter in Cats (Mirvish/Nu Musical Theatricals), Mary Poppins and Legally Blonde (Theatre Aquarius), Snow White (Ross Petty), All Shook Up (Stage West), Grace in Annie (Niagara Theatre), Wizard of Oz and Blood Brothers (Drayton Entertainment), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Stage West).  Film and TV: Bomb Girls (Global) and Rich Bride, Poor Bride (Slice TV).  She has also taken on the role of Associate choreographer for Drayton Entertainment and Assistant to the Director at Stage West.

Marisa is currently enrolled in York University’s Faculty of Education Program. She is excited to share her knowledge with new talent, giving them guidance to further their training and performance ability.

Mercedes Bernardez

Mercedes Bernardez

Ballet - CBJ & Junior Company

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Argentinian born Mercedes Bernardez had an international performing career as a Principal Dancer and as Ballet Mistress in several ballet companies in Argentina, Chile and Venezuela. Ms. Bernardez was Artistic Director at Quinte Ballet School from 1997 to 2003, before moving to Calgary to become Ballet Mistress at Alberta Ballet ( 2003-06) Ms. Bernardez has been a guest teacher for Richmond Academy of Dance and Dance Umbrella in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ms Bernardez is faculty member of Ballet Creole School , Stars On Stage Dance and Performing Arts, and Dance Elite. Ms. Bernardez teaches company class for both The National Ballet of Canada ( since 2013) and Ballet Jörgen Canada(since 2006) Since 2015 she is a guest teacher for both classical and contemporary division of the dance department at the University of North Carolina School of The Arts (Winston Salem , NC, USA).
Meredith Thompson

Meredith Thompson

Modern - George Brown & Summer Dance

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Meredith Thompson is a native of Huntsville, Ontario who now works as an independent dance artist based in Toronto. Shortly after graduating from York University (BFA/BEd, 2000) she began working with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, where she has since enjoyed performing in a number of Grossman’s signature works, as well as new creations, and classics by other American and Canadian choreographers. Soon thereafter she also began working with Dancetheatre David Earle, and continues to do so. More recently she has enjoyed working with Sylvie Bouchard of Bouchardanse, Yvonne Ng of Princess Productions, and Santee Smith of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, among others. As a core member of Dusk Dances she has also been performing and touring with the festival since 2007. Her co-choreographic projects have been presented at a number of festivals, and she is currently on faculty at George Brown Dance, as well as Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. In addition, Meredith also practices and teaches vinyasa style yoga.

Nicola Pantin

Nicola Pantin

Jazz & Modern - George Brown & Summer Dance

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Instructor / Director / Choreographer / Independent Dancer.

Selected Stratford Theatre choreography:  Timon of Athens, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Tempest. Other selected theatre includes TNB, YPT (Jacob Two Two, The wizard of Oz, Seussical, Charlie Brown) Yoshimi (La Jolla) Expect Theatre, Charlottetown (Bittergirl) Shanghai Theatre Academy, Sheridan (Brantwood, Parade, Little Women) Nicola has received 2 Dora awards and 3 nominations. Upcoming: Shrek (Sheridan) Sister Act (LOT) and James and Giant Peach (YPT) Selected Film: The Table Dance, Year of the Lion (Moze Mossanen)  Stuck, Big Chief Ballet (Jenn Goodwin) Nicola also performs as an independent dancer locally and internationally.  The Count of Monte Cristo, The Tempest. Other selected theatre includes TNB, YPT (Jacob Two Two, The Wizard of Oz, Seussical, Charlie Brown) Yoshimi (La Jolla) Expect Theatre, Charlottetown (Bittergirl) Shanghai Theatre Academy, Sheridan (Brantwood, Parade) Nicola has received 2 Dora awards and 3 nominations. Upcoming: Shrek (Sheridan) Sister Act (LOT) and James and Giant Peach (YPT) Selected Film: The Table Dance, Year of the Lion (Moze Mossanen)  Stuck, Big Chief Ballet (Jenn Goodwin)

Nicola also performs as an independent dancer locally and internationally. 

