The School of Dance, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Shall we dance!

 

Dance promotes fitness, imparts poise and creates self-confidence.

Join us on the dance floor and Learn more > about the fascinating world of dance.

We have fantastic teachers, amazing musicians and an atmosphere that inspires learning.

 

Discover the magic of dance!

 

Merrilee Hodgins A.R.A.D. Artistic Director

Staff and Faculty

Season 2014 - 2015

Artistic Director

Merrilee Hodgins A.R.A.D.

Division Directors

Mary Ross, Fellow and Examiner, CSC-CICB, Director of Ballet Studies

Sylvie Desrosiers BAV Director of Contemporary Dance Studies

Dance Educators

Kirsten Andersen

Peter Boneham CM

Esther Caron

Yvonne Coutts

Christine Couture

Marie-Michelle Darveau

Jacqueline Ethier

Cathy Kyle Fenton

Loïc Gouadec

Lisa Hébert

Nicola Henry

Mary Catherine Jack

Kateri Jacobs C.A., Associate, CSC-CICB

Sonia Joanette

Kim Laporte Associate, CSC-CICB

Chantale Lussier-Ley PhD(c). Associate, CSC-CICB

Lana Morton

Kiyoko Makimura Licentiate CSC-CICB, Associate I.S.T.D. (National Dance)

Alain Pauzé

Pamela Place PT FCAMPT CAFCI

Suzanne Plante Fellow and Examiner, CSC-CICB

Tanis Waller Associate, CSC-CICB

Carla Weber

Guest Teachers and Choreographers

Massimo Agostinelli

Natasha Bakht

Annemarie Cabri

Mélanie Demers

Louis Laberge-Côté

Sylvain Lafortune

Marquita Lester

Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood

Bill Juillette

Kathy MacLellan

John Nolan

Meagan O'Shea

Simon Renaud

Erin Robertson

Tedd Robinson

Julie Anne Ryan

Peter Ryan

Siôned Watkins

Jane Wooding

Musicians

Earl Doherty

Nenad Duplancic

Pierre-Luc Clément

Kristine Gore

François Gravel

Rob Graves

Elena Ilin

Petya Karakoleva

Margaret Macpherson

Krista Pederson

Janusz Rothbard

Alvaro Yanez

James Wright

Outreach

Alain Pauzé (Manager, DanceONTour)

Christine Couture

Sylvie Desrosiers B.F.A.

Marie-Michelle Darveau

Cathy Kyle Fenton

Nicola Henry

Merrilee Hodgins A.R.A.D. 

Mary Ross

Administration

Fernand Villeneuve Director Client Services

Nicola Henry Assistant to the Artistic Director

Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson Reception

Marie-Michelle Darveau Reception

Alya Graham Reception

Isobel Roblin Reception

Josée Roy Reception

Artists in Residence

Maryse Maynard www.marysemaynard.com

Audrey Greyeyes

Neera Huckvale www.neerahuckvale.com

Beth Ross

Apprentices and Interns

Lisa Oliviero

Audrée Papineau-Chartrand

Sophie Charron

Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson

Martha Zacharias

Health Consultants

Pamela Place Registered Physiotherapist

Susannah Juteau Nutrition

Chantale Lussier-Ley Mental Performance Consultant

The Artists of The School of Dance

Merrilee Hodgins A.R.A.D. Artistic Director

Miss Hodgins studied in Canada, England, Denmark and the United States. In 1971, she was awarded the prestigious Solo Seal of the Royal Academy of Dancing. In 1973 she became principal dancer with the Alberta Ballet Company, later working in Denmark, Germany and the U.S. as a freelance artist. Miss Hodgins, a recipient of the YM-YWCA’s 1997 Women of Distinction Award, was the 1997 Chair of the City of Ottawa’s Cultural Leadership Committee, was a member of the board of directors for Dance Ontario, and has been awarded Canada Council grants to research and develop projects to introduce children to dance. Recent projects include choreographic commissions from the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, a collaboration with Canadian poet Susan McMaster, and a commission to produce a concert version of Stravinsky’s Firebird for the Brott Music Festival in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2012 Merrilee Hodgins was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of her dedicated service to her peers, her community, and to the world of dance.

