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Faculty

Meet the WCSOPA Faculty




Melissa Demers - Director and Head Instructor

Melissa grew up dancing in the Ottawa area. Her love for movement and body mechanics inspired her to study Kinesiology. 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.
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Lisa Hash - Instructor

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.
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Amanda Tate/Callahan Divet - Instructor

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.
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Charlotte Reithman - Instructor

Samantha Bernard - Instructor

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.
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Katy Munro - Instructor

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?
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Marc Joinette - Instructor

Grace Myles - Instructor

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.
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Mercedes Rivoire - Instructor

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.
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Calli JoAnna Macdonald - Instructor

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.
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Adrian Haycox - Instructor

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.
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Jennifer McAndrew - Instructor

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.
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Melissa Demers - Director, Head Instructor

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 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. She is a certified ADAPT dance instructor, Progressing ballet technique instructor and a MindLeaps master 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.

Since incorporating WCSOPA 21 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 driven 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, autonomy, connection, and self esteem through the arts. Over the years Melissa has witnessed first hand the power of dance to develop life skills. She is focussed on helping each child reach their potential and discover all their incredible gifts, while creating a culture that provides opportunities for deep connection and genuine friendships.

Melissa looks forward to personally introducing you to all of the fantastic staff and talented students at the West Carleton School of Performing Arts!

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Amanda Tate Divet - Instructor

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.

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Lisa Hash - Instructor

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.

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Mercedes Rivoire - Instructor

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.

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Grace Myles - Instructor

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.

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Katy Munro - Instructor

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.

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Calli JoAnna Macdonald - Instructor

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.

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Adrian Haycox - Instructor

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!

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Jennifer McAndrew - Instructor

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.

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Samantha Bernard - Instructor

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.

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