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 24 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 sixteenth year of instructing leaps and bounds, jazz, lyrical, 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 and she holds a module 1 certification through Acrobatic Arts. Diane 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!

 
 
 

 

 
SHARON SMITH, ARAD, AISTD

Examiner of the Royal Academy of Dance, Registered Teacher RAD

Sharon has been part of the faculty since 2014. 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. She joined the Lisa Naves Dance Company competitive team in 2001 when she was five years old. During that time, she has trained in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop and Acro.

Throughout her competitive years, Teagan has received many judges recognitions and overall awards for her tap solos. She has also attended many workshops where she has had the opportunity to learn from the best.

From 2012-2015 Teagan was part the Bringing Tap Back senior company, under the direction of Everett Smith. During this time she was able to grow as a tap dancer and performer with the opportunities provided to her, such as, performing in company productions, attending tap workshops and learning about the history of tap dance.

Teagan first discovered her passion for teaching at the age of 13 when she became an assistant. Upon graduating from high school in 2013, Teagan joined the LNDC faculty teaching tap, jazz, Acro and leaps and bounds. It was during this time Teagan realized her love for working with children which led her to attend the Early Childhood Education program at Conestoga College in 2016. After taking two years off from teaching, Teagan has graduated from the ECE program with distinction and is now a Registered Early Childhood Educator.

Teagan is looking forward to another amazing year at Lisa Naves Dance Company and 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, and after one year of recreational, she was asked to join the competitive team. She trained and competed at CKDC for eight years in many genres including Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Acro.

At 14, Amanda joined the Lisa Naves Dance Company and was a member of the competitive team until 2008. Amanda stopped competing at 18 but continued to dance recreationally and has been a member of the LNDC Alumni every year.

Over the years, Amanda has been able to participate in many events including several of the Brantford International Villages, Dance Masters of America (DMA) soloist pageant, conventions, workshops, and auditions. She was twice given the opportunity to attend workshops with Debra Brown where her talent was quickly recognized and was invited to perform in a large production with the Cirque Du Soleil performers. She has also dabbled in the modelling and film industries as well.

Most recently, Amanda has continued sharing her love of dance by performing in the 2014 World Pride Parade and performed in the 2016 Toronto Argonauts opening day ceremony. She has completed the Junior Segments of ADAPT and Acrobatique Teacher certification in July 2016. She has participated in many dance camps and this past summer, she organized and ran her own Summer Intensive Program with great success.

She began teaching at LNDC in 2014 where she taught both recreational and competitive. After two seasons she moved to Pembroke, ON where she continued to teach at Starz In Motion Dance Studio. Throughout her time at Starz, she helped streamline and grow their competitive team and was an integral part of their faculty. Her choreography was recognized at many competitions and has helped her students to achieve several overalls and scholarships including Teen Dancer of the Year at Luv2Dance.

She has continued to choreograph for LNDC during her time away and is so excited to finally be back teaching regular classes this season!

 

 
 
 

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. 

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

This is the 7th year Teraina has worked at Lisa Naves Dance Company and feels so blessed to work with such an amazing team.
 

 
 
 

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 with her Level 3 certification from Kinesio Taping Canada Personal Trainer and carries an Associate’s 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 feels extremely blessed to be part of the LNDC family and to be able to share her passion for dance with every student...... past, present and future!

 

 

 



 
 

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!"
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
JENN CARSON  

Jenn couldn’t be more excited to once again, be a part of the LNDC faculty!
In her third year with the studio, she has loved getting to know everyone in our amazing dance community.
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 leads with her heart and gratitude…and is thrilled to continue her beloved dance
journey!

 


 
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 McLachlan.  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 1st overall and at the Western Fair with her tap solo placing 2nd overall. 

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.  In 2016, she pulled off a school wide flash mob with almost 400 students (grades K-8) for 3 retiring colleagues. 

 

This is Lindsay’s third year as a LNDC faculty member.   She is looking forward to another great year with her students and continuing to share her passion and love of dance with all of the LNDC families!



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68 Pond Street, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 2T4

Phone: 519 426-9300

Email Lisa Naves Dance Company