Instructors

Pictrue of Jennifer Thorogood-McLeod

Jennifer Thorogood-McLeod

Jennifer is the director of Alive Danceworks. She has been dancing for 29 years and loves to continue learning and taking class. Jennifer has had extensive training in Ballet with the Banff Centre for Performing Arts with numerous internationally acclaimed teachers as well as with Alberta Ballet. She has also studied everywhere from Calgary to New York City in many other dance disciplines such as modern, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop and was a competitive gymnast at a young age. Jennifer has performed in many professional shows including six years in Alberta Ballet's production of the "Nutcracker", Northwest Ballet's "Cinderella", numerous Banff Centre productions, television, and various half time shows. As co-founder of the group "Dance Attack", she traveled to the United Arab Emirates and Greece with country singer Lisa Brokop and other professional artists in 2002. Jennifer's teaching experience includes classes at Alberta Ballet as well as the children's roles in their production of the "Nutcracker" and "A Midsummer's Night Dream". She taught for Integrated Dance Arts and has enjoyed teaching dance options in high school programs and in various workshops. Jennifer started Alive Danceworks in an after school program that quickly outgrew the space. She enjoys teaching and is thrilled to be in year 13 at our brand new location sharing her love of dance with children of every age.

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Picture of Rocky Mejia

Rocky Mejia

Rocky is an exciting energetic performer, teacher and choreographer. He has trained and performed with the modern dance company POWER dance in Manila, Philippines. He has appeared in numerous films and TV shows including "Honey I Shrunk The Kids", commercials for FORD, and the motion picture "I've Seen You Before". He has traveled the world performing on international stages with companies such as Princess Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, and Murray Hatfield. His unique style of blending Tap, Jazz, and Hip-Hop with a soulful urban feel has won him affection with students of all ages at home and abroad.

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Picture of Jessica Miyagishima (office administrator)

Jessica Miyagishima (Operations Manager)

A few years back, Jessica enjoyed dancing as part of Alive Danceworks' Performance Troupe. After graduating from Mount Royal University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (major in Human Resources), she is thrilled to be back and with her dance family as our operations manager.

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Picture of Brianna Thorogood

Brianna Thorogood

Brianna has always been surrounded by dance, from growing up dancing in Calgary to dancing with her University dance team. While taking her Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts and Culture and Film at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton, she began her own part-time business. She is so happy happy to back in the dance world with Alive Danceworks as Office Manager.

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Picture of Katherine Baquiran

Katherine Baquiran

Katherine Baquiran an influencer, choreographer and dancer. Katherine was born in Winnipeg, AB but has made a home out of Calgary, AB since she was 9. In the midst of self-discovery and curiosity, her cousin persuaded her to try classes and she was quickly drawn to the craft. At the age of 15, she began attending dance within the Calgary community where she ignited a passion. For the past 12 years, she has focused in Hip Hop and Urban Movement and has trained with elite teachers/choreographers all around the globe. She is also a leader for the Hiphop Team named UniverseSoul Dance Company which has competed at several National Hip hop Dance Competitions. Recently Placing 1st at Artist Emerge (Edmonton) and 3rd at World of Dance (Vancouver and Edmonton). In 2015, Katherine had the privilege to earn a spot to back up dance for Janet Jackson's Unbreakable World Tour (Calgary). Katherine is excited to share her passion for dance and to contribute her work with Alive Danceworks.

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Picture of Lyndsay Cooper

Lyndsay Cooper

Lyndsay is a young, energetic dancer who is excited to share her knowledge of dance as an instructor. Since the age of 7, Lyndsay has trained at Alive Danceworks and spent 8 years as a member of the Alive's Performance Troupe division. She has trained in various styles including Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Swing, and African. She spent 6 seasons as a dancer for Alberta Dance Theatre and was a lead character in their performance of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". As a Graduate from Central Memorial High School's Performing and Visual Arts Program in the dance department, Lyndsay received a Professional Development in the Arts certificate. She has trained in places such as New York and Los Angeles and competed all across Alberta. Her performance credits include dancing for the Calgary Board of Education as well as in Disneyland and on Carnival Cruise Lines. She is currently attending the University of Calgary as a sociology major working towards a Bachelor of Education.