Ofilio Portillo

Ofilio Portillo

Hip Hop - George Brown Dance

Read Ofilio's Biography

Notorious for his versatility, Ofilio “Sinbadinho” Portillo has acquired a considerable amount of experience in the Television, Entertainment and Theatre industries. He Has worked for artists such as: Cascada, Kreesha Turner, Feist, Thunderheist, Danny Fernandes, Jully Black, Cory Lee, Shawn Desman, and Dr Draw among others. Movie credits include Turn The Beat Around, Camp Rock II featuring The Jonas Brothers, Cobu 3D and as actor on You Got Served/Beat The World and the upcoming blockbuster Resident Evil Retribution He can be seen in commercials for WarChild & Virgin Mobile and has performed live for: Canada’s Got Talent, Bench clothing and GM Canada. As founder of Gadfly, he produced and directed 2 Contemporary Urban Dance full evening production: Unbearable Prospect (2008) and Dora Award Winning Klorofyl (2011). His work has been commissioned for Dance Weekend 2011 and presented at Ted Talks Toronto, Luminato, Nuit Blanche, Toronto and Montreal Fringe, Break Beats & Culture, and International Dance Day. Also, he has contributed to organizations such as Keep-A-Breast, Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, Sick Kids and Rethink Breast Cancer. Ofilio is the founder of yearly events the Toronto Urban Dance Symposium, Gadfly Anniversary and the street dance training program: ProFRESHional. This experienced individual has showcased his craft in major cities worldwide. Now, he has set for hobby to establish Street Dance as a legitimate art form and promote its cross-cultural movement.

Patrizia Ferlisi

Patrizia Ferlisi

Jazz & Modern - George Brown & Summer Dance

Read Patrizia's Biography

Patrizia is a Toronto based dance artist dedicated to advocating dance education and exposure in her community. Taught by some of the best dance educators in Canada, Mrs. Ferlisi holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from York University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ryerson University. As a dancer, Patrizia has worked with renowned companies & choreographers such as Cirque Du Soleil’s, Mia Michaels, Travis Wall, Cadence Contemporary Ballet, Roberto Campanella, Debra Brown, Conteur Dance Company, The Dance Migration, Larchaud Dance and Newton Moreas Dance Theatre. Throughout her career she has had the privilege of touring Brazil, U.S.A, Europe,& the United Kingdom, both as a performer and teacher. Currently, Patrizia is on faculty at George Brown College teaching: Intro to Dance Careers, Jazz, & Contemporary Repertoire. She also teaches Dance History, Intro to Movement Analysis, and Critical Issue’s in Dance at Conteur Dance Academy. As a co-founder and co-artistic director of Lady Luck Productions Arts and Entertainment Group ( founded in 2009), Patrizia has choreographed many original variety show productions presented all over Ontario. She is also a co-founder/director of Perspective Dance Youth Ensemble which launched August 2015. This past summer she had the honour of working with Debra Brown as a choreographer for the 2015 Panamania performances at Nathan Philips Square.

Ryan Kelly

Ryan Kelly

Acting for Dance - George Brown Dance

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Ryan Kelly has been a professional singer, dancer and actor for 22 years.  Ryan is an honours graduate from Sheridan College’s esteemed Music Theatre Performance Program.  He has performed all over the world in a variety of mediums.  Some of Ryan’s favourite credits include: Mamma Mia (Mirvish) The Normal Heart (Studio 180) Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg).  He has had regular roles in television on “Queer As Folk” and “Bitten”, and guested on many others including “Murdoch Mysteries”, “Warehouse 13” and “Reign”.  He has been nominated for a Genie Award, Canadian Comedy Award and nominated for 2 Dora Awards, taking home one for “Will the Real JT LeRoy Please Stand Up?”. Ryan has been in over 30 commercials.

Ryan has been coaching and teaching drama and acting for the entirety of his career.  He has been Drama Teacher at The Centre for Art and Soul, The Stage Door Academy, Children’s Garden Nursery School. Ryan frequently guest teaches in many Secondary School scenarios, and is Artist Educator for Studio 180’s Theatre Workshops.  He is an acting coach to professionals and students, and recently began directing. Ryan is inspired by young performers with a passion to live creative and artistic lives.

Saniya Abilmajineva

Saniya Abilmajineva

Ballet & Repertoire - Summer Dance

Read Saniya's Biography

Saniya is a current CBJ member, dancing lead roles in all of the Company’s major productions.

In 2009 Saniya graduated from the University of Moscow Academy of Ballet with a specialty in  ” teacher of classical ballet “. As a dancer Saniya was trained by the Vaganova school in the  Russian style of teaching.

Saniya started teaching ballet  master classes with CBJ while touring during the 2013-2014 season. Saniya taught  private ballet and repertoire classes to two students of the RWB school  in July 2014 for 4 weeks. During the season when CBJ is working in Toronto, Saniya teaches ballet classes at the Markham Dream Dance studio and Fouette Academy of Dance in the evenings and weekends. And Saniya is a major component of the ballet and repertoire faculty in CBJ’s Summer IV and Junior Company programs every year since 2014. Saniya also works as a guest teacher in Mercedes Carret’s summer program. 

“In my ballet classes the one important thing I focus on  is the coordination of the movement of the head, arms and legs during classical exercises. I also work on this so that students understand how to move their arms from the back, which is how to reach with the arms and make different poses look expressive.” 

