Meet Our Teachers

Our Teachers

The artistic faculty at CSD come from many diverse, professional backgrounds.  The aim of our teachers is to provide a positive and caring atmosphere as a background for learning the discipline of dance.  Every student will feel welcome and will be encouraged to explore their own potential in the world of dance.  In addition to our teachers, many of our younger students’ classes have Teaching Assistants who aid the teacher in demonstrating steps and technique as well as providing feedback for the students.

MEET OUR DIRECTOR

Christine Parker-Reid, B.A. Hons (Dance), RAD RTS, AISTD

— OWNER/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

ChristineChristine is the owner and Artistic Director of Contemporary School of Dance Ltd. She is a Registered Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and holds her RAD Teaching Diploma, with written papers in Anatomy and Dance History, as well as the Elementary Executant exam in Benesh notation. She has served as a Mentor for the Royal Academy of Dance CBTS program.  She is also a Registered Teacher with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and has attained Associate status in the Modern Theatre Dance branch. Christine has studied dance for over 35 years, including professional training at the Quinte Ballet School and Royal Winnipeg Ballet Summer school.  Christine graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B.A. Honours (Dance) and the Departmental Award for Academic Achievement. Throughout university, she taught at and directed the dance school associated with the university. In September of 1997, Christine opened her own school, the Contemporary School of Dance. The school started with two teachers and approximately 75 students. Through love, dedication, hard work and with the help of her excellent faculty, Christine has built one of the most reputable schools in the K-W area. CSD has been voted K-W’s Best Dance Studio many times in both the Waterloo Chronicle and The Record, and Christine was also honoured to be voted K-W’s favourite teacher in The Record’s Reader’s Select Awards!   Today, Contemporary School of Dance provides approximately 400 dancers with excellent dance training in an energetic, welcoming, and nurturing environment. Christine continues to pursue her dance education through professional development and has attended many teachers’ workshops and seminars, including Canada’s National Ballet School and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School teachers’ summer schools and courses.  She thoroughly enjoyed attending the En Avant Dance Teacher Conference in August 2016, which included presenters, Li Cunxin, Marie Walton-Mahon, Clare Guss-West, Anne Hogan, Stacey Tookey, Shawn Byfield, Lynn Wallis, Angela and Steve Sirico, and many more!  She has also attended the DanceLife Retreat Centre in Taunton, MA, where she took part in the Dance Studio Business Owner Intensive conference. Christine is extremely proud to have established such a wonderful dance presence in the K-W community and looks forward to another wonderful season of dance with all of the CSD dance families!

MEET OUR FACULTY

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    Erin Chansisay, B.A. Hons (Drama and Theatre in Education)

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    Ambitious, enthusiastic, energetic, and engaging are four words that perfectly describe the characteristics of Erin Chansisay, a teacher and choreographer specializing in Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, and Acrobatic Arts. Beginning dance at the age of 6, Erin studied dance in Kitchener, taking ballet, lyrical, jazz, modern, contemporary and musical theatre. Throughout her youth as a competitive dancer, she achieved many awards of distinction in Musical Theatre and attained several 1st place overall awards for her outstanding acting and performance abilities. For the past 10 years, Erin has extensively pursued developing herself as a teacher and choreographer.  In 2006, Erin graduated from Brock University, achieving an Honours Degree in Drama and Theatre in Education.  While studying at Brock, Erin seized many performance opportunities, choreographing and performing for Brock University Drama Department, Brock Festival of the Arts and the Toronto Dance Fringe Festival.  In a project close to her heart, Erin worked with breast cancer patients and survivors in the Niagara Region, conducting workshops in movement therapy as a part of the Kairon Project.  In most recent years, Erin has taught many different styles of dance to students at studios in Stratford, Cambridge, Drayton, Mitchell, Harriston, and Listowel. Erin continues to pursue growth in her dance career attending Pulse Dance Workshops in both Toronto and New York City each year.  In August 2013 and 2014, she attended the Dance Teachers Summit in New York City, and in 2015, she attended the DanceLife Teachers’ Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Erin recently completed training with Acrobatic Arts – Module 1. Erin is incredibly excited to start her fifth year as faculty at Contemporary School of Dance teaching musical theatre, hip hop, and acrobatic arts classes.  She is looking forward to a wonderful year of dance!

