THE DANCE INSTITUTE

Serving Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill  area, ages 3-17.

We specialize in  Ballet and Pointe (Cecchetti Method),  Hip Hop,  Jazz,  Musical Theatre,  Lyrical,  Tap,  Acro and Contemporary.

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Our Dance
Instructors

A dance studio is no different than any other learning environment; to be effective you need quality educators who know what’s relevant today

The Dance Institute

SHARON WALSH-MEHAFFEY

(A.I.S.T.D, CSB) Studio Director Sharon trained at the Nester Brooking School in London, England and The National Ballet School in Toronto. In 1976, she opened her own studio in St. John’s, Newfoundland which she ran successfully for 12 years. In 1982 she founded the Atlantic Dance Company which provided gifted students the opportunity to perform. In 1987 she moved to Toronto and taught for Seneca College, The Koffler Dance Centre & Wishing Well Montessori School. In 1993 she established The Dance Institute in Markham. Sharon is an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, Cecchetti Society Branch.

The Dance Institute

JT PAPANDREOS

Tap, Jazz, Contemporary JT graduated at the top of his class from The Conteur Academy, under the direction of Eryn Waltman, and eventually became a full company dancer in Conteur Dance Company. JT has successfully completed his A.D.A.P.T. Jazz and Tap exams, C.D.T.A. Jazz and Tap exams, Advanced 2 Royal Academy Of Dance Ballet exam and Advanced 1 Cecchetti Society of Canada exam. Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, JT brought his heart and soul to Toronto where he is heavily emmersed and active in the dance industry. As a professional dancer, JT has worked with many Toronto-based companies and choreographers including; Transcen|Dance Project (Julia Cratchley), Helix Dance Project (Linda Garneau), Frog In Hand (Colleen Snell), Conteur Dance Company (Eryn Waltman), Alysa Pires Dance Projects (Alysa Pires), Toronto Fringe Festival, Bridge to Artists (Vlad), Ryan Lee, Kelly Shaw, Ria Toss Productions (Ross Wirtanen).Alongside performance JT loves to teach and create and is a fully certified A.D.A.P.T. dance instructor (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers).

The Dance Institute

JULIA CRATCHLEY

Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary Julia trained as a contemporary and classical artist in Vancouver, B.C, with Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program under the direction of Artemis Gordon and Lynn Sheppard. She has workshopped with international choreographers in Canada, New York and Europe. Most recently she has been to Belgium and New York to train in an intensive with the Batsheva company’s Gaga technique. Julia has been a part of Toronto dance company Helix Dance Project for four seasons now, and has assisted Linda Garneau with the process of ‘Rain’ ‘Verb.atim’ ,‘UnEarth’ and ‘The Waiting Room’ She was a dancer and choreographer for Bridge to Artists first three shows ‘Prima Volta’ ‘Senses’ and ‘On the Sawdust Trail’. She was also a company member for Toes for Dance, Conteur Dance Company and Rutherford Movement Exchange. Julia has toured to New York and Dominican Republic with New York choreographer Derrick Yanford. Julia became the artistic director of her own professional contemporary company TranscenDance Project in 2015 directing and choreographing the company’s first full length interactive show ‘Eve of St. George’ which premiered in December 2015.

The Dance Institute

Samantha Brifoglio

Samantha has trained in various styles of dance for many years including: Ballet, Jazz, Acrobatics, Hip-Hop, Modern, Contemporary and Partnering. Samantha's professional and teaching studies started with contemporary work at the Conteur Dance Acadamy under the direction of Eryn Waltman performing in shows such as ``Frames`` and ``Fill in the Blanks``. After graduating she continued her study at D.M.A (Dance Masters of America) receiving teaching certificates in Ballet, Jazz and Modern. Samantha is also an accredited acrobatic instructor with Acrobatic Arts.

The Dance Institute

TORI MEHAFFEY (BFA)

Contemporary A former TDI graduate, Tori has a BFA diploma from Ryerson University’s Performance Dance Performance Program, received the 2014 Ryerson Theatre School’s Dance Performance Award and the Lawrence Gradus Choreographic Scholarship. Tori has performed for professional dance companies Coleman Lemieux, ProArteDanza, Gadfly and Madboots and is a nominee for the 2016 Dora Awards, 'Outstanding Female Performance in Dance'. Tori has choreographed for The National Ballet of Canada’s 2015 Choreographic Workshop, Ryerson University’s 2015 Emerging Artist Choreographic Lab Series and Canada’s Ballet Jorgen 2016 movement research program. Her interest in researching movement has lead her to study at places such as ImPulstanz, Vienna; Springboard Danse, Montreal; Henny Jurriens Foundation, Amsterdam; and RUBBERBANDance Group Intensives, Quebec.