Mary Ross Fellow and Examiner, CSC-CICB, Director of Ballet Studies

Mary Ross began her ballet training in Peterborough, Ontario with Marquita Whitham and Charles Lester. Miss Ross also studied in London, England and received her formal training at Canada’s National Ballet School where she later graduated with distinction from the Teacher Training Program. Miss Ross taught for many years at Canada’s National Ballet School under the mentorship of Betty Oliphant and Mavis Staines, and also worked as répétiteur and rehearsal assistant in several National Ballet School productions assisting James Kudelka, Robert Desrosiers and Peggy Baker, and with The National Ballet of Canada in performances of The Nutcracker at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Miss Ross holds her Fellow and is an Examiner with the Cecchetti Society of Canada and is the Director of The School’s Professional Ballet Studies Programme.

Sylvie Desrosiers BAV, Director of Contemporary Dance Studies

It is under Peter Boneham's direction at Le Groupe Dance Lab that Sylvie Desrosiers trained and started her career as a choreographer and a teacher. She eventually directed Le Groupe's dance school from 1991 to 1993. In the fall of 1994 she joined The School of Dance to establish the Contemporary Dance Division. She is director of the division, teaches modern dance technique, composition, and is a resident choreographer. Ms. Desrosiers has extensive experience in the conception and the delivery of dance classes and workshops in schools and universities. As a choreographer Sylvie Desrosiers has presented her work in many Canadian cities; in Ottawa at La Nouvelle Scène, Arts Court, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canada Dance Festival; in Gatineau at La Salle Jean Despréz; in Montréal at Tangente, Studio 303 and the Festival International de Nouvelle Danse (FIND); in Toronto at the 1997 and 1998 FIDA; and in Vancouver at the Dancing on the Edge festival (DOTE). Over the years she received many grants from The Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), the City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau for the creation and production of works such as à tire d'aile (2002), épaves (2003), flots commissioned by the CDF (2005), distance (2008), études intuitives (2009), volte-face (2011) and douce tourmente (2013). Sylvie is artistic director of DORSALE danse and founding member of Ottawa Dance Directive/Centre de danse contemporaine.

Kirsten Andersen

Kirsten Andersen completed her dance training at both Arts Umbrella in Vancouver, and at the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. She then joined the company in 1995 under the direction of Christopher House. She performed and originated roles in works of Christopher House, David Earle, Mitch Kirch, Tedd Robinson and James Kudelka. She also enjoyed the vibrant independent dance community in Toronto working with Sasha Ivanochko, Bill Coleman and Laurence Lemieux. She had the privilege of training with Peggy Baker, Christopher House, David Earle, Pat Minor and Michael Trent. In 1999 she was awarded a Canada Council Award to study dance in Montréal. She then moved to Montreal to work with Company Marie Chouinard, created featured roles in three original productions. Kirsten toured and performed the company's large repertoire in over 15 countries. She enjoyed teaching roles and Marie Chouinard's unique movement style to new Company dancers over the nine years she was affiliated with the company.

Peter Boneham CM

Peter Boneham is one of the most important figures in Canadian contemporary dance. In a career spanning over five decades, Boneham is the founder and creator of Le Groupe Dance Lab, the first research and development centre of its kind for professional dance artists. An acclaimed international teacher, Boneham's signature technique focuses on cultivating the complete dance artist - one with creative efficiency, diversity, and longevity. Boneham's artistic roots can be traced back to the early years of Canadian contemporary dance when he worked closely with modern dance legend, Jeanne Renaud. Together, they developed Canada's first modern experimental dance company, Le Groupe de la Place Royale. During this period, Boneham created over 40 choreographies, and collaborated with one of Canada's most respected dance icons, the late Jean-Pierre Perrault. To date, Boneham has received The Order of Canada (2008), France's Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (2008), The Governor General's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Performing Arts (2005), the Victor Tolgesy Award (1996), the Dance Ontario Award (1992), and the inaugural Jean A. Chalmers Award for creativity in dance in Canada (1991). Boneham is the longest-serving Artistic Director in Canadian contemporary dance.

