Unit #5 - 205 Champagne Dr, North York, ON M3J 2C6 info@masterdanceacademy.com

Faculty

Our dedicated, qualified and inspiring instructors will guide each student to reach their potential!

 

MONICA GOTTARDO
Director /Founder/ Owner

Certified and member of DEA (Dance Educators of America), DMA (Dance Masters of America), certified dance instructor with Dance and Gym USA and a proud graduate & member the PAA (Professional Adjudicators Alliance).

Monica Christina Gottardo is the founder and leader of Master Dance Academy. Her state of the art facility opened in September of 2016. She brings her knowledge and best experiences as an accomplished dance educator, mentor, director, and award-winning choreographer to MDA. Her outlook and guiding principle for her dance academy are based on providing a professional atmosphere, fostering childhood development and nurturing sheer enjoyment of dance.

Monica graduated from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts with honours in 2002 majoring in Dance. Monica has been dancing since the age of three. She has studied with some of the most well-known dance instructors/master choreographers as well as professional schools throughout Canada and the United States. Monica trained and taught at various schools dedicated to the arts in her later years as a dance professional/Choreographer. Her training has led her to dance professionally performing for the professional baseball league The Toronto Blue Jays!

Prior to opening her dance academy in 2016, Monica taught dance for 12 years as a freelance dance choreographer. She has been named a top choreographer in the industry and throughout dance competitions. Monica’s passion for teaching and love for kids led her to open her dance studio/company. 


JOSH LAMB
Contemporary / Improvisation Technique Company Instructor

 Joshua Lamb is a Canadian dancer, actor and singer known for his role in Isabelle Dances Into The Spotlight. He is a member of Canadian band The Revel Boys featured on CTV’s The Launch.Joshua Lamb is an actor, known for The Next Step (2013), Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight (2014) and The Launch (2018).

Bio to Follow ...

KATHRYN MILES
Company Assistant Director

Choreographer, dance educator and Artistic Director, Kathryn Miles is an independent artist crafting a diverse career that draws on her experience in dance, music, theatre, film, and design.

Kathryn’s work spans live performances, film and  video. She is Co-Artistic Director and Producer of the renowned show, Toronto’s Original Choreographer’s Ball, host to the industries top choreographers and performers. Kathryn curated the Urban Stage at Panamania for the 2015 Pan Am Games and has created and performed in works for Fashion Cares, FiDA:Toronto Fringe Festival, Celebrate Toronto Street Festival, Villa Charities Venetian Ball, and several independent projects in fashion, music, and theatre. She was an invited guest choreographer for Toronto based contemporary Company Ace Dance Theatre’s inaugural show.

A Bachelor of Arts Graduate from the York University Dance Program specializing in choreography and performance, Kathryn formally trained at Randolph School for the Arts.  She is currently completing her teacher training to become a Strala Yoga guide. Kathryn teaches throughout the GTA and held the Artistic Director position at DanzArts Toronto from 2012-2017. She continues to receive recognition and accolades for compelling choreography and excellence in training dancers. She is passionate about arts education and collaborating with youth, emerging and professional artists.

GEORGE ABSI
Jazz Funk/Competitive Choreographer

For over 15 years, George Absi has diverged himself into the world of Performing Arts.  A few credits include, Once Upon A Time on ABC, Beauty And The Beast at Neptune TheatreMamma Mia / Dance Captain / Assistant Choreographer Theatre AquariusSchitt's Creek on NetflixHandmaid's Tale on HuluMuch Music Awards and Let's Go Luna on PBS kids

George is currently the Artistic Director and Choreographer of T.D.C Entertainment catering to corporate and main event functions which include Samsung Dundas Square IlluminiteHondaWest Jest, Bell Celebrity Gala and short film, threads

BRI-ANNE ZUBICK
Recreational /Part Time Competitive Contemporary Choreographer and Technique Instructor

Bri is a dancer and choreographer from a small town in southern British Columbia, Canada, but is now based out of Toronto. Bri got her start as a competitive dancer which exposed her to many genres and sparking her love for movement. Bri has received many awards during her years as a competitive dancer such as overall highest scoring solos and adjudicators choice dancer awards. At these events, she has also received many awards for her solo choreography. She has been able to train across Canada and the U.S learning from the industries best.  Bri is a driven and passionate choreographer and performer.

Her career has consisted of several Live performances such as The Rotary International Conference, performing for 25000 people and several charity events.  Bri has also been featured on a local TV show called, The Seen showcasing her ability for Hip Hop dance, choreographed by Jessika Dobie. Bri has had the opportunity to train under Jesselee Santos, Kenzie Crosley as well as Samm Price.

COLIN OUGLER
Recreational Jazz, Tap, Acro Instructor

Colin comes to MDA from his hometown, Saint John, New Brunswick where he has studied at numerous dance institutions throughout the province. His recent move to Toronto has allowed him to continued to train in jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary, ballet, and jazz funk. During his time as a competitive dancer, Colin received many acknowledgments, awards, and scholarships at various dance workshops and competitions throughout Atlantic Canada and the United States, such as top overall solo for his own choreography. His interest in dance lead to completing a Bachelor of Recreation and Sport Studies with a concentration in Management and becoming certified through the National Coaching Certification Program. Colin also has a Bachelor Education with a focus on Physical Education, which has allowed him to refine his skills as a Dance Teacher. Colin actively works to create a safe and encouraging environment where students are given the tools to express themselves through creativity and to grow to their fullest potential. With Colin's knowledge for the human body and dance, this helps to create a positive learning environment for his students to excel in dance and understand how their bodies move and create.