Stephanie Galpern

Stephanie Galpern

Chorus Repertoire - George Brown Dance

Read Stephanie's Biography

Stephanie works as a performer, teacher, and choreographer, and is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. For the last several years, she has worked as dance captain and as choreographer on various North American touring productions.

She has extensive experience working with youth and adults as a dance, a musical theatre teacher, and as a choreographer. She is also on the faculty of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, teaching in both the College and Kids programs.

Recent choreography credits include “Naked Boys Singing” (Starvox ent.), “Arthur Live” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog Live,” (Turnstile Ent., New York); “Rent”, “Cabaret” and “Fairy Tale Ending” (Toronto Youth Theatre); ”Twelfth Night,” “Macbeth,” and “Romeo & Juliet” (Classical Theatre Project); “F.E.A.R.L.E.S.S.” (Stagekids Productions); Glendale Arena Mega Concert (Tanglewood Ent, Arizona); “The Doodleboops” (rehearsal director, Feld Entertainment, Orlando).

Svea Eklof

Svea Eklof

Ballet - CBJ, GBD & Summer Dance

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Svea Eklof is the Principal Coach of Ballet Jorgen Canada for all Classical and Neo-classical works. She teaches at the George Brown School of Dance in Toronto with a focus on the Mentorship Program.

Miss Eklof retired as the Principal Dancer of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet where she won critical acclaim for her stunning performance as Odette-Odile in the RWB production of Swan Lake. In 1982, the renowned Dance Magazine named Miss Eklof as “one of the leading ballerinas of our time.”

Born in Los Angeles, Miss Eklof formative dance training was at the North Carolina School of the Arts. During her career, she studied with Laura Alonzo, Galina Yardanova, Madame Alexandra Danilova, Pauline Koner and the late George Balanchine, who personally coached her Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, Allegro Brillante And Tarantella Pas De Deux.

During her prestigious international ballet career, Miss Eklof has been a member of several prominent dance companies throughout Europe and North America. She danced with Ballet Classico de Mexico, and Netherlands Dance Theatre. At age of 23 she was promoted to Principal Dancer with George Balanchine’s Ballet du Grande Theatre in Geneva, Switzerland. She later danced as Principal Ballerina with the North Carolina Dance Theatre, the Alberta Ballet Company and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. She performed the principal roles in Firebird, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Nutcracker, Coppelia, and Cinderella.

Miss Eklof has been an evaluator for the Canada Council for the Arts and served as a judge for the Dora Mavor Moore awards and the Manitoba Dance Festival in Winnipeg.

Miss Eklof has been a guest teacher at the National Ballet School of Canada, the North Carolina School of the Arts, West Virginia Dance Festival, Furman University Summer Dance Program in South Carolina, the George Randolph School of Dance and Northwest Ballet Florida.

Tina Fushell

Tina Fushell

Modern - George Brown & Summer Dance

Read Tina's Biography

Born and raised in St. John’s, Nfld., dancer, teacher, producer and choreographer, Tina Fushell, lives and works in Toronto where she has been based since 1999.  As a performer, she has collaborated and originated roles in the works of numerous choreographers including Susie Burpee, Valerie Calam, Jesse Dell, Kate Franklin, Ame Henderson, Brendan Jensen, Sebastian Mena, Matjash Mrozewski, Darryl Tracy, among others.

Tina’s own choreographies include How to be a Good Wife (2007), Smitten (2008), Dance-a-line (2011), Freedom Party (2014), and Yin/Yang (2015).  Her work has been presented across Ontario and the country, including performances in Porch View Dances, Hub 14 “Full Stop”, Hysteria: Festival of Women, The Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Festival of New Dance, Dance made in Canada and Nuit Blanche.

Most recently Tina co-produced Street vs Stage as part of Summerworks15, self-presented her first full length work Waving is Funny, collaborated and performed in Ame Henderson (Public Recordings) rehearsal/performance at the AGO and worked with Luke Garwood who was the 2014 artist in residence at the Young Centre.

An active producer, Tina was Co-Artistic Director of Ambitious Enterprises (AE) with Kate Franklin from 2002 to 2012; together they produced the “At the Wrecking Ball” series which provided opportunities for emerging choreographic talents and their collaborators from various disciplines.  Currently she is curating a work-in-progress series callred “For Show”.

When not creating and performing in dance works, Ms Fushell invests in the next generation of dancers through her work at the Quinte Ballet School and George Brown College.

Accompanists

Alla Voortsman

Brandon Valdivia

Chris Tsujiuchi

Germaine Liu

Geza Szenasi

Greg Harrison

Igor Vassine

Irina Kiyaschenko

Marcel Hoff

Normand Babin

Samuel Liubert

Suzanne Maziarz