Owner & Artistic Director
Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A Dance - Post Baccalaureate) , Bachelor of Arts (B.A Psychology and Child Development) , Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies Candidate (RAD RTS Royal Academy of Dance) , C.D.T.A Int. (Canadian Dance Teachers Association) , RYT , E-RYT, YACEP - Prenatal, Postnatal & Children's Specialties (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, Institute of Classical Yoga and Therapy & Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider), First Aid & CPR - C / AED Certified (Canadian Red Cross)
Miss Allison is a well-loved dance and yoga instructor who has been dancing and practicing yoga for over 28 years. Miss Allison was recently nominated as the community's "Best & Favourite Dance Instructor" in the 2019 Guelph Tribune Awards. In 2020, Miss Allison & The Woodstock School of Dance & Yoga were nominated as "Woodstock's Entrepreneur & Professional of the Year"and was chosen as one of the top three finalists by the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, Allison was offered one of three placements into the Post-Baccalaureate Dance Program located at the distinguished School for The Contemporary Arts at Canada's number one ranked post secondary institution, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia (Macleans 2018). She graduated within the top 15% of her program and was shortly after recognized for achieving academic excellence with a near perfect GPA and outstanding community presence across several departments at SFU. Before completing her Post Graduate in Dance, Allison completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph with a concentration in Psychology and Child Development. She was also recently accepted into the Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance for Registered Teaching Status. Allison's certification will allow her to submit dancers into internationally recognized examinations and certifies her to teach the most current RAD syllabus. RAD teachers with Registered Teaching Status are recognized globally for their commitment to higher education and for providing their students with one of the most sought-after dance programs available worldwide today. Many of Allison's students have successfully auditioned for a plethora of different post-secondary dance programs and dance companies around North America including The National Ballet of Canada.
Throughout her dance career, Allison had the pleasure spending her summers completing and achieving highest distinctions in her Ballet, Jazz and Tap examinations with both the Royal Academy of Dance and The Canadian Dance Teachers Association before pursuing her post-secondary education. Her love of teaching and working with children began at age 9 when she was asked to assist other dance instructors at Milton's highly- acclaimed Dance Elite Studio for the Arts (run by Marnie Palmer-Lang). At age 6, Allison was invited to join the competitive company at Dance Elite, giving her the opportunity to immerse herself in all styles of dance under Ms. Marnie's tutelage. In 2009, Allison had the pleasure of apprenticing with Guelph's favourite dance teacher Briana Lynch (Winner of the Women of Distinction Award 2017). Briana's unwavering encouragement helped Allison to further her teaching career and inspired her to become the teacher she is today. In 2016, Allison became a certified classical yoga instructor with the institute of classical yoga and therapy and continues to be a recognized instructor with Yoga Alliance. She has since developed a very popular yoga program for kids, teens and adults, making yoga accessible for all ages beginner to advanced.
While completing her dance degree, Allison combined her studies with the faculty of education's very reputable professional development program for aspiring teachers (PDP) at SFU. She became proficient in choreography, composition, interdisciplinary studies, dance & theatre education, pedagogy and childhood cognitive development. Irrespective of her other achievements at SFU, Allison founded and co-captained the Simon Fraser University Dance Team which was, and is today, the only team participating in the NCAA league in Canada. In 2014, its first year running, Allison's team was asked to perform at the 102nd Grey Cup opening ceremonies in Vancouver televised live on TSN. Also in 2014, Allison enjoyed a plethora of dance opportunities including being hired as a featured extra with Universal Studios, dancing for anti-bullying company titled "One Movement" and backup dancing for a variety of local artists. Throughout her career, she has had the pleasure of crossing paths with some of the most notable figures in the industry including Crystal Pite, Kenny Ortega, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Blake McGrath, Shawn Desman & Twitch among many others.
Allison's passions extend far beyond just dance and yoga having been promoted at Simon Fraser to Area Coordinator of first year residence during her studies. A role that put her in charge of more than 1000 first year students and overseeing a large staff team of residence community advisors responsible for creating success both academically and personally among first year students. She also championed a project called "Ocean Week" - a week long initiative promoting awareness on campus about ocean sustainability. "Ocean Week" continues to be Allison's legacy as it continues to be run annually by the university even after her graduation. One of her most notable qualities is her commitment to various volunteer initiatives. Her favourite position spent educating children at Vancouver Aquarium as a gallery educator. She continues to volunteer her time around Oxford County throughout many schools and other extra-curricular programs maintaining her commitment to bringing quality education to the community.
