Learn From The Best at Allegro!
At Allegro School of Dance, we are committed to giving you the absolute best and our highly qualified instructors are no exception. When you enroll for a class at Allegro, you will always receive first-class instruction from educators and performers that have devoted their lives to their craft.
Collectively, our faculty has trained with the world’s top instructors. As a result, each and every one them is qualified to pass on the same techniques and methods that provided them with a successful career in the performing-arts. All of our teachers on staff have BFAs in Dance or years of performing experience with renowned dance and production companies such as, The National Ballet of Canada, The Alberta Ballet, Cadence Contemporary Ballet Company, The Netherlands International Dance Theatre, Mirvish Productions, On Broadway Productions, The Stratford Festival and Cirque du Soleil, to name just a few.
Whether you are planning on a professional career in dance or simply signing up for fun, we believe that everyone is entitled to good training along with an opportunity to learn from the best. Our staff at Allegro know about the progressions that must be followed to properly train a dancer because they’ve become one themselves.
Please read on to find out why you can put your trust in the Allegro School of Dance teaching faculty and know that when you enroll for dance lessons, our passionate instructors are devoted to making your valuable time in class, their top priority.
Founder, Artistic Director & Principal Instructor
CDTA, ACTRA, EQUITY
Laura discovered her passion for dance at age 7 when she began studying ballet in Ancaster, ON. By 9 years old she was accepted into the prestigious National Ballet School where she trained under the direction of Betty Oliphant and Mavis Staines. Laura continued her professional development with NBS and was invited to spend her summers working with Melissa Adamnova at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and in New York City, training with a number of reputable teachers including David Howard, Gelsey Kirkland and Vladamir Dokudofsky. After graduating, Laura began dancing with The National Ballet of Canada and performed various roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Don Quixote, Manon, Cinderella, The Merry Widow, Romeo & Juliet and The Concert. Eager to pursue her career in classical ballet, Laura then traveled extensively throughout Europe, studying with The Royal Danish Ballet and The Frankfurt Ballet.
In 2001, Laura started teaching and immediately realized her passion was in the studio working with children. She founded The Allegro School of Dance in 2002 and is presently the director and principal instructor. Her success as a teacher is proven year after year by the progress of her refined and motivated dancers. Several of her students have been accepted into professional dance schools and intensive Summer programs including The National Ballet School, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and Quinte Ballet. Laura has been instrumental in guiding her students’ success and fostering a deep sense of accomplishment and dedication to the artistry of dance. She is an award winning choreographer and several of her pieces have been acknowledged by reputable adjudicators and have received overall awards at festivals and competitions. Laura is also a supporter of giving back to our community. She has been very generous of her time and through recital ticket sales, donates yearly to a charitable organization which enhances our environment and provides much needed resources to ensure the precious artistry of dance is always appreciated.
Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Hip Hop
BFA - Dance
Sarah Dowhun-Tompa is a professional dance artist and educator. She has received her ballet teaching certification as an Associate of the Cecchetti Society of Canada (ACSC-CICB). She is a certified Fitness Instructor Specialist, certified in Conditioning with Imagery and the Progressing Ballet Technique Syllabus. Continuing her studies as well as working extensively within the programs of a number of studios has provided Sarah with insight to the fundamentals required by young dancers to dance safely at their various stages of development.
Originally from the Niagara Region, Sarah can be found performing, choreographing and teaching across the GTA and throughout Ontario. Having received her Honours Degree in Dance from York University, Sarah was introduced to a variety of ballet and modern styles and methodologies that have been instrumental in developing her critical eye for technique. During her time at York, Sarah trained with many esteemed faculty members including John Ottman, Julia Sasso, Claire Wooten, Helen Jones, Donna Krasnow and Carol Anderson.
