Collingwood has always been home to Elise Gilbert and dance, her first love! Dance classes started at the age of 3 and continued until she graduated high school. During this time she developed a true realization 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 a variety of dance styles including Cecchetti ballet (achieving her Advanced 1 certificate), modern, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, ballroom, Broadway and flamenco.
During her years as a student of Collingwood Collegiate Institute, 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.
She was approached to choreograph Catholic Central’s High School production of Footloose. 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 graduated from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama in Education and the Community and a licensed Zumba® instructor. Elise has also trained extensively under the mentorship of Artistic Director, Devon Stone.