Connie Parsons School of Dance

Our Teachers

Our Teachers

 

+ Connie Parsons
(AISTD., ACDTA., CSC-CICB)

Owner/Operator, Director

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. This past summer, Connie took classes at Broadway Dance Centre in New York City in July and in August she attended a dance teacher/studio owner conference & convention in Las Vegas. In July 2015, Connie attended the Broadway Dance Center's annual Teacher Workshop in New York City for the second time, which is 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 winning Broadway stars, BDC teachers, and the faculty of the hit TV series "So You Think You Can Dance". She has regularly attended the Cecchetti Ballet National Conference (The National Ballet School in 2009 and RWB in 2005). In 2008, she 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) and Rock of Ages (principal dancer) with TADA events (2016).

+ Ashley Thorne

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

Ashley began dancing at Connie Parsons School of Dance at the age of 7. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, pointe and hiphop. Ashley trained through the studio's examination program in both ballet & tap, and successfully completed her Advanced 2 Tap exam in 2010. In 2007, Ashley began assisting classes at CPSOD and quickly became interested in teaching dance. She started teaching at CPSOD in 2009 and continued until 2013. Ashely 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 2012, Ashley participated in "Rock the Rhythm" Dance Convention held at the Capitol Hotel. 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.

Ashley loves working with people of all ages and is excited to be back teaching at CPSOD this upcoming dance season!

- 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)

+ Rebecca Harrell

Hip Hop (Recreational and IDD Program)

Rebecca Harrell 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 ream 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. She can not wait to travel to NYC this June with the CPSOD Intensive Dance Division. This is Rebecca's 6th season with CPSOD and she can not wait to start teaching again!

+ Tanya Lasby

Adult Classes, Recreational 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. 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 5 years. She has enjoyed performing in some fundraisers and dance shows around town including the recent show Metissages . 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 excited to be joining the staff at CPSOD this season and looks forward to teaching lots of cool tap classes, recreational kids, and adult classes. 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

Broadway

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!

+ Melissa Power

Broadway, Discover Dance Program

From a very young age, it was evident that Melissa Power loved to entertain! However, the spotlight was hard to find in the small town of Trepassey where she grew up, so one could call her a late bloomer. In high school, she landed the lead role in Hanns Point Players rendition of The Fishermans Revenge and her love for the stage was born. After she moved to St. Johns to attend university, she started taking a Hip Hop class. She immediately fell in love with being in the studio and has taken classes in almost every other genre there is. Her love for Broadway really blossomed when her mentor, Tanya Lasby, convinced her to audition for a local musical. After making the cut, Melissa realized that a positive attitude, infectious energy, and hard work and dedication is the key to success. Since then, Melissa has graced the stage in many fantastic shows including Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Our Divas Do Christmas, Chicago (TaDa! Events) and Spamalot (Atlantic Light Theatre). She also had the privilege of dancing with Red Dress Entertainment in Kelly-Ann Evans incredible shows, including Legends, Frosty Festival: British Invasion, and Mardi Gras: A Tribute to Michael Jackson. Melissa believes in giving back to the community with whatever gifts you have, and she continues to volunteer her skills to after school programs and community groups, as well as, fundraisers like Neighborhood Dance Works Thrillergrams, Bust A Move, and Relay for Life. Melissa is thrilled to be joining the super talented Keith Power to teach all the Broadway enthusiast at CPSOD. She holds a Bachelor of Education from Memorial University and she is excited to combine her love of teaching with her love for dance.

+ Mikayla Downey

Acrobatic Arts, Children's Work

Mikayla Downey is an accomplished Dancer, Figure Skater, Gymnast, and Competative Cheerleader. She began dancing at CPSOD 13 years ago and has consistantly studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern and pointe. She is reaching the top of all her levels in the school's examination program in Ballet, Tap & Modern. In April of last year, Mikayla had the wonderful opportunity to rehearse and perform with a professional dance company when she was cast in Cinderella with Canada 's Ballet Jorgen. Mikayla has taken many opportunities to participate in extracurricular dance training and loves to be involved in dance competitions.

