Artistic Director/Owner, D.M.A, AMDA Graduate
Ashley Aarts began dancing at the age of three and has studied various styles of dance ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, hip-hop, lyrical and modern. Ashley completed exams in tap, jazz and ballet with the Canadian Dance Teachers Association and the Russian Society of Ballet. Ashley’s post-secondary education was at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She received the schools top entrance award, The National Scholarship. Ashley studied ballet, tap, jazz, theatre dance, acting, voice and musical theatre with some of America’s top performers and teachers. Following graduation Ashley accepted a performance contract with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. On board the Millennium she performed as a dancer and was selected to be an aerialist.
Ashley’s lifelong dream has always been to teach. Ashley is a certified dance educator with Dance Masters of America in jazz and tap, and is a certified Pilates instructor. She is always trying to further educate herself and attends dance conventions every year to stay up to date with current dance trends and teaching techniques. She has attended the Paula Morgan Teacher Workshops in Toronto as well as the Pulse Teacher Workshops in NYC. Ashley has also won awards in choreography at various dance competitions and her students have received scholarships at various dance conventions.
Ashley’s objective as a dance educator is to build strong technical dancers that have stylized movement and great performance qualities. As artistic director she strives to create a studio environment where both students and families feel welcome and comfortable. Ashley finds so much joy when watching students perform. The dancers that take one class a week to the company dancers that takes multiple classes, each child is so very special to her. She extends a very warm welcome to all new families dancing with us this season! Welcome to our DLfamily!
“Dance your way through life and you’ll be happy!”
Michelle has been dancing since the age of three and joined Dance London at twelve years old. She is experienced in working with children through instructing various city run programs, and is trained in many disciplines, including jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical and contemporary, though she has always held a special love for tap. Throughout her career as a dancer, Michelle has competed in both Canada and the United States, and has been awarded many overalls as a soloist and group member. She loves attending conventions throughout Ontario as an opportunity to work with and learn from incredible professional choreographers. At Dance London, she has had the privilege of dancing with the studio’s performance company, performing at many Budweiser Gardens events including for the Harlem Globetrotters and London Lightning team. She is currently studying at the University of Western Ontario in Media, Theory and Production. After assisting with classes and running summer camp programs, Michelle is thrilled to be teaching this year! Dance has been such an important part of her life, and she hopes she is able to share her love with each student and help them discover their own passions as she has at Dance London.
Kathryn was born and raised in London On. She began her dance training at a very young age with a love for tap. With encouragement and support from her teachers she quickly branched out to study all forms of dance . Dancer, choreographer and teacher she has been a part of our family for 18 years. During the course of her career she has studied Modern in Sydney Australia and continues to work with choreographers on a regular basis in Toronto ON. She keeps current by attending classes and conventions studying jazz, tap modern and hip hop. Kathryn’s passion for performance resonates to her students and to those that enjoy her dedicated work.
Teresa has been teaching at Dance London since its beginning 18 years ago and considers the staff and students an extended family. She holds a Bachelor of Education from UWO and absolutely loves teaching, whether at the dance studio or in her classroom at school. Teresa has taught dance workshops in schools throughout the TVDSB and has even traveled to Antigua where she choreographed 2 shows for the Antigua Youth Theatre. Teresa has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, lyrical and gymnastics and continues to attend conventions and workshops, including the Paula Morgan Dance Intensive in Los Angeles, to increase her knowledge of teaching and the changing styles in dance.
Erin started out Highland dancing at the age of 6, and moved on to Dance London at the age of 12. She grew up with many opportunities traveling to different conventions and workshops to expand her love for dance, and work with some of the top choreographers in the industry. Erin began assisting and teaching at the studio as a teenager where her passion for both teaching and learning from her students began, and at this time she was also featured in a Dove campaign for Real Beauty. After graduating high school, Erin moved to southern California to begin training with The Young Americans, a non-profit performing arts group who travels to different countries teaching workshops and performing. She had the opportunity to live, travel, teach, and perform in countries such as Germany, Holland, Japan, and the United States. She was also chosen to perform in New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving day Parade, and on various television and radio stations in Germany, Japan, and America. Erin is now studying at the University of Western Ontario in Childhood and Social Institutions and plans to make her passion of teaching into a career. The staff and students at Dance London have become her family throughout the years, and she is so excited to be back! “When words fail, music speaks.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen
Lisa has been dancing since the young age for 2 1/2 at Jo Read School of Dance, completing all of her B.A.T.D in Acro, Jazz, Tap and Ballet. Acro has always been her favourite style of dance, being trained as a contortionist and gymnast throughout her dance career. Her love of dance has continued to grow throughout her life, and is something she wants to pass on to younger dancers. Lisa competed Provincially, Nationally and Internationally at all levels of competition, getting to experience workshops from other professionals, dance pageants, shows, different styles/disciplines and of course meeting new friends.
Lisa was a member of the Canadian National Showdance Team, where she represented Canada at the World Dance Championship in Riesa, Germany. The formations group of 24 dancers picked across Canada placed 3rd, receiving a bronze medal for Canada. Lisa also competed in the soloist division winning 1st place adding a gold medal for Canada that same year.
During the end of high school Lisa performed and choreographed for a few shows at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, also choreographing for So You Think You Can Dance Canada with Amy Wright for 3 Waltz performances. Lisa was Fanshawe College’s head coach of the dance team for 2 years, travelling to compete against other College/University’s.
Lisa went to school to become a Physiotherapist Assistant, and now runs conditioning classes for all athletes to prevent injuries, educate athletes, stretch properly and strengthen the big and small muscle groups. Her passion for dance in now combined with Physiotherapy and her athlete’s results are incredible!
Celeste has a fun and creative mind, she considers dance to be “her world.” Celeste has been training since the age of 3 in many genres, including Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Acro, Tap, Hip-Hop and Contemporary. Of these genres, Hip-Hop and Ballet are her preferred styles. Competing in various competitions across Canada, Celeste has been recognized and awarded for both her talent and amazing energy. Celeste has taking home titles such as Miss Teen dancer, “poetry in motion”, and most potential dancer. Celeste went on to attend numerous conventions to further her artistic understanding of dance, while exploring, Celeste was awarded the L.A. BE DISCOVERED scholarship and also a Desmond Richardson Italy intensive. She took part in multiple industry shows including The Toronto Bazzar and Choreographer ball. Throughout high-school Celeste was given opportunities that involved student choreography flash mods, as well as showcases. This ultimately opened Celeste up to the world of teaching. Celeste loves to teach where she can inspire and nurture the passion of dance in our future generations.
Alice has been apart of the Dance London family ever since she was three years old, making it her second home ever since she could remember. She is trained in many styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop and musical theatre. Being apart of the Dance London Performance Company, Alice has performed at Budweiser Gardens on several occasions for the Harlem Globetrotters, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and London Lightning Basketball team. She also enjoys attending conventions, and learning from various choreographers such as Tyce Diorio and Judy Rice. In addition to this, she has also performed, assisted backstage and choreographed for several theatrical shows at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary school counting Footloose, Back to The Eighties, 13, and Little Shop of Horrors. Alice is currently enrolled at Fanshawe College studying towards her diploma in Photography for Contemporary Media. She is hard working, motivated and eager to approach each and every task with creativity and a positive attitude. She adores working with children as she believes you can learn so much from them. Dance is her passion and she can’t imagine what she’d do without it. “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion” – Martha Graham
Abbey has been dancing since the age of 6 and has been a part of the Dance London family for 12 years. She has trained in many styles of dance including jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre, modern, and lyrical but tap has always inspired her the most. For the past four years Abbey has also been an active member of the dance program at South Collegiate Institute as a dancer, choreographer, artistic director and member of the South Dance Company, giving her the opportunity to work with choreographers from all over North America, and participate in many master classes and workshops through the Toronto Dance Theatre and McMaster University. On top of performing in Dance London’s annual year end show, Abbey has performed locally for A-Channel, Art Harvest Festival, Western Fair, and most recently had the chance to perform alongside members of the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre at Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend in Toronto. In the past couple of years Abbey has gone from being a class assistant, to substituting for other teachers at Dance London, to teaching during the summer dance camp programs, and is now excited to be teaching her own classes this year. Abbey can’t imagine her life without dance and cherishes every moment spent onstage or in the studio.
IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association in ballet, tap, modern and lyrical)
Jamie started dance at the age of six in England where she studied ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical. Jamie won a regional tap champion award at the age of twelve. Jamie attended many seminars, conventions and summer schools before she moved to Cyprus to take on a full time teaching position. After three years Jamie moved to Norway teaching and professionally performaing in a dance company. Five years later she moved to Canada and started teaching at DANCE LONDON where Jamie expresses she plans to stay. “I love teaching with the DANCE LONDON family and love the approach the studio takes. Dance should be enjoyable for everyone whether you are the next Margot Fontayn or not. When you have had a tough day there’s nothing better than kicking off your shoes, turning on some music and dancing like no ones watching.” ~ Jamie Moore
Meghan has been dancing since the age of three. Dance has always been her number one passion. She did 5 seasons with the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. Meghan has attended several dance conventions in Calgary, Alberta, Toronto and Kitchener, Ontario. She graduated with an advertising diploma from St. Lawrence College and a Visual Merchandising Arts diploma from Conestoga College. Dance London has been her home away from home for twenty years. She has taken all of the styles that the studio offers, but hip hop, jazz and tap are her favourites. Dance London has taught Meghan how great it feels to express yourself through dance. “There is nothing more rewarding then getting that first big jump, a quick tap step clean or showing your emotions to everyone through dance. Thanks to Dance London I get to experience that feeling every week at dance.” – Meghan O’Rouke
Emma Shrubb began dancing at the age of four and has studied many different styles of dance ballet, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, pointe, modern, contemporary, and musical theatre. Emma completed exams in ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance and now has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance and their Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program. This enables Emma to put her students through for their ballet exams, which are recognized around the world. Before deciding to focusing on ballet and teaching, Emma went to George Brown College and completed the Dance Performance program, where after two years she received her Diploma. At George Brown College she received training in; ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary. During her time there Emma received a scholarship for the REAson d’etre a contact modern company under the direction of Kathleen REA. Emma also won a chance to perform her contemporary solo at the George Brown Dance’s Christmas show. During her time in Toronto Emma was also able to work with such artists as Derek Sangster and she performed his contemporary work “Hunt and Prey” and Hanna Kiel’ contemporary piece “Life”. Emma has also had experience with singing and acting, Emma performed “Homeward Bound” under the direction of Louisa Burgess Corbett. Emma continues to go to workshops and classes to stay up to date and to bring fresh ideas to each class. Emma’s goal is to make every student feel welcome and comfortable every time they step into the studio. She wants everyone to enjoy dance and understand what amazing things dance has to offer everyone. “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
Marika has been dancing since the age of three and she has been at Dance London since age 11. She is highly trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, tap and hip hop. Marika has attended conventions, which has kept her up-to-date in all dance styles. Marika also teaches Greek dancing and this has given her the opportunity to perform all over Ontario. After assisting for many years, Marika is proud to be a part of the Dance London Faculty, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge. She constantly is inspired by her students and considers Dance London her second home. As well as teaching at Dance London, Marika is in her Third Year at the University of Western Ontario, studying Criminology.
“Dance enables you to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time.” – Peter Townsend
“It is with your feet that you move, but it is with your heart that you dance.” -Unknown
Bailey Woodwark began her journey in dance at the age of two at “Joanne Chapman School of Dance”, in Brampton. She has successfully received her British Association of Teachers of Dancing Certificate in Acrobatics, as well as obtained a Distinction in her Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 level ballet exam. Bailey has been an assistant and instructor for the past 10 years at Joanne Chapman’s. During her time at the studio she was a member of the Advanced Company Team, and was also part of winning “Studio of the Year” at the Dance awards in New York City. When at the Dance Awards, Bailey also made the “Top 20 Senior Best Dancers”, two years in a row. She has performed in a variety of charity events including “On The Floor Sick Kids Gala”, and “Dancing for Dogs”. She was also featured twice on the hit Family Channel show, “The Next Step”, as a member of a competing studio, and Team Italy. Bailey Keeps current in her teaching techniques and choreography style by attending many conventions such as “Contour Summer Intensive”, “Jump”, “Nuvo”, “24/Seven”, and “Dancer Palooza” in LA. Bailey is currently a student at Western University, completing her degree in Kinesiology. She is looking forward to becoming a member of the Dance London teaching staff.
RUTH ANNE ROGERSON
Ruth Anne is known around the studio as Mama Tap! Ruth Anne founded Dance London with her daughter Tammy Lechner in 1993. Ruth Anne then sold the business to Ashley Aarts. Ruth Anne is retired now but she is still keeping those dancing feet tap dancing! She remains part of our Dance London family and visits the studio often.
Karly is a passionate performer, dynamic teacher and choreographer. She graduated from Canadian Dance Company in Oakville, and is currently studying at the University of Western Ontario with a Major in Business Management and Organizational Studies, and a Minor in Dance. With over 15 years of dance experience in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, acrobatics, hip-hop and musical theatre, as well as 8 years of gymnastics and 2 years of coaching, her goal as a teacher is to inspire dancers of all ages with her positive attitude and energetic classes. With 6 years teaching experience, Karly has taught at various studios across London, Cambridge and Oakville, and continues to be recognized for her innovative choreography style. Over the years she has competed both nationally and internationally, and has been recognized for her outstanding achievement. She took home the bronze medal for Canada in Riesa Germany out of 66 soloists from 58 different countries. She was also selected to represent Canada on the Dance Canada Show Team that traveled across the Mediterranean to perform. She has been awarded numerous overalls and scholarships including opportunities to work with top choreographers in New York and Los Angeles. Karly was awarded the Certificate of Arts and Cultural Recognition by Mayor Doug Craig, and the House of Commons Canada Congratulations awarded by Dr. Gary T. Goodyear. Most recently, Karly was a cast member on the original series “The Next Step!” Karly believes it is her commitment to her students to stay current with choreography trends and dance styles and continues to train as a dancer and choreographer on the University of Western’s Huron Heat Dance Team.