Faculty

 


 
 
LISA NAVES-ABONYI

Lisa is extremely proud of the Lisa Naves Dance Company and the outstanding reputation it has earned across Southern Ontario over the past seventeen years!

The owner and director of LNDC, Lisa danced competitively at the Dot Blakeley Dance Studio in Simcoe and The Dance Shoppe in Brantford.  She is a highly respected instructor, choreographer, and adjudicator, with over 35 years dance experience.

Lisa opened LNDC with the philosophy that high expectations should be set for both the recreational and competitive dancer alike.  In addition, she wanted to create a family atmosphere where all members are welcome and encouraged to be a part of their dancers' growth.

She is certified by test to teach and is a full member of Dance Masters of America (DMA): the oldest and most prestigious dance organization in North America. She is also President of Dance Masters of Canada (DMC), Chapter #38, which is the only Canadian chapter.

Lisa has a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Science in Education from Canisius College in Buffalo. She also has her joint specialist in History and English and is a former teacher at Assumption College School and Holy Trinity.

An award- winning choreographer, Lisa's students have won many prestigious titles, scholarships and overalls and she is proud to have assisted several students into both teaching and professional careers in dance.


 


JENNIFER SIMPSON


Jennifer began taking ballet at age 7 with Vera Mitchell Burke in Brantford and continued her dance training with Betty Carey Love in Ancaster and Elizabeth Paterson at the Oakville School of Dancing. After completing the Royal Academy of Dancing Intermediate examination, she successfully completed the R.A.D. Teaching Program. 

Jennifer holds the R.A.D. Teaching Diploma as well as Advanced Exam Certificates with Canadian Dance Teachers' Association and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in Jazz, National Dance, and Modern. 

She has been entering students in R.A.D. ballet exams for past 22 years in Burford, Brantford, Ancaster and Simcoe.  Jennifer also excels at competitive choreography; creating pieces for the Lisa Naves Dance Company team for the past 14 years! 

Miss Jennifer shares a passion and enthusiasm for ballet with every student she teaches and she is very proud to have been teaching at LNDC since it's doors opened in September, 2000!
 
 
 


 

 
 
DIANE KUSKA

 

Miss Diane, a former competitive student at LNDC, began training in dance at the age of six and she hasn't stopped dancing since! Upon joining the Lisa Naves Dance Company family in its debut year at the age of 15, she quickly fell in love with the passion and atmosphere of the studio. She became a dance assistant the next year and then started teaching under the mentorship of Lisa Naves-Abonyi at the age of 17.

 

Diane is now entering her fifteenth year of instructing leaps and bounds, jazz, acrobatics, and tumbling for recreational and competitive students. Since 2011 Diane has been heading the Competitive Recreation Team (CRC) at LNDC. She has also been a competitive choreographer and has received several special recognition and overall awards, as well as, had students compete at national levels throughout North America. She has also choreographed three musical productions in Simcoe and Port Dover: The Music Man, Not Just Another Variety Show, and Fiddler on the Roof.

 

Diane received her Bachelor of Science in animal biology from the University of Guelph in 2002 and then, highly inspired by her love of teaching dance, she decided to attend Teachers College at Western University in 2010. Now, a high school science teacher by day, Diane is also certified by test to teach dance through Dance Masters of America in acrobatics and jazz. She loves to continually grow in her own dance education and does so by attending numerous workshops and teacher training opportunities across North America with some of the most influential dance teachers and professionals.

 

Diane's enthusiasm and positive instructional style is loved by all of her students and she is looking forward to another exciting year of dance!

 
 
 


 

 
 
SCOTT MACDONALD

Scott MacDonald is an accomplished and well-established Canadian-born dancer, with extensive training in ballet, contemporary, jazz, and acrobatics. Scott's professional dance career began with the Philadelphia based ASH Contemporary Dance Company, where he was honoured to work with renowned choreographer, Mia Michaels, in the world premiere of her work, "3 Steps From Heaven". Later, Scott worked for Helix Dance Project: a Toronto based company, in "West Side Stories", the work of top Canadian choreographer, Linda Garneau.

Trained by top ballet teachers, Scott worked as a soloist in the acclaimed all-male ballet company, Les Ballets Grandiva. With the company, Scott performed works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, and Brian Reeder. While with the company, Scott had the opportunity to dance in Japan, Korea, and Italy extensively.

Scott has travelled to the most prestigious venues across Europe and the United Kingdom to perform in Cirque Du Soleil's touring show "Delirium", choreographed by Mia Michaels. While with Cirque Du Soleil, he was also honoured to work with famed choreographer, Wade Robson, on the workshop for the Vegas show, "Believe" and with Brazilian choreographer, Deborah Colker.

