Creative Director

Jane Elliott

Jane Elliott has been the owner and director of Ballet Etc… for the past 20 years. Dancing since the age of 4, Jane attended the National Ballet School in Toronto for more than 5 years beginning at the age of 9. During this time, Jane toured with the National Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker and was also a summer student at the Banff School of the arts twice. Upon returning to St.Catharines, Jane attended Grantham High School and taught for the Marian Macpherson School of Ballet, which she subsequently purchased and is now Ballet Etc… Jane is an honours graduate from the Dance and Performing Arts program at George Brown College in Toronto under the direction of Lois Smith and Nadia Potts and has attended numerous teacher training workshops including those offered at the National Ballet School. Since retiring as a professional dancer in 1989, Jane has focussed on teaching and her family. Sharing her knowledge and love of dance has been her priority for more than 27 years. Providing quality dance education in a caring and structured environment is the goal of the studio and all of it’s staff. The art of dance truly can give each child “ Grace To Last a Lifetime”.

Staff Team

Katelyn Secord  | Office Manager and Social Media Co-ordinator
Helmy Flus   | Bookkeeper and Office Administrator
Kim Franic   | Head of Wardrobe
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Lorraine Johns
Assistant Competitive Team Director
Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Ballet

Lorraine Johns began her dancing career at the young age of three. She studied in the disciplines of tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip-hop and modern and attended competitions on a national level.

While dancing with Joanne Chapman School of Dance she received her Associate Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing and examined in ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance. Alongside her competitive training, Lorraine also majored in dance at Mayfield Secondary School and currently holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph.

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Eva Romanowski-Annett
Cecchetti Syllabus Ballet, Lyrical

Since graduating from the National Ballet School teacher’s program, Eva Romanowski-Annett has committed herself to the art of teaching dance. Appreciating all dance forms, she has been on staff at Ballet Etc for over 27 years, teaching ballet, pointe, creative dance and modern. She has also taught dance in the Fine Arts department at Brock University. As former chair of the Ontario provincial branch of the Cecchetti Society of Canada, Eva has tried to foster the Cecchetti method, training students in their examinations ranging from Standards to Majors levels. She has also had the privilege of teaching at various workshops in Southern Ontario. Willing to learn as she is teaching, Eva continues to further her own development by attending workshops throughout Canada. Throughout her training, she has valued good teachers who inspire. Eva hopes to continue that same tradition with her students, providing them with the tools to be the best they can be.

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Rachel Spencer
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Acro

Rachel Spencer has been on staff with Ballet Etc… since its opening in 1995.  She enjoys teaching ballet, jazz,

hip hop, lyrical, acro and contemporary in both the competitive and recreational streams, as well as running BE’s successful summer dance camp programs.  Rachel is also a Total Barre™ Qualified Instructor.  Certified in Cecchetti ballet, her primary ballet/creative movement classes additionally incorporate LPCW syllabus.  Appreciating the inspiration found in continued growth, she attends yearly teachers training through avenues such as National Ballet School of Canada, Dance Teacher Summit NYC and numerous facilities in Toronto; most recently attaining her teachers certification as an Acrobatic Arts instructor.

 

Known for pushing the boundaries in both choreography and in the expectations of her students, her approach has afforded students the catalyst to their own professional careers in the dance world.  Branching out beyond the studio setting, her versatile teaching reputation has allowed her the opportunity to share her love of dance in the classrooms of the District School Board of Niagara for over 10 years.

 

Rachel is dedicated to bringing enthusiasm and creativity to each class; fostering an environment where each student can develop respect and love of dance, themselves and the world around them.

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Sarah Kirkness
Cecchetti Syllabus Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical

Sarah Kirkness has studied many dance forms since the age of 3 and has developed an enthusiastic, musical and detailed approach to teaching. Sarah began her training in her home town of St. Catharines at The Marion McPherson School of Ballet (now Ballet Etc…) as a child and has continued to increase her knowledge of performing art at the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, Ryerson University (Professional Dance Program), and the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School, among others. Earning numerous awards and accolades from the competitive dance circuit, she is now a teacher and mentor to students at schools in St. Catharines. Sarah is an Associate to the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and the Cecchetti Society of Canada. She has a passion to share the gifts of dance and music with children as each new encounter in her dancing inspires her to teach and share with her students as much as she can about how the body moves and expresses!