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Breya Hardy

Breya Hardy

Breya Hardy is an accomplished vocal artist, dancer, choreographer, director and educator. Breya has performed, choreographed and directed in concerts, competitions, television programs, stage productions and festivals everywhere from Disneyland to Shanghai. She has been privileged to sing alongside artists such as Paul Brandt, Roch Voisine and Jann Arden and danced her way through a number of motion pictures.

Breya studied dance and music education at the University of Calgary and is a certified ADAPT Dance Teacher. She has been teaching music and dance in the Calgary area for over 15 years. She also earned her Bachelors in Community Rehabilitation from the University of Calgary that has allowed her to combine her passion for the arts with her passion for disability studies and holistic therapies. While in University, Breya developed one of the first dance and movement therapy programs for students with disabilities in Calgary, which quickly branched into public and private schools, studios and organizations.

Breya's love for the arts is contagious and reflects in her energetic teaching style. She continually strives to give performers not only a strong foundation in the arts, but also the tools, skills and passion to excel in their lives outside of the studio. Breya is thrilled to have such a wonderful platform at Alive Danceworks to share her enthusiasm for music and dance with every student that walks through her door!

Picture of Kotaro Kajita

Kotaro Kajita

Kotaro is an energetic instructor and an explosive performer. He is very passionate about Hip-Hop and teaching young people the positive influences it can have. Kotaro was introduced to the Hip-Hop dance Breaking (aka Bboying/Bgirling) back in 2002 and has been training since with his dance crew O'Mighty. Over the years he has been able to build a reputation in the Hip-Hop community all across Canada and is better known as Bboy Mezu. His reputation has been built on the different battles he had entered to represent Calgary in Vancouver, Yukon, Toronto and Winnipeg. He has also done many local performances for the Calgary Stampede, Calgary Stampeders and with other dance companies like the Young Canadians. Kotaro is currently using his education in Child and Youth Care Counseling (Mount Royal University Diploma) and is working with high risk youth using his passion for Hip Hop to help change and make a difference in their lives.

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Picture of Vanessa King

Vanessa King

Vanessa discovered her passion for dance at a young age. After trying out classes in dance and gymnastics, she discovered her love of movement and chose to pursue dance. She trained intensively in dance, competed for several years, and won many awards, prizes, and scholarships. She has completed ADAPT jazz examinations (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers), RAD advanced graded ballet examinations (Royal Academy of Dance), and Al Gilbert tap dance examinations. She has studied styles beyond jazz, ballet, and tap, such as hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, and pointe. She also achieved her Yellow CanGym Badge Award in gymnastics.

Vanessa is currently attending the University of Calgary for a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in French. Her experience with children includes her teaching practicums, her work as a dance, gymnastics, and swimming camp leader, as well as her position as a dance Birthday Party Leader at Alive Danceworks. She is excited to continue to share her love of teaching and movement with students of all ages and abilities.

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Picture of Leah Litwack

Leah Litwack

Following her lifelong passion for performing, 17-year-old Leah ambitiously moved to Vancouver to pursue a career in dance. Although it was challenging to be in a new city by herself, she soon found her place in the Vancouver dance scene. She began working for artists such as Hey Ocean!, Michael Bublé, and Mariana's Trench, and was cast as a dancer in the feature film, Percy Jackson and The Olympians; The Lightening Thief. Shortly after, Leah was introduced to the world of artistic circus by the legendary owners of The Underground Circus. She performed on numerous aerial apparatus, and in several ground-based acts for four years, entertaining crowds throughout North America at corporate events, awards ceremonies, and galas. She has since expanded her realm of physical knowledge to include three certifications in acrobatics which gives her the ground work to build successful, exciting classes for her students. With the bulk of her performing career behind her, she is happy to be starting the next chapter of her life inspiring young students in Calgary.

