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Conference Dance Educator Bios

Clair Ahearn

Swing dancer Claire Ahern is a dynamic performer, charismatic instructor, and passionate champion of swing dance in New Brunswick. Claire learned to swing dance in Halifax, NS, where she also began teaching and competing; she has since danced across Canada, the U.S., and Europe. In 2019, Ms. Ahern moved to Saint John NB, a city bereft of a swing dance scene. Claire quickly took matters into her own hands to create a swing dance community from scratch, and founded Saint John Swing Dance. Since then, she has hosted many swing events, a lesson series, live band and outdoor dances, and has taught hundreds of folks how to dance. A keen collaborator, Claire is thrilled to be teaching at the Adult Dance Conference!

Jerry Burchill

Jerry Burchill, born and raised Maritimer, is an emerging dance artist: dancer, choreographer & educator. His passion and purpose collide to provide Atlantic Canada artistic expression through movement and high-standard dance education. Jerry found his love for dance at the age of 8 years old, dancing competitively until the age of 17. He has graduated from 2 post-secondary dance programs at George Brown College in Toronto, ON receiving his certification and diploma in dance. He has danced for many companies local and abroad and has taught at many studios across the Maritimes. Whether it's developing dancers or hitting the stage, Jerry will execute his craft with precision, flare and style.
 

Joelle Choueiri

Joelle Choueiri received her Bachelor in Physical Education and Sports in 2006 from the Lebanese University. She had been teaching dance at AL Sarab Dance School since 2003 and sports in various schools since 2007.Joelle performed with Al Sarab dance company in Lebanon and abroad with local and international choreographers.In 2003 she received her teaching Diploma in Modern Dance from Al Sarab and in 2006 she received her Ballroom Dance certificate from Nameless Dance Academy and in 2007 she became a certified personal trainer.Throughout her dance and sports career she was the choreographer and main presenter of a national kids TV show.Later on in 2012 she established her own kids entertainment company and produced kids TV shows on SAT7 KIDS channel.In 2022 Joelle moved to Canada and became a licensed Zumba Instructor so she can combine her passion for dance and fitness.

Angelina Cyr

Angelina is a passionate dancer, movement instructor and community builder.  She has 15 years experience teaching various forms of movement including Hip Hop, Heels, GROOV3, Zumba, Bellyfit & POP Pilates . She is also a fully certified Pilates mat instructor ( Body Harmonics) .   She became certified as a GROOV3 instructor in May 2019 and introduced this choreography based hip hop dance fitness format to East Coast Canada . She was featured as one of only 4 international instructors for GROOV3’s annual DDR (Dance Dance Resolution) in 2020. Angelina has continued to grow with GROOV3 as an official choreographer for the brand. She has also recently stepped into the role as a Global Rep ambassador for GROOV3 . Angelina is the founder of A-KREW Hip Hop and is passionate about creating fun, positive, judgment free , supportive & inclusive spaces . 

Marcia Dysart

Marcia is a dancer, choreographer, collaborator and educator with over 25 years teaching experience. She studied contemporary dance at McMaster University’s Centre for Dance Performance in Hamilton, ON and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre’s summer intensives for teacher training. Currently a member of Artslink New Brunswick, she shares her passion for creation working collaboratively alongside musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and dancers. Marcia's work has received recognition by the New Brunswick Arts Board and Saint John Community Arts Funding Program and has been performed across Atlantic Canada.​Marcia is a founding director of Connection Dance Works, a professional contemporary dance company. She assists in achieving the company's mandate to increase the regional audience for contemporary dance and offer more collaborative opportunities for artists. The company is a recipient of a Saint John Original award for excellence in dance.​Marcia is an advocate for arts education and its accessibility to all. She’s developed curriculum for schools, delivering the content to both students and teachers and aids in the growth and support for arts education through her work on boards and juries. Marcia is an American Ballet Theater certified teacher and has a Bachelor of Education and Science. She is a graduate from Dance Education Canada and has certifications in Progressing Ballet Technique, Horton Technique and Boston Ballet School's Adaptive Dance program. 

Jane Gershon

ane is a certified Pilates and Barre instructor. She used to own a Pilates fitness studio in Ontario (pre-pandemic) and now enjoys teaching in her spare time! Helping people begin their path towards their fitness goals has always been a passion for Jane.

Gina Grant

Gina Grant is a professional contemporary dancer based in Rothesay, New Brunswick. After completing her formal training at l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, Gina had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Castel Blast, Compagnie Ilotopie, As They Strike Collective, and 14 lieux. She has performed at the Fashion & Design Festival in Montreal as well as Ill-Abilities’s Tenth Anniversary Show founded by Luca “Lazylegs” Patuelli. She is currently in the process of completing a certification to teach dance movement classes to individuals with Parkinson’s disease, under the mentorship of Parkinson en mouvement. Gina is interested in using dance as a way of better knowing oneself, and is excited to share her practice with dancers in New Brunswick. 

Chris Van Green

Chris Van Green took his first class in jazz at 13 and ever since he was hooked. He started his dance training in Nova Scotia at Truro Dance Academy where he trained in Ballet, Jazz and Modern. 

Green decided to pursue dance further after high school and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theatre Dance Performance at Ryerson University in Toronto. He showed huge growth and outstanding passion and was rewarded the Kenny Pearl Award in his graduating year. 

