• Our Team

    The Faculty at Dance Theme is passionate about sharing their love and knowledge of dance. They have trained from some of the best dance educators and choreographers and more importantly continue to develop their skills by attending conventions and workshops. The professional faculty at Dance Theme has trained extensively not only regionally but in England, New York and Los Angeles. Bringing their unique style and personality to each class, Dance Theme faculty shares one thing….energy! They all exemplify the Dance Theme mantra INSPIRE ENCOURGE EMBRACE! Along with an amazing in-house faculty, Dance Theme brings in many guest choreographers and teachers to further broaden the dance education of their students.

  • Our Teaching Faculty

    Shari VanderWoude

    Owner

    Shari is proud to have shared in the lives of countless children, parents and teachers who have been a part of the Dance Theme family for the past 35 years.

    Her philosophy of teaching and nurturing children to be the best they can be, to recognize their strengths and to challenge themselves has overseen the direction of thousands of students. Many of Dance Theme students have gone on to perform on cruise ships, Disney and professional shows as well as being sought after teachers themselves.

    Shari received extensive training in a variety of dance forms through private studios, college and classes throughout North America. Along with dancing, she has had the opportunity to act in several docudramas, T.V. commercials, industrials, movies and films.

    Shari’s beliefs and philosophies is the drive for her to create opportunities for people. Her belief in healthy competition and recognition for every dancer’s ability in a positive environment was a driving force behind the formation of two competition/festival companies.

    Her belief in philanthropy and teaching this to children was the reason she founded and produced a benefit show called Stars of Hope. Shari felt that her students, as well as dance students from Edmonton and surrounding areas could give back to the community by doing what they love; dancing. Stars of Hope raised over $230,000 for the Kids With Cancer Society.

    Throughout all her ventures, Shari’s heart and passion remains with the studio. She loves developing new programs and ideas at the studio to keep Dance Theme fresh and on the cutting edge of performing arts training.

  • Vince Akinyode

    Hip Hop

    Vince began teaching 6 years ago and has had outstanding results as both dancer and instructor in such a short time. He is not only an active member with a performing group, but his career has given him the opportunity to work with many talented artists such as Ashanti, Shawn Desmond, Ludacris, Chris Brown, Boyz to Men, 112, Chingy, and Genuine. His numerous performances have included dancing for the royal Queen visit and the official Juno after party viewed by Alice Cooper.

    Vince has also had the honour of performing at the 2009 Canadian Grey Cup half time show in Calgary Alberta Canada. He was also featured on “So You Think You Can Dance” seasons 1, 2 and 4. As an instructor, Vince has taught award-winning groups that have performed all around Canada. He was also the recipient of the “Choreography of the Year” award at the all Hip Hop competition “Artists Emerge” judged by Jojo Diggs and Rhapsody James.

    His routines include such dance styles as House, Street, New School Choreography, Diva, Krumping and Break Dancing. Vince’s easy going attitude combined with his passion for his art and sharing it with others creates a great learning environment for all his students.

  • Stacey Bronsch

    Jazz

    Stacey commenced her training at a young age in Edmonton and surrounding areas, and has trained extensively in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater and hip hop. Stacey furthered her training with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Broadway Dance Center in New York, and the Edge in Los Angeles.  She has performed solo roles with the Russian Vaganova Society in 1001 Nights, Toy Soldier, and, Beauty and the Beast in Bucharest, Romania. 

    After successfully completing her Advanced  R.A.D, and Advanced Vaganova ballet exams, Stacey left Edmonton to pursue her lifelong dream of dancing professionally. She performed aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruise Lines, as a soloist, aerialist, and dance captain for seven years. Stacey has also appeared in various commercials and promotional videos, some of which can be seen aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Stacey recently had the pleasure of performing in Feats Festival of Dance professional program. 

    Stacey has had the privilege of choreographing for various gala events, adjudicating dance/acro and vocal competitions, and teaching master classes throughout Canada. She loves to share her knowledge and experience in dance with aspiring young dancers, and is now in her 12th year of teaching. Many of her students have gone on to pursue successful careers in dance.

