Michele Newhook Michele Newhook

Associate CSC-CICB (Cecchetti Ballet)

Michele began her study of dance as a young child in St. John's and has been dancing ever since. In addition to her local training, over the years Michele has attended many summer programs for teachers at such places as The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the National Ballet School. She has spent all of her adult life developing skills and experience in working with young children to ensure that her dancers have a safe, technically sound and fun introduction to dance. In addition to working directly with all of the students in her ballet program, Michele has always developed or sought out teachers to bring a full range of expertise to the students of Mount Pearl School of Dance.

Over the years, many teachers have passed through Mount Pearl School of Dance, most of them developed right here at home under Michele's guidance and encouragement. Some have gone on to careers outside the world of dance, but several have continued in the career they began here. Michele is very excited to again be introducing new, enthusiastic teachers to her students while continuing to provide the same stable foundation in dance that has been a part of the tradition at Mount Pearl School of Dance.

Erika Wilansky Erika Wilansky

Erika Wilansky began her journey with dance in Montreal, QC. She grew up immersed in an environment that was alive with music and performance whether on the streets or in the schools and community centres. She studied Modern dance, Jazz, and Hip Hop as part of her regular high school curriculum.

Erika has been teaching Jazz, JazzFunk, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Burlesque for the past 19 years in St.John's/Montreal and is now a co-owner of Mount Pearl School of Dance as well as a faculty member with Dance Studio East's Professional Division.

Erika danced professionally for Martha Carter's "iDub" in 2006, and has choreographed for local productions such as "Our Divas do Christmas on Broadway" and KittiwakeDance Theatre's "Reflections".

Erika is a founding member and the Choreographer of local Hip Hop crew, "Soul Steps Crew", who placed 1st in the Hip Hop and BBoying competition "Hustle To Get Here 3". Soul Steps Crew have had the honor of performing in opening acts for Cas Public and the 605 Collective in the Festival of New Dance. In 2010, Erika was the Hip Hop judge for a local dance competition "Do You Think You Can Dance".>Erika has recently choreographed for Canadian pop vocalist Vita Chambers, who opened at Mile One Centre for Mariana's Trench.

Erika has trained in Hip Hop from a very young age, and at least three times a year, continues to update her repertoire by training with her mentors. Erika has performed in and choreographed for many NDW Burlesque events, and has been approached to be a part of the Blood Ballet Cabaret in Montreal. Erika has joined Amanda Chretien as Co-owner and Co-Artistic Director of Red Hot Productions, a commercial dance production company.

Erika has most recently been training extensively in the genre of the Latin Hustle with Yvon Soglo (bboy Crazy Smooth). She will be offering a beginner adult class in the basics of the Hustle co-taught with Justin Power for the 2015-2016 season.

Elisabeth Hartling Elisabeth Hartling

TTP - Dip (NBS), RAD RTS, ADCSC - CICB, AISTD, BATD

Elisabeth Hartling (née Pardy) began her dance and musical theatre education in her native St. John's, Newfoundland, where she completed her initial teacher training in Tap & Modern Theatre. Elisabeth graduated with Distinction from Canada’s National Ballet School’s 3-year ‘Teacher Training Program’ (Toronto, ON), and is currently a student of the ‘Master of Arts in Education (Dance)’ postgraduate degree program of the University of Bath & Royal Academy of Dance.

Elisabeth performed for Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other senior members of the Royal Family during ‘The Patron’s Lunch’ in London in June 2016 as part of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. In December 2016, Elisabeth will be travelling to Sydney, Australia to present a paper at the “Dance Teaching for the 21st Century: Practice and Innovation” conference. Elisabeth has also been selected to trial the new RAD Repertoire syllabus with her students during the 2016-2017 dance season.

Elisabeth holds Registered Teachers Status with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), Associate Diploma status with the Cecchetti Society of Canada (CSC), Associate qualifications from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) in Modern Theatre, National Dance and Tap and her Associate in Stage through the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD).