Esther Caron

Esther América is a former dancer for Montreal's renowned Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, she has been teaching dance for over a decade in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. Esther graduated from L'École Supérieure du Ballet du Québec and has received many honours, prizes and special distinctions. She was also a soloist with Les Ballets Contemporains de Montréal and Ballet West of Montreal and a member of a Spanish dance company, Alegria d'España. She is a certified associate of the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Since 2007, following the birth of her first child, Esther has been sharing her love of dance with other mothers. She successfully introduced the Ottawa region to Latin dance and Ballet classes for Moms and Babies. She has three children who all love to dance with her.

Yvonne Coutts

Yvonne Coutts is the Artistic Director and a founding member of Ottawa Dance Directive (odd). Her work has been presented and commissioned in Canada by the Brian Webb Dance Company, the Winnipeg Dance Festival, Tangente, Danceworks, Women in View, Dancemakers, Arraymusic, Four Chambers, and Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers. Recipient of the 1994 Bonnie Bird Choreographic Award from the Laban Center in England, she received a commission which toured through Europe, the United States, and Asia. In 1994, she also received an invitation from The Place in London to attend a dance/video forum. Her solo work, Now. In Blue, commissioned by the Canada Dance Festival (CDF) and the CanDance Network, went on to a successful Canadian tour. Her site-specific solo work, Perfect Nowhere, premiered at the 2002 CDF. In 2006, Yvonne received a second commission from the CDF to create a solo work for Natasha Bakht. She created an excerpt for Lana Morton’s En Vin in 2009 and Television Dreams in 2010.

Yvonne was a company member of Le Groupe Dance Lab from 1988 to 1994 where she interpreted, choreographed, and worked with artists such as Paul Andre Fortier, Sylvain Emard, Louise Bedard, Russel Maliphant, Wayne McGregor, Harold Rheaume, Noam Gagnon, Claudia Moore, Carol Anderson, and Tedd Robinson. She became Artistic Associate at the Lab from 2003 to 2006. Yvonne has danced independently with Sylvie Desrosiers and Helene Blackburn’s Cas Public. She has been a rehearsal director for Anik Bouvrette, Natasha Bakht, and most recently for Jacqueline Ethier’s work choreographed by Peggy Baker. She was the movement coach for the NAC English Theatre productions The Mikado and The Glass Menagerie.

Yvonne has been nominated for the K.M. Hunter Artists Award through the Ontario Arts Council three times, most recently in January 2012. She has been on the faculty of the Contemporary Dance Programme of The School of Dance since 2000, a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary, and guest teacher and choreographer at Grant MacEwan College, The School of Contemporary Dancers, and LADMMI.

 Christine Couture

Christine Couture recently graduated from the Professional Contemporary Dance Programme of The School of Dance. While at The School, Christine had the opportunity to work with many great choreographers and teachers such as Sylvie Desrosiers, Yvonne Coutts, Peter Boneham, Susie Burpie, Sasha Ivanochko, Emmanuel Jouthe and many more. She has been teaching dance for the past 10 years and hopes to continue for a very long time. As a newly certified professional dancer, Christine is looking forward to a career as a respected and talented artist.

