Meet the WCSOPA Faculty
Dance and the performing arts has been an integral part of Melissa's life for nearly 30 years. Some of her earliest memories include dance classes at the Marcia Hickmott School of Dance. She continued to develop her skills throughout her teenage years and first gained recognition for her efforts in 1998 as Dancer of the Year at the West Carleton Secondary School.
Laila has been dancing for over 25 years. She has studied many dance genres with her primary focus and passion in Jazz.
Jen spent the early years of her dance career training at the Linda Jamieson School of Dance in Kanata, ON. She has completed all her RAD grade exams as well as her Advanced 1 exam. She spent her summers training in NYC with the Eglevsky Ballet, Broadway Dance Centre, and Steps on Broadway.
As a choreographer and performer, Simon Beckett entered the dance world at the young age of 14. Starting in studio, he became well versed in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary to name a few. After a short 3 years of maturation and development, he began competing at age 17; very quickly becoming recognized as an outstanding performer with a captivating stage presence.
Lisa trained intensively in Ballet, Jazz and Tap with the Canadian School of Dance and Les Petits Ballets for 12 years. She also trained in Figure Skating and Synchronized Skating, competing for Canada at the French Cup in Rouen, France, winning Gold in 2000.
Caitlyn trained at Studio C in Cornwall, where she studied jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, and musical theatre. She has also taken her CDTA certifications in Jazz and Tap.
Myranda started dancing at the age of 5 but her first love was rhythmic gymnastics, where she won three provincial titles before discovering the perfect blend of gymnastics and dance - Acro!
Natalie is a graduate from Canterbury High School from the dance program and has studied a variety of styles including; jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, and contemporary. Natalie has been teaching classes for over 10 years and has taught children from all ages and enjoys every age group.
Katy Munro is a graduate of the St. Lawrence college Musical Theatre Performance Program. She is currently pursuing a BA in Music and Theatre at the University of Ottawa, as well as a teacher's degree. She is a qualified Vocal Music and Drama teacher with extensive training in classical and contemporary techniques.
Amanda began her dance training in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied under the direction of Kathy Kozel, William McLaughlin, Sam Fiorello, Adrian Mintz and several others whom gave her a strong ballet and jazz technical training. She later received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, from the Conservatory of Music & Dance at University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Mercedes Rivoire trained extensively with Canadian School of Dance where she studied ADAPT jazz and tap, RAD ballet, hip hop and musical theatre. She competed in American Dance Awards and Candance competitions. She recently graduated from St. Lawrence College Music Theatre Performance program.
Riley started dancing at the age of three and began dancing competitively at the young age of six. Riley trained and competed for 11 years in Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre. Riley also performed in many school theatre productions including a lead singing/dancing/acting role in her Grade 12 production of FAME.
Marc Kayawtick began his formal training at a studio in his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario at the age of 15 years. Here he studied jazz, tap, and hip hop. His passion for hip hop lead him to audition for Ottawa based hip hop troupe Driven Dance Company.
Dylan started dancing at the age of four, here in Ottawa. He trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, and tap. In September of 2012, Dylan studied at the School of Alberta Ballet.
After completing her education, Melissa went on to teach and develop exercise programs at many different corporate facilities in Ottawa. She has also enjoyed a great deal of success as a personal trainer.
Melissa joined the Ottawa Renegades Dance team in 2002 and competed on a National Sport Aerobic team in 2003.
Melissa takes great pride in the work she has done with both the Rural Root and Kanata Theater groups. She has performed on stage in the Kanata Theatre's successful play "the Snow Ball" and continues to choreograph dance routines for both theatre groups.
Although her background is very diverse she has always had a special love for Ballet having studied both Cecchetti and RAD (Royal Academy) disciplines very seriously. Melissa's love for movement is also fulfilled through fitness, with certifications as a group fitness instructor, an individual conditioner, a kickboxing instructor, a Spinning instructor, a fitness consultant and personal trainer.
Not surprisingly, her love of dance resulted in the formation of the West Carleton School of Performing Arts where she has dedicated herself to sharing her love of dance. She is an ADAPT certified instructor.
Since incorporating WCSOPA 10 years ago, Melissa has worked very hard to bring together a team of well educated dedicated instructors who share her love of dance and the arts. Her goal has been to provide teachers who have a wealth of knowledge experience and a determination to the organization in an effort to ensure a life changing and memorable experience for her patrons. She has also developed an Internship Program for some of her more talented students in an effort to help them develop and gain life experience. We think you'll be very impressed when you read their bio's.
