I-K

Dani Kagan

Dani is a passionate, motivated choreographer, dance teacher, adjudicator and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the industry. She has extensive training in many genres including jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop and contemporary. Dani competed and trained at Vlad’s Dance Company and then at All That Dance where she taught for 6 years. She currently teaches at the competitive program at Rhythm in Toronto. Winning numerous dance and choreography awards throughout her years within Canada and the US, Dani has continued to bring dance into her adult life. 

Dani was a member of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak in 2013-2014. She was a back up dancer in Billy Blanks Jr. and Sharon Blanks’ DVD called Dance It Out (DIO). She was also a back up dancer for Hedley at the 2014 MMVA’s. Dani was the co- captain of the U of T Dance team for 2 years where she lead the team to 1st overall championships.

Dani has performed and choreographed for shows such as Dance Ontario, Fever After Dark, Toronto’s Next Bombshell, Choreographer’s Ball, and Bazaar. Dani is the co-producer of Raise the Rhythm, a charity fashion, dance and music event that raises funds for different Canadian charities. Through this initiative Dani has helped raise over $15,000 for Canadian charities. Dani is a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance. She is known for her expertise in various dance styles and she is always excited to bring her knowledge and passion to the judge’s panel. She has the capability to judge all levels of dance with professionalism and aptitude.

Dani has a mature understanding of what competition owners, parents and students need and considers herself to be a team player. With her versatile background and well roundedness, Dani aims to make the adjudicating and overall competition experience successful for all parties involved.  As an adjudicator and full time instructor, Dani continually strives to inspire dancers with her positive energy and hopes to grow and gain more knowledge within the field.

Trisha Jeffers

Trisha Jeffers had a wish; to have her own dance studio. She had a dream; of injecting the same passion for dance into the students she taught. She just had to do it; and she did. TJ’s Dance Troop started in 2004, and in 2007, she opened the doors to her own studio space. Since then, Trisha carried on her passion for the art form, nurturing talent, providing a positive influence and taking her students to new heights.

With over 20 years in the industry as a competitive dancer and instructor, she has performed all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and has received numerous awards as a competitive dancer and choreographer. Most notably in 1998 when she was asked to represent Canada at the World’s Competition in California, competing with dancers from across the globe. At that competition she was awarded “Top Female of the World” for ages 16-20. 

Currently, Trisha has earned her Elementary RAD certificate, completed her RAD Exam for Ballet, and received her ADAPT Advance Tap and Jazz certificates. She is now working towards her ADAPT Teacher Certification, and her Acrobatique Certification (A.C.D). 

In addition to her tireless work professionally and at the studio, Trisha works with the Newcastle and Bowmanville highschools creating choreography for their dance programs. She works hard to create an embracing and familial environment at the studio, in an effort to contrast the highly competitive dance industry. To further reinforce the all-embracing culture at the studio, Trisha has poured countless time and energy into producing an anti-bullying piece with her students. Having taken this piece on the road with her troop, she has even used it to support a national anti-bullying organization.

Ultimately, Trisha’s passion for dance, love for her students and desire to impact others positively are what set her apart from other instructors. She continues to impart her years of experience, dedication and penchant for hard work to everyone she works with. Trisha knows that if you can wish it and if you can dream it, you can do it.