Sarah has worked in the performance industry in numerous films (Maps to the Stars, LAN), television programs (Reign, Warehouse 13/Jeff Dimitriou, Covert Affairs, Murder U) and music/conceptual videos (Hedley, Shawn Desman/Luther Brown, Of Us Giants/Alyssa Nedich, STIGMA/Jeff Dimitriou) as both a featured performer and an extra. Sarah also continues to appear in live stage productions (Hamilton Urban Theatre/Robert Desrosier, Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble/Vitek Wincza/The Kiev Ballet, Bringing Tap Back/Everett Smith, Hamilton FrostBites Festival/To The Pointe Dance Project/Alyssa Nedich, Half Second Echo/Miles Gosse, Dance Ontario Dance Weekend/Jesse Dell, WhatsOn!?TAP!/Kim Chalovich).
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’s choreography can be seen professionally as well as on the competitive circuit across Canada.
Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical
BFA - Dance
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Katie was born with a passion for the arts and an innate desire to create. She began her dance education as a Competitive Performer in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary and musical theatre. She prides herself on having completed her Advanced II I.S.T.D Ballet Certificate, and Advanced ADAPT Jazz and Tap certificates. Upon completion of her BFA (honours) in Performance Dance from Ryerson University, Katie evolved her training onto the stage, and later into directing, teaching, and choreographing. She has had the privilege of working with incredible visionaries such as Nadia Potts, Darryl Tracy, Kenny Pearl, Vicky St. Denys, Courtnae Bowman, Donald Sales, and Allen Kaeja to name a few. She has had the opportunity to perform contemporary, commercial and theatrical work, starting her career as a principle dancer for Cadence Contemporary Ballet Company, and then went on to perform in musicals such as A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, Footloose, as well as various Broadway revues, festivals, and tv/film productions. Katie continues to share her artistic perspective by working with dancers from all over the GTA, and continues to participate in many workshops and classes with industry leaders to ensure that her knowledge and abilities continue to expand. Katie has won numerous choreography awards and special recognition for her creativity, and story-telling. She has an outstanding and proven reputation for compassionate, inspirational, yet challenging dance classes. Katie’s goal is to create a positive environment for her students to take chances both physically and emotionally.
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary
Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Kahlil Calder began dancing competitively at Bojangles Dance Arts and completed his dance studies at Canada’s National Ballet School under the direction of Sergiu Stefanschi and Glenn Gilmour. Upon graduating, Kahlil went on to dance with numerous world renowned classical and contemporary companies such as The National Ballet of Canada, The Alberta Ballet and The International Dance Theatre in Netherlands. He also performed with Cirque du Soleil, was cast in the acclaimed production of The Lion King and also toured throughout Europe in The Best of Musicals. In 2010, Kahlil was accepted as an Associate Professor in the Dance Department for The University of Stavanger in Norway where he taught, performed and produced works for them. Today, Kahlil is back in Toronto and continues to work in the industry as a sought after choreographer, teacher, adjudicator and coach for professional dancers and students looking to take their training to the next level. We are very excited to have Kahlil at the studio this season and we look forward to growing from his expertise as a performer and instructor!
Mary Louise Paterson
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Creative Movement
BFA - Dance
Mary Louise began dancing at the age of 6 and by 9, she was invited to join the Competitive Dance Team at Allegro. While training, Mary Louise became a very versatile dancer by focusing on Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Pointe. As a testament to her talent and work ethic as a dancer, Mary was accepted in to the National Ballet School of Canada where she attended summer training under the direction of Mavis Staines. In addition to her time at Allegro and Canada’s National Ballet School, Mary has worked with and continues to study with a number of respected teachers and choreographers including Kevin Pugh, Vicki St. Denys, Karen Deuplisea, Tanya Evidente and Lourdes Hernandez. Over the years, Mary has won countless overall awards, dance pageant scholarships and special titles. As well, she has appeared on the Family Channel’s hit TV series “The Next Step”. Upon completing high school, Mary was offered a spot in Ryerson University’s Theatre Program and has now completed her four year degree. She continues to develop as a dancer but has focused her attention on her passion for working with kids and teaching. When she is not in the studio or dancing herself, Mary is still involved in the community and continues to work with the next generation. Over the years she has volunteered her time at The Ontario Pioneer Camp where she runs a dance program that is catered to children with special needs. We are very lucky to have someone like Miss Mary at Allegro and her commitment to her craft is the reason she is so admired by all of her students!
