Tara Pillon

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Tara Pillon is a professional dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. She graduated with honours from Ryerson University, where she received a BFA in Performance Dance. Tara received her Certificate for Russian Pedagogy in Amsterdam, Netherlands and is an in-demand teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator throughout the GTA. She currently teaches ballet at Toronto’s own, Millennium Dance Complex. Tara has performed professionally with Ballet Creole, Gadfly’s Urban Dance Repertory Company, emiMOTION Dance Company, Human Body Expression, Avinoam Silverman Dance, and Creativiva. She can be seen dancing in the Hallmark film A Nutcracker Christmas, and in Diversion, a dance film by Avinoam Silverman. Tara has also choreographed with Creativiva for events such as the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, Ricarda’s Grand Opening, and the Allstate Honor Ring Banquet. Most recently, Tara choreographed with Clarence Ford for The Tenors’ latest music video. Tara is the Co-Artistic Director of ACE Dance Theatre, a professional contemporary dance company based out of Toronto, Ontario, as well as The Ballet Lab, a comprehensive training program dedicated to developing and fortifying a dancer’s foundational technique.

Leah Totten

Born and raised in small town Aylmer Quebec, Leah Totten’s dance journey began at the age of 14 studying hip hop, jazz, contemporary, ballet and b-girl at a local studio. She quickly fell in love with urban dance and moved to Toronto hoping to expand her knowledge and experience within the art and entertainment industry. Leah is a faculty member of the Centennial College Performance Arts Program, teaches drop-in classes at The Underground Dance Centre and choreographs for numerous competitive studios across Canada while directing her all-female team, BOSS Dance Company.

Leah has produced, directed, and choreographed four successful full-length theatre shows in Toronto: ‘Enouement’ in 2017 and ‘Metamorphosis’ in 2016 at The Winchester Street Theatre, ‘Querencia’ in 2015 at The Randolph Theatre, and ‘The Renaissance Woman’ in 2014 at the Factory Theatre.

She has taught and worked across Canada, the U.S, and Europe including Los Angeles, London, Poland, Romania, Ireland, Nottingham, Hungary, Scotland, Rhode Island, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, New Brunswick, Ottawa, and Quebec to name a few.

Leah was a finalist for Monsters of Hip Hop ‘Choreographers Cup’ in Los Angeles, an intern for Essence Dance Company (Gigi Torres), featured as ‘Become the Next’ at Boogiezone University and also graduated from the ‘Creating Opportunities’ Program in NYC directed by Chonique Sneed and Lisette Bustamante. She is currently a member of the Rhythm2Dance Faculty and is also a sought-after adjudicator with ample experience judging all genres of dance across North America.  Leah believes that dance is about so much more than “steps” and encourages anyone she comes across to find purpose and passion behind their movement.

Lauren Lyn

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Born and raised in Jamaica, Lauren was strongly influenced by music and dance. At the age thirteen, she moved to Toronto where she was introduced to various forms, with a focus on Modern, Jazz and Ballet. Lauren furthered her training at George Brown College, graduating from the Dance Performance program.  She then went on to expand her diversity by studying and receiving top certification as a Ballroom and Latin instructor at the Joy of Dance Centre. In the summer of 2011, Lauren was chosen to be a part of So You Think You Can Dance Canada’s Top 20. Since then Lauren has performed with artist; Nick Jonas, Mr. Vegas, Lady Gaga, Flo Rida, Jully Black, Divine Brown, Keshia Chante, Victoria Duffield, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mariana’s Trench and Hedley. She has performed at numerous Music Awards and has worked on/appeared in a variety of TV Shows and Commercials. Lauren continues to share her passion and love for dance wherever it carries her.

