Dancefusion has helped train some of the most talented individuals and we are extremely proud of their accomplishments!
- Aaron MackenzieDFAD Alumni
JERSEY BOYS Swing/ Dancer Paris Las Vegas/ Des McAnuff
JERSEY BOYS Swing/ Frankie Valli us DanCap Productions/ Des McAnuff
DISNEY DREAMS Peter Pan Disney Cruise Line/Ed Whitlow, N. Waibel
HERCULES: THE MUSE-ICAL Young Hercules/ Ensemble DCL/Ed Whitlow, Noreen Waibel
THE GOLDEN MICKEYS Luigi/ Ensemble DCL/Ed Whitlow, Noreen Waibel
C.A.R.S. Featured Soloist Theatre Sheridan/Noah Henne
WEST SIDE STORY Action Theatre Sheridan/Marc Richard
CANDIDE Candide Theatre Sheridan/Greg Peterson, D. Warrack
LES FEUX FOLLETS Young Company Member The Charlottetown Festival/Anne Allan
NO, NO NANETTE Ensemble Theatre Sheridan/Anne Allan, John Karr
TAPE Jon V.S.P.V.A/Jon Stewart
THE MUSIC MAN Jacey Squires V.S.P.V.A/Dianne Gilchrist
THE EXHIBITION The Elephant Man V.S.P.V.A/Jeff Moulton
THE SECRET GARDEN Albert Lennox V.S.P.V.A/Greg Dowler-Coltman
FOOTLOOSE Chuck Cranston St. Albert Children’s Fest./Janice Flower
BIG SHOT Director SurrealSoReal Theatre Company
ELEANOR Director SurrealSoReal Theatre Company
BOYGROOVE: THE MUSICAL Resident Director/ Dance Capt. Michael Rubinoff Productions
URBANTILITY Director SurrealSoReal Theatre Company
GRUMPLESTOCKS Director Nextfest; The Edmonton Fringe Festival
NEVER SWIM ALONE Director Victoria School of Performing/Visual Arts
BACKSTAGE DANCE STUDIO Dance Instructor
SHERIDAN INSTITUTE: MUSIC THEATRE Triple Threat Award, Vocal Technique Award
ALBERTA PROVINCIAL DRAMAFEST Outstanding Direction & Lighting Design, Never Swim Alone
NATIONAL YOUTH TALENT AWARDS First Runner Up, Soloist
KLONDIKE DAYS YOUTH Grand Winning Act, Soloist
DANCE POWER WESTERN CDN FINALS Best Overall Group, Duet
AMERICAN DANCE AWARDS Young Choreographer; Highest Score; Judges’ Choice, Duet
SHERIDAN INSTITUTE Music Theatre Performance Program Graduate -ACTING, VOICE, DANCE G. Peterson, M. Baron, G. Saunders, G. Andrews, M. Zahalan, G. Hakala,
M. Mekler, S. Denton, D. Reis, D. Norman, R. Calvert
THE CHARLOTTETOWN FESTIVAL Musical Theatre Training Program
Dancefusion Academy of Dance/ Mary-Anne Kuebler
- Abby Van TwuyverDFAD Alumni
This past year I have been awarded the Leo and Vivian Broks Dance Scholarship to help support me in my dance journey! I have also been accepted, and trained in the ITP (Intensive Training Program) in Vancouver BC! I am planning to go to university in the fall to persue one of my other passions in life besides dancing. Regardless, I am extremely excited to see where my future takes me.
