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.

 

 

  

 

Chemay Forrester

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 27 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, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and much more.  You can see some of her graduating students accomplishments on our Hall of Fame page of the website.

 

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Jill McArton

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.

 

 

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Alyssa Charlebois

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. 

Teacher at Denise Smith Dance

Sarah Brownley

Sarah began dancing at our studio when she was three. At the age of six, she entered our competitive program allowing her to pursue her passion and love for dance for another 12 years. She has been trained and has competed in all disciplines of dance including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and hip-hop. During her competitive years, Sarah attended numerous regional dance competitions as well as four National Competitions. She completed the A.D.A.P.T exams in jazz and tap and was honored to have been the recipient of the dance award while attending high school. Currently, she is in her forth year of university and is planning on becoming an elementary school teacher in the future. Sarah has been teaching at our studio for the past seven years, giving her the opportunity to enjoy her love for both dance and children!

 

 

 

 

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Keri Woodside

Coming to us from Markham, Ontario, Keri began dancing at the early of age of 3 where she trained extensively in all disciplines including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro & Lyrical/Contemporary dance. As her skills developed so did her love and passion for dance. Over the years, Keri has had the privilege of studying with many great teachers and choreographers at various workshops and conventions across Canada and the United States and continues to focus on continuing her education in dance.
Keri began teaching and choreographing at a very young age, and has been teaching in the Greater Toronto Area for over 15 years. She has since been recognized at various competitions for her outstanding and unique choreography as well as her ability to teach perfected technique and performance skills. Over the years, many of her students have taken home high score performance, judges choice, and choreography awards. Today she brings enthusiasm and knowledge to the art of dance, and is thrilled to be in Ottawa and joining our team.

 

Camryn Forrester

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. 

Stephanie Leyland (BPHE)

Stephanie began dancing at the age of 3 training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. She has completed A.D.A.P.T. jazz and tap exams up to the Advanced level and has also completed R.A.D ballet exams up to the Advanced I level. She has competed at both the regional and national level receiving numerous awards and dancer of the year titles. She mentored with Shawn Byfield, who allowed her to explore her love for tap. Stephanie studied at Ryerson University in the Performance Dance Program for 2.5 years, where she trained with Nadia Potts, Karen Duplisea and Vicki St. Denys.  She then went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in Physical and Health Education at Queen’s University where she was also apart of the Queen’s Competitive Dance Team. During her time at Queen’s, Stephanie choreographed the tap small group, which was recognized for overall awards at competition.

Stephanie is currently attending the University of Ottawa where she is completing her Bachelor of Education degree to pursue her passion of teaching.

Stephanie is very excited and eager to share her love of dance with her students.  

 

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Franny Alarie

France has been dancing since the age of 6 years old, training in Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop.  She has recently retired from her business as a studio owner to pursue her love of teaching and to further extend her training in hip-hop.  She has been fortunate to have trained with Nicholas Begin (contestant on So You Think You Can Dance Canada and member of Blueprint cru, finalists on America's Best Dance Crew), Marilynne Caron-Proulx, Amira Couture, Reet Roy and has recently attended the Rhythm 2 Dance Hip Hop summer camp in Toronto where she particated in classes hosted by choreograhers wuch as Laurence Kaiwal, Pat Cruz, C.J Salvador, Leah Totten and Taneikah Wescombe.  Over her career, she has had the opportunity to choreograph for local artist such as Tianna as well as perform alongside Jay Vado, and was a cast member/dancer for City Fidelia's music video.  She also choreographs routines for Inspired by Vanda Fitness competitiors for national and international fitness competitions.  She is thrilled and excited to share her love of hip-hop with Denise Smith dancers!

 

Amanda LeClaire

Amanda has been dancing for 22 years and practicing yoga for nearly 10. After completing her training in all disciplines as a competitive dancer, Amanda went on to dance professionally in New York, assisting acclaimed teacher Michelle Barber of Broadway Dance Centre. She performed as a dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines, Ottawa’s contemporary company Karma Dance Theatre, Culture Shock Ottawa - a Hip Hop dance organization dedicated to innovative performance, artistic development and community enrichment. Her choreography has been showcased at local charity events such as Rogers House the Chance2Dance Gala, Bash Noir, and Bust A Move. She’s also been fortunate enough to perform for artists such as Benny Benassi, Steve Angelo, Nervo and Armin van Buuren!
Amanda really discovered the joys of yoga while recovering from a severe hip injury. She loved the way it eventually complimented her dance so much that she attained her 200hr RYT Hatha and Yoga Tune Up ® certification at Rama Lotus and Pure Yoga in Ottawa! Her passion for educating students in the importance of movement pushed her to become director of Live Your Yoga! Amanda is currently attending the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in continuing her education on the health of the body by becoming a Registered Holistic Natural Nutritionist.
Amanda’s joy of dance and yoga is infectious to her students, as she safely guides them through an informative, fun and creative class!

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

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