At age 15, Mr. Leon Blackwood began to explore the possibilities of a career in dance, performing at church events and with his high school dance crew. His signature cool factor was immediately apparent and Leon quickly emerged as one of Toronto’s most in-demand hip hop dancers and choreographers.
Throughout his career, Leon has danced with and choreographed for global A-List entertainers including Arianna Grande, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Ke$ha, Blake McGrath and Danny Fernandez, to name just a few. He has been cast in movies such as “Honey”, “Frenemies” and “Alvin and The Chipmunks”, while choreographing for network shows including “The Next Step”, “The Juno Awards”, “So You Think You Can Dance” and “SYTYCD Canada”. He has worked with the world’s top choreographers, such as Luther Brown, NappyTabs, Hi Hat, Gil Duldulao, Laurie-Anne Gibson, and the list goes on. Leon’s reputation has also landed him a spot on one of the most noted Hip Hop conventions in the world, “The Monsters of Hip Hop”.
With all this said, to further his experience and build his craft, Leon continues to travel to L.A a few times a year, training and working with the industry’s leading choreographers and dancers. We are so fortunate to have Leon at Allegro and our students are in for a very special treat!
Miss Natalie began dancing at age 3 and continued her training at Allegro School of Dance for 14 years! It didn’t take long before Natalie realized her passion for dance and she began to immerse herself in all styles and genres, dancing competitively for almost a decade. Her diversity as a performer has landed her dancing roles in various films and TV shows including “The Next Step”, “Backstage”, “A Nutcracker Christmas”, “In the Tall Grass”, and “Breaking the Mold”. She has performed onstage in the touring show for “The Next Step” and most recently in “Enchoreo”, a piece staged by the Ryerson University Theatre Program, where she is currently enrolled. While continuing her studies in dance, Natalie broadens her knowledge by attending yearly workshops with Toronto based choreographers such as Robert Glumback and Roberto Campenella (Pro Arte Danza), Kenny Pearl, Apalonia Velasquez, and Alysa Pires, to name just a few. Miss Natalie is very excited to be working at the studio where she grew up and is looking forward to teaching the next generation of Allegro Dancers!
BFA - Dance
BFA - Dance
Kate Musin began her dance career when she was 5 years old as a gymnast in Israel, competing around the world as part of the National Junior Team. After moving to Canada, Kate won many overall achievements as a Provincial level Aesthetics gymnast and also participated in two World Cups, as well as the World Championships in Bulgaria and Estonia. After graduating high school, Kate developed an interest in dance and was accepted to Ryerson’s BFA Performance Program where she studied ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary. While at Ryerson, she was fortunate to work and perform in pieces choreographed / staged by James Kudelka, Heidi Strauss, Alyssa Martin and Alisa Pires.
As well, Kate has proven herself to be a very creative choreographer, showcasing three of her own pieces “United Chaos”, “Ascendance” and “Route to Dance” as a part of Choreographic Works and she recently produced a full-length piece titled “Parallels” for the New Voices Festival and as an independent show. While she continues to create, Kate has also developed a passion for teaching and has traveled as far as China to work with students that are eager to learn from her diversity as a dancer, choreographer and gymnast. We welcome Kate to Allegro and look forward to learning from such a well-rounded performer and teacher!
Kyle Beley’s journey through the eclectic art of hip hop began more than 20 years ago when he started learning moves from watching music videos and performing at high school dances, shows and events. As his passion for dance and hip hop grew, he became more involved by taking class, attending workshops and learning from top choreographers in the field. He seized every opportunity to perform and was even featured on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, making it beyond the solo auditions and into the choreography round with Blake McGrath. While attending his post-secondary studies for Rehabilitation, Kyle continued to dance and was part of the McMaster Dance Crew in Hamilton, achieving 3 straight wins at the Ontario Competition for Hip Hop. While studying and performing, Kyle began to realize his passion for working with kids and began teaching classes and workshops throughout southern Ontario. Today, even though Kyle is an experienced teacher, he still continues to learn and grow as a hip hop dancer so that his choreography remains fresh, current and inspiring for his students!
Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary
BFA - Dance
Rachel Markun is an emerging artist born and raised in Oakville, Ontario. Developing a love for dance at a young age, she pursued her passion at Ryerson University, where she obtained her BFA in dance. While at Ryerson, Rachel had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as William Yong, James Kudelka, and Alysa Pires. As a dancer, she has also performed in works by Hanna Kiel, Kate Alton, Gadfly, Robert Glumbek, Ryan Lee and Shay Kuebler. Rachel is excited to see what the future holds as she continues training, growing and exploring as an artist and instructor.
Allegro School of Dance is thrilled to introduce Rachel to our dance families and we are very much looking forward to working with her this season.
Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Conditioning
Jacqueline Burtney is a professional actor, dancer, choreographer and teacher who grew up in a dance family, originally training at her mother’s competitive studio in western Canada. Today she currently resides in Toronto, ON and has been working in the industry since graduating from Sheridan Institute’s prestigious Music Theatre Performance Program. Most recently she performed in the 1st National Tour and the Mirvish Production of Matilda. Previously she has worked onstage in Jesus Christ Superstar ON BROADWAY, traveled with the First National Tour of Anything Goes and performed in two seasons at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, most recently as Louise in Carousel. She has also performed on The Tony Awards and on The View in New York City. Her film/television credits include but are not limited to The Strain, Hellcats and Nikita. Jacqueline has been teaching and choreographing for over ten years across Canada and the United States; she specializes in ballet, jazz and contemporary choreography. Jacqueline has also studied at the National Ballet School of Canada, apprenticed with The Banff Performing Arts Professional Dance Company and competed and studied internationally in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Joinville in Brazil. We welcome Jacqueline to Allegro are very excited to work with her this season!
Jory Pierce began dancing in Calgary, AB when he was only 3 years old. By age 16, he completed more than a decade of training in: Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary/ Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. Jory’s passion for performing won him many awards and scholarships to elite schools such as The Edge Performing Arts and LA Dance Force, both in Los Angeles. His training continued as he studied in Seattle, New York, Toronto and eventually Vancouver, where he began dancing with The Source Dance Company, Illustrative Society and Lux Dance Company. As a professional, Jory has toured the world performing, filming, acting and teaching, he has choreographed for music videos and live stage shows, and most recently, Jory completed a TV contract in Egypt. Along with teaching, Jory continues to work in the industry and splits his time between Toronto and Vancouver where he dances with his collective, Vancity Footclan. We are very excited to have Jory at Allegro, teaching Hip Hop to Recreational and Competitive Dancers. Not only is he diverse, but he is also in touch and connected with the latest trends and demands of the Commercial Dance world!
Victoria Jaime grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, where she graduated from Humber College in Child and Youth Work. For over 10 years, she pursued a career where she worked one-on-one with youth at risk as well as their families. Victoria assisted the Children’s Aid Society as well as the Peel Courts and worked with first time young offenders, counseling them through better decision making skills, while improving their self-growth and esteem. After many years at a very rewarding career, Victoria took some time off to raise her two children. However, soon after, once again she found herself working in an environment with young children and youth; this time though, at a dance school!
Victoria has been a studio Administrator and Office Manager for over 11 years now and became a part of Allegro School of Dance’s family in 2016. She thrives in an environment that caters to families and children, especially those who are exploring their passion for dance and developing confidence through a creative outlet. Victoria feels blessed that she is a part of such a nurturing environment. She is loved by all of the Allegro students as well as their families and is always eager to go above and beyond to make sure that everyone receives the most pleasant experience possible!