As someone who's taught dance and yoga throughout Vancouver and the GTA for over a decade, Allison cannot wait to bring the most current, inclusive and unique dance and yoga experience to Woodstock. Her passion for developing and engaging her students in the community is contagious and she adores what she does. She has dedicated her life to inspiring her students to achieve their full potential and their brightest dreams.
(Tap, Ballet, & Jazz)
Elizabeth loves being able to share her passion for dance with other people through teaching and dancing! Elizabeth has a genuine love for ballet and believes that having a large focus on technique will provide dancers a strong base in all other styles of dance. Along with ballet, Elizabeth has loved many other styles of dance including tap, lyrical, jazz, modern and acro.
At the age of three, she fell in love with ballet and completed Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exams from Pre-Primary all the way up to Advanced Foundations as well as studying Advanced 1. During this time, Elizabeth studied at Dara-Jane Jewer School of Dance (Woodstock), Dance Aarts Academy (Stratford), and Oxford School of Dance (Ingersoll).
At the age of 11, Elizabeth attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School's Professional Division Program.
Along with her own training, Elizabeth started assisting ballet and tap classes at age 10 and teaching at age 15. Over the past year, she has enjoyed teaching ballet and pointe at Danscene in Tillsonburg and is very excited to teach in the community where she first fell in love with dance.
When Elizabeth isn't dancing, she is busy as the Camp Director at Camp Connect in Thamesford. She is also busy creating programs and events for kids and youth at her church. She enjoys walks with her dog, spending time outdoors and is looking forward to September to start her post-secondary education.
Elizabeth is also thrilled to start teaching tap classes at the Woodstock School of Dance & Yoga! Tap is a great style of dance for people who enjoy more upbeat dancing, moving and rhythm. She is so excited to meet you in September!
Anna Defent, born in Ontario, Canada, began her dance training at the early age of three at Judith Coleman Oxford School of Dance. Her passion for dance grew as she did, and she embarked on a variety of dance opportunities including many local festivals, dance shows, and summer schools at both the Quinte Ballet School and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Having limited training in a small town, Defent made the ambitious decision to attend the School of Alberta Ballet at 15, and she graduate in 2013. Studying under Nancy and Murray Kilgour, she was able to perform a great deal and gain much knowledge and strength. In her high school graduating year, Defent was accept to the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Within the three year program, she volunteered her time generously assisting in the “Young Dancer’s Program”, and being the Assistant Stage Manager for multiple student run productions. In 2016, Defent graduated college with a certificate in contemporary dance where she then travelled becoming a freelance dance artist in the United Kingdom and Europe. Defent has toured and danced with multiple contemporary artists, performing in various shows. While in the UK, she joined an organization based in New York City called “MindLeaps” and has been teaching street youth dance in West Africa ages 9-21, being able to spend a great deal of time in Guinea and Mauritania. Defent is very passionate about sharing her knowledge of dance and has happily been teaching in London, England with The Little Dance Academy and Central School of Ballet for the past 4 years. She is excited to be back in Canada and join The Woodstock School of Dance and Yoga!
Teaching Staff - Summer Camp Instructor
Hi my name is Paige McConnell and I am a graduate from the Guelph Academy of Dance, now currently studying at Simon Fraser University in the School of Contemporary Arts’ Contemporary Dance Program in Vancouver! I am so excited for the opportunity to teach at The Dance and Yoga Days of Summer! Over the past three summers, I have had the chance to teach young dancers in Guelph and I am beyond ready to bring my experience to Woodstock! Bring on the sunshine and the dancing!
Teaching Staff - Summer Camp Instructor
Hi I’m Sydney Bluck and I am a dance major at the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. For most of my life I trained at the Guelph Academy of Dance in ballet, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre. I have also had the opportunity to train and perform with the contemporary ballet company ProArte Danza in their summer intensive program. I have completed four of the vocational level exams in RAD ballet with the most recent one being my Advanced 1 in June 2019. I have been teaching at The Guelph Academy of Dance summer camps for the past three years and had a blast with the Woodstock School of Dance & Yoga’s summer camp last August! I can’t wait to have a week of fun with the dancers atThe Woodstock School of Dance and Yoga!
Copyright © 2019 The Woodstock School of Dance and Yoga - All Rights Reserved.