- Andrea NentDFAD Alumni
Andrea Nent has been dancing since the age of 3 and training at Dancefusion for many years. Over the years she has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, lyrical, tap, hip hop, step and musical theatre. She has travelled to attend dance classes and conference in New York, Las Vegas, Edmonton, Kelowna and Calgary. She also has had many performance opportunities throughout her career including Alberta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” and “Mid-Summers Night Dream”, she also danced in the Grey Cup half-time show. Her passion for dance has also led her to exciting career opportunites; she has been a choreographer for school productions @ Cloverbar Jr High, and was an instructor for the County of Strathcona. Currently enrolled at the University of Alberta in a combined degree (Bachelor of Arts in Drama/Bachelor of Education – Secondary) hoping to learn and grow to better share her passion for dance and arts
- Andrew MerriganDFAD Alumni
Andrew Merrigan is a writer, producer, director, actor, and choreographer. He hails from Edmonton, Alberta but has worked and studied all across Alberta, including a BFA (Dramatic Arts) in Theatre from the University of Lethbridge. Directing Credits include: WILF (Theatre, 2016), Urban Growth (Film, 2017) After Mount (Film, 2018), TALK (Film 2018). He has also tap danced for 25 years, winning numerous awards for his choreography and performances, and has studied and performed all over North America. Andrew loves tackling existentialism and absurdism in his work, but also subjects like communication, mental health, and crushing negative stereotypes about relationships and masculinity.
- Barbara VargasDFAD Alumni
Barbara’s experience as a performer allows her to take audiences on a fun and informative journey of facts and personal stories from the cast in ReachOut Psychosis. Barbara is an upbeat, energetic host, who gets audience members to participate in live demonstrations to help better understand the symptoms that are called psychosis and early psychosis intervention.
Versatile dancer and educator, Barbara Vargas, is one of two Tap Dancers in the world currently completing a Diploma in Music, using her shoes as her major instrument. Her wide variety of performance experience locally and internationally allows her to jump into many different types of projects, from playing Rhoda in the Musical White Christmas, to a Tap Dance percussionist in the Mary Lee Bird Band. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta as well as training through International Internships in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Barbara was for years a leader in the Edmonton-area tap community She now resides in Vancouver as AIR with Vancouver Public Schools and ReachOut Psychosis Tour Coordinator.
- Emily NotonDFAD Alumni
Having a mulit-faceted career, Emily is an exquisite dance professional, well prepared to mentor our students with an abundance of opportunity and knowledge. Emily has danced with various companies in New York, Philadelphia and Edmonton, including Link Contemporary Dance Company and Saba Dance Theatre. Her extensive teaching and choreography experience include companies throughout North America and Asia, including Broadway Dance Centre and University of Alberta’s Orchesis Program. Emily truly guides and mentors her students; and has enjoyed seeing their successes as professional dancers. Students of Emily’s have gone on to prestigious dance programs in Canada and USA such as ABT, and can even be found performing on Broadway with the Rockette’s.
- Hillary AmesDFAD Alumni
Hillary has danced since the age of five and received her training exclusively at Dancefusion. She has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, musical theatre, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and step dancing. Through the years Hillary attended many classes and workshops in Edmonton as well as Calgary, Vancouver, Las Vegas, and New York. Hillary is trained to teach Jr. grades of ballet as well as Al Gilbert tap, and has been to multiple conferences such as the Dance Teacher Summit.
Hillary has had a multitude of performance opportunities including two years in the Alberta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”, Grey Cup halftime show, Feats Festival, 1 season with the Crush Dance Team, Kinesis, and most recently in Riley Skworoda’s Fringe Festival show “A Dance Journey” in 2017. One highlight of her dance career was winning the Showtime Promotions Crystal Challenge with a team of 3 other incredible young tap dancers.
A recent graduate of the U of A, Hillary is currently substitute teaching for both Elk Island and Sturgeon Public School divisions. She enjoys connecting with students and walking into something different every day.