Kylie Thompson

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Kylie is a multi-disciplinary performer, choreographer and educator. She holds an honours degree in Kinesiology from McMaster University, and has trained in classical and contemporary styles with many acclaimed international teachers. Recently her short dance film Versus was an official selection for the New Blue Festival of Emerging Dance, 40North Film Fest (California) and Videoskin Film Festival (Yukon). In 2017 she created and presented her first independent stage work; 33/33, a full-length ensemble piece. Outside of her own work Kylie has also worked as a dancer both in commercial and theatrical concert settings; in contemporary works by Hanna Kiel, Gadfly Dance Company, Alias Dance Project, Marie Lambin, Keren Rosenberg (Israel), Mate Meszaros (Hungary), and Jenn Edwards. She has also performed at Toronto Original Choreographer’s Ball, ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche, Toronto PRIDE, Short Dances in Small Spaces, CONTACT, and Dance Matters. She performed alongside pop artist Kiesza at WE Day 2015 and has been featured in music videos for artists Classified, Airplane Boys and Martin Huss. A passionate educator; she has taught and shared her knowledge of movement at countless different studios and dance companies across Canada; including Toronto’s Underground Dance Centre, City Dance Corps, Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and Vancouver’s Harbour Dance Centre. She is also a faculty member with Dance Attack Convention and Calgary/Toronto Dance Teacher Expo. Kylie aims to inspire and motivate all those who she works with, and is dedicated to a life of making her passion her career.

Johnathan Morin

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Johnathan Morin is a leading force in Canadian Tap dance today. Hailing from Edmonton Alberta, the 27 year old professional tap dancer is making a name for himself across the country and around the world. He is the Co-Artistic Director and Producer of the tap dance company called “Rhythm & Sound”. Established in 2015, Rhythm & Sound has since been presented by Feats Festival of Dance in Edmonton in 2017 and also the Toronto International Tap Dance Festival in 2017 as well. They also present themselves every year in Toronto, their last being at Canadian Stage on Sept 15th/16th 2018, with 301 guests in attendance.

Johnathan most recently was on faculty at the Eastern Canadian Tap Conference which was held in October 2017. He taught at the Dance Project Convention as well as sought out to teach at many workshops all around the country. Other accolades include principle dancer in the tap dance production “Love.Be.Best.Free” Directed and choreographed by Danny Nielsen in which they went on tour for 3.5 weeks in B.C. This was the first tap dance tour in  Western Canada in 35 years. He was on faculty for the 2014 Vancouver International Tap Festival as well as the 2017 Toronto International Tap Festival. Johnathan Also performed at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival in 2013 and 2016.  He also has been brought out by Feats Festival to teach workshops in Edmonton in 2015 and 2017.Most recently he danced with Toffan Rhythm Projects alonside the Toronto Jazz Orchestra as part of the 2018 Edwards Summer Music Series. Johnathan is currently living in Toronto where he teaches at  Canada’s only tap dance only studio called “The Tap Dance Centre”.

Apolonia Velasquez

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Renowned for her versatility, Apolonia has acquired a considerable amount of experience in the entertainment and theatre dance industries. She has worked with artists such as Katy Perry, Kiesza, Serena Ryder and has choreographed for Bench, Make Up For Ever, American Crew, Canada Goose, GM Canada, Nike, and Azzaro. You can also see her choreography in commercials for Pepto Bismol, Emergen-C, and Oculus.

Apolonia is the co-founder/director of touring dance company GADFLY (@alagadfly). Her work includes Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning Klorofyl. She has been commissioned to create work for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Alias Dance Project, Citadel+Compagnie, The School of Dance, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Claudia Moore, and Ryerson Theatre School to name a few. Gadfly has been presented at Ted Talks Toronto and festivals such as DansEncore, Luminato, and Nuit Blanche.

Apolonia is also founder/curator of TUDS Festival of Urban Dance Culture and the Aybrid Dance Intensive (@aybrid)

Apolonia was also the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Dance, Dance Ontario Innovation Award, Manifesto Innovation & Originality Award, and the Soul Pepper Dance Award.

Corey Gayadeen

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With over 20 years of dance experience, Corey Gayadeen has always sought out ways to continue learning and improving as a dancer, instructor, choreographer and adjudicator.  Growing up in Toronto, Canada, Corey trained in the competitive dance circuit in addition to attending Cawthra Park Secondary School’s regional arts program as a Dance Major.  While best known for his tap choreography, Corey takes a lot of pride in his versatility.  Throughout his career he has received extensive training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acrobatics and power tumbling.  Corey has had the opportunity to work with many world-renowned choreographers and has danced for large companies such as Mary Kay intl., CIBC and Miss Canada intl.  He has performed and competed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, winning various high score awards and titles.  While representing Canada at the IDO World Dance Championships, Mr. Gayadeen earned two gold medals and was ranked 2nd in the world for tap dance.