Marie-Michelle Darveau

Après avoir complété ses études en danse au Cégep de Drummondville, Marie- Michelle s'est joint au Programme de formation professionnelle en danse contemporaine de The School of Dance. Durant sa formation, Marie-Michelle a travaillé entre autres avec les chorégraphes Serge Bennathan, Mélanie Demers, Yvonne Coutts, Sarah Williams, Dana Gingras, Tedd Robinson et Heidi Strauss. Pendant les étés de 2013 et 2014, elle a fait partie de l'équipe de Dancing in the Street agissant à titre de coordonnatrice et de danseuse. Parallèlement, ses expériences acquises précédemment en tant que monitrice et coordonnatrice de Camp de jour auprès des jeunes, l'ont mené vers l'enseignement; elle enseigne la danse contemporaine, le jazz et le hip hop depuis maintenant 2 ans. Marie-Michelle a conclu sa dernière année de formation à The School of Dance alors qu'au Festival Danse Canada 2014, elle a interprété une chorégraphie de Tedd Robinson mettant sur scènes les 60 graduées des 5 écoles de formation professionnel en danse contemporaine au Canada.

Jacqueline Ethier

Jacqueline Ethier is a Fletcher Pilates® Qualified Teacher and professional dancer who founded the Pilates Space in 2002. She was introduced to first generation Master Teacher Ron Fletcher in 2001 by her mentor Sagrario Castilla and has been studying with him ever since. She is now Fletcher Faculty for the Fletcher Pilates® Program of Study, formerly the Ron Fletcher Program of Study®. Jacqueline offered Canada’s first Comprehensive Program to qualify new Fletcher Pilates® teachers in 2008. She continues to inspire future generations of Pilates teachers through teacher training and workshops.

Jacqueline is a 2006 recipient of the prestigious 40 under forty Ottawa Business Journal Awards and was a finalist for the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2009 Small Business of the Year Award. In 2006/2007, she held the title of community ambassador for Lululemon.

Jacqueline graduated from the Contemporary Dance Programme at The School of Dance in Ottawa in 1999 and now leads their Pilates program. She continues to work as a professional dancer in Canada and abroad. Nearly 30 years of dance training gives her a unique sense of the body and how it moves. Jacqueline’s passion for teaching and helping others discover the strength of their own bodies makes for an always challenging and inspiring class experience.

Cathy Kyle Fenton

Cathy has performed extensively with Le Groupe de la Place Royale (Ottawa) and Dancemakers (Toronto) touring internationally. She has danced in works by Jean-Pierre Perreault, Christopher House, James Kudelka, Carol Anderson, and Doug Varone, among others. Cathy studied at the Mudra school in Belgium and also studied with such luminaries as Peter Boneham, Peggy Baker, Maggie Black, Irene Dowd and Lar Lubovitch. Cathy has received numerous grants and awards including Canada Council grants, The Floyd Chalmers Performing Arts Award and the Erik Bruhn Memorial Award. She also received grants for residencies in schools throughout the Outaouais region, conducting classes in Modern Dance and Creative Movement.

Loïc Gouadec

Loïc Gouadec started his training in the ancient art of Tai Ji Quan two decades ago. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Shirley Choi, he learned various series of the Yang style Tai Ji Quan (Long Form, Beijing Form, Sword form). He continues improving his skills and technique with the best teachers. Loïc joined The School's staff in 2000.

Lisa Hébert

Lisa Hébert started her path in yoga when searching for a deeper healing following a debilitating car accident. Her recovery was so profound that she was inspired to share this transformative power of yoga and is grateful to her students who are sharing this journey with her. Lisa is a graduate of the Contemporary Dance Programme at The School of Dance. Her experience of over 25 years in dance training and performance give her a unique understanding of the body and brings a sense of movement and athleticism to her classes.

Nicola Henry

A graduate of The School of Dance Contemporary Dance Programme, Nicola currently resides in Ottawa where she continues training, performing, creating and teaching, and works at The School of Dance as Assistant to the Artistic Director. Since 2008 Nicola has performed works by various Ottawa choreographers, along with dancing in her own creations. Recently she had the pleasure of performing in the Dance: Made in Canada Festival in Toronto, at the French Embassy in Ottawa, with the NAC Orchestra, and at the Brott Music Festival in Hamilton. For three summers, Nicola spent her time Dancing in the Street, a community outreach programme of The School of Dance. As a choreographer, Nicola has created work for the students of The School of Dance and Canterbury High School.  She was recently mentored by Peter Boneham to create her first work on professional dancers. In 2011 Nicola co-founded the Dusk Dances Ottawa Collective which initiated the return of this magical dance festival to Ottawa after a ten year hiatus.