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Picture of Emma McRae

Emma McRae

Emma's love for dance started at a young age and has grown immensely over the years. Her passion for dance started when she was 8 years old at Theatre Works Alberta. During her time with Theatre works, Emma was fortunate enough to perform in many musicals like Alice in wonderland, Annie, and Pages. Her passion for dance continued to grow when she joined Alive Danceworks troupe team to compete across North America. Emma has trained with Alive for 5 years in the styles of Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, lyrical and Contemporary. With an even bigger passion for children, Emma is now currently attending Mount Royal University as a major in mathematics working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

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Picture of Amanda Migliaccio

Amanda Migliaccio

Amanda has been dancing for over twenty years and has performed all over the world. She has formal training in many styles of dance including ballet, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre and specializes in tap. Amanda has trained throughout Canada and the USA and has studied extensively under tap masters in NYC. Amanda was chosen as a soloist performer and member of the Canadian National Tap Team that traveled to Reisa, Germany. She has performed in tap shows in LA, NYC and in 2008 was part of the opening number for the internationally televised Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. She has also performed in local Musical Theater productions in Calgary. Amanda has a strong passion for teaching and has experience with children of all ages and abilities. She shares her love of dance with her students and wants to see each and every one of them succeed not only in dance, but also in life. Her positive attitude creates a great class environment and helps get the most out of her students. Amanda has also completed her Biological Sciences Degree in Ecology from the University of Calgary.

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Picture of Alissa Miller (AKA Ali)

Alissa Miller (AKA Ali)

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Alissa began her dance career at the age of three and has been dancing ever since. Alissa started doing Cecchetti Ballet exams at the age of seven and has been very successful and has her Advance One in Cecchetti. She went to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet when she was twelve years old and attended the Quinte Ballet Summer School Program for three summers and was accepted into the professional division each time but was not ready to leave home. Alissa encourages dance students to try and go away to any kind of dance summer program that they can, to extend their dance background further. When Alissa was sixteen years old she started to get more involved with lyrical dance and was given the responsibility of choreographing competitive numbers. It wasn't till she started choreographing numbers that Alissa found her true love for dance. Alissa works for the Calgary Board of Education and has been teaching in a grade one/two split class for the past three years. She has had the opportunity to work within her school as the dance specialist. This allowed her to stay connected to the art of dance but now that she has established her teaching career, is eager to get involved with the Calgary dance community and share her love and knowledge of dance with her new family/team, Alive Danceworks.

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Picture of Julius 'Juice' Reyes

Julius "Juice" Reyes

Born and raised in small-town, Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Julius "Juice" Reyes' first initial love of dance came when watching his idols on television. Virtually self-taught through his beginnings in dance, Julius then joined Spectrum City Dance where he took training in Hip Hop & Funk Styles. He began both choreographing and performing in many events, galas and even fashion shows throughout Prince Rupert and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Since moving to Calgary, Juice has been a part of the local Hip Hop community and spent the last seven years instructing classes at numerous dance studios within the city. Julius mixes a 90's pop fashion with funk style poppin' to create high energy, hard-hitting choreography. His main goal is to broaden his students' knowledge of dance through Hip Hop culture, making it both fun and refreshing to do.

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Picture of Lauren Ritchie

Lauren Ritchie

Lauren Ritchie is a celebrated dancer and instructor known for her impassioned choreography and unique style of teaching that incorporates both the physical and metal aspects of the art of dance. After achieving her A.R.A.D. in 2001, Lauren worked with professional companies, such as o2 The Dance Company, Princess and Disney Cruise Lines, and a multitude of studios throughout Alberta and BC. Most recently, Lauren has had the privilege of sitting on the selection panel for the Intensive Training Program at Harbour Dance Centre and Tri Tone Youth Rhythm Ensemble Audition in Calgary, AB.

Dedicated to the holistic development of students, Lauren is also a certified Yoga instructor and accredited Coach as she encourages dancers to deepen their connection to their mind and body and trust in their own uniqueness through dance.

