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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.

Lindsay Watkins
Costume Coordinator, Competitive & Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Lindsay Lupien began her training at the Canadian Dance Company at the age of 2, studying in all types of dance. Growing up in the competitive world she won many awards and titles while traveling around Canada and the United States.

She also had a passion for acting filming various commercials/TV shows and appearing in the movie The Santa Claus. Following her training at CDC she studied one term at the Randolph Academy For The Performing Arts studying dance, acting and singing. Lindsay continued to compete, going to Germany for the IDO World Dance Championships coming home with the gold medal. As well as getting ready for Germany she started working with Linda Garneau and Helix Dance Project doing 3 company shows. Industrial shows have also kept her busy including Disney Fashion Show, Mary Kay, and Bell Mobility. In summer of 2007 she co-choreographed a show for the Aorta Dance Company collaborating with David Norswrothy for the show called "Hello, I am".

Lindsay is currently teaching competitive Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, and Tap at the Canadian Dance Company. She is so honoured to teach and choreograph for all the talented and inspirational dancers she works with at CDC and can’t wait for another amazing year with them and the CDC family.

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!

Andrew Insanally
Marketing, Media and Graphics, Competitive & Recreational Choreographer

Andrew Insanally is proud to have thirteen years of training under his belt. His repertoire includes Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop and Contemporary.

During his competitive career Andrew was honoured with many awards such as; Teen Mr. Dance 2002 (StarPower), 2005 CNE Rising Star Champion, 2005 Gold Medalist at the I.D.O. World Championships in Riesa, Germany. His professional experience includes; a music video Canadian Brass Quartet and dancing for Norwegian Cruise Lines as a part of the Jean Ann Ryan Company. He has also performed for many industrial shows including Mary Kay and GM.

Andrew has also always had a desire to give back. He has performed for many charitable organizations including CIBC Run for a Cure, Three Rivers Foundation and Caribbean Children’s Fund. His passion for making a difference has really done just that as he is currently on the board of directors of the Team Brother Bear Foundation which to date has raised over $100,000 for SickKids Hospital.

This will be Andrew’s forth year with the CDC faculty teaching competitive and recreational. His classes emphasize a love for dance while ensuring his students develop their technique and style. Andrew has also studied Graphics at Ryerson University and is proud to act as the studio’s graphic designer. He is grateful for the amazing experiences and opportunities that CDC has warmly extended to him throughout the years.

Edward Tracz
Competitive Teacher/Choreographer

 

Jennifer Smith
Events Coordinator, Competitive & Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Jennifer Smith began her dance training at the age of 5 and hasn’t looked back. Having trained extensively in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, modern, contemporary and song & dance, Jennifer believes that dancers should constantly be learning and growing in their craft. In 2003, Jennifer created The Dance Project, a company which provides educational experiences for dance students, professionals, and teachers through workshops, conventions, and other special events.

As a teacher for more than 20 years, many of Jennifer’s students have become professional performers and dance teachers themselves. Jennifer prides herself on creating an inspiring atmosphere in her classes, all while challenging each dancer as an individual to strive to be their best.

After obtaining a diploma in Radio & Television Broadcasting at Centennial College, Jennifer spent some time working behind the scenes in the film industry. For a number of years, she performed with the cast of What’s On? Tap!, and also adjudicated for several dance competitions. Jennifer successfully passed her full dance teacher’s exam through the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association (CDTA), stage division.

Jennifer is thrilled to be on faculty at the Canadian Dance Company and is honoured to be able to share her passion for dance with students of all ages.

Angela Santos
Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Angela Santos is proud to declare herself a member of the CDC family since 1992... Those first years were spent training and competing in ballet, jazz, tap, acro and lyrical under Mr and Mrs Lupien. By 1999 she began teaching at CDC while attending U of T and then Sheridan College. After graduation, a demanding career at the top advertising agencies in Toronto never kept her far from CDC.

"If there is one thing I could guarantee to the parents of my students it is this: I really believe in the magic of toddlers and small children. In the same way that I believe in the magic of dance. The thrill of where a piece of music takes the body naturally and then the structure of allowing that simplicity to build up to a final moment on stage. What a perfect place for our children to discover, learn and grow. It is truly my heart's desire to show each and every little body that comes to my class a piece of this art, so that they come away feeling the magic."

What makes it all even sweeter is the gratitude I feel to be raising my own 3 children in this ultimate environment for creativity and family. The simple joy of the smiling faces and solid friendships only this place can provide are guaranteed to stay with you forever.

