Our Staff

denise smith, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Denise Smith


Denise has trained dancers at Denise Smith Dance Studio since 1979. She has adjudicated numerous prestigious dance competitions throughout Ontario and the United States as well as produced dancers who have participated in National Defense Tours to Bosnia, Alert and Yellowknife, danced professionally in movies, videos and dancers performing professionally on board Royal Caribbean cruise lines. Denise has choreographed and performed in many theatre productions with the Orpheus Operatic Society and Ottawa Little Theatre. Students from Denise Smith Studio have performed at a variety of Corporate Events including television. She continues to share her expertise and love of dance with her students.


paige forrester, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Chemay Forrester


Jazz, Technique and Tap 

Chemay is an award winning performer, choreographer and studio owner.  Chemay is the co-director of Denise Smith Dance Studio, where she has taught all forms of dance classes for the past 30 years.  Having started dancing at the age of 3, she danced competitively and performed in numerous productions throughout her dance career.  Trained extensively in all forms of dance, successfuly completely the (ADAPT) levels in Jazz and Tap.  Has had the privilege of studying with many great teachers and choreographers at various workshops and conventions across Canada and the United States.   Chemay has always had a true love for the art of dance and a true passion to teach. She is well known in the dance community for her progressive, energetic and innovative style of choreography and creative costume design.

Over the years, Chemay has trained numerous students, many of which have gone on to do professional work, including music videos, finalist on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Believe world tour and movie with Justin Beiber, Britney Spears, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and much more.  You can see some of her graduating students accomplishments on our Alumni page of the website.

Alyssa Charlebois, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Alyssa Charlebois

Ballet, Technique, Jazz and Lyrical 

Alyssa started dancing when she was just five-years old. She trained in all disciplines of dance including jazz, ballet, hip-hop, tap, lyrical, and musical theatre. While dancing in Ottawa, she participated in B.A.T.D examinations for jazz and ballet and received many B.A.T.D scholarships. When she was 15, Alyssa moved to Markham, Ontario, to enhance her dance training. There, she studied the Vaganova method of ballet.  Over the years, she has attended numerous dance workshops and conventions, and has been privileged to work with many renowned choreographers in the dance industry. After graduating from high school, Alyssa was hired by Carnival Cruise Lines, where she performed as a dancer onboard their ships, before returning to Ottawa to attend university. She has since become a graduate of Carleton University with a B.Sc. in Neuroscience, and is wishing to pursue a career in medicine.

Alyssa has been a part of the competitive dance world for over fifteen years.  She competed regionally and nationally for eight of those, and during that time won numerous overall high score awards. Alyssa has been a dance instructor for six years and a choreographer for the past four. In that time, her work has been recognized for many excellences. Her students have received multiple judges’ choice, choreography, and overall high score awards. Alyssa has a true passion for what she does. She loves teaching and watching her students grow and mature in dance. She is thrilled that she is able to share her love of dance with her students. 


Alyssa Charlebois, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Jill McArton

Ballet (RAD)

Jill has been a director, choreographer, teacher, instructor and adjudicator. She is a graduate of the Canterbury High School Fine Arts program (Ottawa) and Ryerson University (Fine Arts – Dance)(Toronto). She is (A.D.A.P.T) jazz and tap certified. Jill is a full registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) and a certified member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (I.S.T.D.). Jill is a highly respected instructor and choreographer. She is sought after to adjudicate at competitions across Canada and the United States.

Throughout the 20 years that Jill spent as a national and international competitor she was awarded many titles and honors. Jill has won both national and world championships.

Jill is a true motivator. Her enthusiastic teaching style has enabled her students to achieve outstanding results. Jill remains current with the latest dance styles by regularly attending dance conventions and workshops throughout Canada and the United States.


Camryn Forrester, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Camryn Forrester

Jazz, Lyrical and Tap

Camryn has been dancing at Denise Smith Dance Studio since the age of 3. She trained in all disciplines of dance, including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical/contemporary, and hip-hop. Throughout her years competing, Camryn has had many accomplishments. She has won numerous overall highscore awards for both her solos and groups. In December 2014, Camryn was fortunate enough to be a part of the Canadian National Tap Team and had the opportunity to travel to Germany and represent Team Canada, where they placed second in the world. In 2016 Camryn graduated from Canterbury Arts School, where she studied in the dance program.  