- Janae OlsenDFAD Alumni
Janae is a young, upcoming tap dancer who has found a love in learning, teaching and performing tap. Since the age of three, she has danced and studied at many studios in the Edmonton area, receiving her dance education from some of the best in the area. She completed the Al Gilbert Tap Syllabus with perfect scores, received her Teachers’ Recognition Certificate, and has had the opportunity to assist and mentor from a number of renowned tap teachers. She has taught as a guest instructor and is expanding her horizons by teaching classes of her own at the Sugar Swing Dance Club and Dancefusion Academy of Dance. She has been learning many skills from the Next Steps Tap Development Program, an exclusive program for upcoming tap dancers, directed by Jenna Werhun. The Next Steps focuses on tap, music history, music theory, performing, teaching, and professional skills, which are all taught and critiqued. Janae has also studied music through her years of training in violin, flute and clarinet. Through her recent studies, she has had the opportunity to apply and practice that knowledge with musicians and in her own work. Throughout her performing and dancing career, Janae has been very successful. She has won a number of awards such as Shy-Ann’s Adjudicators Choice Tap Award, Shy Ann’s Advanced High Score Runner Up, and the Christene Murdock Memorial Dance Scholarship. Janae was accepted into the New York Tap Kids Summer Intensive for two years, where she learned and performed work by spectacular artists and performers. She was also accepted into the Gabriola On Tap program in 2015, and spent a week working with some of the greatest names in tap. Janae has taken part in the Vancouver Inter Tap Festival for a number of years, Edmonton’s Feat Festival of Dance and Fringe Festival, where she performed in a new show Tip Tap Toe, If You Love Me Never Let Me Go. In her studies with the Next Steps, Janae had another opportunity to perform, nd helped produce and choreograph a show with her fellow Next Steps peers: Tap. Some of her greatest influences influences are Allison Toffan, JenWerhun and Gail Ledger.
- Jason HardwickDFAD Alumni
Jason is an Edmonton based actor, improviser and dancer. He completed the MacEwan Theatre Arts program in 2006 and since then has worked throughout Alberta, British Columbia and as far as Alaska and Mexico when he was dancing with Princess Cruise Lines. Some favorite credits of his are April in Peril (Acme Theatre), Mack and Mabel, Little Fish, Fiorello! and Bells Are Ringing (Plain Janes), Chicago, All Shook Up (Stage West Calgary) and Chicago, The Wedding Singer, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Footloose (Mayfield), Hairspray (Mayfield). Jason can be seen Monday nights at Die-Nasty at the Varscona and in and around the Edmonton Fringe Festival!
- Kaleigh KlammerDFAD Alumni
At the age of 4, Kaleigh began dancing at Georgina’s Academy of Dance and is now trained in all styles including Cecchetti ballet, Al Gilbert tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, and various styles of hip-hop. She has trained at many studios in and around Edmonton: Dance Fusion Academy of Dance, Edmonton School of Ballet, and 3rd Street Beat. Kaleigh now teaches dance alongside her Mom, Georgina with Georgina’s Academy of Dance in Vegreville and Irma and she is a seasonal choreographer for Ballet Camrose under the direction of Colleen Olsen.
As a dancer, Kaleigh has competed at numerous dance festivals and competitions across Alberta winning awards for her solo and group performances. As an instructor, she has received various awards for choreography, performance, and adjudicator’s choice.
Kaleigh has attended international conventions including Los Angeles Dance Force Intensive (San Francisco), Manhattan Dance Project (Hollywood), Groove Street Productions, and trained with renowned instructors including Bradley “Shooz” Rapier, ShoTyme, Eric Malapad, Luther
Brown, Harj Rai, Cameron McKinlay, Shay Kuebler, Alex Pesusich, Joanne Pesusich, Carlo Atienza, Kerry Koble, Curtis Ledger, Gail Ledger, to name a few. Local credits include performing in VCHS’ production of “Annie” and “Grease”, Walterdale Theatre Production of “The Fantasticks”, Hip-Hop for Hope, Northern Star Talent Search, and West Edmonton Mall Fashion Shows.
Currently, Kaleigh works as a Registered Nurse in Edmonton and continues to grow her passion for dance through teaching and taking classes and workshops.