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Courtney Flus
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical

Courtney Flus is a graduate of the Child and Youth Program and a current Concurrent Education student at Brock University. She has studied the art of dance for the past 19 years and has been a dance teacher, and competitive choreographer for the past 4 years. Courtney has taken Cecchetti ballet exams since the age of 8, and has competed provincially in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and pointe. Courtney now strives to inspire other children to dance and encourages their exploration of different dance styles as well as body-awareness. Using her education in early childhood education, Courtney advocates for the usage of dance as a medium of personal growth and exercise in children. Courtney is excited for the opportunity to work with the young dancers at Ballet Etc…

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Diane Lavigne
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical

Diane Lavigne has been teaching at Ballet Etc… for the past seventeen years and started dancing with the studio when she was six. She completed professional training at the Quinte Ballet School and Ottawa School of Dance. At the age of twelve, Diane was cast in the lead role of Clara in the Nutcracker with the Buffalo Ballet and trained with the company for over a year. Diane has completed her Advanced One Cecchetti exam and has received numerous overall and special awards as a member of Ballet Etc’s competitive team in her youth. Diane hold a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education Degree from Brock University and currently teaches Science and Dance at Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School, where she also runs the dance team and choreographs the school musical.

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Melissa Bock
Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical

Melissa Bock has been dancing since the age of four at the Burlington of Studio Dance. She has trained in several dance disciplines: studying ballet, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, and many more artistic styles. As a competitive & recreational teacher/choreographer Melissa has found her strength in contemporary, lyrical and jazz genres. Being recognized with judges choice awards,  overall titles, scholarships, choreography choice awards as well as a Young Choreographer Award.

Through her training Melissa has successfully attained her C.D.T.A. Jazz examinations with honours and obtained her full Teacher’s Certificate in Jazz from the Canadian Dance Teachers Association. Melissa has also obtained a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University in Contemporary Studies. Being able to study in both the academic and artistic world  has helped round Melissa into the teacher she has become today.

Melissa is a new faculty member of Ballet Etc. and couldn’t be happier to join the BE family! She is hoping to bring the genre of contemporary and improv into the BE curriculum in the 2015/2016 season. Melissa strives to instill an artistic appreciation in her students where ever she teaches. Helping them fully understand the true art and expression of dance.

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Kim Franic
Ballet, Jazz, Tap

Kim Franic began her dance career at the age of 4. By the age of 8, she was a competitive soloist and group dancer. She represented Canada at the world level, bringing home many awards and participating in guest appearances. Kim was also graded under the RDA in Tap & Jazz and Highland SDTA. It was during her experience as a Teacher’s Assistant in her teen years that Kim decided teaching dance was her passion. She pursued dance studies at York University, Ballet Jorgen, Randolf Academy as well as countless conventions and workshops. Kim’s well-rounded dance training consists of tap, jazz, musical theatre, baton, ballet, modern, and highland dance. In 1995, Kim returned to Niagara to bring her love of dance to her community –teaching recreational and competitive classes. She founded Niagara’s Twirling Maple Leafs and became a member of TU and NBTA. In recent years, Kim has volunteered her time to teach dance at local elementary schools, youth groups, as well as assisting with school musical productions. Kim has been on staff at Ballet Etc… for the past 6 years, and she continues to enjoy inspiring today’s dancers.

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Elisabeth Wiens
Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary

Elisabeth Wiens has been a part of the Ballet Etc… family for over 15 years. She danced for the Ballet Etc… competitive team for 10 years, and after graduation, continued to compete at the university level. Elisabeth completed her Bachelor of Science Kinesiology at Brock University and Masters of Physiotherapy at McMaster University. She is currently working as a physiotherapist in the community, and has been teaching dance for the past 6 years. Elisabeth loves to share her passion for dance and inspire children to explore their creativity. 

Emily Atkinson
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Emily Atkinson began her dance career at the age of three, exploring many dance disciplines.  She has trained in both the Russian and Cecchetti methods of ballet at a variety of studios.  Her early dance days were spent at Sudbury School of Dance, moving at the age of eight she began studies at Dancemakerz in Waterdown and finally at the age of twelve began her journey in the Ballet Etc… family.  As a member of the performance dance team Emily won accolades and recognition for the studio particularly in pointe.  Her passion for dance is the driving force behind her everyday life and she hopes to instill this same passion and dedication to learning the technique and art form that allows a dancer to soar with confidence, grace and respect. Emily has completed both Russian and Cecchetti Syllabus exams, most recently completing her Advanced one ballet exam; the second majors exam in the Cecchetti method.  Emily has previously graduated from the Fitness and Health Promotion program at Niagara College and obtained a national certification as a CSEP-CPT (certified personal trainer under the regulating body of Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology).   Now in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree of Kinesiology she hopes to teach dancers not only the fundamentals and passion of dance, but to help them do so safely through cross training and conditioning to become more aware of their bodies and inspire them to express themselves through movement in new and astounding ways!  

Kathleen ArnoldkathleenSML
Ballet, Jazz

Miss Kathleen began dancing at the age of three and has mastered an eclectic repertoire of dance styles including ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, and modern dance. During her training she achieved all levels of the Royal Academy of Dance including the Advanced 2 examination.