Scott, as a teacher and choreographer, is best known for his intense classes, innovation, and vast knowledge. He has had the opportunity to work across the United States and Canada, including Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Summer Program in New York City, Burn the Floor Dance Camp in Michigan, as well as having the title of Assistant Artistic Director at East Coast Movement in Northern New Jersey.
 


 
 
 
 
SHARON SMITH, ARAD, AISTD

Examiner of the Royal Academy of Dance, Registered Teacher RAD

Sharon is very excited to be joining the faculty of LNDC this year! She has been passionate about ballet from an early age. Originally trained in the Cecchetti Method, Sharon began studying the RAD Syllabus as a teacher and found it's training methodology to be on line with her own teaching ideals.

Sharon holds the Advance 2 RAD certificate and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) National Branch. Sharon owned and operated her own school, first in Port Dover and then in Delhi for 20 years. In order to pursue her career goals, she closed her school to complete the RAD Examiner Training Program.

Sharon has been an examiner since 2006 and travels extensively throughout Canada and internationally working as an examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance.
 

 
 
 

TEAGAN DAVENPORT


Teagan has been dancing since the age of three and she joined the Lisa Naves Dance Company in 2001. Teagan has been a part of LNDC's Competitive Performance Company for the past twelve years. During that time, she has assisted at the studio for 5 years and was used as a replacement teacher upon their absence. She has trained in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop and Acro.

Teagan has attended many workshops throughout the years to further her dance abilities with such instructors as Jason Janas, Shawn Byfield, Jordan Clark, Andrew Prashad, and Eryn Waltman, to name a few.

Competitively, Teagan has won many overalls and Judges' awards. In 2003 she place 2nd in Tillsonburg's Youth Talent Search Competition. Some of her other awards include: Canadian Dance Masters of America's 4th Runner up Petite Miss Dance 2006 and Teen Miss Dance 2011 Tap Award recipient.

Teagan was also recognized by Everett Smith (4th Runner up So You Think You Can Dance Canada) in 2011 for her exceptional tap ability. He awarded her a pair of custom-made Gold Tap Shoes (one of four in the world) and invited her to join his Senior Tap Team without an audition. Teagan has been travelling to Mississauga each week for the past two years being part of the "Bringing Tap Back" senior company and will be starting her third year in September 2014. She has performed in many tap performances in Toronto and Burlington including "A Day Through Rhythm & Sound" and "Lights & Sounds, Tap Love Connection & Tap Water", choreographed by Everett Smith. Teagan has also had the opportunity of performing in the Eastern Canadian Tap Conference performances for the past two years under the direction of Kim Chalovich of Tap Dance Centre, Mississauga.

Teagan was thrilled to receive many awards from the Lisa Naves Dance Company over the years, including the Lela Cherwaty Artist Award, the Tap Award, Most Improved Senior, Over The Top Assistant Award and Outstanding Leadership Award.

Teagan is very excited and honoured to be a part of the Lisa Naves Dance Company faculty and is looking forward to sharing her love of dance with her students.


 
 

 
ALEXIS VANDERMAELEN 

Now entering her 20th year in the dance world, Alexis is ecstatic to be returning "HOME" to LNDC. She is highly trained in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Hip-hop, Lyrical, Contemporary and Acrobatics. She has advanced training and skills in Gymnastics and Power Tumbling at a provincial level. This enhances her awareness of injury prevention and safe training techniques in all styles. She hopes to inspire LNDC students using her wide range of knowledge and creativity, while reinforcing proper technique in dance!

 

Alexis has just graduated with Honors, from Niagara College, from the Fitness and Health Promotion Program. Here, she studied the importance of healthy living and in depth anatomy, which will be used to enhance a stronger, more well-rounded dancer. While away at college, she sought out another studio to continue training and competing in dance, including Cecchetti Ballet. All for the love of dance! Before moving away to school, Alexis completed her R.A.D Intermediate and Advanced 1 ballet exams. She has also successfully completed her third year of the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training Program, July 2016 and is Acrobatic Arts Certified!

 

Outside of the competitive dance community, she has received several awards at LNDC year-end Recitals, such as the Barbara Naves Spotlight award, the Lela Cherwaty Artist Award, and the Outstanding Leadership Award. Alexis has won several dance scholarships that include the Paris Summer Dance Tour as well as the Hollywood Summer Dance Tour where she was invited to demonstrate her skills in a music video for Vee Sevani ("Movin' On"), take master classes from some of the best of the best, and more! Alexis was also titled an IDANCE Protégé for the 2013 dance season. She was crowned Miss Dancefest in 2010. But, most recently placed 2nd Runner-Up in the Miss category, out of 34 dancers across Canada, the United States and South Africa at the American Dance Award Nationals in 2013, where she also received the Acro award. She has placed 15th out of 51 at International Dance Organizations World Championships in Germany in 2010. Her solo performances have won her many special recognitions for sharing her passion and her ability to tell stories through dance.

