Meet the Teachers
Melanie grew up in Harriston where she began ballet lessons at the age of four. She went on to train in several additional dance styles for many years and especially enjoyed taking dance intensives with professional contemporary dancers each summer in Montreal.
Melanie attained an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Waterloo, and has attended many teacher training workshops and courses such as ADAPT and those offered at The National Ballet School. She is one of the only two Canadians certified in the Maor Dance Workout (MDW), (a dynamic and unique training course which builds strength, flexibility and a strong sense of balance), and is also a certified Acrobatic Dance instructor (AAC). She is known for encouraging all of her students to have fun and keep striving, and for her loud and excited dance teacher’s voice. :)
She looks forward to teaching in her hometown next fall and looks forward to seeing many familiar (and new!) faces.
CDTA, DMA, IADA
Karen has touched the lives of many students over the years. She has the co-owned and directed many competitions including DMA Chapter #43 Pageants and Performing Arts Competitions, American Dance Awards the Canadian Tour, Starmaker Dance Festival, Dance Dance Dance, and Dance Dance Canada. Her goal is to create a positive experience for everyone involved.
Through Dance Dance Canada, Karen created, directed and choreographed the DDC ShowTeam that performed a variety show in Costa del Sol, Spain in 2006 and toured in 2007 with Monarch Classic Cruises.
She has been a teacher and choreographer for The Summer School of Performing Arts at the Center in the Square.
Karen teaches at various dance studios, all ages and all levels. She especially likes teaching the adult classes.
Karen has been involved in dance all of her life. She started dancing at the age of 3yrs old and competed & performed until she went to Sheridan College for Musical Theatre. She has been a competitive dance teacher for over 30yrs and has judged for many organizations across Canada and the U.S. Headliners, ADA, DDD, BDTA, Bedazzled, Kiwanis Festivals, DMA US State Pageants, Dance Odyssey, Let's Get Loud, and many more.
She has won numerous awards for Costuming, Choreography and Performance.
Karen's favorite place is the theatre. She works with schools and musical theater companies as their director/choreographer and has collaborated on over 30 musicals.
Jennifer Memmott has been teaching highland dance at MDA since 2000.
Kim grew up in Hanover Ontario and began dancing at the age of 3. Her dance training took her to many schools in Ontario including DanceMakers in Owen Sound and the Barbara Trelevern School of Dance in North Bay. She has extensive experience in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and Hip Hop.
Kim has had many years of experience teaching dance and fitness classes. Her mission is to promote positive self-esteem to young people and encourage them to live healthy, active lives.
Kim is excited to be joining the MDA team and plans to use her passion and energy to spice things up with fresh new ideas!
Jody Wightman has been a familiar face at Minto Dance Academy since 2013 when she joined our faculty to teach jazz, tap, ballet, and musical theatre. Ms. Jody started lessons in jazz at the young age of five. Ms. Jody started teaching at the age of 13, she enjoys expressing her knowledge of dance to all. She has always enjoyed and appreciated all of the many forms of dance. As Jody’s family grew MDA has been grateful to have her as a supply teacher.