Elisabeth is also pursuing both her Graded examinations and studying for the TCRG teachers’ exam with the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, the Irish Dance Commission. Elisabeth was awarded a scholarship by Canada’s National Ballet School to participate in ‘Dance for PD’, an introductory training program for dance teachers in developing dance classes for adults with Parkinson’s Disease. She completed the first level of training in Toronto in January 2015.

Elisabeth taught in the Associates Program at Canada’s National Ballet School (2006-2008) in addition to working as a ballet assistant in the Professional Ballet Program Summer School (2008 & 2009). She has guest taught in England as well as lengthier contracts in Burlington, ON and County Donegal, Ireland. Since returning to Newfoundland some of Elisabeth's students have been accepted to the professional ballet summer schools of Canada's National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, School of Alberta Ballet, Quinte Ballet School, Orlando Ballet School, Ballet Jorgen, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) and post-secondary programs at York University and George Brown Dance.

Beyond the private dance sector, Elisabeth worked as Associate Choreographer in TaDA! Events’ “Our Divas Do Christmas’ (2014 & 2015) and is extremely excited to reprise this role in the upcoming 2016 show. Elisabeth sits on the board of directors of Kittiwake Dance Theatre and is a past executive member of the Dance Teachers’ Association of Newfoundland.

Following a tremendously successful sixth year as Co-Artistic Director and Owner of Mount Pearl School of Dance, Elisabeth is looking forward to the future of MPSD with great anticipation and excitement.

Additional Dance Accomplishments:

- Successfully attained Advanced 2 ISTD Tap, Modern Theatre, National Dance, Advanced 1 RAD Ballet, and Advanced 1 Cecchetti Ballet exams
- Completed 'The Art of Teaching, The Teaching of Art' summer course at Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (July 2004)
- Alumni of the Rockette Dance Education program, Rockette Summer Intensive at Radio City Music Hall (June 2008)
- Attended the ISTD Teachers Summer Residential School in Chichester, UK (August 2011), ISTD Summer training in London, UK (2016)
- Attended the Maritime Conservatory for Performing Arts’ ‘Summer Intensive 2012’ teachers’ course (Halifax, NS)
- Attended RAD teachers’ courses for Grades 1-3 (Halifax, 2012), Grades 4-5 (California, 2014), Intermediate Foundation & Intermediate (Toronto, 2011), Advanced Foundation, Advanced 1 & Advanced 2 (California, 2014)

Amanda Chretien Amanda Chretien

Amanda Chretien is a versatile dancer and choreographer who began her dance training at the age of three. Training and studying in a variety of styles, today Amanda focuses her energy primarily on Jazz Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Burlesque, Tap and Contemporary. Much of Amanda’s passion for dance has been fostered through the Mount Pearl School of Dance where she has been teaching since 2007, and became Co-Artistic Director in 2010.

Amanda was a member of the Mount Pearl Show Choir, which gave her the opportunity to perform all over the world, including Disney, Florida and Disney, Japan. In 2010, Amanda was the recipient of the Dance Teachers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador 'Aspire' Scholarship. In 2011 she was successful in making it to “Final Week” in Toronto for the fifth, and final, season of the hit TV series “ So You Think You Can Dance Canada, where all the finalists from the cross-Canada city auditions competed. Some of her other performance credits include “Our Divas Do Christmas” (2009) and “White Christmas” (2011), both produced by TaDa! Events. Amanda has also completed her Advanced 1 I.S.T.D Modern Exam.

Amanda is the founder of “Red Hot Productions”, a local company that produces an annual commercial Burlesque show involving the entire dance community. She is also one of the founding members of the “Hustle to Get Here 3” winning crew “Soul Steps”, as well as a founding member of “Newfounddance”.

In 2012/2013 Amanda moved to Toronto, Ontario to pursue a career in professional dance. While living in Toronto, she was a dancer for Kwame Mensah in “Toronto’s Original Choreographers Ball” (December 2012, June 2013), a dancer in Diana Viselli’s concept video “Dream Girl” and taught Hip Hop at Martha Hicks School of Ballet. Amanda received a five week dance contract to perform in Dubai, United Arab Emirates through CMart Worldwide Productions and Lindsay Ritter Dance. There, she performed three times daily for the Dubai Shopping Festival. Amanda was thrilled to become a member of “The Cast”, a leading professional Hip Hop company under the direction of Angela Mahoney and Danny Davalos. This company gave her the highest quality training at the leading drop in studio in Toronto, O.I.P. Amanda’s music video credits include ; “Alive” (My name is Kay), “Tonight is the Night” (Eleven Past One), Nightbox, and Blake McGrath.

