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 helping to provide useful 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. In her teen years, Christine trained professionally full-time at the Quinte Ballet School and also attended summer schools at Royal Winnipeg Ballet 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 various styles of dance in a top-notch facility.  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.  In 2016, she attended the En Avant Dance Teacher Conference in Toronto and completed her Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) certification with Marie Walton-Mahon. She has also attended the DanceLife Retreat Centre in Taunton, MA, where she took part in the Dance Studio Business Owner Intensive conference with Rhee Gold and is a proud member of the International Dance Entrepreneurs Association (I.D.E.A.).  Christine is extremely proud to have established such a meaningful dance presence in the K-W community and looks forward to another wonderful season of dance with all of our 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 has attended Pulse Dance Workshops in both Toronto and New York as well as the Dance Teachers Summit in New York City, and the DanceLife Teachers’ Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Erin has completed training with Acrobatic Arts – Module 1. Erin is incredibly excited to start her sixth 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!

  • Kennedy Dale-Johnson, TTP Dip. (NBS), RAD RTS, AISTD

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     Kennedy Dale-Johnson grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan and began her classical ballet training in the RAD syllabus at the age of 4. She has studied the advanced R.A.D and Cecchetti levels and danced with The Youth Ballet Company of Saskatchewan for six seasons finishing as a featured soloist. Kennedy developed a keen passion for dance and decided to pursue that passion through a teaching career.  In June of 2018, Kennedy graduated from the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School with a focus on R.A.D. pedagogy and National Dance.  She is now a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and an associate with the ISTD (National Branch). In her recent years in Toronto, Kennedy has enjoyed teaching with the Sharing Dance program at Canada’s National Ballet School as an outreach teacher, working within public schools to bring dance into the classroom. She also had the opportunity to work at a variety of dance schools within Toronto, with a focus on ballet. Kennedy is passionate about the importance of dance and the positive influence it has on people of all ages and walks of life. She is excited to join the Contemporary School of Dance team and looks forward to sharing her love of dance and knowledge with her students.
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    Linda DePass, B.A. Hons (Dance), B.Ed., OCT, TTP Dip. (NBS), 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 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, she graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Education and is currently a teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board.   A passionately curious educator, she continues her journey of life-long learning through attendance at workshops and seminars presented by professional organizations with which she is affiliated.  Linda is thrilled to be on staff for her sixteenth year and will be team teaching the senior levels of the ballet program.

  • Megan Doig, AISTD, ARAD

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    Megan has been dancing for over 14 years. Her passion for dance sparked very early when she was introduced to ballet, modern and tap at the Dundee Dance Factory in Scotland. Megan moved to Canada in 2009 at the age of 8 but had already taken several exams in ballet, tap and modern dance through the BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) whilst living in Scotland and was chosen to dance with the British touring company Timeless Theatre Productions in 2007 and 2008.
    In her second year in Canada, Megan found CSD, which has become home for the last 8 years. During her time at CSD, Megan has completed all levels in her Ballet, Tap and Jazz training and has achieved the Advanced 2 Level in Tap and Jazz through the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance) and the Grade 8 Award and Advanced 2 Ballet exams through the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance). Megan will continue to dance at the studio this year, keeping up her ballet training and enjoying musical theatre and hip hop. As well, she is a member of CSD Dance Company, through which she has taken part in many performances locally and out of town including work with the KW Chamber and Symphony Orchestras, Guelph Dance Festival, Muskoka Ballet Gala, Starlight Youth Festival, Toronto International Youth Festival, Julia Aplin, and a Harlem Globetrotters pre-game show. She has also had the chance to perform with Ballet Jörgen in their production of The Nutcracker. Megan was the first recipient of the CSD Spirit Award in 2017. Megan plans to continue her education in dance performance after completing high school this year.

    Megan has been a part of the CSD Assistant Training Program for several years and has been involved in assisting classes in ballet, jazz, musical theatre and tap as well as helping out at summer camps. This spring, Megan achieved her teaching examination for tap (ISTD Associate Tap exam), and she is very excited to bring her love of dance to the younger dancers at the studio. Megan is looking forward to teaching Tap at the Pre-Primary and Primary levels this year.