  • Heather Cave MA, BA (Hons), LRAD, ARAD, RAD RTS, ABT Certified Teacher

    Classical Ballet, Character Ballet, Pointe

    Heather is a graduate of the prestigious Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Ballet Education degree program at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England. As a dancer, she also trained in the professional division of the Ailey School (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) in New York City. Most recently, Heather has attained her Master of Arts (MA) degree in Teaching Dance in the Professions: ABT Ballet Pedagogy Track, graduating at the top of her class from a partnership program between New York University and American Ballet Theatre.
    In addition to her MA and BA degrees in the field of dance education, Heather also holds the prestigious Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance (LRAD), a high-level teaching qualification awarded to only a handful of teachers worldwide each year. Heather is also an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance (ARAD), which she was awarded after successfully passing her RAD Advanced 2 ballet examination. Heather is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher in all levels of ABT’s National Training Curriculum (Pre-Primary- Level 7 & Partnering), as well as a certified Pilates mat work instructor.

  • Dixie Devries RAD

    Ballet

    Dixie has over fifteen years of teaching experience and is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. In her classroom Dixie demonstrates passion and enthusiasm through a rich palate of movement approaches. She works to instill confidence, expression, and determination in her students.

    She has undergone extensive training with many renowned artists, and has obtained teacher certifications in multiple dance disciplines including a variety of differentiating modern techniques. She procured many awards throughout her education in Dance and Kinesiology, at both; Grant MacEwan College and the University of Calgary.  Dixie continues to perform, teach, choreograph, and adjudicate throughout Canada. She hopes to participate in the preservation and evolution of Dance by sharing her knowledge with future generations.

  • Debbie England

    Tap, Adult Tap

    Debbie England began her dance training at private dance schools in Edmonton and continued her dance training at Grant MacEwan College, various workshops and studios in New York and Los Angeles. She trained in all disciplines of dance but tap won Debbie’s heart and she excelled in her tap skills enabling her to pass her knowledge and passion on to her students.

    Debbie’s natural ease with children makes her a sought after adjudicator and teacher. Her students do well in both exams and on stage and her choreography awards are numerous! She has been a guest instructor, choreographer, examiner and adjudicator for workshops, competitions and festivals across Western Canada.

    Debbie has successfully entered students into competitions for over thirty years and is a recognized instructor of the Al Gilbert tap syllabus. She loves teaching and watching students develop their tap skills!

  • Kathleen Hughes

    Modern

    Kathleen Hughes began ballet training at a very early age, and was later introduced to Modern while attending the dance program at Grant MacEwan College. From there, she moved to Toronto where she completed her studies at The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. Since 1995 Kathleen has worked with Canadian dance artists such as Patricia Beatty, Bill Coleman, Terill McGuire, Graham McKelvie, Naoko Murakoshi, Elizabeth Chitty, and Nicole Fougere.

    In 1999, Ms. Hughes co-founded a dance collective called The Aurora Dance Community under the mentorship of Patricia Beatty (Co - founder Toronto Dance Theatre, Member of the Order of Canada). During this time, she extensively produced, choreographed, and performed for this professional collective for five years.

    In 2005 Kathleen co-founded and became the co-artistic director of Niagara Dance Company, at which point she had an eventful career teaching professional level classes, choreographing and co–producing bi-annual performances. Since 2010, Kathleen is working out of her home town as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Kathleen Hughes Dance Association, producing annual productions of dance and teaching continual Graham-based dance classes. Kathleen has had the honour of being the guest Choreographer for Orchesis Motif in 2013 as well as the choreographer for the musical production of Voy Soñando, Voy Caminando presented in September 2013.

  • Jenna Kirkpatrick

    Mini Stars, Angelina Ballerina, Tap

    Jenna's bio coming soon.

  • Taylor Letendre

    Angelina Ballerina, Mini Stars

    Taylor's bio coming soon.

  • Katie MacEachern - Diploma in Performing Arts

    Musical Theatre, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Lyrical

    Katie started dancing at Dance Theme when she was three years old and was immediately drawn to the performing arts. She studied tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, musical theatre and hip hop at both private studios and conventions in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. As well as dance, Katie took extensive vocal training and acting classes. Katie received roles in St. Albert Children's Theatre's productions of What a Knight, High School Musical and Legally Blonde. After graduating high school, Katie moved to Toronto where she studied dance, vocal and acting in a three year program at The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, graduating with her Diploma. She has returned to Dance Theme where she shares her passion for teaching and all she has learned with her students. 

  • Parisa Mehregan

    Ballet

    Parisa discovered her love of dance at the age of five and never looked back! She began her training in Vancouver where she was born, and continued training at several professional ballet schools across North America. Parisa is a Professional Graduate of the School of Alberta Ballet, and also trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City(2008-2010). In 2012, she graduated from the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, WA. Later that year, Parisa joined Ballet Victoria as an Apprentice, performing in roles for Dances with Wolfgang Amadeus MozartThe Gift of Pandora’s Box and Ballet off Broadway.Never taking a break from the art she loves, Parisa enrolled in several summer programs at the School of Alberta Ballet (2012-2014), Miami City Ballet School (2009), The School of American Ballet (2008) and the American Ballet Theatre (2007). Parisa is entering her third season with Edmonton's Citie Ballet. She is excited to share her passion for ballet with Dance Theme students.

