Meet the Teachers
Melanie April 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 loves teaching in her hometown and seeing many familiar (and new!) faces.
CDTA, DMA, IADA
Karen Prior-Cashin has touched the lives of many students over the years. She has 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.
Abby has been dancing since the age of 3 at the Grand River Dance Academy. Over the past 13 years she has trained in all genres of dance and has competed in various levels. These competitions have demonstrated both Abby’s skill and creativity and have resulted in various awards. In addition, she won the GRDA Rising Star Scholarship in 2018 and was named the Captain of the Competitive Team.
In addition to her GRDA training, Abby was a dancer for Ballet Jorgen’s performance of the Nutcracker in 2018 at the River Run Centre in Guelph and participated in the company’s Summer Intensive Program in 2019. Abby is also an ambassador for fluid dance challenge and participated in a local music video.
Abby's teaching goals include creating a warm and welcoming environment that everyone feels included in. She also encourages her students to work hard and push themselves while also having fun. Abby has a true love of dancing and looks forward to sharing that love with her students.