SHANE SIMPSON
Actor / Dancer/ Tap , Jazz and Progressions Instructor
Dancing around the house at the age of seven, Shane would imitate music videos in front of friends and family. With an obvious desire to dance, Shane’s mother signed him up for lessons and they’ve never looked back. Shane trained at five different studios practicing hip-hop, acrobatics, lyrical, tap, ballet and modern. 

Shane says he would most like to follow in the dance steps of Gene Kelly.

Shane says his biggest accomplishment to date is making SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA’s Top 22. “Making Season 4’s Top 22 has showed me that hard work does pay off and I can do anything I put my mind to,” said Shane.

 Shane says he loves travelling and is extremely into fashion.
GUSTAVO HERNANDEZ
Ballet Technician/Instructor

Gustavo began his ballet training at the age of 11 at the Provincial School of Arts in La Habana, Cuba, and graduated in 2007 under the direction of Romona de Saá. During this time he received a bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition in Havana in both 2004 & 2005, and in 2007 received bronze in the first edition of National Competition UNEAC.

After graduating, Gustavo began his career with the National Ballet of Cuba under the direction of Alicia Alonso as a corps de ballet member and was promoted to Coryphaeus (junior soloist) 2 years later. Here Gustavo has performed major roles including Alain in La Fille Mal Gardée, and the Mouse King in The Nutcracker, as well as classical productions including Don Quixote, Giselle, Coppélia, Cinderella, Napoli, and The Sleeping Beauty, and Balanchine. He has had the privilege of working with Goyo Montero and Victor Ullate among others.

From 2011-2018 Gustavo has performed soloist and principal roles with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen including Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty,  Jester and Pas de Troix in Swan Lake, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Dimitry in Anastasia, Caviller in The Nutcracker, as well as contemporary works from Robert Derosiers.

LINEEN DOUNG
Hip Hop Director

Lineen began dancing in high school taking a high school dance course where he studied the basics of ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop.  In high school he grew an interest in hip hop self taught himself how to isolate his body, wave and pop by looking up tutorials on the internet.  Freestyling was his first form of dance in the field of hip hop.  In 2005 he really began to take interest in hip hop choreography where he auditioned for the McMaster dance company.  He was named assistant artistic director in his second year of being in the company and choreographed many award winning routines and placed top 3 at many competitions throughout his university career.

Lineen has come a long way since university, he has worked with many choreographers; Luther Brown, Leon Blackwood, Shavar Blackwood, Lenny Dela Pena, Romeo Cassellas, Natalie Nesterenko, Tre Armstrong and many more.  He has done work for Rogers, Sony, shops at don mills, and many conventions!  Lineen has danced for Shawn Mendes, Kreesha Turner, the General, EOS, Troy, Lights, and most recently Trish; where he performed at the America’s Next Top Model fashion show as a backup dancer. He has choreographed the TB show, Rich Bride Poor Bride and was also highlighted on So You Think You Can Dance Canada where he made finals week!  He has also choreographed for a contestant in the Miss Perfect 10 pageant and is a featured dancer in Kreesha Turner’s music video Bounce with Me and in the video Toes by Lights.

 Lineen also has a dance company called DARK (Dance and Rhythm Konnexxions) where he hosts charity events, dance training programs, and much more.

Lineen is also an aspired choreographer and is an emerging artist showing his vision on stage and allowing his imagination become reality by training the dancers more than just how to dance.  He is growing everyday and is all about bringing the community together!

NICOLE SAMYLIN
Apprentise Teacher -Master Stretch Coach

Jazz dance lessons in North York
Nicole began training Rhythmic Gymnastics at the age of 5. Nicole not only competed but was training with the top RG athletes in Ontario.

over the past two years she has studied Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Acrobatics at Master Dance Academy from 2016-2018 and competed with Master Performing Troupe (MPT)  .

 Nicole has a rare yet special gift to connect to each child individually bringing out the highest potential that the dancer has when it comes to reaching each set goal for the class and for the season. Nicole has been an amazing stretch coach /instructor continuing to be a role model and leader for MDA's younger students and company members  . She is a valued asset to our team.  

Her experience working with children at MDA over the past year has given her added insight into working with children , continuing to learn from them as they learn from her. This season, Nicole will start her teaching apprenticeship as a student teacher under the mentorship of Monica Gottardo.

 

 

 


Master Guest Instructors


BLAKE MCGRATH
Master Coreographer
Blake McGrath was born on November 21, 1983 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He is known for his work on So You Think You Can Dance Canada (2008), Britney Spears Live from Miami (2004) and 2011 MuchMusic Awards (2011). Blake McGrath has caught the attention of audiences around the world with his memorable and fiery jazz/contemporay performances.

This Canadian-born superstar danced and worked alongside some of the biggest recording icons in the world.
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MELLISSA SANDIV
Actress
Melissa Sandvig was born on April 30, 1980 in Torrance, California, USA. She is an actress, known for So You Think You Can Dance (2005), Eidola (2012) and Party Like the Rich and Famous (2012).

Melissa has been dancing for most of her life. She has danced with the Milwaukee Ballet Company, LA Opera, Long Beach Ballet and Helios Dance Theater. A highlight for Melissa was performing “Le Coeur Illumine” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
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ROMINA D'UGO
Actress / Dancer
Gemini Award Nominated actress/dancer Romina D'Ugo is a graduate of the prestigious triple threat Music Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College. Her career began when she graduated early to play a supporting role in the Universal Pictures film How She Move.

She became a household name when she earned a spot as one of the Top 20 dancers on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. She then went on to star opposite Justin Chatwin in the feature film, Funkytown.
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