Creative Director

Jane Elliott - Creative Director/Owner

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”.

Teachers

Eva Romanowski-Annett

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.

Rachel Spencer

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.

Sarah Kirkness

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!

Melissa Bock

Melissa Bock

Assistant Competitive Director & Teacher 

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 strives to instill an artistic appreciation in her students where ever she teaches. Helping them fully understand the true art and expression of dance.

Kim Franic

Kim Franic

Head of Wardrobe

Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre

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.

Sarah Dowhun

Sarah Dowhun

Ballet, Tap, Contemporary

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.

Jade Taylor

Jade Taylor

Hip Hop, Tap

Jade Taylor began dancing at Ballet Etc… at the age of three and her love of dance has continued to grow over the years. She has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Hip-Hop, Pointe and Contemporary/Modern. Jade has competed at both regional and national competitions in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Australia, receiving a variety of accolades. She has always enjoyed expanding her knowledge of dance by participating in various workshops and performance opportunities. Jade trained in Cecchetti ballet, most recently completing her Cecchetti Major’s Advanced I exam. Jade has participated in a variety of dance performances for the University of Calgary. In Calgary, she was a part of Illfx Hip-Hop Crew; with Illfx they won the Monsters Hip Hop competition in California, won first overall at Artists Emerge in Vancouver and she performed with Paula Abdul at WE Day. While studying abroad in Australia, Jade was a part of Society Hip-Hop Crew; with Society, they won awards at Hip Hop International in Perth and Revolution International in Melbourne. Jade has completed her double major Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Dance, with the hopes of becoming a physiotherapist for dancers. She has also applied to do her masters for chiropractic college! Jade is thrilled to be a part of the BE team; she is excited to share her passion for dance and inspire the next generation of artists.

Heather Kendell

Heather Kendell

Cecchetti Syllabus Ballet, Modern

Heather Kendell is originally from Ontario, where she received her initial dance training. Heather

performed with local ballet company, Danse Elite, as first soloist and member of the corps de ballet in the

company’s production of The Nutcracker and was a guest performer in the Niagara Symphony children’s

production, Garfield. Prior to leaving Ontario, Heather received a Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Studies degree from Brock University, then moved to British Columbia to continue her dance training and post-

secondary education at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with

a major in Dance and minor in Kinesiology, as well as a Certificate in Health and Fitness from SFU. Heather attained her Associate status with ISTD, Cecchetti Branch and was granted top honours by receiving a “pass with distinction”. She received her Associate Diploma status and attained her Licentiate status with the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Heather successfully attained the Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma. She has her Licentiate membership in the Ballet and Modern Divisions CDTA, BC Branch. Heather continues to upgrade, and seeks to diversify, her teaching certifications. She has completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program and is a registered instructor with Yoga Alliance. Heather has completed a 20-hour Yin Yoga teacher-training program as well as a 20-hour Restorative Yoga teacher-training program. She is a certified Pilates Level 1: Mat instructor through Body Harmonics and has completed certificates in Gait Analysis, SI Joint. She completed the Progressing Ballet Technique Teacher Training Certification Program as well as received certificates from Allegro Performance & Wellness. Heather has served on the executive boards of various dance organizations. She volunteered as a

member of the Katherine Labelle Dance Society, which became Modus Dance, the Canadian Dance

Teacher’s Association, BC Branch and the National CDTA Modern and Ballet Committees. During that

time, Heather had the honour of being a BC Representative at the National CDTA ballet syllabus meetings

and took part in the development of the National CDTA Ballet Examination Syllabus. Heather also served

as the Secretary for the Cecchetti Canada BC Committee. Heather also wrote the Junior Modern Examination Syllabus and a portion of the Senior Syllabus for students studying modern dance, which is now being used Nationally by the CDTA. She was the National CDTA Modern Consultant for 2 years. Heather was also a Ballet and

Modern Examiner for CDTA but resigned in 2014 to focus on teaching. Heather gained ample performance experience by working with Danse Elite, Off Centre Performance Company, The Company Experience, Ballet du Printemps and CollabArt Creations. She performed in works by Shannon McMurchy, Claire French, Sylvain Brochu, Santa Aloi and Cheryl Prophet. She has had much success with her former company, DansArts et al., and now Inertia Dance Co. Heather has 20+ years experience as a well-respected dance instructor responsible for developing strong, artistic young dancers in a kinesthetically appropriate manner. Many of her students have been

accepted into professional training institutions, gone on to perform professionally and have even become

dance instructors.

Heather is excited to be joining teaching faculty of Ballet Etc...!

Jano Navarro

Jano Navarro

Hip Hop

Jano Navarro Is our competitive hip-hop instructor here at Ballet Etc. Dance is deeply rooted in Filipino culture and has always been a part of his life. First inspired by the TV shows such as America’s Best Dance Crew, Jano began his dance journey as a self-taught hip-hop dancer where he learned street styles such as breakdancing and popping. During his studies at Brock, he joined the competitive hip-hop team and competed for 4 years against other universities. By his last two years, he made his way up to head choreographer and became captain of his team. 

Jano has a diverse training background, learning from national and international choreographers at dance conventions. While training at conventions, he was able to learn from international dance educators including his inspirations  Scott Forsyth, and Lyle Beniga. 

Jano combines hip-hop street styles with choreography to create fun, energetic, and unique dance routines. Jano is excited for another year at Ballet Etc. to share his knowledge of dance to the next generation of hip-hop dancers.

Office Staff

Helmy Flus - Office Director

Kelly Cutler - Office Manager

Melissa Bock - Assistant Competitive Director

Kim Franic - Head of Wardrobe