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Picture of Serena Sandford

Serena Sandford

A native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Serena began her training at the Edmonton School of Ballet. After graduating from Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division, Serena went on to dance with Banff Festival Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and currently Alberta Ballet. Her favourite roles include the title role in A Cinderella Story (Caniparoli), the Lilac Fairy in the Sleeping Beauty, the Dark Angel in Balanchine's Serenade, the lead women in Jean Grand-Maitre's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, the Lover in Balletlujah (Maitre), and the Black Couple in Kylian's Forgotten Land. As a teacher, Serena's goal is to share her knowledge and passion in a positive and encouraging manner. Serena is excited to back for a second year at Alive Danceworks!

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Picture of Christa Sorensen

Christa Sorensen

Ontario-born Christa Sorensen began dancing at the young age of 3, and started gymnastics at the age of 10. Christa studied with many well known choreographers and instructors throughout Canada and the USA in her many years as a dancer. Some of her credentials include an I.S.T.D. Advanced One ballet certificate, Early Childhood Education certificate, and level one gymnastic coaching. Christa has performed with many small companies in Ontario throughout her dancing career. At the age of 20, Christa realized that her true passion was teaching. She began to work at a local school where she started dancing and became a Sr. instructor shortly after. Her choreography has won her several awards and has given both her and her students many opportunities. Christa's choreography won the Canadian National Dance Competition for a Sr. Lyrical group that placed 2nd in Canada. She has also created dances that were showcased at Disney World in Florida, the Sky Dome in Toronto, and in many Toronto dance companies. Her most prized accomplishment was being asked to choreograph an acro/contortion number for the International Olympic Committee for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. She was very honoured to be involved in such an important part of the Olympics. Her choreography has also helped her students achieve several scholarships to many prestigious ballet and circus schools throughout Canada and the USA. Many of her dancers have gone on to have very successful careers, and she looks forward to hearing about their many successes in the future. Christa is very excited to be a part of the Alive Danceworks team. With her upbeat personality, technical background, and genuine love for dance, she hopes to help all the students become the best dancers they can be.

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Picture of Apple Sulit

Apple Sulit

Apple discovered her love for hip hop dance at the age of 14 where she was self taught up until high school. After 9 years of extensive training within North America, she has been fortunate to receive mentorship by established leaders of the dance community such as Kolanie Marks, Antoine Troupe, Jerome Esplana, Alexander Chung, and Carlo Atienza.

Dance has presented Apple with amazing opportunities along the way. Her most recent achievements include back up dancing for Janet Jackson's “Unbreakable” Tour, performing for the World of Dance Vancouver Showcase under Lando Wilkins, receiving the Bloc Talent Agency Scholarship and the Ignite Dance Summit Scholarship. Apple is not only a passionate performer but also a creator. She has been choreographing and teaching for 7 years and is currently the Co-Director of UniverseSoul Dance's elite competitive team.

This is Apple's first year teaching at Alive Danceworks and she is super excited to support and guide students along their own dance journey!

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Picture of Meagan Swindlehurst

Meagan Swindlehurst

Meagan began her dancing journey at the age of 4 and has trained in Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, and Celtic. Throughout her dancing career, she has competed in places including New York, Las Vegas, and all over Alberta. She has also been a part of Alive Danceworks' productions of "Cinderella", "The Little Mermaid", and "The Nutcracker". Meagan has trained with Storybook Theatre and was a main character in their performance of the comic opera, "The Pirates of Penzance". In the summer of 2014, Meagan got to be a part of the Calaway Park Performers where she danced, performed, and sang each day. Meagan's upbeat personality and young, innovative choreography has won her awards and has won praise from many choreographers and teachers. She aims to build strong connections with her students where they can work together to move dance training into lifelong skills and knowledge. Meagan is currently attending the University of Calgary focusing in Kinesiology hoping to one day be able to cater to the specific needs of the dancers body.