In addition to his dance education, Corey Gayadeen has obtained an Honors Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario.  It was during this time that he truly discovered his passion for teaching dance.  Corey has had the opportunity of teaching and choreographing for numerous competitive dance studios and intensive workshops and pushes himself to stay current in his ability to teach all ages.  He is also thrilled to be able to share his knowledge to a wide audience as a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance.  Corey understands the importance of safe and efficient dance and challenges himself to use his Kinesiology background as much as possible while dancing, teaching, and adjudicating.

Rebecca Zizek

Rebecca is a versatile, passionate and award-winning choreographer, teacher and adjudicator based out of Toronto, Ontario. She is no stranger to the world of competitive dance, having trained as a multi-disciplinary dancer by some of the industry’s best. In addition to her extensive dance training, Rebecca merged her academic and dance careers by receiving her Bachelor of Health Sciences degree and Dance Minor from Western University.

Rebecca has been a featured choreographer at the APAP Dance Showcases presented by Peridance Capezio Center (New York City) and the Young Choreographer’s Festival (New York City). Rebecca is a choreographer and collaborator with Creativiva Inc., creating work for international stages
including productions Star Catcher (Thailand), Alice in Wonderland and Dolce Vita (Turks & Caicos). She has choreographed and performed for many professional and commercial shows throughout North America. Rebecca was the choreographer and director of movement for independent dance film White Flag which was screened at Portland Dance Film Festival (Portland), Ryerson GLARE Festival (Toronto), Toronto Youth Shorts Festival and 300 Seconds Short Film Festival where it was a finalist for Best Music Video.

Rebecca has extensive teaching and choreographic experience with students of all ages and levels. She is an established freelance guest teacher and choreographer and is in constant demand at studios, intensives and workshops across Canada, with her work receiving much acclaim. She is on faculty with Canadian conventions, the Audience Dance Rivalry and Dance Attack, as well as a guest faculty member at the Underground Dance Centre. Rebecca has been recognized for her innovative choreography, receiving countless awards for her vision and creativity. Many of her students have gone on to pursue professional dance careers, with students training at Joffrey Ballet School (New York City), Toronto Dance Theatre and performance dance programs at Ryerson University, York University and George Brown College.  Rebecca is member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance and adjudicates at various dance competitions throughout Canada. She is also a mentor and judge for Young Creator’s Challenge; a choreography competition that serves as a platform for budding artists developing their craft. Her passion, energy and enthusiasm as an artist is undeniable and it is her honour to influence and share with the next generation of dancers.

Josh Nitkin

Josh Nitkin is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and holds certification with PAA (Professional Adjudicators Alliance), BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) and PAEC (Performing Arts Educators of Canada) in Tap, Jazz and Urban with which he helped create the syllabus. Josh has 30 years of training and performance in Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Modern, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and more! With 15 years of teaching, Josh’s students have gone on to win numerous overall awards and have garnered choreography awards as well. Josh is a sought after Adjudicator across Canada and the United States. Having adjudicated for Dance Masters of America (North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Houston, Great Lakes), American Dance Awards, Terpsichore Dance Celebration/Dance Starz, AmeriCup, Dance Xtreme Nationals, Millennium Productions Nationals, Peak Invitational and many others. Josh is also a former dancer with Celebrity Cruise Lines and Corpus Dance Projects, having performed in Alaska, France, the UK, Belgium, Japan and all over Central and South America.

Jordan Clark

Originally from Tottenham, Ontario, Jordan knew she wanted to become a professional dancer when she was eight years old. She started training at the age of 5 in Tap, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Jazz and Acro, and was teaching by the age of 12. Shortly after winning the title of “Canada’s Favourite Dancer” on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Jordan immersed herself in acting classes. Her studies quickly paid off when she landed a starring role on the hit Television Series The Next Step.

