Rae-Lee is devoted to helping aspiring young dance artists. Her goal is to create healthy and enthusiastic dancers who love art and will positively influence the world of dance. She began her ballet and contemporary training in Alberta at Crossings Dance Studio. Later, she danced for six years in Corps Bara Dance Youth Company traveling around Alberta, Toronto and New York City.
In 2012, she began her training in contemporary dance at Simon Fraser University where she studied modern dance and choreographic composition. Rae-Lee moved to Toronto in 2014 to learn from renowned faculty at Canada’s National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program. During her training at NBS she obtained her teaching qualifications with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and the Royal Academy of Dance.
In 2017, she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Contemporary dance from Simon Fraser and her Teacher Training Diploma. She is excited to be returning to Calgary to begin spreading her the knowledge she has gained while learning from the teachers and students at APA and around the province.
She encourages all dancers to love themselves for who they are and to never give up on their passions in life.
Mariah’s passion for dance began at the age of three, training at Grand River Dance Academy in Fergus, ON. She has excelled in RAD ballet exams and received high level achievements in both CDTA jazz and tap examinations. Mariah started competing at the age of 13 and continued training under Lisa Collins and Cora Kozaris in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, and acrobatics. Mariah later joined Bringing Tap Back where she was taught and mentored by Everett Smith.
In 2013, Mariah graduated high school from Eastwood Collegiate Institute as a dance and drama major. Mariah has performed as a tap dancer in three shows with Everett Smith’s tap company Bringing Tap Back, was a dancer in Ballet Jorgens ‘The Nutcracker’ for three seasons and spent a season performing as a Junior Dance Pak dancer for the NBA Raptors. In 2010, she competed in Reisa, Germany at IDO World Tap Championships. Mariah’s professional career started at the young age of 17. It began with dancing for Canada’s Wonderland and choreographing for local community theatres. After graduating high school, she continued her career in Entertainment as a dancer for Disney Cruise Line on the Disney Wonder, Dream, and Fantasy vessels.
Mariah is a passionate and dedicated instructor and dancer who is excited about sharing her love for dance with the students of Collingwood School of Dance.
Elise Gilbert was the very first student to graduate from Collingwood School of Dance back in 2008. Elise joined the Collingwood School of Dance teaching faculty in 2012 after graduating from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama in Education and the Community.
Elise started dancing at the age of 3 and continued until she graduated from Collingwood Collegiate Institute. During this time she developed a true understanding of the commitment and dedication required to “follow your dream”. Elise spent many summers attending intensive programs at professional ballet schools such as the Quinte Ballet School in Belleville and The School of Dance in Ottawa. She has studied and trained in a variety of dance styles including Cecchetti ballet (achieving her Advanced 1 certificate), modern, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, ballroom, broadway and flamenco.
During high school, Elise was introduced to the dramatic arts. She actively participated in the productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Grease. Her love for the arts grew and she found herself enrolled in the Drama in Education and Community program at the University of Windsor. This unique program offered courses in Theatre history, acting, improv, clowning, puppetry, dance for theatre, voice, movement as well as psychology, English and earth sciences. Elise enjoyed many special placement opportunities including teaching an English Second Language program as well as Life Skills Students.
The highlight of her studies at the University of Windsor was working alongside Professor Bernie Warren Ph.D. as his teaching assistant for Creative Movement and Voice. Professor Warren introduced Elise to the Fool’s For Health Charity where she participated in the Clown Doctor program as Dr. Tutu Twinkle Toes! She also ran a research study regarding the effects of the arts for adults with various mental disabilities. Elise was also approached to choreograph Catholic Central’s High School production of Footloose.
Elise has completed the Collingwood School of Dance Teacher Training Program under the mentorship of Devon Stone, and is a licensed Zumba®, Zumba Kids® and Zumbini® instructor.
Devon Stone is the Owner and Director of Collingwood School of Dance, and has studied classical ballet for over 25 years. Ms. Stone opened Collingwood School of Dance in 2007 to fulfill a need for quality dance classes and training in Collingwood and the surrounding area.
Devon Stone is a graduate of the prestigious School of Alberta Ballet Professional Teacher Training Program under the mentorship of Joyce Shietze, Chair of the Cecchetti Society of Canada, The School of Dance Professional Ballet Programme in Ottawa, and the Dance Training Program at the Banff Performing Arts Centre.
Miss Stone is certified with the following dance organizations:
Cecchetti Society of Canada and Cecchetti International-Classical Ballet – Associate Diploma Acrobatic Arts Professional Curriculum for Acrobatic Dance
Applied Anatomy and Physiology Relating to Dance
The history of Miss. Stone’s dance education:
After dancing recreationally for nine years, Miss. Stone was accepted into the Professional Ballet Training Program at the Quinte Ballet School at the age of thirteen. From there she attended Canada’s National Ballet School, and then The School of Dance in Ottawa, where she graduated from their five-year Professional Ballet Program under the Artistic Direction of Joyce Shietze and Marrilee Hodgins and Co-Artistic Direction of Celia Franca.
Highlights of Miss. Stone’s dance training and performing experience:
Devon Stone was always very successful in her Cecchetti Classical Ballet Examinations only ever receiving top marks of Highly Commended and Honours. In 1998 Miss. Stone received the prestigious Celia Franca Scholarship Award at The School of Dance in Ottawa. In 2000 she was given the honour of performing a solo contemporary piece called Psalmo de Vente, choreographed by Owen Montague for the Happy Birthday Celia Franca Gala, presented at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In the summer of 2001 Miss. Stone was awarded a solo variation, choreographed by Brian Macdonald, while attending the Dance Training Program at the Banff Performing Arts Centre.
Tara Pickford started dancing at the age of 4 and hasn’t sat still since. She is committed to teaching young people how to find a passion for theatre and dance at her studio.
Tara received a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology, with a major in Mind Sciences, at the University of Calgary. She is a fully certified ADAPT Teacher, Al Gilbert Teacher, and Acrobatic Arts Teacher, and a member of the Wild Rose Dance Arts Association.
Tara has created award-winning choreography for competitions and exciting recitals for all ages and abilities. Still in the classroom, teaching all types of dance and all ages from age 1 to pre-professional, she has a strong understanding of the hard work and the process dancers, teachers, and parents take on to get to the stage and have a great experience.
When she is not with her studio family, she is at home with her two energetic children – both dancers! She loves living for the day and inspiring her children. Now that both have started their own journeys in the dance world, Tara has a deeper understanding of what families are looking for in a studio.