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Our faculty

OUR PROFESSIONAL, MOTIVATING INSTRUCTORS WILL CHALLENGE EACH STUDENT TO REACH THEIR PERSONAL POTENTIAL BY LEVERAGING THEIR VAST EXPERIENCES AND EXTENSIVE CREDENTIALS.

PDE Faculty

Chelsea Robinson

OWNER + DIRECTOR

Chelsea is the proud Owner + Director at Positive Dance Experience. As a dance and fitness instructor for over 15 years, Chelsea enthusiastically shares her passion for all aspects of the performing arts with her students and fellow colleagues.

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Chelsea Robinson

OWNER + DIRECTOR

Chelsea Robinson is the Owner/Director of Positive Dance Experience and is a highly-regarded dance teacher with over 20 years of experience in the field. Chelsea has served as faculty at The Toronto Cricket Club, The Granite Club, Randolph Academy, The Dance Institute, Stardust Academy, Ive Got Rhythm School of Dance and the Russian Classical Ballet Company.

Chelsea's extensive educational background includes being a graduate and from Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts, and fully certified through the ADAPT Syllabus, the BATD Syllabus, the Acrobatique Syllabus, the Acrobatic Arts Syllabus, Progressing Ballet Technique, Alixa Flexibility and with Barreworks. In addition, Chelsea is also a STOTT Pilates and Body Harmonics certified Pilates Mat Instructor.

Chelsea has dedicated her life to helping dancers of all ages and abilities reach their highest potential. While teaching in a variety of settings, from fitness to the recreational level to the professional stage, Chelsea has choreographed for many competitions and multiple stage performances.

In addition to her teaching, Chelsea is passionate about making dance accessible and meaningful to all. She is a strong advocate for inclusivity and creating a positive experience for everyone involved in the dance world. Her commitment to her students and her passion for the art of dance are what make her an incredible teacher and mentor.

Amanda Davis

LEAD DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Amanda Davis is a dance instructor at Positive Dance Experience. A Toronto based dancer, choreographer and educator with a BFA in Theatre Performance Dance from Ryerson University (2010).

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Amanda Davis

LEAD DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Amanda Davis (she/her) is a Toronto based dancer, choreographer, and educator with a BFA in Theatre Performance Dance from Toronto Metropolitan University (2010). In addition to performing, creating, and teaching, she is currently training to become an Expressive Arts Therapist at The CREATE Institute.

Amanda has performed in works choreographed by Alias Dance Project, Hanna Kiel (Human Body Expression), Valerie Calam (company viceversa), James Kudelka, Julia Aplin, William Yong, Lauren Cook, Troy Feldman, Francesca Chudnoff, Emmanuel Jouthe, Laida Aldaz Arrietea, MonstaPop and Christianne Ullmark.

She has performed in the 17th Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theatre Festival in Stuttgart Germany, The Toronto Fringe Festival, Fashion Arts Toronto, MOonhORsE Dance Theatre’s Dance and Design Project, CONTACT|THIS IS AN EXPERIMENT, Toronto’s Animating Historic Spaces, Pulse Ontario Dance Conference, Toronto’s SummerWorks Performance Festival, Dance: made in Canada/fait au Canada, Fringe North International Theatre Festival and Citadel Dance Mix.

Amanda has delivered dance classes, workshops, and choreography for over 10 years to movers of all ages. She has worked closely with The Royal Conservatory of Music as an educator, writer, and consultant in curriculum development. She has taught in a variety of dance programs, schools and studio environments including The Dance Institute, Harmony School of Dance and Music, The Cornerstone Studio, Propel Dance Centre, Positive Dance Experience, Jorgen Dance, and George Brown College.

Ruby Kawam

INSTRUCTOR

Ruby Kawam has been sharing her love of dance with her students for the past 4 years and genuinely strives to help each of her students grow as a dancer and have fun!

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Ruby Kawam

INSTRUCTOR

Mel Hart

INSTRUCTOR

Mel Hart is an established dance artist from Scarborough, Ontario with a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Dance from York University. Her training is expansive from Western dance forms: Classical Ballet, Pointe, Modern (Graham and Limón) and Contemporary, Street Dance forms: Hip Hop, House and Waacking, and Central and South American forms such as Salsa, Bachata, Argentine Tango, Samba and Soca.