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Picture of Kristine Toews

Kristine Toews

Kristine began her dancing career at the tender age of four in Calgary Alberta. She trained at the Alberta Ballet School of Dance in their professional division, as well as summers training with the RWB and Banff Dance Centre, training under many international instructors. Kristine has also trained with the Young Canadians, performing in the Grandstand show. She moved to Victoria BC where she graduated from the Canadian College of Performing arts Year 2 Enriched Studies program. From there she has worked for The Spirit of a Nation Company, under the Direction of Jacques Lemay, Jesters Corner, Gotta Getta Gimmick, Abracadabra Productions, and many more. She has also had the opportunity to work with the Story Theatre Company, where she toured all over North America and was invited to Singapore to perform at the Act One international Children's Festival. Kristine has been a guest teacher all over Canada, and is now very excited to be teaching here at Alive!

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Picture of Kelsie Vanstone

Kelsie Vanstone

Kelsie's roots in dance began in Northern Alberta at the age of three. She has trained at The Edge, Debbie Reynolds and IDA on Hollywood Blvd, studios in Los Angeles. She spent her summers travelling to Vancouver, Kelowna, Jasper, Edmonton and Calgary to perform and train. Currently with Scholarship Dance Vancouver and choreographing in Vancouver studios, she has performed in many theatre productions including Broadway Live Broadway's Beauty and the Beast, music videos and live performances in Vancouver. Kelsie is a well rounded dancer trained in all classical styles. She has spent the last five years teaching and choreographing and is enthusiastic about the opportunities that a career in dance has to offer.

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Picture of Sofie Veilfaure

Sofie Veilfaure

Born and raised in a small French community in Manitoba, Sofie began dancing at the age of 14. In 2006, Sofie moved to the big city of Winnipeg to pursue dance at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Since then she has achieved her Advanced 2 certification with the Cecchetti Society of Ballet. She has also progressed through the A.D.A.P.T. Tap and Jazz Syllabus. In 2009, Sofie played Charlotte in the Jubilations Dinner Theatre production of Sexy Gals In The City. In 2013, while living in Edmonton, Sofie graduated from the Theatre Arts program at MacEwan University. She has also had the opportunity to train in Paris, New York and Montreal with artists such as Saxon Fraser, Tara-Jean Popowich, Les Twins, Megan Lawson, Lil C and Nicholas Archambeault. Since moving to Calgary in 2014, Sofie has performed with IllFx Entertainment at WeDay and The Calgary Stampede. Being exposed to so many talented artists Sofie has developed a versatile style of dance while maintaining the fundamentals of classical technique.

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Picture of Goldie Wong

Goldie Wong

At the age of 20, Goldie was introduced to her first hip-hop class at Queen's University in Ontario and she never looked back. Starting dance later in her life gave her keen awareness for what dance could do. She began to discover the power of the art form and its ability to unite individuals from all walks of life.

Goldie Wong is an entrepreneur, dancer, and the founder and director of UniverseSoul Dance Inc., an urban dance company. With her outstanding vision and passion for dance, Goldie is developing the dance community and enriching lives through movement and music. As a talented dancer, Goldie has performed on the same stage as Janet Jackson and the Jabbawockeez, won awards for her unique choreography, and has helped lead her teams to place in well-known competitions, such as World of Dance, and Artist Emerge. Under Goldie's leadership, UniverseSoul Dance is positioned to be a fixture in Calgary for years to come, building strength in the community and pushing the boundaries of creativity.

Always a student, Goldie continually looks for training opportunities and travels annually to Los Angeles and Vancouver, learning from the world's best choreographers and creative minds in hopes to inspire her students.

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Guest Teachers

Some of our Guest teachers have been:

Joanne Pesusich
Alex Pesusich
Kelsey Chace
Brock Jellison
Bree Wasylenko
Carlo Atienza
Moe Brody
Miles Faber
Todd Flanagan
Lenny Len
Taya Wild
Sarah Dolan
Nicole Trimble
Sterling George
Joey Matt
Katie Baines
Kelcey Moore
Rachel Lowe
Jody Sikora
Michelle Dawley
Hosted Fresh Dance Intensive
Kelcey Moore
Katie Booth
Nicole Caron
Diana Radcliffe

Our instructors picture
Our instructors picture