In ten years of experience as a teacher, Miss Kathleen has performed and competed in jazz and lyrical dance categories, was a member of the Brock Dance Club as a teacher, and co-founded the first competitive ballet team for Brock Dance. She holds an Honours degree in Mathematics and Education, is an Ontario certified teacher (OCT) and works tirelessly to improve her personal, educational, and artistic skills. She has taken an additional qualification course in special education through Nippising University and attends various dance and teaching seminars throughout the year to continually develop herself as an educator. Kathleen has recently received a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies through the Royal Academy of Dance .

Miss Kathleen is thrilled to be part of the Ballet Etc… family and assisting aspiring dancers reach their full potential.

Sarah Dowhun
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In 2013, Sarah completed her Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance Dance from York University where she received extensive professional training. Sarah has her Cecchetti Associated as well as her certification in the Progressing Ballet Technique and Conditioning with Imagery by Donna Krasnow. 
Sarah has learned and worked alongside credited artists and teachers within the dance community including: Robert Desrosiers, Jeff Dimitriou, Everett Smith, Luther Brown, Robert Glumbek, Roberto Campenella, Leon Blackwood, Tracey Norman, Tanya Evidente, John Ottman, Donna Krasnow, Julia Sasso and Helen Jones .Some of her credits include Warehouse 13, Reign, Shawn Desman, Hedley, What’sOn!?TAP!/Kim Chalovich, The Kiev Ballet/Vitek Wincenza, BringingTapBack/Everett Smith, the Gilda’s Club Variety Show as well as both the Toronto and Hamilton Fringe Festivals. 
Sarah is a founding member of Half Second Echo a Toronto based dance collective and also a regular performer and workshop facilitator with the Hamilton based To The Pointe Dance Project. Sarah currently works for the CFL as the Head Coach of the Hamilton Tiger Cats UpRoar Performance Team. Sarah’s choreography can be seen professionally as well as on the competitive circuit across Canada.
Nadine Coffey
Jazz

Nadine Coffey has grown up in the competitive dance world over the last 30 years as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and adjudicator. She has extensive training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary and Acrobatics and has studied with the finest teachers and institutions in Ontario. During that time Nadine became a certified dance teacher through Maple Leaf Dance Masters of America, completed exams with the Royal Academy of Dance and received her certification as a dance adjudicator through the International Academy of Dance Adjudicators. She has taught all ages of recreational and competitive dancers across Ontario and has won numerous awards and titles across Canada and the United States for her dancing and her choreography.

 

Nadine was fortunate to attend Mayfield Secondary School for the Arts where she graduated as the Arts Valedictorian. She went on to pursue her quest for higher knowledge by completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. While attending university Nadine pursued many health and fitness certifications including Nutrition and Wellness, Personal Training, Group Fitness and mat Pilates which have all informed her work with young, aspiring dancers. Due to her love of working with children, she also obtained a Master’s degree in Education from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and is now an Ontario Certified Teacher. Her extensive knowledge of the body combined with her love for dance has contributed greatly to her successful career as a dance teacher and choreographer.

 

Nadine is thrilled to be part of the Ballet Etc faculty and is looking forward to a rewarding season!

Brittney Turnbull
Acro, Jazz

Brittney Turnbull has been dancing since the young age of three, and competing by age of seven. Brittney has trained at multiple dance studios finishing off her career at Rythum Plus Dance Company. Training in multiple genres she focussed primarily studying; Acrobatics, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and a passion for flexibility and technique.

As both a competitive and recreational teacher/choreographer Brittney has focused in genres of Acrobatics, Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz. Brittney and her students have received multiple special awards and choreography awards.

Throughout Brittney’s training she has been molded by many inspirational teachers and opportunities to further educate, and grow as a dancer and instructor. Being on Team Canada in 2003 travelling to Boston, and being given the opportunity to work with choreographer Alex Wong, and Blake McGrath when on team Canada travelling to Poland for the Jazz, Ballet and Modern team.

In 2012 Brittney had joined the Dance Master of Canada Chapter 38 taking part in different pageants and educational opportunities to further grow. In 2015, Brittney was announced as the new Miss Dance of Canada, she felt that she had accomplished so much more than what she could have imagined in three years after joining the Chapter 38. Brittney ventured off to Boston compete for the title of Miss Dance of America, where she was excited about all the learning opportunities and experience she had been given.

As for the future, Brittney continues to promote the love and educational opportunities by teaching all different genres, while continuing to further her own training in dance being certified by Acrobatic Arts, and Dance Masters of America.

Along with Dance, Brittney continues to grow a Medical educational background to help further the understanding of the human body aiding in her teaching styles.

Brittney can’t wait to further promote the love for dance with her students, and aid students with their further dance careers.

 

“If you dance with your heart, your body will follow”