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    Linda DePass, B.A. Hons (Dance), B.Ed., NBS TTP – Dip., RAD RTS, ARAD, AISTD

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    Linda is a Registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and holds the R.A.D. Teaching Diploma with written papers in Anatomy and Dance History.  She is a Registered teacher with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and has attained Associate status in both the Cecchetti Ballet branch and Modern Theatre dance branch. She also achieved the Elementary Executant exam in benesh notation. Linda has studied dance for over 35 years. She graduated from the University of Waterloo Dance Program in 1994 with a B.A. Honours. Concurrently, she was awarded her Teacher Training Diploma with Distinction from The National Ballet School as part of the joint degree program. In 1997, Linda graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Education and is currently a teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board. For several years, she owned and directed a successful ballet school in Guelph. She continues her professional development attending seminars and workshops at the National Ballet School as well as the professional organizations with which she is affiliated. Linda is thrilled to be on staff for her fourteenth year and will be teaching senior levels of the ballet program on Saturdays.

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    Denise Fung, LISTD

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    Denise has been studying dance for over 20 years.  She is a registered teacher with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and has attained Licentiate status in the Modern Theatre Dance branch.  This will be her fourth year teaching at CSD.  She has been teaching at various studios in southwestern Ontario for the past several years, and also has experience teaching classes to figure skaters and synchronized swimmers for dance and flexibility.  As a dancer, Denise is trained mainly in jazz, ballet (RAD), and contemporary, with a little hip hop in the mix!  She passed both her ISTD Advanced 2 and Gold jazz exams with Distinction.  Denise has acted as demonstrator at a teachers’ course for the ISTD revised Advanced 1 jazz syllabus, and has had the opportunity to continue working with fellow ISTD teachers in reviewing the syllabus.  She continues to attend classes and courses for professional development. Denise is also an accomplished ice dancer.  Within 10 years of starting figure skating lessons, she had competed three times in the ice dance event at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships.  (Pre-Novice, Junior, Senior)  She holds four gold medal tests from Skate Canada, including the Senior Competitive Dance test.  Her skating experience gave her the opportunity to perform in front of large audiences, and learn about different styles of ballroom dance, as well as fitness at an elite level. Denise is always dedicated and excited to help each student work to the best of their ability and share their love of dance!

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    Carolyn Guay, ARAD

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    Carolyn has been dancing for 18 years, 15 of which have been at Contemporary School of Dance.  She has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, ballroom, pilates, and yoga, and was also a member of CSD’s Dance Company.  Through CSD, Carolyn took all of her RAD ballet exams starting at Primary level, and has attained her RAD Advanced 2 ballet exam and her Grade 8 ballet award with distinction. In her graduating year, Carolyn performed the leading role of Thumbelina in the school’s annual production. During her time at CSD, Carolyn gained six years of volunteer experience as a CSD assistant teacher, both in our full year programs and our summer Dance Camps.  Carolyn was also a CSD Birthday Party Planner for two years, hosting children’s birthday parties and teaching dance components of the parties.  She is now the Director of CSD’s Birthday Party parties and teaches classes to students in our Junior School, Beginner Teen and Adult programs. Carolyn recently graduated from the University of Waterloo in Psychology with a minor in Classical Studies.  She is thrilled to be starting her fourth year on the CSD faculty, and is very excited to be a part of the 20th anniversary year at CSD!

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    Elyse Letts

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    Elyse has been dancing for over 10 years at the Contemporary School of Dance.  She has studied many styles of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, and pointe.  In November 2016, Elyse achieved Associate status with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and is a registered ISTD teacher.  In her years at CSD, Elyse has completed all of her ISTD Tap examinations from the Primary level through to the Advanced 2 level, receiving ‘Distinction’ on all of her Vocational level tap exams.  Elyse has also completed the ISTD Advanced 2 Modern Theatre jazz exam and Intermediate and Grade 8 ballet exams through the Royal Academy of Dance. Elyse participated in the Assistant Teacher Training program for many years, assisting in numerous classes and summer camps.  Elyse has also taught as a member of our Birthday Party staff, and looks forward to taking on the position of Birthday Party Director next year. Outside of CSD, Elyse has experience in coaching sports with children, and has studied karate for over 10 years.  She is excited to commence her studies at University of Waterloo in September.  Elyse is looking forward to her third year teaching at CSD is very excited to share her love of dance with tap students!