Danielle McGettigan Danielle McGettigan

A.I.S.T.D. (Tap)

Danielle McGettigan has been performing on stage as a dancer and musician since the age of four and joined the faculty of MPSD in 2007.

Life for her is music and rhythm, and this fact shines through in her one-of-a-kind, ever-evolving choreography and teaching style. With strong roots in Irish-Newfoundland step dance, Danielle expanded her horizons to all forms of tap dance. After a decade of training, she achieved Associate (Honours) status with the internationally recognized Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) in 2004. Her love, passion and knowledge in music theory, jazz, modern, hip-hop and musical theatre meld together to create a truly unique mind that’s not afraid to push the limits of dance.

Danielle’s most recent undertaking is to bring the ideas, history and style of rhythm tap to her students and ignite a strong work ethic, technique and repertoire to help them find their own voice as dancers and performers.

Danielle has trained with Heather Cornell of Manhattan Tap, working with jazz musicians and percussionists. Her journey so far has allowed her to train and gain experience from many teachers, both locally and internationally. Career stage highlights include the CBC Soiree ’99 concert, St. John’s Maple Leafs Dance Team, George Street Festival, NL Folk Festival, Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” (2001), 2002 Juno Awards, 2003 ISTD Summer School, DTAN’s Dance Collage, Amanda Chretien’s “Red Hot”, TaDa presents Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” (2011, 2012)…and the list goes on!

Danielle holds a B.Sc in Applied Mathematics and is currently studying Intermediate/Secondary Education at MUN.

Ashley Penney Ashley Penney

Ashley has always had a genuine passion for dance. She has her own unique sense of style, which brings flare to her choreography. Her infectious energy and glowing personality will motivate and excite dancers of all ages and all skill levels.

Now that the new dance season has started, Ashley will be bringing her knowledge to a few different schools in the city. Ashley enjoys teaching all age levels in a variety of styles including Hip Hop, Social Dance, Latin, Burlesque, Jazz, and classes for young children.

Ashley’s Choreography was seen as an opener for 605 collective (Festival of New Dance), Experience Genie (Gala Awards), Cas Public/Variations S (Festival of new dance), Red Hot productions 2013 and 2014, St. John's Bazaar dance showcase, and other Corporate Events. She is also one of the founding members of the “Hustle to Get Here 3” winning crew “Soul Steps Crew".

Ashley feels that frequent and continuous dance and teacher training is an essential aspect of dance education. She is committed to providing the latest techniques and styles to all her students.

Ashley has taken class by Inspirational Chorographers such as: Mr Wiggles (Las Vegas), Natasha”Tash” Jean Bart (Las Vegas), Joseph Go (Paris), Mariano Abraca (Toronto)Scott Forhman(Montreal/Toronto), Yvon-Crazy smooth Soglo (Ottawa) Lenny Len (Toronto), Mia Michaels (New York), and Chris Judd (Florida), Shane Sparks, Wade Robson, Brian Friedman, Tyce Diorio, Alexandra “Spicey” Landé, and Gil Duldulao, to name a few.

Justin Power Justin Power

Justin started dancing in 2009, inspired from some of the street dancers from "So You Think You Can Dance" he started practicing on his own at home. Although he didn't get very far, his love for dance was just beginning and his interest led him to find a local dance group called East Rock Crew. He began training and practicing with them and has been training ever since. He has been fortunate enough to learn from some world renowned dancers such as Shotyme, Kid David, BBoy Dyzee, BBoy Crazy Smooth and BBoy Puzzles. A few of the experiences he has had include going to a national youth conference in the Yukon specifically for breaking, and winning his first All-Styles battle in Halifax in March of 2012.