- Kelsey BryantDFAD Alumni
Throughout the past 19 years, Kelsey has studied in many entertainment genres, taken several career defining risks and has made strategic choices in order to be characterized as a new-age triple threat. Kelsey’s training began in Sherwood Park, Alberta and expanded as she joined the DFAD family in 2012 studying many styles such as ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, jazz funk, heels and burlesque as well as acrobatics.
Throughout her dance career, Kelsey has been the recipient of numerous cash awards as well as several scholarships to dance conventions and companies across Canada and the U.S. including The Harbour Dance Centre in British Columbia and The Edge Performing Arts Centre in California. She has also received several over-all titles within competition for her performances and received the title of ‘Overall Highest Scoring Soloist” for a provincial wide competition in British Colombia in May of 2015. In 2017, she left Canada to expand her knowledge and find new means of flourishing her creativity.
Kelsey recently lived in Auckland, New Zealand where she trained with the Auckland Dance Company and has since relocated to London, England where she studies at Pineapple Studios while strengthening her other passion of acting.
Kelsey is incredibly grateful for the influential women who have supported her on this journey.
- Kendra ShorterDFAD Alumni
Kendra Shorter has been dancing since the age of three. She is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, modern, and tap. She has trained in Sherwood Park, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and New York. In the summers of 2016 and 2017 she danced in Italy for the Dance Italia/ Gaga Summer workshop. Kendra has been teaching and choreographing for 3 years at local dance studios and schools. In September 2017, she was a choreographer for the Dreamspeakers Film Festival Youth Day video. She is currently touring 2 shows nation- wide (Bears and Minosis Gathers Hope) with Punctuate Theatre and Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts. Performance experience includes: Lobbyists Ensemble with Azimuth Theatre, Solo work at Rubaboo Festival, Edmonton Contemporary Dancers, and Edmonton Festival Ballet, Kendra has won numerous awards and scholarships such as: The Alberta Foundation of the Arts Dance Individual Project Grant, A scholarship to Broadway Dance Centre Scholarship, and a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School. One of the best years of dancing she had was at Dancefusion Academy of Dance. Kendra is so grateful for all of the support she had from her peers and instructors. She wouldn’t be where she is today without them.
- Kimberley PennerDFAD Alumni
Kimberley is a graduate of DFAD. While studying to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, she was able to share her passion for dance by teaching at Dance Fusion for 6 years. Her first degree strengthened her understanding of how the body functions and the growth and development of children, which she was able to apply to better support the development of the students she interacted with. Kimberley has always enjoyed helping people and continued in university to pursue her After Degree in Nursing. She has had many wonderful and enlightening experiences in her clinical placements. Throughout her degree, she was placed on internal medicine, gastroenterology, and thoracic surgery units in acute care settings as well as labour and delivery and community placements. Currently she is studying to write the licensing exam and cannot wait to begin her journey as a registered nurse. Kimberley is entering a new chapter in her life as she will not be a Penner for much longer. She got engaged earlier this year and cannot wait to say “I do” next year! Kimberley is very excited to see where this next chapter will take her and her soon to be husband. The life lessons Kimberley has learned growing up in dance are team work, dedication and hard work, she has applied these principles to her everyday life to further her personal and professional development. She hopes to continue to share her love of dance and is looking forward to what the future holds.
- Kyra O'NeillDFAD Alumni
Kyra is a graduate of DFAD, she is a Sherwood Park based performer and instructor.
Kyra has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Acro, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre and modern. Her background led her to work with students before graduating the DFAD program. She loves to work with Children of all ages, sharing in the joy that is dance. Apon graduating Kyra has performed with Disney Cruise Lines. Taking on many different roles throughout her career.
She is passionate about dance and enjoys sharing her passion on stage and with students.