  • Amy Martin

    Baby Stars

    Amy's bio coming soon.

  • Michelle McBride Bachelor of Visual Communication Design

    Acro, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary

    Michelle started dancing at a young age and soon discovered her passion for it. She began her training with R.A.D. ballet, but became a multi disciplined dancer shortly after. She has studied jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, modern, musical theatre/acting, piano, trumpet, as well as Ukrainian, Latin and Polynesian dancing. Michelle has been fortunate to study under many talented instructors over the years, abroad and at home, including Alberta Ballet’s Ruth Carse and Shumka’s Terry Mucha.

    At a young age Michelle joined a performance company that toured Canada and the United States, enriching her enthusiasm for performing on stage. Today she continues her dance/acro education through classes with Leaders in Fitness, IBBFA, Acrobatic Arts, Mather Dance Company, yoga and strength training. Michelle still performs with local Polynesian group, Tropical Breeze.

    Her mother was a teacher and passed down the gene to inspire and nurture children. She has taught dance in New York, where she choreographed a student summer production of "Grease" and studied ballet and jazz in New Zealand but always came back to Edmonton where she felt most at home. Teaching is a passion she thrives on, always wanting to share her adoration for the arts with her students.

    As well as the performing arts, Michelle has a strong passion and talent for visual arts. She holds a bachelor of Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta, where she studied many art forms that included drama, film, art and design. Her design profession has led her to creative direct local television commercials and direct animated shorts.

    Michelle is a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor and is excited to be implementing this program at Dance Theme and sharing her knowledge with the students.

  • Carmelle McKinlay ARAD, RAD RTS

    Ballet

    Carmelle grew up in Fort Saskatchewan and was fortunate to be raised in a family that was passionate about the arts. She has extensive training in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Voice and Musical Theatre under some of the most prestigious instructors and institutions
    across Canada and the United States.  She is a certified instructor with Associate status (ARAD) under one the world's most influential training organizations, The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and has prepared 100's of students successfully for ballet exams. Some of these students have gone on to perform nationally and internationally with companies such as Alberta Ballet, Ballet Jorgen, Canadian Youth Ballet, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, Cirque de Soleil and many more. She prides herself in allowing each dancer a voice in the choreographic process to encourage creativity and ownership.

    Always dedicated to expanding her knowledge, she has most recently attended training workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia in the Vaganova method with the Mikhailovsky Ballet, New York City at the American Ballet Theatre where she was successfully
    certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum for pre-primary through level 3 and also had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Dance Teachers Summit in NYC. Carmelle is also a current Mentor with the RAD CBTS program, sharing her knowledge and love of ballet with aspiring teachers.

    In addition to teaching, Carmelle has choreographed and co-produced Bridal Fantasy, the largest bridal convention in western Canada for over a decade, as well as being the artistic consultant and choreographer for various events and fashion shows at West Edmonton Mall. She continues to appear throughout Alberta and British Columbia as a guest examiner, choreographer, and teacher.
  • Davin Ness

    Hip Hop

    Davin Ness has been teaching hip hop since 2013 but has taken class at Dance Theme for over 10 years! While starting out taking one class a week for recreation, he gradually maximized his dance training across multiple studios, public schools and in the Edmonton freestyle community. His pursuit of hip hop has enabled him to work with many of the top choreographers in Western Canada, and perform in Edmonton, Calgary, Seattle and Arizona, as well as travelling to Austria for IDO’s Hip Hop World Championship.

    Davin specialization in animation and robotics, but trains in many different dance styles including Old Skool, New Skool, Popping, Locking, Tutting, B-Boy, House, Krump, and Melbourne Shuffle. He loves to share his knowledge and passion for dance with students of all ages, and holds the philosophy that dance class is all about expressing the love of music and movement - we dance because it is fun! He is very excited to help his students gain confidence and strength both inside and outside the studio.

  • Paul Otterbein

    Hip Hop

    Paul is an International Hip Hop Choreographer from Vancouver, BC and is the Co - Owner of Street Kings Academy of Dance, Surrey BC. He has been selected as the head choreographer for Team Canada Hip Hop for 2014 and 2015. His credits include: Entertainment Tonight, Americas Best Dance Crew, Canada's Got Talent, 2010 Winter Olympic Celebration Team, and Fitness USA, Dallas Texas.