Since Graduating he has worked and collaborated with many other dancers & choreographers. Performing in Dance Productions, Musicals, Flashmobs, Weddings, Galas, MMVAs, Television Shows and Music Videos to list a few. Working with choreographers & collaborators such as Hanna Kiel, Kenny Pearl, David Earle, Robert Glumbek, Darryl Tracy, James Kudelka, Andrea Penã, and Fernando Melo. Green continues to dance professionally and has expanded his styles of movement to not only Ballet, Jazz & Modern. He dabbles in most styles including Acro, Heels, Improv, Hip Hop, Urban, Cuban Contemporary, Swing, Salsa, Musical Theatre, Zumba and many outlets of Fitness. 

He also has been teaching full time for half a decade in all styles and all age demographics. Working hard to inspire and progress the development of the next generation of artists. He has taught workshops and Master Classes all over Canada and is excited to share his knowledge to inspire others.

Becky Henderson

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James Mario

Originally from Indonesia, James started his dance training in 2014 upon moving to Canada for his post-secondary education. He had his start by taking hip-hop classes and workshops around many dance studios in Toronto. In 2015, James joined Foreal Dance Company (@torontoforeal) to train and compete in various post-collegiate dance competitions in Ontario. In time, he became one of Foreal Dance Company’s lead choreographers and proceeded to choreograph for showcases and competitions such as Hit The Floor and Final Stretch Dance Competition. As he continued to train, he also had the opportunity to teach drop-in classes and workshops in several dance studios and universities in Ontario.

Upon graduating from the University of Toronto in 2019, James moved to Saint John in 2020. Although James had his start in hip-hop, he eagerly explores many other styles and enjoys incorporating elements from different styles into his works. He is passionate about using dance as a medium for storytelling and introspection.

Robert McCollum
(Ballet Bob)

Robert McCollum (Ballet Bob) trained in New York City and went on to dance professionally in both the US and Canada. Acclaimed for his expertise in teaching adults, Robert holds a Cecchetti Associate teaching qualification (with Distinction) and is a graduate of our Teacher Training Program. Mr. McCollum is currently the coordinator of our Adult Ballet Program and also teaches for the Professional Program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Teachers’ Seminar at NBS, and George Brown Theatre School. In 2006, he was invited by Christopher House to teach company class for the award-winning Toronto Dance Theatre and has most recently been offered the opportunity to teach there on a regular basis.

Emma McEvoy

Emma McEvoy began her dance training at Rothesay Ballet School in 2001, studying ballet, jazz, contemporary, and tap. Starting as a teaching assistant in the junior ballet program, she was promoted to teacher in 2012. Emma also trained as a contemporary assistant.

In 2015, Emma completed the Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance, officially becoming a registered teacher with the RAD. As well, Emma is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communication Studies, and Duke University, completing the Digital Media and Marketing certificate program.

Emma is also a graduate of the Enriched Performing Arts Diploma program at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. The two-year intensive program focused on dance technique, creation, and performance. While at CCPA, Emma had the opportunity to choreograph new works, act as a dance captain and rehearsal assistant and perform as both a dancer and actor in productions.

   

Since moving back to Rothesay, Emma has worked with Saint John Theatre Company and worked with Rothesay Netherwood School’s productions of The King and I and Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

Jill Shepard

Jill has been teaching Pound Fitness for 4 years now, with her husband who usually teaches alongside her. Jill falls in love with this form of fitness every time she teaches a class. The energy and smiles she receives whenever someone new tries Pound for the first time inspires her. Visibly seeing them having fun and loving the workout, pumps her up. She can’t wait to Rockout with dance conference participants! 

Sarah Power

Sarah has been working as an independent dance artist and teacher since graduating from the Dance Performance Program at Ryerson University in 2001. She is the artistic director of Connection Dance Works, the company she co-founded in 2010.Her classical teaching accreditations include Intermediate level R.A.D and Cecchetti Advanced 1exam certificates. Sarah’s teaching philosophy centres on creative movement, age-appropriate anatomical alignment, and healthy self-image.Her artistic career has included collaborations with musicians, dancers, filmmakers and visual artists from across Canada. She has received grants for Professional Development, Residencies and Creation projects through the Canada Council for the Arts and artsnb.Sarah continues to learn and develop work through her practice of Authentic Movement, a way of discovering movement inherent to the body.

Darryl Tracy

Darryl Tracy is a Toronto based independent dance artist (choreographer, interpreter, teacher and producer). He was a senior faculty member at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre for 18 years and as a dancer has created many roles by most of Canada's leading choreographers. He and Heidi Strauss were co-artistic directors of four chambers Dance Projects from 1998-2006, commissioning duets from Canadian choreographers as well as their duet created by Italian-based company Déjà Donné. This duet garnered them a nomination in performance for the prestigious Dora Mavor Moore Award. He was part of the company Sylvain Émard Danse in Montreal for over 4 years dancing and touring in Émard's Temps de chien. He has created over 39 of his own works through commissions and self-produced productions. Most recently, he has choreographed for Connection Dance (NB), George Brown University (Toronto), The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Ecole de danse Contemporain du Montreal (Montreal)  and Sawdon Dance (Winnipeg). He was nominated for the K.M. Hunter award in 2013. He is also a physiotherapist specializing in movement and neurological injuries. He teaches anatomy in the Teachers Training Program at the National Ballet School of Canada. His interest in the human body and specifically the nervous system fuels a great deal of the work that he does.

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