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Staff

As one of the most innovative companies in performing arts industry today, we at CDC acknowledge that success is a matter of collaborating the top talent, the best attitudes and the most experienced instructors available anywhere.

Our teachers take pride in their ability to inspire each individual student to their fullest potential. We nurture a student’s love for the arts while educating them in a fun and engaging environment. Our teachers understand the high standards that the CDC family has been setting for years. Someone your child will remember and ask for again and again each year.

Dennis Lupien
Studio Operations, Assistant To The Directors, Head of Prop Team

Dennis has had an extensive career in theatre performing in many musicals: Cats (Canada/Germany/U.K.), Beauty and the Beast, Crazy for You, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, A Chorus Line, Swingstep, Chicago to name a few, film credits include: Sing, Superstar and Hairspray, as well as a few commercials along the way.

Many wonderful experiences of performing in various musicals have led Dennis to currently working full time for Canadian Dance Company. A great deal of creativity along with hard work go into designing and building props and set pieces required for the numerous exciting routines choreographed by the extremely talented staff of teachers and choreographers. The family business under the direction of Allain and Dawn Lupien, involves many duties in which every family member has their own responsibilities to perform, and together make an awesome team that strives for success and providing the family environment CDC is known for.

Dennis would like to congratulate all of the many talented dancers on their hard work and commitment, training, rehearsing and performing at their utmost best, representing Canada’s #1 studio for dance.

Samantha Lupien
Head Administrator, Costume Coordinator, Competitive Teacher/Choreographer

Samantha Lupien began her dance training at her grandmother's studio, Dot Blakeley Dance Studio in Simcoe, Ontario. She then continued her dance training at the Canadian Dance Company when they opened their doors in 1985 under the direction of her parents Allain & Dawn Lupien.

Samantha trained in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Acro, Pointe & Lyrical throughout her competitive years. Upon graduating high school, Samantha received the opportunity to perform aboard Celebrity Cruise Lines as Dance Captain and sailed to such places as the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska. She has also performed in Sears Fashion Shows, Mary Kay Cosmetics Industrials and Choreographed for the Disney Fashion Show at the young age of 17. Other Choreography credits include; Raven Simones Charity Benefit & various club performances for the Freestyle music artist Zoe. Samantha has taught both the Recreational and Competitive students here at the Canadian Dance Company for the past 14 years and currently teaches the competitive Hip Hop and Tap.

Not only is Samantha a Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer but she is also the Head Studio Administrator for the company. Samantha would like to thank her parents Allain & Dawn Lupien for providing such a fun & positive dance environment for all the dancers past, present & future of the Canadian Dance Company.

Tabitha Lupien
Competitive & Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Tabitha Lupien has trained in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz for seventeen years. She continues to train in those areas, as well as Acrobatics, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary and Hip Hop. She received all of her professional dance training at the Canadian Dance Company and this year will mark Tabitha's tenth year of teaching for CDC.

Tabitha has earned various titles such as: Mini and Petite Miss Dance of Canada, Petite Miss Dance of America, Junior Miss Candance, ADA Junior Dancer of the Year, and First Runner-up for Junior Miss Dance of Canada. Tabitha was also a part of the Canadian National Team at the IDO World Dance Championships, bringing home one silver and two gold medals in 2005. In 2008 she brought home two silvers. Tabitha has also had the experience of performing in such shows as the Disney Fashion Show, the Sears Dance Pack, and the Bay industrial shows. Tabitha is not only a dancer but she is also a veteran actress. She has worked on many movies including Look Who's Talking Now (lead), Rent a Kid, The Santa Clause and many more. She has also done many TV shows including two Goosebumps episodes, three episodes of Ready or Not and many more. Her latest film was Hairspray, in which she played the role of Becky and got to work with John Travolta once again. She has had the opportunity to work with John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, James Marsden, Amanda Bynes, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, and Nicky Blonsky (Tracey Turnblad). She has definitely learned a lot from watching and working with them. She has also worked with: Kirsty Alley, Leslie Neilson, John Stamos, Tim Allen, Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, and many others.