Constantly wanting to explore all areas of performance, Jordan has also appeared on stage in the role of “Eris” in Ross Petty’s 2014 Pantomime, The Little Mermaid, which had a successful run at the prestigious Elgin Theatre in Toronto. Ross Petty cast her again as “Alice” in his latest hit production Peter Pan in Wonderland.  Jordan has reprised her role of “Giselle” and can currently be seen Family Channel’s newest series Lost & Found Music Studios, a spin-off of The Next Step, which premiered in January of 2016 and is distributed worldwide by Netflix.  In February of 2016, Jordan departed on The Next Step Wild Rhythm Tour, a live-on-stage production showcasing the amazing talents of The Next Step dancers. Along with performing in this popular tour, Jordan and co-star Trevor Tordjman have taken on the monumental task of choreographing/ creative directing this exciting production, which would have been seen in Canada, the U.K, Northern Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, New Zealand and Australia. Currently Jordan resides in Los Angeles California trying to push her artistry but she is so excited to be here in Canada with all these amazing dancers.

Carlos & Sofia

Carlos Zapata and Sofia Skvirsky, a new and powerful dance duo, have taken audiences by storm since they have started competing professionally together for the last 3 years. Combined, they have won over 55 international and national dance titles. They are the current and 8 times Canadian Show Dance, Cabaret, Exhibition Champions and 2 times World Champions and Theatre arts Dance champions. They are world renowned dancers as well as owners of Carlos And Sofia Dance co.

For the last 3 years, they had the honour to make it to finals and represent Canada in one of the most prestigious competitions worldwide, Blackpool Dance Festival, with only 9 couples who were invited from around the world.

As one the top dancers in the world, They are hired to teach dance workshops, choreograph, and train some of the top dancers in Canada. They are hired to perform and compete for special events and top competitions around the globe, bringing the audience to their feet. There show stopping and daring lifts and tricks, theatrical story lines and overall performance is what separates them from others.  At the moment they are getting ready to be part of a television show which will air later this year.

Caroline Torti

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Toronto born and internationally renowned creative director and choreographer Caroline Torti has graced the global stage with her work. Choreographing some of the industry’s most respected films, commercials and multifaceted live shows, her distinguished career spanning over 15 years speaks for itself.
Torti credits her work on So You Think You Can Dance Canada and Hysterica – the LA dance performance choreographed by the critically acclaimed Mandy Moore – as some of the pivotal performances in her vast and impressive career.

Torti offers a refined and dynamic approach to contemporary jazz. With a multitude of skills under her belt, Torti’s ability to bring a cutting edge, refreshing approach to everything from urban street jazz to contemporary movements brands her as one of the most versatile and collaborative choreographers in today’s industry. With her distinct eye in understanding and perfecting dance on film, Torti’s expertise has since taken her around the world.

As a result of her gifted eye, Torti’s recent choreography and creative direction credits include: Art on Ice – the multifaceted live entertainment production in Switzerland, So You Think You Can Dance Vietnam Season 3; Heroes Reborn Season 1; The Canadian Country Music Awards 2015; YTV’s ‘The Next Star’ and ‘Summer Beach Bash 2015’, amongst many others.

Internationally renowned musical acts including Sam Smith; Mia Martina; and Rich Kidd have all entrusted Torti with creative work, while global brands Calvin Klein; TELUS; Toronto’s Cavalcade of Lights; Luminato and TIFF are just a few of the choreographic credits on her portfolio.  Most recently, Torti launched Hallowed Grounds, a global digital platform to find, watch and share cinematic dance content to highlight artists who elevate the way dance is captured. As a co-founder, she is passionate about embracing and sharing unique talent around the world to inspire and support an ever-evolving industry.

A dynamic trendsetting choreographer in today’s industry, Caroline Torti embraces each project with integrity, passion and as an opportunity to inspire. Dedicated to her craft, Torti’s expertise has the power to expand into collaborative projects within the fashion, lifestyle industries across the globe.

Other credits include: Heroes Reborn; Defiance; Taxi 22; The Lost Girl; The Listener; L.A. Complex; Over the Rainbow; Canada’s Smartest Person; and Canada’s Got Talent. She has appeared in films such as 11.23.63 with James Franco; Sucker Punch; Turn the Beat Around; Full Out; and Mirror Mirror.