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    Megan Loppe, B. Math Hons, B.Ed., TTP Dip. (NBS), RAD RTS, OCT

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    Megan has been studying ballet for more than 25 years and is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance.  Megan graduated with distinction in 2003 from Canada’s National Ballet School in their Teacher Training Program.  This three year intensive program included studies in three styles of ballet, modern dance, national dances, anatomy, pedagogy, body conditioning, music, dance history, and Benesh Notation. After graduating, Megan taught at Canada’s National Ballet School in the unique role of History of Ballet Teacher until 2006. Megan has long held an interest in education and is registered with the Ontario College of Teachers.  In 2000, Megan graduated from the University of Waterloo in their Math Teaching Option program and also received her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University through their joint co-op program.   Since 2003, Megan has taught Mathematics, Computer Science, and Ballet at high schools and dance studios in both Toronto and Ottawa.  This will be Megan’s eighth year teaching at CSD, and she will be teaching our vocational ballet classes as well as continuing to develop our conditioning program in Open Senior Ball class.

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    Natasha Mansell, B.F.A. Hons, BSc. Hons, RAD RTS, RYT

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    Natasha began studying ballet under the RAD syllabus in the United Arab Emirates, and later moved to Barbados where she successfully completed her Intermediate and Grade 8 exams. Here, she expanded her repertoire to include Vaganova and Balanchine ballet techniques, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, Latin, ballroom and Afro-Caribbean dance. Natasha attended Towson University (Baltimore, USA), and obtained Honours in both her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography, and BSc in Psychology. As a dancer with the Towson Dance Company, she performed in new and re-staged works by choreographers such as Doris Humphrey and Stephen Greenston. She also performed many roles in the classical ballets! Natasha spent a year teaching in Vancouver. She danced with CollabArt Creations, a new modern dance company, and expanded her knowledge of jazz through workshops with Broadway choreographers and members of the original cast of ‘Fosse’. Her travels also took her to New York City, where she spent time in the Masters of Dance program at Sarah Lawrence College to focus on her choreography. During her studies, she had the opportunity to perform in a re-staging of ‘Line Up’ by Trisha Brown. After settling in KW, Natasha completed the Royal Academy of Dance Certification in Ballet Teaching Studies and is a registered teacher with the RAD. In 2010, she completed her Level I Registered Yoga Teacher Training Intensive Course in Vancouver, and has integrated a ‘yoga for dancers’ program into CSD’s schedule.  Her passion for health and wellness education has led her to become a Certified Nutritional Therapist through The Health Sciences Academy and a Culinary Nutritional Expert through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. She is excited to be a member of CSD faculty for her ninth year, and is looking forward to a great year teaching in the ballet, contemporary, yoga and Junior School programs.   Natasha also helps out in the office, and she is thrilled to be directing the CSD Dance Companies again this year!

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    Caitlin McArthur, AISTD, Hons. BSc (Kin), MScPT

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    Caitlin has been dancing for over 20 years and has studied tap, ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop.  She is a Registered Teacher with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and has completed her Associate examination in the tap faculty. While she was a student at CSD, Caitlin obtained her Advanced 2 level ISTD Jazz and Tap exams both with Honours, her RAD Intermediate and her RAD Grade 8 ballet with Distinction.  She was also an active member of CSD’s dance companies and was a Head Instructor for CSD’s summer programs for seven years. She became a valuable Administrative Assistant and faculty member at CSD and taught for 5 years before moving to Toronto to pursue physiotherapy. Caitlin attended the University of Waterloo and obtained her honours Bachelor of Science degree through the Kinesiology department.  While studying in Waterloo, Caitlin volunteered at many health-related programs including a cardiac rehab program and an exercise program for people receiving treatment for cancer. Caitlin then moved to Toronto to complete a Master of Science degree in physical therapy at the University of Toronto.  She has completed courses in soft tissue release therapy, taping and assessment and treatment of osteoporosis. She is now pursuing her PhD at the University of Waterloo in the kinesiology department as part of the Aging, Health and Well-being program. This will be Caitlin’s eleventh year teaching at CSD and she is excited to be sharing her love of dance with CSD students!
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    Whitney McArthur, RAD RTS

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    Whitney began her dance training in Ballet and Jazz at the age of seven in her hometown of Owen Sound, Ontario.  Whitney holds Registered Teacher Status with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and is a graduate of the RAD’s Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program.  While obtaining her teaching certificate, Whitney studied concurrently as a Professional Development student in the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School.  During her 3 years of study at NBS, she focused on RAD Pedagogy and National Dance under the direction of RAD examiners Anuschka Roes and Teresa Randall.  She has also completed the Distance Learning Course in Benesh Movement Notation (recording human movement) through the Benesh Institute, London, UK.  Whitney has also served as a Mentor for the Royal Academy of Dance CBTS program.

    Whitney has spent the majority of her teaching career in Toronto, but most recently taught for two years in Saskatchewan.  Throughout her years teaching, she has successfully entered students into RAD ballet exams at the graded and vocational level, produced award winning choreography and worked with various community groups to make dance accessible to all.  She looks forward to joining the CSD Faculty!