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Mel Hart

INSTRUCTOR

Mel Hart is an established dance artist from Scarborough, Ontario with a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Dance from York University. Her training is expansive from Western dance forms: Classical Ballet, Pointe, Modern (Graham and Limón) and Contemporary, Street Dance forms: Hip Hop, House and Waacking, and Central and South American forms such as Salsa, Bachata, Argentine Tango, Samba and Soca. Mel co-founded SaMel Tanz, a contemporary dance collective with Samantha Schleese and produced works for the Toronto Fringe Festival, Breakin’ Convention, Next Stage Festival, Dance Made in Canada/ Fait du Canada Festival and Summerworks Festival. She is a member of Hip Hop dance crew DEUCEnDIP, who established themselves on MuchMusic’s NML Dance Battlez and performed on stages for Manifesto, WE DAY, Canada’s Walk of Fame and World Pride. Mel has danced for international artists such as Jason Derulo, Sean Paul and the legendary Black Thought of the Roots and opened for Latin artists such as Bad Bunny, Prince Royce, and Gente de Zona.Working across Canada, Mel takes the most pride in being an Arts Educator, focusing on inspiring and sharing with students the history, technique and art of dance and self-expression in a safe environment. Currently Mel is a faculty member at Toronto's Positive Dance Experience, Mississauga’s City Centre Dance and Toronto’s Run The Flex studio teaching Hip Hop, Jazz Funk and Contemporary dance forms and is lead choreographer for Bix Co. Entertainment creating custom performances across the GTA.

Candice Helm

INSTRUCTOR

Ms Helm received her professional training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School/Professional Division, and the National Ballet School/TTP. Teaching credits include York University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto/Hart House, Metro Movement, In Studio/NBofC, Randolph College for the Performing Arts, the National Ballet School/TTP, George Brown Dance/BJC and the Quinte Ballet School of Canada. 

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Candice Helm

INSTRUCTOR

Ms Helm received her professional training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School/Professional Division, and the National Ballet School/TTP. Teaching credits include York University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto/Hart House, Metro Movement, In Studio/NBofC, Randolph College for the Performing Arts, the National Ballet School/TTP, George Brown Dance/BJC and the Quinte Ballet School of Canada.

A Fellow member of Cecchetti Canada, she enjoys teaching technique classes for both children and adults, and has been invited to teach across Canada.

She also has an extensive background in music. She has also worked as a ballet accompanist and teaches Music for Dancers and Teachers. Her classes are considered to be technique-based and fast-paced, with a strong rhythmical focus.

Dana Throop

INSTRUCTOR

Dana Throop Instructor and Choreographer BA(Hons), B/Ed. D.S.W., Acrobatic Arts Certified, ADTA Faculty, Alixa Flexibility Certified (Levels 1- 3) Dana has been teaching recreational and competitive dance programs for many years, teaching in Tillsonburg, Burford, Kingston, Belleville, and Peterborough. Dana is a qualified teacher with the Ontario College of teachers.

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Dana Throop

INSTRUCTOR

Dana Throop Instructor and Choreographer BA(Hons), B/Ed. D.S.W., Acrobatic Arts Certified, ADTA Faculty, Alixa Flexibility Certified (Levels 1- 3) Dana has been teaching recreational and competitive dance programs for many years, teaching in Tillsonburg, Burford, Kingston, Belleville, and Peterborough. Dana is a qualified teacher with the Ontario College of teachers. She currently teaches at a Private School, teaching a wide variety of academic subjects in grades seven through twelve, though specializes in English, Math, and Phys-ed. Dana is versed in jazz, tap, musical theater, and stretch & strength, but her passion and specialty is acro and flexibility. She has been teaching acro to both students and teachers for many years, and enjoys passing on her knowledge and skills to her students. In her spare time she enjoys a variety of sports, especially soccer and horseback riding. She can also be found curled up with a good book during any down time she can find. Dana holds an Honours degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario, a diploma in Developmental Service Work with a specialist in Education/Educational Assistance, and her Bachelors of Education from Queen’s University. As a dancer in her younger years she participated in shows, demonstrations, and competitions throughout Southwestern Ontario as a dancer for Burford Dancers, Waterloo Academy of Dance, Dance Stop Studio, and the University of Western Ontario. Dana is certified with Acrobatic Arts (modules 1&2, aerial and backhandspring), and was a Master Instructor and Examiner with Acrobatique AcroDance Inc, now the ADTA (Acro Dance Teachers Association). Dana remains on faculty with the ADTA at this time. Dana has completed her Junior level A.D.A.P.T certification as well as levels One through Three in the Alixa Flexibility Program, working toward becoming a certified flexibility specialist.