Mandy Kerr

Mandy began dancing, singing and acting at the age of three in her hometown of Edmonton, AB, Canada. After moving with her family to San Diego, CA and graduating high school, she then moved to New York City where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College and began her professional career. Since her move to the United States she has performed and toured with some of today’s top musical artists such as CHER, *N SYNC, NICK CANNON and the 2004 United States Olympic Gymnastic team.  She also was the assistant choreographer for MICHAEL JACKSONS “Miracle on 34th Street” at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Some of her television appearances include DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, SEX AND THE CITY, SESAME STREET, and VH1’s Big in ’05 Awards with DEF LEPPARD.  Mandy shot a pilot for Fox with comedians Bob Sagat and Jeffery Ross as well as the pilot for the CBS television series SMITH starring Ray Liotta and Amy Smart.  She has also worked with such companies as AFLAC and TJ MAXX and can currently be seen in commercials for both PROGRESSIVE and MAC IPOD SHUFFLE. As well as dancing professionally she can currently be found choreographing and teaching both nation and world wide at multiple conventions, workshops, studios, intensives, and companies such as ELITE DANCE CONVENTIONS, FUSION, SURREY DANCE FESTIVAL, HARBOUR Dance Center, SOURCE DANCE, and SKIP Entertainment. Mandy just finished as the in house choreographer for ADIDAS Asia-Pacific working on numerous Pre-Olympic events as well as co-creating an instructional Hip Hop DVD called ADIDAS STREET HOP. She just recently returned from China, Canada, Guam, and from Holland where she was added as a judge at the 2006/2007 World Hip Hop Championships. Some of her most recent accomplishments include choreographing for the Netherlands new artist “Eva” and TUG’s new artist Ashley Rose. Mandy has been teaching Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical/Contemporary, Ballet and Musical Theater for almost a decade and loves to inspire and share her passion for dance to anyone who wants to listen!!!

Samantha Ippolito

Samantha Ippolito began dancing at the age of three, and quickly knew that teaching dance was her passion.  Following many years as an award-winning competitive dancer, Samantha was accepted into the OIP Dance Company in Toronto, Ontario.  She has worked with renowned choreographers including Danny Davalos, Heather Leslie, Luther Brown, and Faye Rauw, among others.  Most recently, Samantha was part of the Canadian National Tap Team that represented Canada at the World Dance Championships in Reisa, Germany; the team brought home the Gold and Championship title. As a certified teacher with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD), Samantha has been teaching for more than five years at high profile studios throughout York Region. She has also completed and achieved an honours BFA degree in Dance at York University.  Samantha is a proud member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance, and as a professional promises to bring all her knowledge and experience to every event.

 Katherine Kasprzyk

 Katherine is a very accomplished dancer and has been dancing since the early age of five. She is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical and acro. Katherine has held various titles such as National Champion Soloist for Hall of Fame and America’s Junior National Dancer of the Year for American Dance Awards.  She made ADA history by being the first to win four audition classes: modern, jazz, ballet, and acro.  Katherine has also had the prestigious honour of holding the National title of Teen Miss Dance of America 2011 for Dance Masters of America and was a former and current Grand Champion of the Youth Rising Star Competition for the Canadian National Exhibition.

Her highest achievement was winning Miss Dance of America 2013 for Dance Masters of America, where she was given the opportunity of travelling to different states to teach as well as perform. Katherine is proud to be a full member of the Dance Masters of America Organization.  As well as being very involved in competitive dance, Katherine also was featured on episodes of Family Channel’s The Next Step.  She appeared as a dancer on The Next Star Supergroups in Rebel Coast’s music video choreographed by SYTYCD Canada winner Nico Archambault. Katherine was a finalist for Canada’s Got Talent and as a result did a promotional commercial for Tim Hortons entitled “Hometown Heroes”. She also was featured in publicity advertising as a Face of Fever for Fever International Dance Competition. 

Katherine has always loved performing and is most proud of dancing the lead of Clara in the Nutcracker for two years alongside the National Ballet of Winnipeg and the National Ballet of Cuba.  She recently completed the Advanced Foundation level of R.A.D. Ballet with distinction. Katherine has always believed in giving back to the community and continues to volunteer her time dancing for many worthwhile fundraising causes. Katherine is currently finishing her undergrad degree in PreLaw at McMaster University as well as teaching competitively at Rythum Plus Dance Company. She aspires to be the best dancer, teacher and person she can be and hopes to inspire dancers every where.  

Lorraine Kruger

Lorraine was born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo and began dancing at a local studio at the age of 8, within 2 years she started in the competitive stream and then realized that is what she wanted to pursue as a career.

She has performed at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom as well as dancing on Broadway in a 90 minute floor show representing Toronto as an I Love Dance Sweetheart.

Lorraine believes in furthering education and has participated in various pedagogical workshops including The National Ballet of Canada, RAD and Dancefuzion as well as with Paula Morgan in Los Angles.