 

Alexis continues to attend dance workshops and seminars in order to stay in tune with the most recent techniques and styles whenever she can. She looks forward to sharing her passion and love of dance with all LNDC families!

 
 

 
 
 

AMANDA FERRAS
 
Amanda began her dance career at the age of six. She started dancing at Carol Kitchen's Dance Center in Brantford under the instruction of Lisa Naves-Abonyi and Sally Dawson. It was after one year of recreational Jazz that she was asked to join the competitive team.

Amanda competed at CKDC for eight years. She trained and excelled in many genres of dance including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Acro, and her true passion and specialty, Lyrical. She has experience with dancing as part of large and small groups, quartets, trios, duets and solos. During this time she immersed herself in every dance opportunity that came her way. She was an assistant for dancers ranging from Leaps and Bounds to Adult across several genres.

She participated in many events including the Canada Day Parade and several of the Brantford International Villages. At age eight, she was the winner of the Paris Fair Talent Show with a Jazz solo. She participated in several conventions and workshops and was twice given the opportunity to attend workshops with Debra Brown. Amanda's talents were quickly recognized and was invited to perform in a large production with the Cirque Du Soleil performers.

At 14, Amanda joined the LNDC competitive company and was a member of the team until 2008. During this time, she participated in the Dance Masters of America (DMA) soloist pageant.

Amanda stopped competing at 18 but continues to be a part of the LNDC recreational company and Alumni every year. During her 18 year dance career, she has gained experience with auditions, interviews and has dabbled in the modelling and film industries as well.

Over the years, with the combination of exceptional instructors and her talent, she has been awarded many special recognitions and judges awards including being the recipient of the LNDC Lyrical Award.

Most recently, Amanda has continued sharing her love of dance by performing in the 2014 World Pride Parade and also was a substitute teacher at LNDC for the last half of the 2013/2014 season. She is extremely join the LNDC faculty this season and to participate in the DMA Teacher's Training Program in summer of 2015.
 

 
 
 

TERAINA CLARK

Born in beautiful Nidderdale, Yorkshire England on Christmas Day Teraina has spent a good part of her life globetrotting. At 4 months of age she came with her parents to Canada and lived here for her next five years, giving her, her Canadian roots.

She returned to England for her schooling and her first job at age 17 was working as a Nanny for a family in Canada.

Then back to England to work in an office for a large hotel group. Teraina was lucky enough to travel for the next 10 years to many countries in Europe and Asia. Getting a Sailing and navigation qualification allowed her to further her travel dreams.

In England Teraina went on to manage a printer consumables company for six years, learning all aspects of office management and company procedures.

Returning to Canada in 2007 Teraina has now made Simcoe her home and is looking forward to many delightful years at Lisa Naves Dance Company.
 

 
 
 

ALISON WIELER
 
Alison began her dance training at the age of 5 with the Watford Youth Activity Club, and from there a great love and passion was born. As a teenager she joined Needham School of Dance in Strathroy where she competed for 2 years and also examined in Jazz and Tap with BATD.
 
While away at college she continued her training with Dance London, and began teaching at Watford Youth Activity Club. 2003 saw her make the move to Simcoe and become part of the LNDC family where she enrolled in jazz, hip hop, and lyrical, as well as assisting with acro, and leaps & bounds. An amazing door opened for her when she was asked to become part of the LNDC faculty in the fall of 2005 upon successful completion of her Jazz certification from DMA. That following summer she attended DMA TTS in Buffalo to further her depth, knowledge and understanding of the dance world. 

Alison has brought over 30 years of dance training to her students, instructing jazz, tap, acro, leaps & bounds, hip hop and lyrical with both recreational and competitive students. She has also attended numerous workshops with some of the top choreographers around in Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit, and New York City. She strongly believes that you are never to old to dance and thoroughly enjoys instructing the young as well as the young at heart. 

Alison is a certified Physiotherapy Assistant, Personal Trainer and carries an Associates Degree in Exercise Science. She has completed her Level 1 coaching in gymnastics and has her Grade 8 music in piano with 2nd year of Theory from the Royal Conservatory of music. She competed as well in Figure Skating both individually and in Synchro, where she holds title of Canadian Champion in 1995. 

Alison is extremely excited to be returning to LNDC after a 2 year hiatus, where she was blessed to begin her own family with the arrival of her daughter and hopes that the love she has for dance will be shared not only with your child but with her own some day!