- Mikayla NewboldDFAD Alumni
Mikayla is a young and passionate tap dancer on the front of the tap scene in Edmonton who began her tap journey at the age of two. She has had the pleasure of training and taking tap classes from many tap masters in Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton. Mikayla’s love of tap has led her to perform in many shows throughout the years such as the production of Tip Tap Toe; if you love me never let me go, in the 2015 Edmonton Fringe Festival, the 2016 A Mass Appeal music and dance showcase, the 2017 Edmonton International Jazz Festival with Sole Rhythm, and Rhythm and Sound’s production in the 2017 Feats Festival. Her 12 years of training in Jazz, Ballet, and Lyrical gives her a well-rounded style which focuses on musicality and engaging audiences
- Niki HoferDFAD Alumni
The proud founder and owner of Niko’s Dance Team, with two locations in Eastern Alberta. I am happy to say that I fulfilled a childhood dream when I opened these doors over a decade ago. A small studio at first it has grown over the years and we have trained some amazing dancers and still are training Stars of the Future.
My dancing career began at the young age of two and a half years when I first strapped on a pair of tap shoes. I began jazz and ballet the next year and by the ripe old age of five I had won my first scholarship and began to study dance three nights a week. At age seven I saw the start of Ukrainian, Square and Round Dancing with clogging, my love for dance has never stopped.
I continued with advanced training in classical ballet, jazz, modern, musical theatre, character and tap at the Edmonton School of Ballet, under the artistic direction of Margaret Flynn. I later joined the world renowned Ukrainian Cheremosh Ensemble of Edmonton under the artistic direction of Mykola Kanevets from Kiev, Ukraine.
I enriched my dance career as a member of the ECD Company. In 1996 the Edmonton Contemporary Dancers represented Canada at the World Jazz Congress in Germany.
In the summer of 2000, Cheremosh was invited to the International Youth Festival in Aberdeen Scotland to be the sole representatives of Canada. This tour also brought us to England. Cheremosh has danced its way all across North America and also did a tour in China in 2007.
I furthered my dance training at the Dancefusion Academy of Dance where I added Hip-Hop to my list of disciplines. I was able to be a member of the dance company Antigravity and appeared in the summer Melt-Down Hip-Hop Party Tour of Alberta.
I gained my Elementary level from the Cecchetti Society International of Classical Ballet and took my advanced ISTD Ballet Exams as well as my grade nine tap. I have been a soloist and have assisted and taught for various dance companies, and have won numerous awards for my choreography since the opening of my studio.
- Olivia SchotteDFAD Alumni
Olivia Schotte has been dancing since she could put one foot in front of the other. She has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, modern, tap, hip hop, musical theatre, acro, and aerial arts. She started her dance training at Dancefusion Academy of Dance in her hometown of Sherwood Park and stayed there until she graduated from high school. She continues to teach there whenever she gets the opportunity. Along the way Olivia also broadened her training at convention and intensives in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, San Diego, Los Angeles. Following graduation she was accepted into the training program with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary, Alberta along with the Jazz Trainee Program at the Joffrey Ballet in New York but ultimately decided to continue her training as a member of the Intensive Training Program at Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has had many performance opportunities with Western Canada and Las Vegas performer, Terrell Edwards, Fifa World Cup Opening Ceremonies, Edmonton Stingers half time show, and performed for a crowd of 30,000 people at We Day in Vancouver. She is currently still living in Vancouver and a part of the Alumni ITP. Although covid circumstances are not in any dancer’s favour, Olivia is making the most out of whatever kind of dance opportunities she can get!
- Payton WilsonDFAD Alumni
Payton danced at DFAD for 14 years, taking jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, modern, hip hop and musical theatre. At a young age she discovered a strong passion for musical theatre and loved to sing and act. She had lead roles in her junior and senior high drama and musical theatre shows, and helped choreograph shows for both Clover Bar Junior High, and Bev Facey Senior High. She was the recipient of the Don Sadoway Triple Threat Scholarship from Bev Facey High School in grade 12. Payton has attended dance classes at The Edge in Los Angeles, and at Broadway Dance Centre, Steps on Broadway, and Alvin Ailey in New York. She has recently finished her program at Randolph College for the Performing Arts in Toronto in the Triple Threat Fine Arts Program.