Melissa's objective within the school is to promote healthy living, high self esteem and to share her passion for the arts. Sharing it with children has been a bonus.
Melissa looks forward to personally introducing you to all of the fantastic staff and talented students at the West Carleton School of Performing Arts!
During her mid-teens, Kelly also began training in ballet. She studied the A.D.A.P.T. syllabus and excelled in her dance exams . Kelly competed throughout Ontario winning many awards. By 18, Kelly inherited the dance program her sister ran and carried on directing and teaching at the school for several more years. During that time Kelly entered some of her advanced students in local competitions and was proud to see them bring home medals. As an adult, Kelly continued taking dance lessons, attending specialty workshops and teaching until she welcomed the birth of her first daughter when she took a break after 25 years in the business. Kelly has since introduced both of her daughters to the world of dance and has been actively involved behind the scenes. It's now been several years since she's put her shoes back on to share her enthusiasm for dance (Tap especially) with others.X
Ashley is a graduate of York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and additionally completed a semester studying dance in England. She has trained with professionals such as Carol Anderson, Donna Krasnow, Holly Small, and Karen Bowes-Sewell. Ashley's Choreography has received multiple 1st Place, Platinum and Special Award recognitions. Ashley is also a certified teacher through the Ontario College of Teachers.X
Laila has always been a performer and loves to be on the stage. Some of her fondest childhood memories are from different dance competitions she took part in and she feel great pride for her recognition as dancer of the year at WCSS in 1999. Laila's dance life continued on into her adult years. While busy earning 2 Business Diplomas in both business and marketing at Algonquin college she also danced for the Ottawa Rebels and the Ottawa Renegades. Laila has now been teaching for WCSOPA for 10 years. She continues to strive to be the best she can be through attending regular workshops, master classes, and studying the A.D.A.P.T. syllabus. Her dedication and attention to detail has made her choreography a favorite with students and judges, earning her and her students many special awards, platnium awards and high scores.X
While he was there, he was a palace guard in Alberta Ballet’s Othello, and completed his Advanced I Cecchetti ballet exam. Dylan recently received a distinction on his Advanced II Royal Academy of Dance ballet exam. He has also received various overall awards, dance titles such as American Dance Awards Male Dancer of the Year and Mr.Candance, and choreography awards. Dylan is now dancing with Culture Shock Ottawa, a non-profit hip hop troupe who strive to entertain, educate, and enrich the community. Since joining in February 2016, he has performed a various galas, walkathons, and at World of Dance Montreal. Dylan is now going into his third year of teaching, but has been choreographing for 8 years.X
After graduation from high school she received a scholarship to attend the Fine Arts program with a concentration in modern dance at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Realizing she wanted to focus more on her technical training and possible teaching future she transferred to Ryerson University for their inaugural year of the BFA program with a concentration in dance. An injury sidelined her dance career and Jen returned to Ottawa where she finished her bachelor degree in psychology and began teaching, producing and adjudicating. She later completed her MBA with a focus on marketing. She has taught at the Canadian Dance Factory and was a guest teacher at many high schools throughout the city as well as being accepted in to the RAD teacher training program. She is an award-winning choreographer as well as having adjudicated across Canada for competitions such as Footloose, Terpsicore and the BC Annual Dance Competition (Prince Rupert). Jen is currently the Event Director and co-founder of Mastermind Event Rentals and has been recognized by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and Ottawa Business Journal as one of Ottawa’s 40 Under 40 (2015). She looks forward to coming out of retirement and joining the team at WCSOPA.X
She is currently a level 3 women's artistic gymnastics coach at the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre. Having coached developmental through to national level her career highlights include doing choreography for Ontario Winter Games in 1995 and starting her own gymnastics club in 1996 with her daughter Shannon. The club is called quantum niagara gymnastics. Holly was the coach of Eastern Canadian champion and team coach for the Ontario tour team for both level 7 and 8 athletes. She was winner of provincial awards for beam and floor choreography, the primary choreographer for the Ottawa gymnastics centre floor routines and cross training coach for the Ottawa National Diving Club. Holly also offers her coaching expertise in acrobatics to several dance clients, cheerleaders and individuals who love gymnastics for its fitness component.X
