Meet the WCSOPA Faculty
Dance and movement have always been a central focus for Melissa. She has a special love for Ballet having studied both Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance disciplines very seriously. She is a certified ADAPT dance instructor, Progressing ballet technique instructor and a MindLeaps master trainer.
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.
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.
Samantha trained at West Carleton School if Performing Arts from the age of 5 until she graduated high school at 18. She trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, pointe, and tap. Her love for dance led her to join the competitive team where she got to improve her technique through feedback and expand her dance experience.
Ms. Katy is WCSOPA’s resident drama and vocal music teacher. She also teaches musical theatre, and is our office manager. You’ve probably seen her at the front desk with her bright hair and happy smile, or talked to her on the phone, but what don’t you know about WCSOPA’s most colourful teacher?
Having made his teaching debut in karate, Marc Joinette was a member of the Canadian national Karate team in the early 2000s. Brining the same discipline to his dancing, Marc has been passionately teaching hip hop dance since 2003.
Grace grew up in Ottawa as a competitive dancer, training in many disciplines (RAD and ADAPT) and continued to train and compete for four years as part of the Nipissing University Competitive Dance Team in North Bay.
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.
Calli has been dancing from a very young age. As the daughter of a dance studio owner, Calli has grown up surrounded by dance. It wasn’t long after discovering her love for dance she also found a passion for acrobatics. With her strong foundation in dance her acro is often recognized for its physicality, control & artistry.
Adrian grew up dancing at WCSOPA. While completing her nursing degree at Nipissing University she danced for the University’s Competitive Dance team, the Lakers Dance Pak.
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 . 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.
Autumn began dancing at the age of 7, and she cannot imagine her life without some form ofdance in it. She has trained in the disciplines of jazz, tap, ballet, musical theater, bellydancing,contemporary and most recently hiphop/bboy.
Eden has grown up as a WCSOPA dancer. Being a member of the competitive team for almost a decade, she has primarily trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre and lyrical dance. Her competitive dancing career has earned her multiple scholarships and overall placements with her routines. In fact, Eden earned a scholarship in 2019 to participate in an intensive convention in Toronto with “Fresh: Toes for Dance”.
Lauren Chew is a very motivated and driven individual, born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. She began dancing at the age of 3 and has spent the past 11 years profoundly
developing her dance vocabulary to be as versatile and well rounded as possible.
Melissa's love for movement is also fulfilled through fitness, with certifications in group fitness, individual conditioning, kickboxing, spinning, fitness consulting and personal training. Melissa studied Kinesiology at Ottawa University and continues to expand her knowledge through advanced coaching courses and NCCP training.
Melissa enjoyed success with her RAD ballet exams, competed at the national level in sport aerobics, danced for the Ottawa Renegades, and both choreographed and performed in multiple productions with the Kanata Theatre and the Rural Roots theatre company.
In 2000 Melissa opened the West Carleton School of Performing Arts. Where she remains the owner, artistic director and head instructor.
Melissa has won many awards as a performer, choreographer and teacher. But her most cherished accomplishments are the connections she has created with her students.
Melissa is dedicated to promoting healthy living, autonomy, connection, and self esteem through movement and the arts.
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 endeavours. 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 endeavours which led her to settle here in Ottawa Canada. She has found a new favourite dance partner, her 6yr 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.
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
She recently graduated from St. Lawrence College Music Theatre Performance program. 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
Grace began teaching at the age of 15 and has taught and choreographed in the Ottawa and North Bay areas for over ten years. She is also a 200 hour certified yoga teacher, a barre instructor and proudly teaches middle and high school Dance professionally. Grace is known for her positivity, enthusiasm and attention to detail in her teaching.X
Ms. Katy wrote her own children’s musical called An Old Fashioned Love Story which was produced at Sheridan College in 2008, and at the Cobblestone Festival the following summer.
After that, Ms. Katy completed a 3-year college degree in Musical Theatre Performance at St. Lawrence College where she studied many aspects of acting, singing and dance. She played the lead role of Jenny in their production of The Threepenny Opera, and was a featured ensemble member in many other SLC productions including: Grease, Hair, The Mikado, 42nd Street, and The Laramie Project. Ms. Katy has also completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Theatre and Minor in Music.
This summer, Ms. Katy can also be found Judging for Ottawa Idol, a prestigious singing competition for youth age 13-23. Ms. Katy is a passionate and patient vocal, drama, and musical theatre teacher who believes –anyone- can learn to sing (yes, you too!) She is known for a gentle, persistent teaching style that allows beginner and advanced students alike to find their confidence on stage in any capacity.