Mary Catherine Jack

After receiving a visual arts degree from the University of Waterloo, Mary Catherine Jack decided to expand her artistic experience through dance. In 2004, she graduated from the Professional Dance Programme at The School of Dance. Mary Catherine has performed with Opera Lyra, has been involved in various independent, theatrical projects around Ottawa and has performed her own work at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival. Most recently, Mary Catherine produced an intimate dance show featuring her own work as well as that of various Ottawa dancers/choreographers. Mary Catherine teaches dance in schools in Ontario as an independent artist and as a collaborating artist with Learning Through The Art.

Kateri Jacobs C.A., Associate, CSC-CICB

A native of the Ottawa region, Kateri started her dance training at a young age studying ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop. She completed her training at The School of Dance before going to university in Nova Scotia where she continued to dance and teach. Now a chartered accountant and arts administrator, Kateri returns to her roots as a teacher.

Sonia Joanette

At an early age Sonia began perfecting her technique in contemporary dance and hip hop. She attended leisure classes in various styles at Double Creation dance studio and has taken many workshops with the hip hop crew Rockwell Family. In 2008 Sonia began teaching lyrical, jazz and contemporary at Double Creation dance studio and has been teaching ever since. Sonia is presently in her last year of studies in the Diploma Programme in Contemporary Dance at The School of Dance.

Kim Laporte Associate, CSC-CICB

Upon graduating from The School's Professional Programme, Kim moved to Vancouver to continue her training with the Arts Umbrella Graduate Dance Program and the Ballet B.C. Mentor Program. She then pursued a professional dance career that took her across Canada. Kim also lived in the UK and travelled though Europe before returning to Ottawa in 2011 to work with Mary Ross in developing her skills as a teacher. Miss Kim has been working in the classroom both teaching and coaching the ballet students.

Chantale Lussier-Ley  PhD (c), M.A. (Kin), B.A.(Hons Psych) Associate, CSC-CICB

Chantale Lussier-Ley, PhD (c) is a registered member of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. She has over seven years of experience as a Mental Skills Consultant with athletes and artists. She has also worked extensively with dancers, consulting for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division (2002-2004) and now The School of Dance (2005-present). A graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Professional Division Teachers’ Course, Chantale is a professional member of the Cecchetti Society of Canada with Associate Diploma teaching certification and Advanced Cecchetti (ballet) with 12 years teaching and performing experience. Since 2009, Chantale has taken a seat on the National Committee of Physical and Health Education Canada’s Dance Professional Advisory Committee.

Kiyoko Makimura Licentiate CSC-CICB, Associate I.S.T.D. (National Dance)

Kiyoko started her ballet training in Osaka, Japan, and continued in Canada. She has studied Russian, RAD, and Cecchetti methods of ballet. She is a graduate of the full-time three years Teacher Training Program in Professional Division at Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and also studied in the part-time program of Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School. Kiyoko has completed the examinations for R.A.D. Advanced 1, Cecchetti Advanced 2, and National Dance Advanced 2. She holds her Licentiate teaching qualification with the Cecchetti Society of Canada, and also associate teaching qualifications for National Dance with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