Natalie has been teaching and assisting classes for over 6 years and loves every minute of it. Natalie has taught children from all ages and enjoys every age group. Natalie has won various titles over her competitive years, some of which are, Dancer of the year 2010 - 5,6,7,8 Showtime, Highest Scoring Soloist - Shine 2009, as well as many other awards. She also had the chance to go to Paris, France and be apart of a summer dance tour in 2010 which included taking classes with proffesionals. Natalie is a very high spirited, bubbly person waiting to take on any of the challenges that the dance world throws at her. Her unique style and loving passion makes her an great choreographer. Her biggest goal in life to pass on her love for dance to others so that they can enjoy it just as much.X
Some of his professional experience includes instructing Cirque du Soleil acrobats and performing at the Nancy Jazz Festival in France. In 2006 he was honoured to receive the Most Valuable B-boy award at the annual Kings of NY Competition and was the first B-boy to receive a full grant from the Canadian Arts Council to study in both New York, Philadelphia and Orlando. In 2007 he was a keynote speaker at the United Nations Youth Conference. He is now dedicating himself to carrying on the street dance culture in the world of performing arts.X
She teaches dance for the musical theatre program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville. She has also taught at various studios and schools in Ottawa providing exceptional dance training to students of all ages and abilities. Deanna has traveled to New Hampshire and Arizona to teach summer intensive programs. Her choreography at dance competitions has received various high score and special awards. She has received numerous personal awards at competitions across North America, including Miss Teen CanDance, Footloose Dancer of the Year and ADA Dancer of the Year. Over the course of her training she has performed with Ballet Jorgens “The Nutcracker” and was a member of the Ottawa Renegades Dance Team. Dance is a passion which Deanna loves to share with aspiring students in an encouraging and educational way! She is looking forwards to working with all of the students at the West Carleton School of Performing Arts.X
Her educational dance background focuses largely on street dance – particularly house. Amanda also teaches acro and loves helping students perfect tricks. Amanda is pleased to join the West Carleton School of Performing Arts teaching team.X
After achieving a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Carleton University in 2006, Lisa’s passion for dance brought her to the studio. She began teaching in 2008 at Allegro DanceWorks and has since completed the ADAPT TTS training course and is a certified ADAPT teacher.X
In addition, Ms. McNulty has studied B.A.T.D., I.S.T.D., R.A.D, Cecchetti and ADAPT. Among her most noteworthy accomplishments as a dancer would be her performance of the Solo Seal examination which is the highest level of RAD ballet examinations. She continued her competitive dance career while at university as part of the University of Ottawa’s Dance Team where she competed and won several special awards. Over the last five years Justine has taught ballet, contemporary and Jazz at both competitive and non-competitive levels at Dance R Studio, Selina’s Studio and the Canterbury Dance Centre. In addition to her regular teaching, she has been a guest choreographer at a number of workshops across the city of Ottawa and in the GTA. Ms. McNulty lives to teach and values the opportunity to share her knowledge, skills and passion for the arts with her students. She believes that a solid foundation in technique affords young dancers the freedom to grow artistically with strength and grace.X
She has competed in various competitions from 2005-2016, and has won multiple overall awards And special judge choice awards, including "Most Potential". In 2012 won a scholarship to Los Angeles where she participated in a music video and trained with top dancers and studios. She is a Music Theatre graduate of St. Lawrence College. Credits include: Wickersham in Seussical, Feat. Performer in Grand Central: Diva's on Broadway, The Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz, Feat. Performer in Superstars! Which featured songs throughout history, and Associate Choreographer for The Addams Family.X
She also has a very good foundation in ballet, jazz, and contemporary. Competing since age 11, she has won multiple regional and national titles along with many special awards and scholarships along the way. Nothing makes her happier than being able to share the knowledge she's gained over her years of training with kids who share the same passion as her.X
He has performed in multiple shows around Ottawa, including Winterlude, Canada Day, Santa Parade, and many more. Hasham was always a big fan of the dance culture, so he always loved the idea of keeping a free mind and freestyling to music. Recently, he started studying about many urban dance cultures to spread the love of dance whenever he is teaching. Hasham specialities are Hip Hop, Bboying, House, and Choreography.X
Katy's performance highlights include playing Jenny in the Threepenny Opera and writing her own Fringe Festival musical. She is passionate about music, theatre, and the performing arts and loves to share that passion with her students at WCSOPA!X
At University she trained in Modern and Ballet under the direction of Mary Pat Henry, director of Wylliams/ Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Paula Weber, Diana Hytte Washington, former Alvin Ailey Dancer, Catherine Taylor Plavcin, and Emmy award winner, the late Leni Wylliams.