Lorraine was a guest teacher at the annual Bon Aimee Dance Mania festival in New Brunswick, has coached the KW skating club pair’s athletes and has had the pleasure of rehearsing the children’s ensemble for Drayton entertainments productions of Aladdin, Peter Pan, The Christmas Story and Cinderella.

She has appeared in numerous Disney made for TV movies including Model Behaviour with Justin Timberlake as well as the Universal Pictures movie the Skulls with Paul Walker, Joshua Jackson and Leslie Bibb.

Lorraine holds the Elementary certificate, RAD teaching certificate, is an affiliate of the Russian Society of Ballet, a certified Kindermusik educator and a Salsa Babies instructor. 

With 15 years of teaching Lorraine has produced many award winning pieces and has received many choreography and judges choice awards as well as numerous overall high scores. She is currently teaching at Innovative Dance in Baden and is proud to say she has had students go on to dance at Ballet Jorgen, Quinte and The National Ballet of Canada.  Lorraine is committed to making each and every class a positive and fun experience for all.

Chelsea King

For 16 years Chelsea King has excelled at all forms of dance, her inter-disciplinary expertise makes her a sought-after teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator. Chelsea is RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) certified. Chelsea’s award-winning choreography has been recognized on National and International stages, her choreography has performed at sporting event half time games and numerous community events, not to mention on the competitive stage. Chelsea is no stranger to the competitive stage winning numerous scholarships, titles, and overall awards throughout her competitive career. Chelsea’s pedagogic skills are invaluable to competitive and recreational dancers alike. Chelsea now directs and owns Chelsea’s Dance Pac where she trains dancers of all ages both competitively and recreationally, she continues to contribute in the development of dancers and dance teachers as a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance. 

LEANNE KLASSEN

 

Leanne is an award-winning dancer/choreographer that has been teaching dance classes to students ages 4-adult for over 30 years.   Leanne has performed in many festivals, fashion shows & performing arts shows including Hamilton Ti-Cat half time shows and Hamilton's sesquicentennial celebration.  Leanne attended the University of Waterloo where she studied the dance program.  After graduating, she taught classes in all disciplines for different studios throughout the Niagara Peninsula & Hamilton and performed with several dance companies before opening her own studio in 1999.   Her students continue to excel in their dance studies, winning numerous awards & scholarships at competitions and going on to study dance after high school, dance professionally or teach.  Her students have also been accepted into the National Ballet of Canada's prestigious summer school, the Hamilton City Ballet's production of The Nutcracker and Ballet Jorgen's production of Swan Lake.  Some of Leanne's competition awards include Highest Overall Senior Mark, Overall Adjudicator's Choice and Most Unique Concept.   Her goal is to share her love of dance with as many students as she can...to give them the same wonderful memories, life skills and experiences that dancing gave to her.

Jessica Irwin 

 

            Jessica is a recent graduate of York University's School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design. She graduated with Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) and dance, specializing in Performance and Choreography. During her time at York, she has performed in many critically acclaimed performances and was also member of York Dance Ensemble pre-professional modern dance company. While at York, Jessica trained in the Cecchetti Ballet Syllabus, and the modern dance styles of Jose Limóné and Martha Graham. During her final year at York she also studied under the direction of Modern Dance artist, Julia Sasso, participating in choreography and performance intensives.

Jessica is an incredibly versatile dancer as prior to her University dance career Jessica danced competitively for several years and has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, musical theatre, cheerleading, modern, and contemporary. During this time, she competed in several national and international competitions receiving numerous high-point awards, top overall titles. It was also during this time that she successfully completed Jazz and Tap exams under A.D.A.P.T.

Jessica is currently a proud member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance.  She has been teaching dance for numerous years at various studios in Toronto and Kingston. Jessica also extensive experience teaching and choreographing for both the competitive and recreational streams of dance, working with students of all ages. Jessica continues to learn and grow as a dance artist, choreographer and teacher and hopes to share her passion of dance, choreography, and education with others, while inspiring her own students to work hard and dream big because anything is possible.

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