- Peyton RussellDFAD Alumni
Peyton Russell has been dancing since the age of three. She is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, modern, tap, heels, hip hop, acrobatics and aerial arts. She has trained in Sherwood Park, Edmonton, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and New York. Peyton’s training began in Sherwood Park, Alberta at Dancefusion Academy of Dance where she trained, taught, performed and competed. She trained and took Cecchetti Ballet exams, up to the Intermediate level, as well as Tap exams throughout her years at Dancefusion. She has also taught and choreographed in jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, lyrical, acrobatics, aerial arts, and hip hop. Peyton has also been apart of numerous performances such as Stars of Hope, Splash and Boots New Year’s Eve Show, Canada Day Parade and MainStage performance, and alongside Terrell Edwards, a local singer. Throughout her career, Peyton has been the recipient of numerous cash awards as well as several scholarships to dance conventions and companies across Canada and the US including The Edge Performing Arts Centre and Dancerpalooza in California as well as a Scholarship to Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Upon graduation, she made the move to New York City where she was offered a place as a Jazz and Contemporary Trainee with the Joffrey Ballet School. She spent the year training, performing and teaching at the school. After spending the 2018-2019 dance season with Joffrey, she moved back home where soon after she was offered a position as an Intern in a Joffrey Ballet School Summer Camp in Miami, Florida with Jo Matos, the director of the Children’s Dance Program at their New York location. Soon after, she was accepted into Joanne Pesusich’s Source Dance Company, which runs in Vancouver, BC. She now resides in Vancouver where she has trained and performed multiple times throughout the year. She is passionate about dance and enjoys sharing her passion on stage and with students.
- Shay KueblerDFAD Alumni
Shay began his artistic development at the age of five with dramatic arts and martial arts. This
early foundation in the arts would lead to his training in numerous forms of dance and
movement theory. Shay’s abilities as a creator and performer have grown from his versatility
and exposure to numerous art forms. He has continued to invest in his artistic practice
through international studies in music, theatre, dance and martial arts, including focused time
in The USA, Brazil, Japan and China.
As a performer, he has worked in the fields of Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary Dance, Circus Arts,
Film and Theatre. He has performed for numerous companies across Canada, USA and The
UK, including Kidd Pivot, Holy Body Tattoo, Pachimama Theatre, Line 1 and Company 605.
He has choreographed and directed works for Ballet Edmonton, The American Dance Festival,
CitieBallet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Moment Factory and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. In
Vancouver, he was a co-founder of The 605 Collective and is the founder and current Artistic
Director of Radical System Art. With his company, Shay has produced and directed five fullevening
dance works that have toured nationally and internationally.
As an educator, Shay has worked with multiple organizations including Simon Fraser
University, L’Ecole Du Danse Quebec, The London Contemporary Dance School, The American
Dance Festival, Arts Umbrella and Modus Operandi.
In 2010, he received the Holy Body Tattoo emerging artist award and in 2014 he received The
Mayor’s Arts Award for emerging dance artist from the City of Vancouver.
- Tayla HaswellDFAD Alumni
Tayla Haswell began her dance and gymnastics training in South Africa, and upon moving to Canada began training in ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, lyrical and jazz at Vimy Ridge Academy's Professional Dance Program. Here she enjoyed 4 years dancing with the Edmonton Festival Ballet Company. Tayla has had various training and performance opportunities across Canada and the United States including: Vancouver, Toronto and New York, among many others!
Upon graduating from Vimy, Tayla began dancing at DFAD. It was here that she recognized her passion for teaching, choreographing and sharing her passions with future generations. She has enjoyed sharing her passion at Dancefusion while in university, and working as a member of the Edmonton Oilers Orange and Blue Ice Crew.