Connie Parsons School of Dance

Our Teachers

+ Connie Parsons

Owner/Operator, Director

Connie Parsons has a passion for dance and business, and in 2000 was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Newfoundland & Labrador by BDC. In 2015, Connie was named Eastern Canada’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year by RBC & Women of Influence - micro business category. In 2016, Connie was named Visionary Entrepreneur of the Year by NLOWE. She studied child development and psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland with a primary interest in education. She pursued a career in dance becoming a fully qualified and professionally trained dance instructor, holding teaching qualifications with the ISTD, CDTA, and Cecchetti Society of Canada (classical ballet). Connie believes it takes the same vision, creativity, perseverance & passion to be an artist as it does to be a successful entrepreneur. Her main goal is to inspire and motivate young people, through dance. Connie stays up to date on the latest trends in dance in able to provide classes in current as well as classic styles. She believes strongly in continued learning and regularly attends courses to update class curriculum and inspire new ideas. She has trained with some of the top dance pedagogues from around the world and is always eager to learn more. Connie has taken classes at Broadway Dance Centre in New York City and attended a dance teacher/studio owner conference & convention in Las Vegas. She has attended the Broadway Dance Center's Annual Teacher Workshop in New York City held in conjunction with The PULSE on Tour. This experience provided the opportunity to study Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, and Theatre Dance with Tony award winning Broadway stars, BDC teachers, and the faculty of the hit TV series "So You Think You Can Dance". She has attended the Cecchetti Ballet National Conference (The National Ballet School in 2009 and RWB in 2005). She has also traveled to Europe to attend the ISTD Modern and Tap summer school hosted by The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (London, England) Connie Parsons has enjoyed a fun-filled performance career which has included guest appearances dancing live in concert with Great Big Sea, and The Irish Descendants as well as performances in various local musicals including 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' (PMP 1996), Rock of Ages (principal dancer) with TADA events (2016) and We Will Rock You (dancer) with TADA (2019).
Connie is also a busy mother of 4 young children.

+ Ashley Thorne

Children's Work (Recreational and IDD), Exam Tap, Competition Choreography

Ashley began dancing at Connie Parsons School of Dance at the age of 7. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, pointe and hiphop. In 2007, Ashley began assisting classes at CPSOD where she quickly became interested in teaching dance and began teaching in 2009. Ashley trained through the studio's examination program in both ballet & tap, and successfully completed her Advanced 2 Tap exam in 2010. Ashley is charismatic & energetic, and has a natural aptitude for teaching and relating to young children.

In 2009, Ashley attended Broadway Dance Center's annual Teacher Workshop in New York City, held in conjunction with The Pulse on Tour. In 2011, she attended another Pulse on Tour event, this time in Toronto, training in various types of dance with choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Chris Judd & Tessandra Chavez. In addition to her extensive dance training, Ashley is also HIGH FIVE certified. High Five is Canada's only comprehensive quality assurance program for children's recreation programs and promotes the healthy development of children ensuring that they have the best possible recreation experience.

In September 2018, Ashley began studying Early Childhood Education at the College of the North Atlantic. In June 2019, she became a member the Association of Early Childhood Educators Newfoundland and Labrador with Level 1 Certification in Early Childhood Education. She will graduate with a diploma in Early Childhood Education in April 2020.

Ashley infuses her passion and experience working with children of all ages and abilities into every class she teaches and is excited for another season at Connie Parsons School of Dance!

- Broadway Dance Center's Teacher Workshop (2009)
- Advanced II ISTD Tap (2010)
- The PULSE on Tour (2011)
- Rock the Rhythm (2012)
- HIGH FIVE recreation certification (2012)
- Level 1 Early Childhood Educator (2019)

+ Rebecca Harrell

Hip Hop (Recreational, Competition and IDD Program)

This will be Rebecca Harrell's 10th season teaching at CPSOD! She began dancing in 1996 and since then has studied many different types of dance. Hip Hop remains her greatest passion. She became interested in teaching children's hip hop at the age of 15 and has been doing it ever since! Rebecca excels at choreographing dances that are both energetic and enjoyable. Rebecca has been involved in several local dance shows including "Do You Think You Can Dance" (2010). In February 2011, Rebecca was part of the teaching team from CPSOD that attended THE PULSE on tour dance workshop help in Toronto, Canada. At this event, she gained exposure to the skills and choreography of many of today's popular dancers from the hit TV show 'So You Think You Can Dance'. Rebecca travelled to Orlando, Florida to train at The Pulse in November 2014. Through out her years of dance, she has developed a great interest in both teaching & performing Hip Hop and looks forward to always learning more to share with her students.