After graduating, she moved to New York City to continue her professional endeavors. Amanda performed with several modern/ contemporary dance companies including Infinity Dance Theater and Darrah Carr Dance as a soloist, where she had the opportunity to tour the US and Europe. Amanda received rave reviews such as one in the New York Times where she was described as “the personification of flight”. While in New York, she was fortunate to have the chance to work with award winning choreographers such as Peter Pucci, Robert Battle, and Shawn Curren, to name a few. Amanda is also proud to have graced the pages of magazines such as Dance Magazine and Time Out New York. She can also be seen acting in National Federation Educational videos.
Due to an injury, Amanda left the stage to pursue other endeavors which led her to settle here in Ottawa Canada. She has found a new favorite dance partner, her 4yr old son, Rowen. Amanda is very happy to be part of the WSCOPA family, and looking forward to watching her students grow and become amazing artists.
At 18, he moved to Ottawa in order to further hone and sharpen his skills. Even while attending Algonquin College studying Aviation, he wasted very little time entering the Ottawa dance scene. Since his arrival, he’s become a quintessential performer with the dance crew “Pulse N’ Limited”, an urban style troupe. Adding to his diverse repertoire, Simon has since specialized in the funk style of popping under the alias “SoulPilot”, with a recent interest in Locking.
Given his background and experience within the dance scene and community, he brings a unique style in creating high energy and entertaining choreography. One of his main aspirations is to humbly teach the next generation of dancers in performers in hopes to pass on the history, knowledge, and experience he has acquired thus far.
After graduating Myranda went on to compete at the University of Ottawa as well as on the Canadian hiphop team in Austria and Denmark. Myranda has been teaching acro, Aerial’s, hiphop, jazz and contemporary styles for 5 years now, and is currently an Ottawa Redblacks dancer and cheerleader.X
She performed in shows including Les Belles Soeurs, where she played Rose Ouimet and Twelfth Night, in which she played Sir Toby Belch. She also performed in two revue shows- Superstars, which featured pop songs throughout history and Grand Central: Diva’s on Broadway, where she performed songs from a number of different musicals.X
Riley won the top awards for highest marks in both of her High School Dance and Musical Theatre programs two years straight, and was the recipient of the Crossley-Hauch award for Dedication To Dance in her Grade 12 year. At 17 years of age, Riley made her dream of dancing professionally come true by becoming the youngest member of the Ottawa Redblacks Cheer and Dance Team! She is now a 3rd year Veteran as a Redblacks Dancer and has travelled across Canada to dance on field at two Grey Cup games for the CFL and danced for Dean Brody, Alessia Cara, as well as dancing the Half Time show for One Republic!! Riley is so excited to be starting her career in choreography at WCSOPA!X
Marc was accepted onto the team, not only as a professional performer, but also as a choreographer.
Marc's performance highlights include Driven for the Breath of Life, Ignite Your Passion, Ottawa Exhibition, Winterlude, Santa Clause Parade, Culture Shock Canada Showcase, and More. Marc has also danced for artists including Rachel Richard and Jeremy Merrick.
Marc's choreography has been recognized at many different competitions, including highest scoring soloist, best choreography, top score of the competition and numerous special awards for costumes, concept and choreography. His students have also seen success competing internationally, and have received many scholarships and special accolades.
Not only is Marc a well accomplished professional hip hop dancer and choreographer, but he is also a silver medalist in two International World Karate Competitions. This training has taught Marc not only the importance of discipline in all you do, but has helped him pass on his knowledge of how to prepare your mind and body for competition.
Marc Kayawtick always looks to inspire his dancers. He is consistently learning about the hip hop and Bboy culture. He continues to take classes and educate himself in order to provide his students with the best training he can provide.
She has won various titles over her competitive years, some of which are, Dancer of the year - 5,6,7,8 Showtime, Highest Scoring Soloist - Shine, Destined to Succeed - Dance Canada, as well as many other awards. She also had the chance to go to Paris, France and be apart of a summer dance tour in 2010 which included taking classes with professionals in the industry. In addition to dance, Natalie graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at Algonquin College and managed a gymnastics facility for 7 years. Natalie is a very high spirited, bubbly person waiting to take on any of the challenges that the dance world throws at her. Her biggest goal in life to pass on her love for dance to others so that they can enjoy it just as much.X