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.

Mary Paterson

Owner, Director & Teacher

BFA - Dance

Mary began dancing at the age of 6 and by 9, she was invited to join the Competitive Dance Team at Allegro. While training, Mary became a very versatile dancer by focusing on Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Pointe. At the age of 12 she started as a teacher’s assistant, and quickly realized her passion for working with children in a dance setting. 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”. Mary’s experience and determination led her to Toronto Metropolitan University (Ryerson University) where she studied and graduated with a BFA of Performance Dance. She continues to develop as a dancer but has focused her attention on her passion for working with kids and teaching.  Mary has over 10 years of  teaching experience, and is passionate about sharing her love of dance through teaching!

Laura Dacyshyn

Founder

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 Allegro School of Dance in 2002, 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

Studio Coordinator & Teacher

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.

Stephanie Marchessault

Competitive Director & Teacher

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.

Carina Holland

Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap

AA, BFA, PDg, MA PAA, PBT, PAEC

Since her first exposure to dance at the age of five, Carina has crafted her style and passion across 20 years of professional experience with both performing and teaching. She began as a competitive dancer, attending Performing Arts Schools and working through her ballet, jazz and tap dance examinations through the Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PAEC). Carina continued her dancing training attending New World School of the Arts in Miami Florida (AA, BFA) and received her Master’s Degree in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School (PDg, MA). Throughout her career, Carina has performed internationally for audiences across Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom working personally with Daniel Lewis, Peter London, Gerald Ebitz, and Darshan Singh Bhuller. She has performed for companies, with her primary focus on her work as a freelance performer. This has led her to perform works by choreographers such as Hofesh Schechtor, Robert Battle, Kristen Carcone, José Limon, and Paolo Mangiola. Alongside performing, Carina has shared her passion for dance with students of all ages and levels. As an instructor Carina works to create a positive, fulfilling, and in-depth approach to her teaching. Her students have won various awards, scholarships, and recognitions for their achievements. Carina continues her development in her professional teaching career with a certification with Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT), as a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance (PAA) and a full membership in PAEC Ballet and Jazz.
Carina’s passion for dance continues to thrive as she inspires the next generation of young dancers and professionals to find the same passion that was instilled in herself at a young age. She looks forward to seeing everyone explore and develop through movement and the love of dance.

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!

Janessa Pudwell

Hip Hop

Janessa is a dancer, choreographer and teacher working out of Hamilton and the GTA. She has devoted her life to training extensively in a variety of styles including contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, modern and street dance styles such as hip hop, popping, locking and house. Janessa was a featured choreographer for Toronto’s Nuit Rose Festival, Hamilton’s Art Crawl Festival and received Hamilton’s Emerging Dance Artist Award in 2020. She is always looking for new ways to create and evolve her artistry. Her first endeavor into filmmaking was with the short film “Moment Between 8 & 1”, which won the independent short film category for the Hamilton Arts Awards in 2021. Janessa works regularly in music videos and music production as a director, choreographer and dancer. Her passion for dance, music and art are undeniable. She hopes to inspire the generations after her to be fearless in their creations and expression.

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!

Dylan Vandemaele

Hip Hop

Dylan Vandemaele (He/Him) is an actor and dance instructor based in Hamilton. He is a graduate of Glendale Secondary’s performing arts program where he began his training and found his passion as an artist early on. Since graduating, Dylan has gone on to train at Defining Movement Dance and specializes in street styles such as hip-hop, commercial choreography, funk styles (popping/locking) and more. Dylan has worked with various companies such as The Hamilton Fringe, The CEBL, Theatre Aquarius, Defining Movement Dance, Rooks Theatre, and more within Hamilton’s scene of arts as a performer and producer. His work on “The 4 Grandmasters of Street Dance”, a hip-hop play he wrote and directed, recently won the best in family fringe 2022 category.
Dylan is currently training with The Artillery Dance Company a semi-professional competitive dance crew that has gone on to compete at World Of Dance Michigan with multiple 1st place wins.

Genevieve Galea

Ballet, Contemporary, Pointe

Ms. Genevieve started dancing at the age of 3 at Allegro School of Dance and quickly found her love and passion for dance. While at Allegro, Genevieve was an accomplished competitive dancer, winning many awards and was an important part of the Allegro team. In 2016, Genevieve began dancing under the full-time professional training of Evelyn Hart, where she was coached by a variety of contemporary choreographers from all over the world, developing a love for the artistry of contemporary dance. Genevieve joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Aspirant Program in the summer of 2019. While working with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet she performed classical ballets such as La Bayadère, Swan Lake, Nutcracker and more. In 2020, Genevieve had the opportunity to choreograph for the Prix de Lausanne’s Young Creation Award competition with Royal Winnipeg Ballet students and company. In 2021, Genevieve co-choreographed a small group contemporary piece for the First Steps Competition. This piece went on to win the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School award and the First Place award. Genevieve is so excited to be back at Allegro School of Dance and to share her
knowledge and love of dance with all her students!

Sue Aspin

Office Manager

BA (Hons), CFP

Sue has recently joined Allegro School of Dance as the Office Manager. Originally from Montreal, she has spent most of her adult life in Mississauga. A retired financial services executive, Sue left the corporate world in 2012 after a successful 25 year career to stay home with her two children. During her time at home, Sue became a very experienced Dance and Hockey Mom, and soon found herself helping and eventually working in a Performing and Visual Arts studio. Having spent 17 years in the dance world as a parent, volunteer and office manager, Sue is passionate about dance and loves to be part of a dance community. Sue thrives in a busy environment and draws on her business experience to keep the office running efficiently. Sue can’t wait to meet the Allegro students and families.