+ Tanya Lasby

Adult Classes, Recreational, Competition Choreo and IDD Program

Tanya Lasby is a dancer, singer, actor, and instructor born and raised in Elmvale, Ontario. She grew up in the studio where her love of dance grew right along with her. She has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary & Modern Theatre Stage Dance. As a student, Tanya experienced the competition circuit, and discovered a fondness for singing and acting. When she graduated from high school, She was presented with a Humanitarian award and scholarship for her positive attitude and passion for spreading happiness throughout the student body. She then attended Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario for their Music Theatre Performance Program. While in school, she was part of a tap dance company called Turn on the Tap, headed by Paula Skimin, who performed in professional shows including Canada's Wonderland. Tanya assisted at her local studio for many years and has taught locally in St. John's over the past 8 years. This will be her 4th season with CPSOD. We love her positivity and infectious bright attitude. She has enjoyed performing in some fundraisers and dance shows around town. You may recognize her from musicals like Our Divas Do Christmas, Evita, Chicago (TaDa!), Mary Poppins and Grease (Theatre St. John's) to name a few. Tanya is a founding member of the East Coast Rhythm Project in St. John's. Tanya looks forward to teaching lots of cool tap classes, & modern contemporary movement, with recreational kids, IDD students, adult classes and the competition teams. Tanya went to Sheridan College for Theatrical Dance and graduated with Honours.

+ Laura Murphy

Dance for Young Children Ballet/Tap/Jazz: Exam Program

Laura Murphy has been training at Connie Parsons School of Dance since the tender age of 3. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, & pointe, and has been actively involved in the ballet & tap examination programs at our studio. She currently holds the Advanced 2 diploma-ISTD tap (2014) and her Intermediate Cecchetti Ballet. Laura started assisting with classes at CPSOD in the Fall of 2010 and joined our teaching staff in 2013. She is a mature and bright young lady who is always interested to enhance her knowledge in dance and teaching dance, by attending all local ballet workshops whenever they are offered. She is well respected by her students and eager to return for the 2015-2016 Dance Season.

- Advanced II ISTD Tap (2014)
- Intermediate Cecchetti Ballet (2014)

+ Keith Power


Keith Power lives and breathes for the stage! Hailing all the way from Mount Pearl, he went away to University and came back with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Soon after, he jumped on a plane to South Korea where he spent 3 years teaching English and Theatre to children at a private academy. Since he has been back on The Rock, Keith has worked with almost every Theatre Company you can think of. Some of his credits include: Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, White Christmas, the Musical (TaDa! Events), Mary Poppins, Grease, Beauty and the Beast in Concert, Annie (Theatre St. Johns), Spamalot (Atlantic Light Theatre), and Avenue Q (Best Kind Productions). He has also spent summers at the Stephenville Theatre Festival, Grand Bank Theatre Festival, and Rising Tide Theatre out in Trinity, with whom he toured the always hilarious Revue in 2012. Keith has found his second home, however, at Spirit of Newfoundland. He has been entertaining audiences there for several years now. You may have caught him in Its My Party, Our Celtic Spirit, Abba- Gotta Get the Scoop, Skeets, Snobs, and Peppermint Nobs, or any of the Christmas shows! He is Thrilled to be joining Connie Parsons School of Dance to share his love of Broadway. He will tell tales of a West Side Story while they listen to the Sound of Music. Grab your Grease or your Hairspray and head on down to Chicago. Rent out a spot in his Chorus Line, because his class is gonna be Wicked!

Our Teachers


+ Susan Lily
(B.A. Honours Dance, A.I.S.T.D., CICB, DDI)

Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Musical Theatre

Susan Lily is an ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) trained & fully certified dance teacher born and raised in the UK. She holds a B.A. Honors in Dance from Middlesex University, DDI Cecchetti Ballet and Associate Modern Theatre & Tap Dance Teaching Qualifications. She has attended the ISTD teachers summer school in the UK for the past 3 years to stay updated with all her exam tap and modern work. Last year this also included the new Contemporary syllabus and she is looking forward to returning again this summer for more inspiration. Susan also received a scholarship to attend the Cecchetti Ballet Teachers Summer School in the UK in 2016. In addition to ballet, tap & modern, Susan also teaches jazz, contemporary & musical theatre. In 2007, she moved to New York City to train at the Broadway Dance Centre & Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. There, she gained significant exposure and training which she took with her when she returned home to the UK in 2013 and began teaching at the Weston School of Dance and Performing Arts. In this time Susan also performed in a vast array of musical & dance productions including Legally Blonde, Sister Act, Crazy for You and Titanic to name just a few. This year Susan made her debut performance with TaDa! Events here in St John’s in We Will Rock You. Susan teaches for the IDD program, recreational program, Exam program and is a versatile choreograper for the CPSOD Competitions teams, with many of her pieces winning invites to the Dance World Cups. In addition to the ISTD teachers summer school this year, Susan is also excited to return to Pineapple Dance Studios in London where she is going to train in Commercial dance with some of the leading choreographers in the industry. She can’t wait to share this style with her students when she returns!