Luke Opdahl

INSTRUCTOR

Luke is a triple threat performer and dance educator originally from the prairies of Saskatchewan. He is a graduate of the Randolph College for the Performing Arts. He grew up as a competitive dancer in Saskatoon where he also received his Canadian Dance Teachers Association Advanced Tap exam as well as his Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 Ballet Exam.

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Luke Opdahl

Instructor

Luke is a triple threat performer and dance educator originally from the prairies of Saskatchewan. He is a graduate of the Randolph College for the Performing Arts. He grew up as a competitive dancer in Saskatoon where he also received his Canadian Dance Teachers Association Advanced Tap exam as well as his Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 Ballet Exam. He has also worked on the creative side choreographing and directing shows. He also works as a guest teacher and workshop instructor for studios across the country and is a proud member of the Quick Ball Change Roster.

He has worked for many Theatres across Canada including Drayton Entertainment (Elf, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beauty and the Beast, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin: The Panto, Anne of Green Gables), Stage West Calgary (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) Theatre Aquarius (Elf the Musical), Harold Green Jewish Theatre/danCap (The Jazz Singer), Capitol Theatre (Beauty and The Beast), Breakaway Entertainment/NextStage Festival (Anatomy of a Dancer) Theatre St. Johns (Mary Poppins)

Emma Bartolomucci

INSTRUCTOR

Emma is excited to be joining the faculty at Postive Dance Experience! A graduate from the Canadian Dance Company, West End Studio Theatre and Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, becoming a performing artist and choreographer has been a lifelong journey.

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Emma Bartolomucci

INSTRUCTOR

Emma is excited to be joining the faculty at Postive Dance Experience! A graduate from the Canadian Dance Company, West End Studio Theatre and Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, becoming a performing artist and choreographer has been a lifelong journey. She has choreographed musical theatre (Shrek, Dora the Explorer, Hair, Seussical the Musical, The Little Mermaid, Fame, Little Women LOT/FirstActProd) and children's touring theatre (Little Red Theatre). She has choreographed music videos for Juno award winning Splash n' Boots and with production company Yeah! Films for Canadian bands Seaway and Pin Up. Her work has been shown at festivals like Fever After Dark with Jerome Bobb and Bazaar. She has taught dance, musical theatre and scene study with several different Toronto based companies including York University and Ryerson School of Performance Summer Intensives. Her work with the bold indie theatre company, Echo Productions, has given her the chance to choreograph stories like, Bonnie and Clyde, Dr. Jekyll and ruise Line). In 2018, she launched her independent dance company, Dance Fachin with their premiere work, Worldly Women. Worldly Women is a story about the differeMr. Hyde, Dog Sees God and Charles Manson: Son of Man. She has performed contracts in Newfoundland, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Yukon Territory and has toured across the United States (Hair National Tour-Starvox Ent.), Europe (Hair European Tour), Maritimes Canada (The Great Big Boo) and South America (Norwegian Cnt kinds of oppression women face around the globe. The show won the prestigious Jury's Choice Award (Ottawa Fringe) and Patron's Pick Award (Island Fringe). In early 2019, she performed in the first regional production (since it's run on Broadway) of An American in Paris with Arizona Broadway Theatre. There she was in the female ensemble, singing, dancing and en pointe. Most recently, she has been dancing in various music videos with MMEntertainment. Notably, Jassa Dhillion's video PYAR HOGYA (in which she appears dancing) has 17 million views. She is currently showing her full length dance work, The Fourth R: reduce, reuse, recycle, Revolutionize. The Fourth R has toured across Canada (Edmonton, Charlottetown, Halifax), debuted in Toronto on Earth Day 2022, and has shown in 17 schools reaching 5100 students with its important message. This summer, The Fourth R presented at the Toronto and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. Check out www.dancefachin.com

Sarah Nelson

INSTRUCTOR

Sarah Nelson is from Vancouver, BC and is based in Toronto. She has achieved a BFA from Toronto Metropolitan University School of Performance in 2020, where she trained in classical styles such as ballet, jazz and modern.