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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 sixth year teaching at CSD.  Over the past decade, she has been teaching at various studios in southwestern Ontario, 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. This past summer, she attended ISTD Teachers Summer School in Chichester, England as well as Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT). 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!
  • Angela Joyce

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     Angela Joyce studied at Canada’s National Ballet School, Art Umbrella Dance and Ryerson University. Most recently Angela worked on Floria Sigismondi’s latest show back up dancing with the famous pop star, Alice Glass. Before that she was cast in the Cineplex TV show Bizarre Murders playing the lead actor/prima ballerina, Maya, and she can also be seen dancing in the hit Canadian TV series Reign season 4. Other show highlights include: The 6th Hum Awards Show dancing along side some of Bollywood’s biggest stars, the award winning musical Cabaret, Frankenstein the musical and The National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker to name a few. As a choreographer, she has worked on music videos for Canadian artists, Featurette, Sickick and Allie. She has also choreographed musicals including Peter and the Star Catcher and for festivals such as Toronto’s Fresh Blood, and The New Blue Dance Festival. Angela runs her own media dance company called Femme Forward, motivational dance works created by women for women.  Angela began her teaching career with Parks and Rec Toronto at the young age of 17.  She continued teaching while dancing in the Ballet British Columbia apprenticeship program at Arts Umbrella Dance, where she taught ballet and contemporary classes.  When she moved back to Toronto, she began teaching private coaching through Ryerson University, helping students in high school get into the dance programs of their choice and reach new heights with their dancing. Angela is grateful for this opportunity to continue to share her passion with the students at Contemporary School of Dance. She will be teaching the contemporary classes this year.

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    Elyse Letts, AISTD

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    Elyse completed her dance training for over 10 years at the Contemporary School of Dance, where she studied many styles of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, and pointe.  In her years at CSD, Elyse 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 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 achieved Associate status with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and is a registered ISTD teacher.   She is also our Birthday Party Director.  Outside of CSD, Elyse has experience in coaching sports with children, and has studied karate for over 10 years.  She is excited to continue her studies in the Kinesiology program at the University of Waterloo in September.  Elyse is looking forward to her fourth 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., OCT, TTP Dip. (NBS), RAD RTS

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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 ninth 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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    Carly Psutka, BFA (Dance), AISTD

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    Carly has been dancing for over nineteen years, studying Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Ballet. Carly was born in Waterloo Ontario, where she took classes at Contemporary School of Dance (CSD).  During her training at CSD, she completed many exams with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and eventually achieved her Associate teaching status with the ISTD in Modern Theatre (Jazz).  For three years, Carly taught Contemporary, Jazz and Tap classes and ran summer dance camps and intensives at CSD before heading to university.  During this time, she was also a Co-Director of CSD Dance Company and choreographed numerous dances for the Company.  Carly has recently finished the BFA (Dance) program at York University, where she performed in several works and choreographed a piece for York’s Dance Innovations shows.  She was also a part of the York Dance Ensemble (YDE), and had the wonderful opportunity to perform in a piece for Dancemakers in 2011, and in a short film by TiltedArts in 2015.  She has also attended the summer intensive at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.  Carly is extremely excited to be returning to teach at CSD this spring!
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    Katrina Rockwell, BA (Therapeutic Recreation), RAD RTS

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    Katrina has been a student of classical ballet for 19 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 by continuing professional development through various dance and education courses, including the En Avant Dance Teacher’s Conference in Toronto in August 2016. Katrina holds a BA in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Waterloo, which informs her teaching vision and practice, striving to holistically teach and care for each student as unique, valued, and respected individuals.  Kate is looking forward to her sixth year on staff with Contemporary School of Dance, where she will be working with students in the 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 13th year! She looks forward to teaching in the tap programs, and is thrilled to be directing the CSD Dance Company again this year!

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    Nomi Wiersma, BFA (Hons) Dance Theatre, AISTD

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    Nomi (Naomi) Wiersma is a dance artist, choreographer, and teacher now based in Southwestern Ontario after 5 years studying and working abroad. Her early training was at CSD, where she completed many ISTD and RAD examinations.  She then attended Bird College for the Performing Arts in London, England, as well as the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City and Los Angeles, where she graduated with her BFA (Hons) in Dance Theatre.  Nomi has danced and choreographed professionally in NYC, Toronto, and Kitchener. Credits include: Baker’s Wife (The Gallery Players), NY We Love You (Duplex Cabaret), SumBody (Ailey Extension/ Chor. Max Stone), 6 Degrees…Process (Dir. Cecly Placenti). Nowhere Ontario and Kitchener; Ich Liebe Dich (Backyard Theatre), Hooked (Pepper Dance Projects).  Nomi recently completed her associate teaching exams with the Imperial Soceity of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) in Modern Theatre and Tap, and works as a freelance dance teacher in the GTA while continuing work on her personal dance projects. She is thrilled to be back with her CSD family (did she ever really leave?) this time, as a faculty member!

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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, and our Dance Company has had the opportunity to work with guest choreographers as well!  These are just some of our previous guest teachers: Julia Aplin, 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, Karen Kaeja, Gabby Kamino, Sylvanus Klotz, Michael Moore, Malgorzata Nowacka, Jenna Oxley, Samantha Radley, Lucy Rupert, Hiroto Saito, Georgia Simms, Meredith Thompson, and Michael Trent.

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