+ Katarina Hosel

Modern, Hip Hop

Katarina began dancing at a young age at CPSOD and has always loved to perform and choreograph. She has trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, tap, Latin jazz, modern, flamenco, and aerial arts. Katarina 's involvement in the examination program at CPSOD strengthened her participation in the Cecchetti Ballet of Canada exams and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance tap examinations. Besides her dance training, she also holds her 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo.

Katarina's passion for being on stage has led her to participate in several performances including Kittiwakes The Nutcracker, Holy Heart High Schools My Son Pinocchio (2012), Vayu (2013), and Beauty and The Beast, Tada! Entertainments Our Divas Do Disney (2012, 2014), Our Divas do Christmas (2014), Evita (2014) and Jesus Christ Superstar (2015), Do You Think You Can Dance competition (2012), and Footloose (2012). She has choreographed for showcases at Holy Heart and was assistant choreographer for both Holy Hearts Beauty and The Beast and Cinderella.

Katarina enjoys working with children and is excited to be part of the CPSOD dance team this year.

+ Nicole Robbins

Children's Work, Disover Dance Program at Early Achievers Montessori School

Nicole Robbins began dancing at CPSOD 16 years ago. She has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Hip Hop, & Modern. Nicole began assisting classes at CPSOD in 2010, and quickly gained an interest in assisting tap and ballet classes. Nicole trained for many years in the CPSOD exam program in ballet & tap with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and the Cecchetti Ballet exam program. She has taken many opportunities to train with dance workshops. Nicole has a wonderful influence on young children with her gentle calm demenour. She has lead the Discover Dance Program at Early Achievers Montessori School for the past 2 years. While in high school Nicole had the opportunity to be a part in many of Gonzaga's band concerts and productions.

+ Mackenzie Loveless

Children's Work, B/T/J, Hip Hop, IDD program, Competition Choreo

Mackenzie Loveless has been dancing at CPSOD since the age of 3. She is currently a program 6 dancer in the Intensive Dance Division. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hiphop, and pointe. She is very involved in the ballet and modern examination programs. This year she is working towards her Intermediate Modern Exam and Grade 6 Ballet Exam. She has attended The Pulse On Tour in both Toronto and Florida. She has competed at the 5678 dance competition for the past two years. She has also been a part of the nutcracker. She has attended multiple local dance conventions and workshops. She has been assisting for the past year and loves working with children.

+ Ben Gosse

Streetfunk, Hip Hop and Breaking

Ben started dancing in 2009 when he took his first Hip Hop class. He loved it so much he picked up, Jazz, Modern, and Latin. Most recently he trains as part of the academy program 6 at MAX Dance in all major genres of dance. Ben has also been Breakdancing for 4 years and this year began training with the Street Movement Elite Breakdancing Crew. He spent the summer training and rehearsing with Mosaic Dance Company and performed in their debut show in August. Ben has participated in musicals such as Peter Macdonald Productions: Scrooge, Red Dress Productions: Legends, and Opera on the Avalons: Carousel. This Fall Ben will be preforming at East Rock Crews 10th anniversary break dance jam with his crew street movement, as well as dancing in Peter Macdonalds Tarzan. Ben has been a teacher assistant for 6-9 yrs. Hip Hop classes for the past 2 yrs. and has coached family curling at the Remax centre.

+ Antonia Francis

Certified Acrobatic Arts Teacher

Antonia Francis has always been on the move.

She has spent the past 5 years as Cygnus Gymnastics Club's choreographer and dance coach for their competitive team. She holds several coaching certifications including her NCCP Level 1 & 2 Artistic gymnastics training and USA gymnastics level 1. She has recently returned from California were she was able to spend several months shadowing a top level gymnastics coach in the United States. In October 2017, Antonia travelled to Ireland to further her acrobatic training and acheived her certification in Acrobatic Arts.

She began dance at an early age and has trained in multiple styles including: ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, latin jazz, modern, and hip hop. She has taken class in both New York and Paris at Broadway Dance Centre (NYC), Centre de Danse (Paris) and Éléphant Panamein (Paris). Antonia has been teaching for many years specifically in young children's dance classes and acro-jazz classes.

Antonia's combination of gymnastic skills and dance experience makes her the perfect candidate to lead our ACROBATIC ARTS PROGRAM this year at CPSOD. She is a very energetic person who loves working with children of all ages.