Brianne Ferguson
Competitive & Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Brianne Ferguson was raised in Burlington Ontario, and trained at studios in the Golden Horseshoe area. She was part of the competitive team at the Burlington Dance academy under the direction of Pat Bradshaw, and then moved on to be apart of Central Company perform

ing numerous musicals and award winning Sears Drama Festival productions.

As a teen Brianne was a member of the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble and performed with dancers from prestigious companies such as The Kiev Classical Ballet Theater, The National Ballet of Canada, Desrosiers Dance Theatre and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Brianne graduated with honours from the George Brown College Dance Performance Studies program. After graduation Brianne spent two seasons with the Ontario Ballet Theatre, while simultaneously studying with Ballet Master Max Ratevossian (Graduate of the Vaganova Academy of Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia and State University of Lunacharky G.I.T.I.S with a degree of Major of Ballet) for four years to instruct students of the Vaganova method of ballet of all levels.  Brianne has been fortunate enough to work with choreographers such as Bengt Jorgen, Kathleen Rea, Michelle DeBrower, Anni Woods, Che Chun, Vitek Wincza, and Robert Glumbek.

As well as being a member of the CDC team, Brianne is also an Educational Assistant with the Halton District School Board and an Instructor Therapist  with Teach to Learn Canada.

 

Brianne has experience teaching in all disciplines of dance, and her choreography has won numerous awards throughout Ontario and New York. Some of Brianne's students have gone on to study at the National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Quinte Ballet School, the Kirov Ballet in Washington, as well as numerous university dance programs. Brianne is excited to continue to share her passion for dance with her students!

Courtney Stolarski
Competitive & Recreational Teacher/Choreographer
Lexie Strahan
Administration, Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Lexie Strahan began her training at the age of four in her hometown of Waterloo and continued her training in the area until she came to the Canadian Dance Company for her final year of high school in which she competed with the Elite team. She is trained in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Modern and Hip Hop and is currently continuing her training in Ryerson University’s Theatre Dance Program.

Lexie has participated in various dance conventions such as Coastal Dance Rage, iDance and Jump where she was awarded a Tap Scholarship. She has been apart of Ballet Jorgen’s production of The Nutcracker as well as performed at The Pride Festival in Toronto and Spectra’s Talent Contest.

Lexie has taught a variety of age and skill levels and greatly enjoys getting to know her students!

Regan Reynolds
Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Regan's love of dance began at the early age of two and began competing at the age of four.  In 2006, CDC became her second family.  Her extensive competitive dance training evolved under the remarkable and creative direction of Allain and Dawn Lupien and CDC faculty, with a strong focus upon tap, hiphop, ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and musical theatre.   Throughout Regan's competitive dance years, she has been blessed with many awards and scholarships such as:   2006 Gold Medalist at the I.D.O. World Jazz Dance and Ballet Children Solo Female in Boston, MA.; 2008 1st place, Showstoppers Regional (Grand Island,NY) and National (Myrtle Beach, SC) Junior Soloist; 2010 Silver at the Terpsichore Nationals (Niagara Falls, NY) Female Teen Soloist; 2011 Silver Medalist at the I.D.O World Tap Dance Solo Female, in Riesa, Germany.  Regan has had some television experience.  In the first two seasons of The Next Step you will see Regan representing The Elite Team; an unforgettable experience and memory.  In 2014, Regan was honoured with "Future Choreographer" award that was presented to her from her very own CDC Family.  Regan is currently enrolled in the dance program at the University of Ryerson. While continuing her education, Regan is excited to share her passion for dance with her students and continue to learn and grow through their talents.  She is thrilled to be part of the CDC Team (a.k.a. Family). 

Katelyn Ettinger
Recreational Teacher/Choreographer
Julia Pacheco
Recreational Teacher/Choreographer

Julia Pacheco has completed five years at York University, majoring in Dance and Kinesiology. She graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2012, Bachelor of Education in 2013, and is an OCT certified teacher. She started dancing at the age of four and was introduced to many genres of dance during her dance career.

Julia has been working with children from a young age and continues to strive to be a part of their future. With the proper training and information learned, she believes she can instill these principles to younger dancers who share the same passion as she does.

Julia was a part of Team Canada, which traveled to Riesa, Germany and competed in the World Championships. She has trained and worked with the Canadian Dance Company since the age of 14.

Julia hopes to continue in teaching dance technique and dance sciences for the school board, as well as, been apart of the amazing team at CDC. She looks forward to educating young children in dance and helping them explore their own creativity.

Kaitlyn Fread
Administration