FACULTY 2021- 2022

 


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 twenty-two 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 40 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.  
Lisa is Immediate Past-President of Dance Masters of Canada (DMC), Chapter #38, which is the only Canadian chapter and she is certified in both Module One and Module Two of Acrobatic Arts.
Lisa is also a member of Healthy Dancer Canada and LNDC  is a member studio of the Royal Academy of Dance.
 
To combat COVID and keep her business equipped with the necessary tools to be successful and to keep her dance family safe and healthy, Lisa has joined Dance Safe Ontario and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

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 19 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 eighteenth 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 

Alexis began dancing at the early age of 3 and joined the LNDC competitive team when she was 7 years old. Now entering her 23rd year in the dance world, she has started to expand her dance and cheerleading experiences by joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Dance and Cheer Team for the 2019 CFL season. 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.

 

Alexis graduated with Honours, 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. Her knowledge through skills and education 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! 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 fourth and final year of the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training Program, July 2017 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 over 20 years ago. She started dancing competitively at the age of six at Carol Kitchen’s Dance Centre in Brantford under the instruction of Miss Lisa. At the age of 15, she made the decision to follow her mentor and joined the competitive team at Lisa Naves Dance Company. She trained extensively in many genres including Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Acro. Amanda continued to dance recreationally after she graduated in 2008 and has been a member of the LNDC Alumni every year.

Over the years, Amanda has been able to participate in many events including being invited by Debra Brown to perform in a large production with some of the performers from Cirque Du Soleil. She has also dabbled in the modelling and film industries as well.

Amanda has continued to grow and nurture her passion for dance by expanding her versatility to include Contemporary and becoming a teacher and choreographer. Her choreography has been recognized at many competitions. Amanda has helped her students to achieve several overalls and scholarships including Teen Dancer of the Year at Luv2Dance 2018. She has completed the Junior Segments of ADAPT and Acrobatique (ADTA) Teacher certification. She has successfully completed the Module One Certification with Acrobatic Arts as well as the Progressing Ballet Technique Teacher Certification. Amanda is also a member of the Professional Adjudicator’s Alliance (P.A.A), and is looking forward to becoming a member and continuing her education with Dance Masters of America.

Most recently, Amanda has continued sharing her love of dance as a member of the Hamilton Tiger Cats Dance and Cheer Team and as a Competitive Adjudicator. She also organizes and runs her own annual summer intensive program with great success.

Amanda is passionate and strives to encourage her students to reach their full growth and potential as well as continuing to learn herself and pass on her knowledge of the ever-changing art that is dance. She is so excited to kick off the 20th season of LNDC!

 

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 9th 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 fourth 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 pride & 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 two beautiful
children.
Jenn leads with her heart and gratitude…and is thrilled to continue her beloved dance journey!
 
 JORDYN WINGER
 

Since a young age, Jordyn Winger displayed passion, natural ability and drive in all that she did. Before transitioning into dance, Jordyn competed in gymnastics, as well as various sports, which helped prepare her for the competitive world of dance. 

For six years, Jordyn trained competitively at the Lisa Naves Dance Company. While competing, she won numerous scholarships, overall achievements and titles. She was often described as a powerful and versatile dancer with exceptional technique.

Jordyn has trained in various disciplines of dance including contemporary, acrobatics, ballet, partnering, jazz and hip-hop. In 2014, Jordyn successfully passed her Intermediate R.A.D. examination.  She is also a certified instructor with Acrobatic Arts.

Jordyn is proud to have graduated from The Conteur Academy under the direction of Eryn Waltman, where she received intense training from some of the most reputable teachers in Canada. She both danced in and choreographed for Conteur Academy’s "Choreographic Works” presentation and also performed in "Fill in the Blanks” as part of Conteur Academy’s graduating class. 

Jordyn looks forward to the next chapter of her dance career as an educator, eager to share her passion, knowledge and skill with her students.

 

WENDY KING

 

Wendy joined the Lisa Naves Dance Company family in 2018 as the costume co-ordinator. She is a mother of 2 adult children and a grandmother of 5.
A seasoned "dance mom" and "dance grandma", Wendy is entering her second year in this role and looks forward to making all our dancers, whether competitive or recreational, look and feel great as they share their dance skills with us. 
 
EVERETT SMITH
 
 
 From stage to screen, Everett Smith is a multitalented entertainer and dance educator.  After placing in the final four contestants for SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA (Season Two), Everett continued his passion for performing on stage alongside recording artists:  Katy Perry, Tom Cochrane, and Keshia Chante.  Everett’s work expands into acting for such television shows as:  STAR TREK DISCOVERY, THE STRAIN, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, and MURDOCH MYSTERIES. His passion to perform, to inspire, and to entertain, has always been the driving force behind every step he takes.  

Everett’s most memorable productions include performing in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, starring in the North American National Tour of TAP DOGS: REBOOTED, dancing and performing the role of Paulie with James Marsden and Zac Efron in HAIRSPRAY: THE MOVIE. Everett has also been part of many award-winning productions, most notably playing the role of Tip in the Dora Award winning production "I THINK I CAN” at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People in Toronto.

Other credits include stage performances of GREASE and FOOTLOOSE, as well as, film work on Disney’s ICE PRINCESS, FROM TIME TO TIME, LIFE WITH DEREK, SLINGS & ARROWS, FELICITY: AN AMERICAN GIRL ADVENTURE, and PRIVATE EYES. 

Everett is an adjudicator, dance teacher and guest faculty for studios, competitions and conventions across Canada. He is proud to be able to inspire and motivate others through dance. 
He is extremely excited to share his talent and knowledge with the LNDC dancers for the second year!

 
CHARLOTTE VANDERLEE
Charlotte began her dance training at the age of three at Suzanne Burt School of Ballet in Simcoe, Ontario. She later joined the Lisa Naves Dance Company and started training competitively in various styles including Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Ballet and Acrobatics. Having danced competitively since the age of ten, Charlotte has competed all across North America receiving many overall achievements, titles, and scholarships.  

During her time studying business at the University of Guelph, Charlotte was fortunate enough to become a member of the university’s Competitive Dance Pak team, where she later was voted captain and head choreographer. She led the team to compete against universities all over Canada, obtaining many overall awards, including Top School in Canada.

Charlotte has been a competitive choreographer for the Lisa Naves Dance Company since the young age of nineteen, and later became a competitive instructor at the age of twenty-one. She has received numerous choreography awards in competition and was fortunate enough to win American Dance Awards’ Young Choreographer of the Year at their National competition in New York City in 2019.

Charlotte is extremely passionate and dedicated to her career in dance. She strives to provide her students with a safe creative environment and help them to discover their own style and strengths. She cannot wait to continue to share her love of dance with her students and is so happy to remain a part of the LNDC family!

 AVERY HOWARD

 
Miss Avery is a former competitive student at LNDC. She began dancing at age 10 after pursuing gymnastics for 7 years at Brantford Gymnastics Academy. While being a gymnast, Avery admired watching her older sisters dance. She watched all of their practices through the windows, and sat in the audience at every competition. Eventually, watching wasn’t enough and she decided to pursue dance herself. Avery then danced for 7 years in acrobatics, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, ballet, and hiphop. She received many awards and titles for her performances. The year after graduation, Avery became a dance teacher at Lisa Naves Dance Company, teaching contemporary, acro, jazz, lyrical, hiphop, and stretch and strengthen classes to both competitive and recreational students. 

Avery is extremely excited to begin another year at LNDC where she is able to continue to share her knowledge with dancers and to help them continue to grow! 
 

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68 Pond Street, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 2T4

Phone: 519 426-9300

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