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Sarah Nelson

INSTRUCTOR

Sarah Nelson is from Vancouver, BC and is based in Toronto. She has achieved a BFA from Toronto Metropolitan University School of Performance in 2020, where she trained in classical styles such as ballet, jazz and modern. Sarah has studied with Kenny Pearl in the Graham technique, Kate Hilliard in improvisation, Louis Laberge-Côté in contemporary, Allen Kaeja in partnering, and Marianne McIsaac in acting. She has performed works by Hanna Kiel, Jera Wolfe, and Ben Landsberg within her institution; Tori Mehaffey and Roberto Campanella at ProArte Danza’s summer intensive; and Charles Moulton’s work in Fall for Dance North. Outside of Ryerson Sarah has travelled with Juntos Collective in 2019 to Guatemala doing community outreach related to performance and art education. In 2021, Sarah has performed in dance:made in Canada festival apart of the dance steward program. She has worked with SQx Dance Company with their AIP program for two years. Sarah strives to further explore her identity as an artist through creative processes.

Igor Vassine

ACCOMPANIST

"Moscow born Igor Vassine is a very experienced dance accompanist however this was not his original occupation. Igor holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and after a stint with the Russian Army, completed his education in music.

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Igor Vassine

ACCOMPANIST

"Moscow born Igor Vassine is a very experienced dance accompanist however this was not his original occupation. Igor holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and after a stint with the Russian Army, completed his education in music.

Igor launched his musical career in Russia as a performer and songwriter, touring across the USSR and Europe as a member of numerous successful rock and jazz-rock groups. He moved to Toronto in 1995 branching out as a dance accompanist. His performing accomplishments include co-founder, musical director/arranger of the vocal group “Moscow Transit” (which was part of The State Oleg Lundstrem Chamber Orchestra of Jazz Music) ;  musical director/arranger “Russians on Broadway” in Toronto,  assistant to the musical director/ arranger “The Snow Maiden” ( Mirvish Productions ) ;  the documentary “Leap of Faith: The Dance of Mikhail Baryshnikov”.

His many accompanist credits include The National Ballet Of Canada, Canada’s National Ballet School, Dance-Teq, In Studio, Randolph Academy For The Performing Arts, Canada’s Ballet Jorgen, Toronto Metropolitan University (Ryerson), The Martha Hicks School of Ballet,  ProArteDanza, classes with Evelin Hart.

As a musician, Igor enjoys discovering the nuance and subtleties of his profession.  Other than music, his many interests include technology, cars, cats, politics and martial arts. He also loves to give his kids advice despite being ignored. Oh well, everyone grows up!"

Melissa Morris

INSTRUCTOR

Melissa Morris is an actor, singer, musician, musical director, multi-instrumentalist, composer, playwright, and educator. She is a graduate of both the Music and Drama departments at Queen’s, and also attended Australian National University.

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Melissa Morris

INSTRUCTOR

Melissa Morris is an actor, singer, musician, musical director, multi-instrumentalist, composer, playwright, and educator. She is a graduate of both the Music and Drama departments at Queen’s, and also attended Australian National University.  Melissa’s career has taken her across Canada and the Caribbean, where she has had the pleasure of working at Chemainus Theatre, Theatre Orangeville, Port Hope Festival Theatre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Stirling Theatre, Upper Canada Playhouse, Orillia Opera House, Seven Tyrants Theatre, Theatre 20, Theatre Collingwood, and Theatre Kingston. She was Resident Musical Director and Composer at St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival for 9 seasons, and has musical directed many other shows at different companies in Canada. Melissa was a composer of Evil Dead the Musical, which ran Off-Broadway and in Las Vegas, and which continues to run internationally. She has sound designed multiple shows and has also composed music for film. She has taught Musical Theatre at both Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. She teaches privately as well as in several Arts schools in the GTA.

Alicia Osagie

INSTRUCTOR

Alicia took her first dance class at 4 years old and has been in love with it ever since. After ending her competitive dance journey, she enrolled as a student at Randolph Kids Performing Arts. Alicia now teaches at Positive Dance Experience and is a Certified Acrobatic Arts Instructor. She is passionate about fostering a love for movement and creative self expression.

PDE Student Teachers

Ava Ponton

STUDENT TEACHER

I have been dancing for 13 years recreationally and 6 years competitively. I have received training in a variety of styles including ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theatre.