Lana Morton

Originally from the Abitibi region in northern Quebec, Lana has a BA in contemporary dance from l’Université du Quebec à Montréal. Both a dancer and a choreographer, she has also been teaching contemporary dance and creating choreographies in various schools and recreational organizations including at The School of Dance in Ottawa for the past fourteen years. As a dancer, Lana has participated in several creative processes with Le Groupe Dance Lab and collaborated with local independent choreographers Anik Bouvrette, Yvonne Coutts and Sylvie Desrosiers, performing their works across Canada and in Portugal. Her first self-choreographed solo, Cernée de Silence, was presented at the National Gallery of Canada in 2001, at the Canada Dance Festival in 2002 and, in 2004, at the Festival Beaumont du Québec in the Limousin region of France. Ma-manifeste was presented at La Nouvelle-Scène in April of 2007 for the evening Chorégraphe d’ici, also the following August, at the Dance/se Kapital festival in Ottawa and in November of 2007 in the first edition of the Danse Angle Mort festival in Val d’Or, Québec. En Vin, her first full evening show, was presented in the spring of 2009 and was co-produced by The School of Dance and the City of Gatineau. Lately, she has been invited as reheasal director, movement coach and choreographer for a various francophone dance and theater companies in Ottawa such as Tara Luz Danse, Le Théâtre la Catapulte, la Compagnie Vox Théâtre and Théâtre du Trillium. Lana is now the Productions Manager and Associate Director of Ottawa Dance Directive.

Alain Pauzé

Alain Pauzé graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School. He danced professionally with both the National Ballet of Canada and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He has been teaching dance in Canada for over 25 years. Prior to joining The School of Dance faculty in 2001, he was Director of the Alberta Ballet School of Dance for 8 years and was previously Program Head/Member Artistic Committee at l’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec. Mr. Pauzé is the Manager of our DanceONTour programme. He directs his private consulting firm providing management services to non-profit organizations.

Pamela Place PT, FCAMT, CAFCI

Graduating from Canada's National Ballet School, Pam Place danced with the National Ballet of Canada, rising to the rank of soloist. She received the Erik Bruhn Memorial Award (1997), the Karen Kain Award (1996, 1998) from the Dancer Transition Centre and the Mensa Canada Scholarship (1998). Now a physiotherapist in the field of orthopedics, Pam is a fellow with the Canadian Academy of manipulative Therapy and has a special interest in treating dance injuries.

Suzanne Plante Fellow and Examiner, CSC-CICB

Suzanne Plante studied ballet with the late Diana Jablokova Vorps. She completed her teachers training at the Canadian College of Dance, at Ryerson University, under the direction of Sonia Chamberlain and Maisie MacPhee. In her second year at the College, she performed and trained with Ballet YS and was invited to continue as an apprentice in the company. She chose instead to finish her training at Ryerson University, which led to her 30 year teaching career. As a teacher, Ms. Plante has worked for Elaine Werner and Jacqueline Lemieux in Chicoutimi, Quebec, including a guest teaching position with Québec Été Danse. While in Chicoutimi, she was invited to teach at Laine Theatre Arts and then at the distinguished Bush Davies School in England. Her 14 year sojourn in England gave her a chance to teach, lecture, choreograph, train and perform under the guidance of many internationally renowned teachers. It also led to a more than decade long mentorship with Richard Glasstone, whose knowledge in the field of Cecchetti training is legendary. Ms. Plante also holds the coveted Enrico Cecchetti Diploma.

Tanis Waller Associate, CSC-CICB

Tanis Waller studied ballet, jazz, tap and musical theatre in Edmonton, where she also started her teaching and performing careers. She went on to study at EDGE Performing Arts in Los Angeles, where she received extensive training in jazz and lyrical. Her performing career has given her the opportunity to dance in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe. She resumed teaching and working as a choreographer whilst living in Europe and most recently in South Africa, where she became a Cecchetti Associate. Miss Waller has now returned to Canada to live and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and her passion for dance.

Carla Weber

Carla Weber received her training at the National Ballet School in Toronto and with l’École Supérieure des Grands Ballet Canadiens in Montreal. Miss Weber’s performing experience includes work with the Nederlands Dans Theatre and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Prior to joining The School of Dance faculty in 1998, Miss Weber was a member of the professional dance program at l’École secondaire Pierre Laporte and at l’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec.