Alena Loboda is a Toronto-based ballerina, choreographer, and poet. She found herself enchanted with classical ballet when the art form challenged her to explore the beauty in every emotion, both positive and negative. This lead to her experimentation with choreography as well as a furthering of her education in the Vaganova method abroad at the Perm State Choreographic College (Perm', Russia), the Kiev State Ballet School (Kiev, Ukraine), and Koltun Ballet Boston (Boston, USA).
Alena is currently studying poetry and creative writing at the University of Toronto, while working towards a specialist degree in Arts Management.
Alena has danced for Columbia Classical Ballet, (Columbia, SC), Coastal City Ballet (Vancouver, BC) and currently performs with Kulkat Dance Entertainment, Little Pear Garden Dance Company, as well as taking on freelance projects in the Greater Toronto Area. Her recent choreography and performance was recognized with the Audience Choice Award at the Lights Dance Festival 2018.
Stephanie was born and raised in North York, ON where she took her first dance class when she was 3 and since then has developed a lifelong passion and love of the arts. She has since been dancing for 19 years, training in a variety of styles including ballet, lyrical, pointe, contemporary and jazz. She was a part of an award-winning competitive program for 6 years, attending competitions across the GTA including Dance Odyssey, En Pointe, Bedazzled, and Rhythm Dance. Stephanie then went on to be a part of the Varsity Blues POM team and Only Human Dance Collective at the University of Toronto, where she has been a proud member for the past 5 years. Through her involvement she has performed and participated in various community events and showcases including the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada Light the Night Walk, Breakfast Television, the Scotiabank marathon, NBA All-Star Weekend, OUA football, basketball, hockey and volleyball games, as well as competing at provincial cheer competitions. Her extensive training and study in RAD ballet at both the graded and vocational level, led her to complete both Intermediate and Advanced RAD ballet. Along with assistant teaching, she developed a love of helping students grow and learn. She began teaching 3 years ago, in a variety of styles including lyrical, creative dance & movement, ballet and jazz. Stephanie is now proud to be a member of La Pirouette’s teaching staff helping young dancers find their own passion for dance and the arts. Through energetic classes, she hopes to use her passion and knowledge to inspire other students through movement and rhythm.
Olivia Burling is born and raised in Ontario and has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She has a passion for performing, teaching and choreographing and excels in her jazz and contemporary skills. She is now completing her BFA in dance at York University specializing in performance and choreography and is enjoying every minute of it. As well as she is constantly taking new classes and training alongside as many artists as possible. A few of the artists she has trained with include Tiffany Mclachlan, Kahil Calder, Rebecca Zizek, Jade Whitney and Kylie Thompson. She grew up as a competitive dancer with an award winning studio and has been recognized by many competitions for her talent. Some of her most memorable accomplishments include receiving a scholarship in her final year to perform at a resort in Mexico with Fivestar Dance Company, a partial scholarship to attend York University as well as won third place with her own choreography at Young Creators Challenge.
Melissa-Anne Bartrem is a passionate dancer, choreographer, dance educator and adjudicator. Her work in the dance industry has taken her across North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. As a performer, Melissa has danced in Brazil as a production show dancer, live on tour with the famous Tihany Spectacular, South America's largest circus. Her previous performance credits have taken her on the high seas with Princess Cruises, a production show dancer for Casino Figueira da Foz, Portugal, with Patrice Marques Productions and a variety of projects throughout both London, England and Toronto, Canada which include stage, film, television and live events. Melissa continues to work in the film and television industry in Toronto, as both an actor and dance professional. She can be seen in various projects, most recently; America’s Greatest Mysteries, Killer Affair and the hit TV series Paranormal 911.
Melissa currently resides in New York City part-time where she is pursing a Doctorate degree in Dance Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Melissa’s research interests include; challenging traditional dance teaching practices, inclusive programing in post-secondary arts programs and movement science. She most recently presented her research at the 54th World Congress in Dance Research in Athens, Greece.
Melissa has an extensive teaching background supported by her academic achievements. She holds an undergraduate degree in Theatre and Performance Studies from The University of Toronto and a Masters degree in Dance Education, accredited though The University of Surrey, England. Melissa is a fully certified member of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD). She holds memberships with the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), The International Dance Council (CID) and Healthy Dancer Canada. Her continuing education includes training and certifications with various organizations such as; Can Fit Pro, Paula Morgan Dance, Stott Pilates, Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, Barre Above, Alixa Flexibility and the International Academy of Dance Adjudicators, just to name a few.
Melissa is currently on faculty at Centennial College where she teaches Intro to Commercial Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts as part of the Performing Arts Fundamentals program. She is also appointed as an academic tutor for the RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program, mentoring dance teachers beginning their careers in education. Melissa has the privilege of choreographing and judging competitive dance across North America and teaching many master classes around the world for private studios, dance conventions and workshops. Most recently this work has taken her across Canada, Johannesburg, South Africa and Beijing and Shanghai, China.
Melissa is known for her infectious love of dance and looks forward to continuing to share her passion for the performing arts.