 
 

KATHERINE NUNN
 
Katherine is very excited to be joining the LNDC for another year. She has studied under Sharon Smith for 26 years and came to the LNDC in 2014. Katherine attended George Brown in 2007 for the 2 year Dance Studies Diploma Program, where she enjoyed intensive dance training in ballet, modern, and jazz.
 
Katherine has always had a deep love for dance and always knew that she wanted to be part of the dance world and she is very grateful to LNDC for all the opportunities that they have given her.  
 
We are very excited to have her join our dance family!

"My heart is in ballet and I hope to share that with all of my students!"
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
JEN CARSON  

Jenn couldn’t be more excited to once again, bring her heart to the dance floor and join the LNDC team! 
 
Jenn’s passion for dancing began in her young childhood. With the support of her parents, she was extremely fortunate to be a competitive dancer in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical& Musical Theatre for 7 years. The personal growth and lifelong friends she built are some of her most cherished memories!
 
When presented with an opportunity at age 15, Jenn began teaching dance classes. She was inspired to share such valuable experiences with others. For Jenn, being on stage was always so much fun…but seeing her young dancers shine on stage?! That brought a whole other level to proudness & joy! Her dance journey lead her to pursue other avenues such as being a part of the Hamilton Ti-Cat Cheerleaders, the Toronto Rock Dance Team, and a choreographer for school productions.
 
Not surprisingly, Jenn’s career path took her into Elementary School Teaching, and she currently lives in Simcoe with her wonderful husband and their 2 beautiful children.
Jenn is thrilled for this opportunity to continue her beloved dance journey! She is also very grateful to be embraced into the LNDC family, and looks forward to working with everyone!

 


 
LINDSAY WALL  
 
Lindsay started dancing at the age of 3 with Kaela Montague.  She started competing with The School of Movement in Port Dover at the age of 9, training with Raeanne Milovanovic and Tiffany MacLean.  Here, Lindsay completed exams in Jazz, Tap and Ballet with the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association.  She continued her competitive dance training at the Sue Bottrill Dance Studio, in Cambridge, while taking ballet in Simcoe, at the JoAnn Adams School of Dance. Throughout her years of competing, Lindsay won many awards at various competitions in Canada and the USA.  She also competed at the Paris Fair with her long-time duet partner, fellow LNDC teacher Jenn Carson, placing 1stoverall and at the Western Fair with her tap solo placing 2ndoverall. 
 
Lindsay’s professional dance career started in the CFL at the age of 16, performing in halftime shows at Ivor Wynne stadium with the Hamilton Tiger-Cat dance team. She auditioned for the dance team a couple of years later and went on to dance with them for many years, performing in the halftime shows at the 1996 Grey Cup in Hamilton and at the 1999 Grey Cup in British Columbia.  Lindsay went on to dance for several other professional dance teams including the Toronto Rock (NLL), the Toronto Blue Jays (MLB) and the Toronto Phantoms (AFL). In 2003, Lindsay auditioned for ‘Cabaret’ at Hamilton Theatre Inc., and successfully landed the role of Lulu, one of the infamous Kit Kat girls. 
 
Lindsay’s love of teaching began at the age of 11, when she was asked to assist classes at The School of Movement.  She began choreographing competitive routines for fellow dancers at the age of 17. She went on to teach tap, jazz and musical theatre at Starquest Dance Company in Port Dover.  Lindsay was also the choreographer for the PDCS cheerleaders, leading them to a fair championship in 1994.  In 2002, Lindsay moved to Florida to work at Club Med in their child care department. She choreographed weekly camp routines for children, routines for the resort’s nightly shows, and performed as a dancer in the nightly shows as well.  In the summer of 2005, Lindsay moved to Madrid, Spain, where she taught hip hop and jazz to children from all over the country at a Canadian sponsored summer camp.  From 2006-2008, she taught jazz and tap at Dancers Burlington Inc., in Burlington, ON. 

Lindsay graduated with honours from Brock University, receiving a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education.  She went on to the University of Toronto, where she received a Bachelor of Education, specializing in primary and junior qualifications.  Lindsay began her teaching career in 2003, in Brampton, ON. She combined her love of education and dance and started a hip hop club at the school for over 250 inner city kids.  When she moved to Mississauga, she continued running her dance club, but had to expand to 3 different clubs due to the overwhelming interest. Lindsay is currently teaching at Lakewood Elementary in Port Dover, and has choreographed routines for school plays and continues to run her dance club.  Last year, she pulled off a school wide flash mob with almost 400 students (grades K-8) for 3 retiring colleagues. 

Lindsay is completely thrilled to be joining the LNDC faculty and is looking forward to continuing to share her passion and love of dance with all of her students and families!


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68 Pond Street, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 2T4

Phone: 519 426-9300

Email Lisa Naves Dance Company