Teachers

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.

Laura Dacyshyn

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.

Sarah Dowhun-Tompa

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.

Katie Willhoeft

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.

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!

Stephanie Marchessault

Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Ballet

BFA - Dance

Stephanie is an accomplished educator and choreographer with an eye for precision and technique. Stephanie grew up in London, Ontario where she studied extensively as a competitive dancer and figure skater. Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance Dance from Ryerson University and she was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for her class. While at Ryerson, she had the opportunity to work and train with esteemed teachers and choreographers such as Nadia Potts, Vicki St. Denys, Kenny Pearl, Allen Kaeja, Daryl Tracey and Robert Glumbek. Upon graduating, Stephanie danced aboard Carnival Cruise Lines as a lead dancer travelling throughout North America.

Stephanie and her students have received countless awards including high scores, choreography and dance off Champion Titles. Stephanie continues to attend workshops to ensure personal growth and expand her knowledge to her students. Stephanie strives to bring out the best in her students teaching confidence, determination, style, precision and teamwork. Stephanie looks forward to sharing her passion for dance while challenging her students to the next level technically and artistically.

Reanna Joseph

Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary

BA - Theatre Performance

Reanna received her formal training at Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the Competitive Division and holds a BA in Theatre Performance from University of Winnipeg. With more than seventeen years of training and performance experience, she has studied many different styles of dance including Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Ukrainian and Jazz Funk.

Ms. Joseph was co founder and artistic director of Evolve Dance Company. The group provided opportunities to emerging dancers and choreographers by bridging gaps between dance genres, communities and artists.

Along with touring through the US and Canada with Koba Entertainment and B.O.S.S. Dance Team, Reanna has performed in shows such as, West Side Story (Rainbow Stage), Top Girls (University of Winnipeg), and R Rate (University of Winnipeg). She had the pleasure of starring as Harriet Tubman is Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s production of The Power of Harriet T. Most recently, Ms. Joseph was on a US national tour with Shopkin’s Live: Shop it up! (Koba Entertainment) as their feature dancer and Cocolette understudy.

She has also had the pleasure of choreographing, Bizzaro Obscure (Peachy Keen Productions), Off (Melange Ah Trios Collective), Godspell (Winnipeg Studio Theatre), Young Frankenstein (Winnipeg Studio Theatre), The Fool (Hetta Dance Company) and was the Apprentice Choreographer on Sister Act (Rainbow Stage). Reanna is regularly invited by Sarasvati Productions to create movement based theatre for touring shows. She is known in Winnipeg for her massive flash mob dances and spectacles at events such as the Movement Centre’s Move N’ Groove-athon, Many Fest and Manitoba Culture Days.

Reanna has had the opportunity to perform and choreograph for North America’s finest but her passion is based in her students’ growth and is dedicated to inspire, and challenge.

Alexandra Golden

Classical Ballet

A native of Burlington Ontario, Alexandra Golden began her dance training at the age of three. She joined Canada’s National Ballet School, where she studied with world-renowned instructors and classical dancers. Upon her graduation, Alexandra was immediately offered a contract with The National Ballet of Canada and was soon promoted to Soloist. Her repertoire with the company ranged from Corps to Principle roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, The Taming of the Shrew, Sleeping Beauty and many more. Alexandra also toured extensively with The National Ballet and shared the stage with many acclaimed artists such as Karen Kain, Rex Harrington and Evelyn Hart.

In 2010, after retiring from performing, Alexandra transitioned and quickly fell in love with teaching. Today, she is passionate about sharing her experience and knowledge with future generations and is especially excited about working with her new students. We welcome Ms Alex to Allegro and look forward to growing from her expertise on and off stage!

Heidi Lorenz

Acro, Jazz

BFA - Dance

From a very young age, Heidi Lorenz always knew that she wanted to perform. She began her training as a competitive dancer and won numerous awards including “Highest Mark”, “Highest Soloist”, and “Adjudicators Choice Awards” for Most Potential. As a teen, Heidi attended the dance program at Cawthra Park Secondary School and began working in film and television. Her charisma and technical excellence landed her many roles in several productions including the Family Channel’s “The Next Step” and “Backstage”, Slice’s “Rich Bride Poor Bride” and broadcasted events such as “Miss Universe Canada”. Heidi’s experience and determination led her to Ryerson University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and was awarded with the Pamela Hackett “Excellence in Dance” Scholarship. Heidi has trained and performed across North America and has had the opportunity to work with world renowned choreographers such as Amanda Cleghorn, Kristen Carcone, Kelly Shaw, Jaques Monfiston, Gadfly, Hanna Keil, Allen Kaeja, Matjash Mrozewski and many more. She continues to be a central figure in the dance community, participating in intensives such as “MIP” in New York City (2017), Kenny Pearl’s “Emerging Artist Intensive” (2017/2018) and “Pro Arte Danza” (2018). Heidi’s love for dance has translated into an even greater passion for helping young dancers uncover their potential in the studio and on stage. She has volunteered her time to help choreograph numerous student works and has been a dance instructor for many years. As Heidi’s dance career continues to evolve, her passion for both dance and teaching grow with it!

Natalie Smith

Ballet, Jazz

ACTRA

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!

Holly Pocket

Holly Pocket, was born and raised in Newmarket, Ontario. She fell in love with dance as a child, however it wasn’t until 2014 that Holly moved downtown to pursue her dreams as a professional dancer. There she began training with “Footnotes Academy ” and gained the experience needed to catapult her career into something she had always dreamed of. Holly began to master many street styles including Hip Hop, Locking and Breaking, but it was Popping that she ultimately gravitated towards and began to seriously pursue. Holly continued to study with the creators of this style and went on to successfully battle internationally.

In 2018, Holly co-founded the “House of Hunniez”, an all female Street Dance crew; only a year later, House of Hunniez became the 2019 Champions of “The Goat Toronto ”!

Today, Holly continues to work on set and has been cast in many well-known movies and T.V. shows. She is still a dedicated member of “Footnotes Elite” and is always evolving as an artist. Although Holly loves to perform, she feels most connected to her craft when sharing with others and training the next generation of Hip Hop dancers! We welcome Holly to Allegro and look forward to the new energy she is sure to bring to the studio!

Kayla Maggio

Born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, Kayla has grown up on stage since the age of two. She holds an honours in both the Royal Conservatory of Music and BATD dance examinations and continues to study and dance in multiple disciplines.

Her passion for teaching was something Kayla discovered at a young age, working with Recreational and Competitive dancers in the Ottawa and Kingston Region.

She is currently in her fourth year at Sheridan College’s Honours Bachelor of Music & Theatre Performance Program and plans to venture on to further her studies in education. Kayla is so excited to join the Allegro faculty and cannot wait to share her love for dance and performing with her new students!

Victoria Jaime

Studio Manager

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!