Calli performed live at the CHEO Children’s Gala and in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's rendition of the Nutcracker in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Calli performed as a background dancer in the movie "A Plan for Christmas" as well as "Wayward North" with Kambui Olujimi and as a contortionist on "CTV kids week". Calli was a live demonstrator for Acrobatique Acro Dance - teacher training and Acrobatic Arts - teacher training as well as being the demonstrator for three levels of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing acro syllabus DVDs. She modeled for Melissa Toye Photography with her photos placing in Shoot and Share top 20, 2yrs in a row and for Six 0 Dancewear catalog for 3 seasons. Calli has successfully completed her Intermediate ballet exam with Royal Academy of Dance as well as grade 4 honours in Ballet, Jazz and Acro through the British Association of Teachers of Dancing where she also placed in the top 20 in North America in the ballet category. In 2018 Calli competed in the Dance World Cup in Spain taking home a bronze medal for Canada, she was ADA's title winner, CanDance's Title winner, Dance Canada Junior judge’s choice winner and Be Dance Jr Soloist. In 2019 she was again ADA's title winner. Calli has had intensive training with Partner Acrobatics in Thailand, École Nationale de Cirque summer intensive, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre summer intensive and the Quinte Ballet School of Canada summer professional intensive training where she was invited to the full time Professional training program. In 2021 Calli visited Rwanda and participated in MindLeaps programming and in 2022 successfully completed the MindLeaps teacher training program.X
During her second year she held the role of Assistant Captain and was a choreographer for the team. She is very happy to be back at the dance studio!X
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 has also gotten the opportunity to play a role in Ballet Jörgen’s adaptation of Swan Lake and attend Ballet Jörgen’s summer intensive program. Samantha also competed in all star cheerleading where she got the chance to go to the Cheerleading World Championships in 2019, 2021, and 2022. Now Samantha is completing a Bachelor of Humanities with a Combined Honours in Biology while teaching and being a part of her dance community.X
She has been with West Carleton School ofPerforming Arts for nearly 10 years, as a competitive dancer and now teacher/choreographer.She adores working with children, and watching them grow as dancers. She hopes to completea postsecondary education in social sciences, and use the degree to have a further impact onthe lives of youth in the future.X
There, she was given the opportunity to train with many industry professionals. Outside of competitive dance, Eden successfully completed her Royal Academy of Dance Grade 2-5 and Intermediate Foundation Ballet Exams with impressive marks. She also performed with the Alberta Ballet Company in their rendition of the Nutcracker in 2018, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker in 2019. Her passion for dance continued despite the Covid-19 pandemic and she is thrilled to be back at the studio, especially in this new role.X
Performing became a source of joy and an outlet for expression; a core choreographer and primary performer spent most his spare time in the late 2000s with his dance crew, Driven Dance Company. Being a studio trained competitive dancer in his youth has allowed him to help train and prepare many aspiring competitors to achieve their best on stage. Over the years he has choreographed countless award winning competitive numbers that have received numerous overalls, many high score in Hip Hop as well as a couple overall high scores. Marc is dedicated to the art of dance and is passionate about passing on his knowledge of Hip Hop dance and culture to a new generation.X
Lauren has been both competitively and professionally trained in various styles such as jazz, ballet,
contemporary, modern, acrobatics, contortion, partnering, tumbling, hand balancing,
freestyle, lyrical, and hip hop.
Lauren was a competitive dancer for 10 years with KaliAndrews Dance Company, where she developed a love for the competition world. During this time, Lauren won numerous titles and overall highest scoring awards for her solos in a variety of different styles. A few of her latest competitive accomplishments include being cast in the VIEW Final Hour Showdown Video 2022 after placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th overall, two years in a row, with all of her solos. Lauren was also named 2022 Face Of Fever at Fever Dance Competition.
Lauren has gained much recognition from many world renowned dancers and choreographers who she has had the privilege of working closely with. Some of these individuals include Jaci Royal, Mitchell Jackson, Audrey Case, Derek Piquette, Jordan Clark, Chris Babcock, Kafi Pierre, and many others. Lauren graduated from Canterbury Arts High School, studying in the dance program, where she explored the roots of ballet and modern dance.
Lauren has participated in many British Association of Teachers of Dancing (B.A.T.D) examinations for ballet, jazz, and acrobatics, resulting in various honours certificates and scholarship invitations. In April 2021, Lauren assisted Kali Wegg in teaching the worldwide B.A.T.D acrobatic skills and partnering, teacher’s conference for dance instructors across the world.
Lauren has been invited to perform and open for multiple national WE Day live events with her dance team from 2016 to 2019 including backup dancing for Paula Abdule. Lauren was also invited to perform at Canada 150 celebration on Parliament Hill with her dance team, Alessia Cara, Walk Off The Earth, Lilly Singh, and many other amazing guest performers.
In July 2022, Lauren was accepted into Jaci Royal’s Royal Flux Factor and Flux on Film summer intensives where she had the opportunity to closely learn from many influential people in the industry such as Jaci Royal, Talia Favia, Wade Robson, Kirsten Russell, Brooke Pierotti, Elizabeth Petrin, Mandy Korpinen, Will Thomas, Audrey Case, and Aaron Adam.
Lauren is focused on continuously growing as an artist and is working hard everyday to further enhance her dance training. In her free time, Lauren is also a dance teacher and choreographer at many studios around Ottawa, where she is able to share her love of dance with others in the community. Lauren is always working towards achieving her many goals and is beyond excited for her future in the entertainment industry!