SUMMER FACULTY 2023
Meet our Summer Dance Intensive '23 instructors:
Contemporary & Acro
Kristen started taking dance and gymnastics at a young age. She trained and competed in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, musical theatre, hip hop, and modern dance, as well as vocal, theatre, and cheerleading; but found her passion specifically in acrobatics. She started assisting classes at the age of 12, and completed her ‘coach in training’ hours at a local gymnastic club at 13. From there, she went on to become a Certified Gymnastics Coach (artistic gymnastics: sport specific, theory, and trampoline through NCCP). Through this training she also completed her risk management training, and participated in spotting and coaching workshops. Kristen then began teaching her own classes, and choreographing numbers. By age 15 Kristen won a Young Choreographer's Award for her first competitive acro piece.
Kristen has gone on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Guelph-Humber, as well as attaining a diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion from Humber College. From this, Kristen has gained a vast knowledge of the human body, biomechanics, proper training techniques, and injury prevention.
Kristen has worked with a variety of athletes, and specifically dancers of all ages and styles, across Ontario. Kristen believes in ensuring a safe and fun learning environment, while providing new skills and techniques in every class. Most of all, she believes in connecting with each student she works with, and helping them to succeed as both a dancer, and as a person.
Lyrical & Strength and Stretch
Devonte Black was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He has professionally trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz and Hip Hop.
Devonte is a Professional Dancer, Choreographer and Creative Director. Some of his most recent credits include Graydon Skincare, Mackage, TSN, and Chorus Entertainment to name a few!
His unique approach to movement and attention to detail has won him numerous choreography awards at Dance Competitions all across North America. Devonte is an extremely passionate and dedicated teacher, who is constantly attending workshops and classes to advance his technique and teaching methods. Many of Devonte’s students are currently successfully pursuing professional dance careers. Devonte wants to inspire dancers to believe in themselves and go after their dreams, no matter what obstacles they may face.
Katie Chartrand currently resides in Toronto and is a professional Dance Educator and Choreographer.
Katie received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dance from Wayne State University where she became assistant director and choreographer to “CompanyOne”. She is certified in Module 1 and 2 of Alixa Flexibility and has been a guest choreographer and educator for intensives such as Team Canada, Sarah-Brewer Clowes’, ACT student intensive, Wayne State University, BCDEA Dance Educators Conference and most recently the BATD Toronto Region. Katie has choreographed for music artists Marianas Trench, Kadooh, Nickelback, and Marlae as well as a commercial for Hootsuite. She is a 7 year faculty member of Brighton Dance Festival, 6 season choreographer for The Source Dance Company, and has adjudicated for Shine Dance Festival, Aberdeen Dance Festival, Phoenix Dance Competition. Millennium Dance Festival, and Standing Ovation. Katie choreographed the Top 10 Emerging Artists dance concept video for Shine Dance Festival and has directed and choreographed several concept videos of her own. Katie’s choreography continues to find a voice in the industry.
Ballet & Musical Theatre
Talia is a dancer, choreographer, and multi-faceted artist, originally from Vancouver, BC. Being raised by a family of musicians, creativity has always been of the utmost importance to Talia.
Her training in dance, music, and theatre began in childhood, and continued on, leading to a degree in Creative Industries from Toronto Metropolitan University. Here she focused on performance and media business, learning the ins and outs of arts administration.
She works currently as a Musical Theatre program coordinator, where she helps manage creativity, while keeping her love for theatre alive. Talia has produced many successful musical theatre productions, most recently Matilda Jr, and the Addams Family.
Talia has also taught dance across Canada, as well as in Mumbai, India in 2015. Talia's passion for dance and live performance is something she enjoys instilling in students, as well as her technical knowledge and experience.
Benedictus Mattson is a Choreographer, Performer, and Researcher with interest in Ghanaian popular dances. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana.
At the postgraduate level, Benedictus explored creating dances for commercials, by synthesizing contemporary African dances with popular Ghanaian dances, eventually carving a niche for himself as a specialist in popular dance.
He is currently a Cultural Studies PhD candidate at Queen’s University where he investigates the Mediatization of Ghanaian popular dance with primary focus on the Azonto dance’s presence on Instagram and how dancers’ interaction with/on the social media platform helps to transform, configure, and reconfigure the dance. Benedictus is also the Afrobeats/Afrodance instructor at the Kingston School of Dance.
Alex is a 700hr certified yoga instructor with experience teaching a variety of styles of yoga including Modo-Inspired Hot Yoga (previously known in Canada as Moksha Yoga), Hatha, Astanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Power, Chair & Flow. She completed her first certification at Astanga Yoga Ottawa in 2017 and her second certification online through Modo Yoga in 2020.
Alex focuses her efforts on helping students develop both emotional and muscle awareness. She is an encouraging instructor who combines skillful sequencing with mindfulness practices to help get you out of your head and out of your own way - ultimately empowering students to pursue their biggest dreams and goals.
Her mission is to help people feel better in their body, spirit, and believe in their ability to achieve anything! Whether the hurdle is learning to manage anxiety, battling body dysmorphia, improving your ability to focus or developing confidence in personal and professional settings, she believes yoga is the best place to start and can't wait to support you along your journey!
When Krista took her first dance class at the age of 13 she knew it was an art form in which she belonged. After graduating high school, she made the move to the big city to attend George Brown College’s dance program in Toronto, ON. There she was trained in jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical/contemporary, modern, acrobatics and hip-hop.
She has performed with many different dance groups including Toronto Marlies Dance Pak, Hamilton Tiger-Cats Dance Team, Lindsay Ritter Productions, DivaGirl Entertainment, and The Dance Company. She has had the amazing opportunities to perform at the 2008 Grey Cup, Casino Rama, Canadian Children’s Aid Foundation Gala, Much Music Doritos Award show, Dance Ontario, Shawn Desman’s “Night Like This” video, and Hennessy’s Black
Seduction promotional party. She also has worked internationally with the Edanco Festival De Danza Contemporánea and Academia Balleteatro Dominicano in the Dominican Republic, as well as choreographing at the Royalton Punta Cana Resort.
Krista had the amazing experience of holding the position of Assistant Director of LR Dance, where she worked with new upcoming dancers and choreographers to help them break into the entertainment industry. Krista has taught in studios across Canada and has a special place in her heart for teaching and seeing her students excel in their technique in a positive environment. She loves teaching, adjudicating, choreographing, seeing her students performing, and having fun.