Faculty

Olivia Burling

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.

Alena Loboda

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.

Annie Cassar

Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Specialized Honours) in Dance from York University, Associate
Teaching Diplomas with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) in Ballet, Jazz, Tap
and Modern, Certificate with Progressing Ballet Techniques (PBT), as well as teacher training in
children’s yoga, Annie is a versatile dance artist and ACTRA member.

Professionally, Annie has collaborated with artists including Xing Ban Fu, Courtnae Bowman,
Emily Cheung, Jeff Dimitriou, Danny Grossman, Ame Henderson, Laurence Lemieux, Lopa
Sarkar, Veronica Tennant, Rina Signa, and Bageshree Vaze. She is privileged to have worked
with the highly renowned artist Tino Sehgal who primarily choreographs his installations within
museums including the AGO (Toronto), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), MoMA
(NYC), and the Guggenheim (NYC).

Annie has worked with companies such as Cadence Progressive Contemporary Ballet, Cirque
du Soleil in the 2015 Pan American Games, Divine Heritage Artistry, Hercinia Arts Collective,
Little Pear Garden Dance Company, Tropicana Queens, Rhythm and Grace Productions Inc.,
Bash FX Creative, Pratibha Arts and Xing Dance Theatre.

She has performed at venues such as the Air Canada Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Betty
Oliphant Theatre, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Fleck Dance Theatre/The Harbourfront
Centre, Roger’s Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, Princess of Wales Theatre, and Toronto Centre
for the Arts, to name a few. She also enjoys spending her time dancing at festivals, corporate,
and other events.

Additionally, some of Annie’s film and television credits include, ballet dancer in A Nutcracker
Christmas (Hallmark Channel), tap dancer in Warehouse 13, hologram dancer in Make It Pop 2,
dancer in Reign, dancer for Kids’ CBC, samba dancer in the Pan American Games Opening
Ceremonies 2015, featured contemporary dancer in the Austin Strange music video Words,
dancer in the music video Victory by Lachesis, as well as a featured dancer in the instructional
Bollywood dance DVD.

Outside of performing, Annie has built an extensive teaching roster. For the past three years,
Annie has performed/held workshops throughout GTA elementary schools in the Prologue to
the Performing Arts programme. Independently conducting workshops based upon anatomy,
nutrition, conditioning, ballet and other dance genres, choreographing musicals and teaching
extensively at studios in both Toronto and Kingston, ON, Annie loves teaching children to adults
both recreationally and competitively.

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