    Paul has won many awards including four time Canadian National Hip Hop Champions (Praise Team Studio, Fresh Groove Productions), 2008/2010 World Cup of Dance Champions, 4 time National Canadian Street Dance Champions, 8 time IDC Platinum USA Champions Seattle, Idaho, Chicago, Florida. Synergy, Peak, Dance Power, 5678 Showtime Overall Grand Champions 2007 - Present. He was the Represent Hip Hop Overall Champions 2012 and 2013 with Dance Theme in Edmonton and the Ultimate Shock Showdown Champions 2013 in St. Catherines, Ontario.

    Paul's Hip Hop Styles include New Jack Swing, Krump, Locking, Isolation, Hip Hop and Voguing.

     

  • Bobbi Payne

    Mini Stars, Jazz, Musical Theatre

    Bobbi is an energetic and passionate teacher who began her dance training at the age of three with Dance Theme. The studio provided her with a versatile background in jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theatre, lyrical and ballet training. As well as studying dance locally, Bobbi travelled to workshops in Calgary, Florida and California,

    Bobbi has been teaching for the past five years and her enthusiasm for the studio and her students has led her to become the Preschool Director. Along with her knowledge, she shares an energetic and caring quality with her students. Bobbi has been involved with Dance Theme for the past 22 years and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. She enjoys helping her students find their passion and love for dance and cannot wait for the new season to start!

  • Cassidy Reagan

    Hip Hop, Jazz

    Cassidy began her dance journey at Dance Theme when she was 6 years old. Since then, Cassidy has found her passion for ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, musical theatre, and lyrical. Her love for these genres has brought her to conventions (such as Tremaine and The Pulse) and workshops around the world- places including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, and London, England. Cassidy has successfully completed the highest level of the RAD syllabus (Grade 8) with distinction. During her RAD and Cecchetti ballet training, Cassidy also performed with the Alberta Ballet in their production of The Nutcracker in 2009. One of her favourite memories would be performing at the Grey Cup halftime show in 2010.

    Cassidy’s contagious love for dance is what fueled her to become a teacher. She has taught with Dance Theme for the past 4 years and can’t wait to keep going and share her passion with future students.

  • Jolie Van

    Tap, Jazz

    Jolie trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Hip-Hop and has studied with many renowned teachers and choreographers. She has a special affinity for tap, has completed the Al Gilbert Tap Examinations and was a feature dancer in his instructional videos. Her choreography has won numerous awards and has been featured in 'The History of Rock & Roll’, the annual CFLPA All Star Charity Baseball Game, Bridal Fantasy and The Rainbow Gala.

    Jolie’s passion for dance and sharing this with students inspired her to direct her own successful studio for fourteen years. During this time she trained hundreds of students in all genres, but tap remained her specialty. Her students excel in both exams and competitions, where her own talent is acknowledged with numerous choreography awards.

    Along with teaching her own students, Jolie is continually asked to teach at workshops and summer schools. She also enjoys adjudicating at several competitions throughout Western Canada. Jolie loves to share her passion and knowledge of dance with others!

  • Our Guest Choreographers & Teachers

    Wendi Danbrook

    Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical

    Wendi has been involved in the dance and entertainment industry for over 22 years. She has touched a wide range of the performing arts, television, modeling, stage performances, adjudicating as well as owning and operating over 3 successful studios.

    Wendi started her training at the young age of 4 in Edmonton; and throughout her later years followed her passion for dance to training facilities in New York and Los Angeles studying with some of the most well-known and respected teachers in the dance industry. As a free-lance Choreographer and Creative Director Wendi continues to travel across Canada, the US and Europe and Asia.

    Recently, Wendi returned from Asia where she choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance Vietnam.

    As the Director of Entertainment for the 2000 Winter Games and 2002 Alberta Summer Games she choreographed the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. She also choreographed the opening ceremonies for the International Aids Walk and Cancer Walk for Life in 2001.

    She has also produced and choreographed music videos and live shows for many local emerging artists such as Jasmine Singh as well as sat on the judging panel and choreographed for the professional CFL Edmonton Eskimos Cheerleading Team.

    Wendi believes her greatest accomplishments have been the ability to train, mentor and inspire hundreds of students, many of whom are now teachers, choreographers and professional dancers around the world.

  • Our Office Team

    Debbie Gullickson

    Office Manager

  • Dallas Dyksley

    Office

  • Amanda Feser

    Office

  • Katie MacEachern

    Office

  • Crystal Nahaiowski

    Office

  • Karen Oliphant

    Office