The Canadian Dance Company has been Tabitha's home for most of her life. She didn't just learn how to dance, but she learned some important life lessons that most won't come across until they are older. She will continue to use everything she learned at Canadian Dance Company for every single aspect of her life. Tabitha is so grateful to have been given such a positive and motivating atmosphere. Thank-you Canadian Dance Company!

Julia DeSantis
Administration, Competitive & Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Julia began her dance career at the age of three. She has since trained,
 competed and taught in all disciplines of dance under the direction of
 Francesca Nicassio.

A former national champion, Julia has been recognized
 for her musicality, style and technique in ballet, jazz and lyrical while
 competing across Canada. Trained in ballet syllabus by Sandra Nicholson,
 Julia was the youngest student to pass her Cecchetti Advanced I ballet
 examination and is now a registered instructor with the National Ballet
 Society.

Julia has choreographed for multiple dance teams, theatre
 performances, music videos, and television series. She is currently
 completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Guelph, majoring
 in History and English. Julia is proud to be a part of the Canadian Dance
 Company and looks forward to an amazing season!

Alanna Sanford
Competitive & Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Alanna began her dance training at Linda Collins School of Dance at the age
 of three. She then continued her dance training with Francesca Nicassio and 
Juliana West at Stars Academy in 2001. Alanna has trained in Ballet, Jazz,
 Tap, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theatre, Pointe and Hip Hop. She has been an
award-winning performer on a National level and is carrying on the titles
with her current students.

Alanna has worked for Stars Academy for the last 
12 years and her choreography has been featured on television networks,
 such as The Family Channel, YTV and Breakfast Television. She is currently 
teaching the tap curriculum at CDC Burlington, as well as hip hop and jazz.


Alanna has always admired the Canadian Dance Company throughout her years 
of training and was thrilled to hear of the newest “Dream Team”. She is 
looking forward to this new chapter and honoured to teach and choreograph 
for the amazing talent here at CDC!

Juliana West
Competitive Teacher/Choreographer

Juliana grew up and trained in Toronto, Ontario in multiple dance disciplines such as jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary and baton/flag twirling. She has competed, performed and trained throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

As a teacher and choreographer, Juliana has won numerous outstanding choreography awards for her unique and innovative choreography. Juliana is also known for her “killer” technique classes and continues to strive for perfection in her students, many that are currently in movies, Broadway and T.V.

Kelly Knight
Music Teacher

Kelly Knight has been a beloved piano and vocal instructor, accompanist and audition coach, choir director and dance teacher at Stars Academy for many years. Precision, understanding, experience, insight are the traits that encompass Kelly Knight and her approach to teaching the arts.

A life-long student of music and theatre, Kelly’s experience includes studying in the Sheridan College Musical Theatre Performance program, the Royal Conservatory of Music and McMaster University's highly recognized music program. Kelly has performed and worked in over 20 different live theatre productions, ranging from supporting and lead roles to directing.

Kelly's husband is a talented musician and their children are following in the footsteps of their multi-talented parents and are highly involved in programs at Stars Academy. Kelly looks forward to many more years of continued success with her Stars Academy family.

Paul Hampson
Music Teacher, Studio Operations

A graduate of Western University‘s prestigious music program, Paul Hampson has been teaching and performing in both Canada and the US for the last 25 years. A multi-instrumentalist, Paul has had students that have gone on to study at Ivy League schools, become major record label executives and have appeared on both stage and on film.

Paul has been a guest performer at the Toronto International Film Festival, Premier Dalton Mcguinty’s 50th birthday celebration and the wrap parties for both Russell Peters and the major motion film the Incredible Hulk. With the ability to play many instruments he has been one of the most sought after session musicians in Southern Ontario. Performing with artists such as Jenn Ashbee, Gianni Luminati of Walk Off the Earth, Ric Jacobs, among others and most recently Hamilton Music Award nominees Top Dead Centre, he has shared the stage with artists such as Skid Row, Nazereth, and the late Jeff Healey. Paul has also performed in many tribute shows across North America with Mama Kin, Abbamania as well as Cher and Tina Turner tribute shows among them. He is currently the touring guitarist for Rita Carrey (sister of actor Jim Carrey).