Camryn comes with over 5 years of teaching and choreography experiece. Her choreography has been recognized for its excellence by many renowned judges in the industry. Her students have had outstanding success, placing top in overalls at our regional competitions. Camryn is an enthusiastic, caring and talented teacher, with a passion for what she does. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to spread her knowledge to our young and aspiring dancers. 


Franny Alaire, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Paige Forrester

Jazz, Lyrical, Acro, Technique, Stretch

Cassie Locatelli, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Cassie Locatelli

Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop

Cassie was born and raised in Ottawa and has danced since the age of 5. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary/modern and hip hop and competed for 11 years. Along the way she won many group awards, was specially recognized by judges and competed for national soloist titles. She participated in ADAPT jazz and tap exams as well as RAD ballet exams including the Advanced 1 level. Throughout the years she was privileged to attend an array of conventions and master classes where she was able to learn from many renowned teachers and choreographers. She is currently a 4th year student of The University of Ottawa taking a bachelor’s degree in Translational and Molecular Medicine and adores sharing her love of dance and music with her students!


Cassie Locatelli, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Amanda Dresch

Jazz, Technique and Tap (ADAPT)



Cassie Locatelli, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Alicia Boxma

Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Acro

Paige began dance at the bright age of two training in all styles such as Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet and Acrobatic Gymnastics. She grew up doing competitions dance, winning multiple awards such as Senior Miss. Starpower Ottawa for three consecutive years, National Champion in 2018 and extending her training in Athens, Greece. Her dance training lead her to Canterbury High School where she trained in Ballet and Modern dance, as well was educated on dance composition. Paige furthered her dance career and became a dance teacher in 2015 teaching classes with students ages 2-15. Since then Paige has now taken her education on dance composition and began choreographing dance pieces. Paige now is currently working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a dancer and entertainer. She is so thankful for everything Denise Smith Dance Studio has done for her to get her to where she is today. 


Cassie Locatelli, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Taylor Maxsom

Acrobatic Gymastics 

Taylor Maxsom has been trained as a competitive dancer for the past 10 years at a studio focused in Aerial apparatuses as well as Acrobatics. She has practiced many different styles of dance over her dancing career such as Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Tap and Acro. This past year she has put more focus on teaching and choreographing at various studios and community programs and very much enjoys teaching children of all ages. Taylor has taking many examinations through the British Association of Teachers of Dancing and has also achieved her associates in Jazz and Acrobatics. Further more she has acquired  her certification from The Acrobatics Arts. Recently graduated from a French high school in 2016 she is now continuing her education in the medical field at Collège La Cité . She looks forward working with dancers of the studio this year.  


Alex St Laurent, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Alex St Laurent


Alex started dancing at the age of 3 and has been training at Denise Smith Dance Studio since the age of 10. She has trained and competed in disciplines such as Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Hip hop and Acro winning overall awards as a group dancer as well as a soloist. In December 2017 Alex had the opportunity to travel to Poland as a member of Team Canada’s jazz and contemporary teams. Over the years, she has participated in many workshops and intensives to broaden her knowledge. This year, Alex is enrolled at the University of Ottawa to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human kinetics. There, she has the opportunity to take classes such as coaching and be a part of the gee-gee’s dance team.

paige forrester, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Olivia Hanchuk

Jazz, Hip Hop

Olivia started dancing at a young age of 3 years old and throughout her many years has been trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. At the age of 8 she joined her studio’s competitive team where she has received numerous awards and overall high scores as a soloist and within her groups. Throughout her 10 years of competing she has been a 2-time regional titlist representing her hometown of Ottawa. Olivia is currently attending Algonquin College where she studying Developmental Service Working.


Cassie Locatelli, jazz, acrobatic gymnastics, acro,

Brian Tong

Hip Hop



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Denise Smith Dance Studio - an award winning dance studio offering  a variety of programs and classes including Recreational and Competitive, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hop Hop and Acrobatic Gymnastics.

Street : 1140 Tighe Street, Manotick, ON

Email : info@denisesmithstudio.com

Phone : 613-692-4653

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