The Dance Institute

VANESSA GUINTO

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Vanessa trained at Lorri’s Dance Place before studying at Point Park University (Pittsburgh). Under the artistic direction of Susan Stowe, she graduated in 2014 with a BFA in Dance and concentration in Jazz. While at school, she was privileged to perform in many choreographic works including pieces by Robert Battle, Martha Graham, Jessica Lang, José Limón, and David Parsons. Vanessa received further training at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Movement Invention Project, Ignite, and Springboard Danse Montréal. While in Pittsburgh, she also performed with Reed Dance. Upon graduating, Vanessa was involved in NYC project-based performances at the BAM Fisher Theatre, Actors Fund Arts Center, and The Wild Project. Ms. Guinto has taught dance throughout Canada and the United States. She danced with Koresh Dance Company from 2015 to 2018. Along with performing at national and international venues, she taught outreach and master classes while on tour. Vanessa is currently based in Toronto.

The Dance Institute

KRISTA ASELTINE

For over 30 years, Ms. Krista has been teaching dance for all ages, with a specialization in Ballet and Modern dance. At the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, she majored in Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and National Dance. After dancing with Ballet BC, she owned and operated her own ballet school in Vancouver. Being involved in her community, Ms. Krista started the dance program at Woodbridge Public School, which allowed children from all backgrounds the opportunity to dance. It brings Ms. Krista joy to see her students of all ages be able to express themselves through dance.

The Dance Institute

DANIEL GOMEZ

Daniel Gomez is an urban dance artist, situated in the city of Toronto. He has most recently been nominated for Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Laurence Lemieux’s original creation of “Jusqu ‘A Vimy”, as part of the 2018 Dora Awards. Daniel was exposed to dance at an early age, first expressing his desire for movement through Latin genres. At the age of 16 Daniel’s curiosity for movement grew. With a deep interest in Hip-Hop Culture, he fell in love with the art of street dance and took on the method of Popping. Daniel also has extensive training in styles of; Locking, House, Dancehall and both Hip-hop Freestyle and Choreography. Daniel Gomez is a member of Toronto based dance crew, Twisted Ankles and is currently a performance artist for Toronto based dance companies - Gadfly Urban Dance Company as well as Citadel + Compagnie. He has had the opportunity to perform original works by artists such as; Esie Mensah, Caroline “Lady C” Fraser, Shameka Blake, Bageshre Vase, Samuel Tanz, Marino Abarca, Pyro, Teego Ahn, Mark Samuels, Addy Chan and Tabby Donaldson. Daniel has also had exposure as a performer for the Toronto Argonauts and the Toronto Raptors as part of their half time entertainment segments. He has also been cast in multiple music videos with top international music artists. Daniel’s career has lead him to theatre performance and battling competitions in areas of the world such as; France, Birmingham, Japan, Arizona, Chicago and New York. Daniel looks forward to his upcoming work in the fall with Citadel + Compagnie, learning a classic work by the infamous James Kudelka and performing a new creation by emerging choreographer, Tori Mehaffey.

The Dance Institute

GRACE FOSTER

Grace Foster started dancing when she was four at a local community centre in Toronto. Grace started with ballet technique, then added modern, jazz and hip hop to her dance vocabulary. She earned a Certificate of Professional Development from the dance department at George Brown College, in Toronto. Foster attended Columbia College Chicago and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree with cum laude in dance teaching. Grace has taught at many locations, including The Martha Hicks School of Ballet, the City of Toronto and In Motion Dance West to name a few. She is excited to join the TDI team and happy to be able to share the love of dance with the new generation.

The Dance Institute

MATTHEW MORALES

Matthew Morales is an emerging dancer and choreographer in the Toronto and Ontario university urban dance scenes. Coming from Markham, he began dancing with VYbE Dance Company and trained in styles including hip hop, popping, locking, whaacking, house, and urban choreography. Since then, he has worked with groups including Vie Division (McMaster University), K9 Collective (Toronto), the ARTillery (Hamilton), The Male Initiative (Toronto), The Toronto Raptors Dance Team, The Industry (Toronto), the Kindred Culture teaching faculty (Mississauga), and the VYbE Dance Studio teaching faculty (Markham). Matthew strives to inspire others to discover more about themselves, to grind towards their own individual passions, and to serve others through dance.

The Dance Institute

EVERETT WOODS

Owner/director of Core Training Gymnastics, Everett has over 30 years of experience coaching athletes of all ages and abilities, including individuals with special needs. Certifications and Awards:
- Diploma - Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation, Coaching
- Canadian Personal Training Certified
- N.C.C.P Level 3 National Coach Certified (women's)
- N.C.C.P Level 2 National Coach Certified (men's)
- N.C.C.P Level 3 Trampoline