Allison Robbins Allison Robbins

Allison Robbins is a passionate and experienced dancer, teacher, and performer, having begun her training at the age of three. With six years of teaching experience, she has studied a variety of styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, burlesque, jazz funk, and latin jazz.

Allison successfully completed her professional examinations with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, including her Advanced 2 and Associate in tap, and Intermediate in modern theatre. She has extensive ballet training, with an Intermediate level in both Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance. Select performance credits include Our Divas Do Christmas (TaDa!), Unleashed (George Brown College), Red Hot (Red Hot Productions), St. John’s Bazaar (ABA Entertainment), Damn Yankees (Gonzaga High School) and Mermaids of Avalon (Kittiwake Dance Theatre).

Allison has trained in various places across Canada and the UK; in July 2013 she completed the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program Summer School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and in August 2013 she attended the ISTD Summer School for Tap in Chichester, England. In May 2014 Allison graduated from George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario, with a certificate in Dance Performance. She has since returned to her hometown of St. John’s, NL and is currently studying Linguistics and Business at Memorial University. She is very excited to share her knowledge and passion for dance with her students at Mount Pearl School of Dance!

Maria Learning Maria Learning

Maria Learning began dancing at the age of 5 in Conception Bay South, where she was born and raised. She began taking lessons in ballet, however she fell in love with Irish step dancing after seeing Michael Flatley in “Riverdance”. While Irish step has become her true passion with 13 years experience, she has also had training in jazz, contemporary, latin, and lyrical. In 2012, Maria joined Mount Pearl School of Dance and found a refreshed passion for dancing.

Since beginning a Bachelor of Science with a major in psychology at Memorial University, Maria has placed her primary focus towards Irish step dancing, becoming a senior teaching assistant and eventual faculty member. She has high hopes to advance her training with Irish Step in the years to come.

Performance credits include many productions of The Nutcracker, as well as Red Hot, Dance Teachers' Association of Newfoundland's "Dance Collage", 5678 Showtime competitions, and the upcoming December 2016 production of "Our Divas Do Christmas".

Claire Miller Murphy Claire Miller Murphy

Certified Movement Educator & Owner of New Found Movement Claire Miller Murphy has been teaching for 25 years.

While attending Professional Dance Teacher Training College and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Claire became intrigued with the study of movement education and body mechanics. She went on to teach dance at several studios in Toronto and to become fully certified in Pilates, Yoga Tune Up®, Roll Model® Method, Hatha Yoga and Zumba.

Her passion for deeper understanding of human biomechanics drives her to continue to study the most cutting edge training available. She is currently the only certified Yoga Tune Up® and Roll Model Method® Teacher in Atlantic Canada and is working towards teacher training designation.

A dancer first, Claire endeavors to take classes and perform whenever the opportunity arises. Combining her passion for dance with her endless study of movement she is thrilled to contribute to the Dance Community. She has developed a Conditioning for Dancers Program, which includes a specialty class and workshop series for dancers and movement teachers. Claire is thrilled to be on faculty at numerous dance studios in St. John’s.

Practicing preventative health care and having learned to heal from her own injuries through chiropractic, massage, corrective exercise and myofascial release, Claire offers a variety of highly effective restorative programming and receives client referrals from Chiropractors, Doctors, Massage Therapists and Physiotherapists. Her students range for 10 to 95 and she enjoys sharing her education and experience with them all.

Claire is known for providing a “personal touch” to all her classes by tailoring them to suit her students’ needs. She teaches with infectious excitement and is thrilled that there is always more to learn!

Katie Prowse Katie Prowse

NBS TTP (Dip.), ACSC-CICB, AISTD

Katie grew up in St. John’s, and began dancing at the age of 4. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary for over 15 years at The Dance Centre. During this time, she began assisting classes and discovered her passion for teaching. This led her to the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School, where she studied the Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet syllabi, as well as character, national dance, music, anatomy, conditioning for dancers, Benesh notation, and dance history. Katie is accredited with the Cecchetti Society of Canada, Canada’s National Ballet School, and with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. She is so excited to return to Newfoundland to teach this year!