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Ava Ponton

STUDENT TEACHER

I have been dancing for 13 years recreationally and 6 years competitively. I have received training in a variety of styles including ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theatre. I first began assisting in 2022 for a ballet 1 class. Currently, I am enrolled in the ADAPT Assistant Teachers Program.

Alyssa Kalef

STUDENT TEACHER

Alyssa is a dedicated member of the senior competitive team with a passion for dance.  She has training in ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop and acro genres and has competed in Jazz and Hip Hop solos.

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Alyssa Kalef

STUDENT TEACHER

Alyssa is a dedicated member of the senior competitive team with a passion for dance.  She has training in ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop and acro genres and has competed in Jazz and Hip Hop solos.  Alyssa is a high school student at TFS and enjoys spending her time in the summer at overnight camp.. Alyssa is very excited to volunteer and contribute meaningfully to the PDE community.

Catharina Tibau

STUDENT TEACHER

Hello, My name is Catharina and I am an assistant teacher for the hip hop and contemporary classes at PDE this year. I started dancing in Brazil when I was three and have been dancing ever since.

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Catharina Tibau

STUDENT TEACHER

Hello, My name is Catharina and I am an assistant teacher for the hip hop and contemporary classes at PDE this year. I started dancing in Brazil when I was three and have been dancing ever since. I was on and off in the competitive program and now have retired from competitive dancing due to other commitments but I still want to share the love of dance with as many people as I can. I won 2022 Title Winner at Elite Dance Challenge with my contemporary solo and while I have done many types of dance in my career, I am most connected to hip hop and contemporary. I strongly believe in the fact that we dance better when we are in a comfortable environment and PDE provides just that, a home away from home where every dancer can express themselves exactly how they want to. I am so excited to see the new generations of PDE dancer’s growing and learning in our little dance family, and I hope to be a helpful support system to any dancer I get the privilege of teaching.

Isla Partridge

STUDENT TEACHER

Hi, I’m Isla! I’m 16 years old and like to sing and dance. I love all styles of dance but my favourites are jazz and contemporary. I have been in the competitive program with PDE since 2020 and danced with Ms Chelsea for many years before that.

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Isla Partridge

STUDENT TEACHER

Hi, I’m Isla! I’m 16 years old and like to sing and dance. I love all styles of dance but my favourites are jazz and contemporary. I have been in the competitive program with PDE since 2020 and danced with Ms Chelsea for many years before that. I think dancing is a great way to express yourself, be creative and have fun. I really like seeing the younger dancers get started in their dance journey and it makes me happy to be able to teach them!

Carly Archibald

STUDENT TEACHER

Carly first started dance lessons at just four years old and has never looked back. After years of figure skating, she returned to her true love - Dance! Carly has been competing for five years now and adores Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theatre.

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Carly Archibald

STUDENT TEACHER

Carly first started dance lessons at just four years old and has never looked back.  After years of figure skating, she returned to her true love - Dance!  Carly has been competing for five years now and adores Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theatre.  But Carly’s real passion is Ballet.  She is now in her third year dancing en Pointe.  Carly can’t wait to assist Ms Helm and the Pre-Intermediate Ballet dancers — honing her own skills along the way.

Tiana Terblanche

STUDENT TEACHER

My name is Tiana Terblanche, I am 17, and currently entering my senior year of high school. I have been with PDE since 2020, but have been dancing with our wonderful director Mrs Chelsea for more than 10 years!

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Tiana Terblanche

STUDENT TEACHER

My name is Tiana Terblanche, I am 17, and currently entering my senior year of high school. I have been with PDE since 2020, but have been dancing with our wonderful director Mrs Chelsea for more than 10 years! My favourite dance styles are contemporary and musical theatre. I really enjoy adding a story to my dancing, and love sharing my passion with people!

Julia Sabinoi De Mello

STUDER TEACHER

Julia has been dancing since the age of 7. During her years as a dancer, Julia trained in many styles including: Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and Lyrical.

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Julia Sabinoi De Mello

STUDENT TEACHER

Julia has been dancing since the age of 7. During her years as a dancer, Julia trained in many styles including: Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and Lyrical. Her favourite dance styles are Lyrical and Ballet. Julia finds joy in watching young dancers and is excited to help them to progress on their dance journey!