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    Katrina Rockwell, RAD RTS

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    Katrina has been a student of classical ballet for 18 years studying the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. She has studied in advanced RAD levels and has completed her Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies through the RAD’s Faculty of Education. Kate extends her growth as a teacher through continuing professional development courses through various dance and education courses, including the En Avant Dance Teacher’s Conference in August 2016. Katrina is continuing her education at the University of Waterloo, where she is pursuing a degree in therapeutic recreation to be used in conjunction with ballet to create a specialized therapeutic program. Kate is looking forward to her fifth year on staff with Contemporary School of Dance, where she will be working with students in the Junior School and Graded Ballet classes again this year.

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    Georgina Rombough, AISTD

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    Georgina has been dancing for more than 30 years, studying in jazz, tap, ballet and contemporary dance. Georgina was born in the UK where she studied extensively with the ISTD up to the vocational levels. She is a registered teacher with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) with over 10 years of teaching experience.  She has attained Associate Diploma status in Modern Theatre Dance and Associate status in Tap. Georgina graduated from DeMontfort University in England, with a BA Honors in Contemporary Dance and Performing Arts. Following her university education she was co-founder, choreographer and dancer with UK based contemporary dance company ‘Fervent Defacto’ and also spent two years dancing professionally in the Bahamas and also in Mexico, where she was choreographer and Evening Entertainment Co-coordinator for Robinson Club hotel. Fitness and well-being play a key part in Georgina’s life. She is a certified Pilates instructor with the international PhysicalMind Institute and the Ontario Fitness Council. Further certifications and training include YMCA Exercise to Music, Resistance training and Cardio-Vascular training, BodyFlow, Step Aerobics, Stability Ball and Strength Training for Women. Georgina has also been a certified instructor with Salsa Babies and enjoyed teaching this program for 4 years! Georgina returned to CSD after a 3 year period living in Georgia, USA. She is really excited to be teaching at CSD for her 12th year! She looks forward to teaching in the jazz, tap, and junior school programs, and is thrilled to be directing the CSD Dance Company this year!

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    GUEST TEACHERS – to be announced!

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    CSD believes in offering our students as many great dance experiences as possible!  We hold workshops throughout the year to expose our students to different dance genres and guest teachers/choreographers.  These are just some of our previous guest teachers: Jonathan Arsenault, Peggy Baker, Company Blonde, Tara Butler, Shawn Byfield, Michelle DeBrouwer, Pamela Eddleston, Taylor Gill, Stephanie Graham, Danny Grossman, Evelyn Hart, D.A. Hoskins, Gabby Kamino, Sylvanus Klotz, Michael Moore, Malgorzata Nowacka, Samantha Radley, Hiroto Saito, Georgia Simms, Meredith Thompson, Michael Trent

MEET OUR ACCOMPANIST

CSD is fortunate to have an accompanist for ballet exams and exam preparation as well as for some ballet classes during the year.

Jeni Poetzsch

JeniJeni received her musical training from a number of devoted teachers of the Royal Conservatory of Music in both Ottawa and Halifax.  She was a clarinetist in bands and orchestras throughout high school, including the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. After working as an accompanist with soloists and the Dalhousie Medical School Choir, she became a staff accompanist for Halifax Dance in 2003.  In 2004, she attended the National Ballet School’s Musician Mentorship program where she worked with accompanist and mentor, Asia Aronovich, and enjoyed a private tutorial with the inspirational Marina Surgan.  Now that Jeni has settled in Waterloo and her children are school-aged, she is delighted to once more be part of an artistic team. “Working with the instructors at CSD has been lovely – they are gracious and devoted to their students and their art.”

We danced with CSD for over ten years, because of the philosophy of Christine Parker-Reid, the studio’s Artistic Director, which pervades both the studio and its teachers. As dancers first, the teachers have a passion for dance which they enthusiastically share with each of their students, in every class, regardless of the level. The attention paid to the syllabus for each course, in addition to the concern for proper technique, as well as the general health and well-being of each dancer, is admirable. The studio employs dancer/educators who are professional people. We love “CSD” and are constantly “pumping it up” in the community. At CSD everyone is made to feel welcome and as though they have a “right” to be there – in fact, as though they are part of a big family! We love the teachers, the warm “feel” of the studio and all of the amazingly creative, fun, innovative ideas that augment the dance programs. CSD is not only training dancers – CSD is training respectful, caring, civic-minded individuals who share a passion for dance to share their giftedness! - Dee Sproule