Mikayla trained with Cygnus gymnastics for 8 years and competed in Allstar Cheerleading with Terra Nova Elite for two seasons, winning two national championships. At her last provincials, she was awarded the distinction of MVP of her team. Mikayla is very excited to put her gymnastic and cheer tumbling knowledge to good use this year teaching a brand new program called ACROBATIC ARTS at CPSOD. She is striving toward full certification in the method, and loves how the acrobatic skills are linked specific to dance movements to create beautiful choreography.

Mikayla is also an accomplished figure skater having won numerous provincial titles in both solo and synchronized skating with the Prince of Wales Skating Club where she has been coaching all levels of CanSkate for five years.

In June of last year, Mikayla was awarded The Johnson Horizon Program Scholarship for academics and leadership. She is looking forward to using her leadership skills to share her passion for dance and performing with her students again this year!

+ 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 (2007), DDI Cecchetti Ballet (2014) and Associate Modern Theatre & Tap Dance Teaching Qualifications. She recently attended the 2016 ISTD teachers summer school in the UK to upgrade all her exam work in advanced level tap and modern. She also received a scholarship to attend the Cecchetti Ballet Teachers Summer School this past year. In addition to ballet, tap & modern, Susan also teaches jazz, & 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. Since then, she has been a teacher at the Weston School of Dance and Performing Arts, while participating in local musical & dance productions whenever possible. Susan absolutely loves teaching, and enjoys that every day brings a new challenge. We invited Susan as a guest teacher at CPSOD this past June and saw first hand her natural aptitude for teaching young children and proven knowledge necessary for teaching experienced teens and young adults. We are thrilled to welcome Susan Lily to CPSOD this season as a full time teacher in the Intensive Dance Division, Examination Program, and Recreational Program. She is excited for the new adventure of moving to a different country and looks forward to sharing her theatre experiences from New York and her formal dance skills from the UK with all of our students. We, at CPSOD, are very much looking forward to seeing how a new teacher may inspire and bring out qualities and confidence in our dancers in new and different ways. At CPSOD it's about more than just dance, it's about helping students to be the best that they can possibly be.

+ 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

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, like the local workshop Rock The Rhythm. While in high school Nicole had the opportunity to be a part in many of Gonzaga's band concerts and productions.

+ Nicole Power

Children's Work, Teen Jazz, Modern

Nicole has been dancing since the age of 3 and is currently a Program 6 dancer in the Intensive Dance Division (IDD) at CPSOD. She has studied several genres of dance, including tap, modern, hip hop, jazz and ballet. This year, she is working towards her Advanced 1 Tap Exam and Intermediate Modern Exam.

Additionally, Nicole has competed with her dance peers in the 5678 Showtime Competition (2015 and 2014), and has also participated in the Pulse Dance Convention in Toronto (2014) and Orlando (2014), as well as local dance conventions.

Nicole was a featured dancer in Holy Spirit High School's Cabaret "Simply the Best" (2015), and was the recipient of the "Most Enthusiastic Student" Award (2013 and 2012) at New Wave Music.

In addition to being very passionate about dance, Nicole is very committed to helping others. She was a part of the Junior Lifeguarding Program and a Volunteer Swimming Coach (Pisces Swim Club), working one-on-one with children with disabilities (2013).
This will be Nicole's 3rd year assisting at CPSOD and she is so excited to be teaching during this upcoming dance season!

+ Mackenzie Loveless

Children's Work, B/T/J, Hip Hop

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.

+ Claire Miller Murphy

Body Conditioning for Dancers, Certified Movement Educator and Owner of New Found Movement

While attending the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Claire became intrigued with the study of movement and body mechanics. She then went on to become fully certified in Pilates, Yoga tune Up, Roll Model, Method, Hatha Yoga and Zumba. Her passion for deeper understanding of human biomechanics drives her to continue to study the most cutting edge training available. She is currently the only certified Yoga Tune Up and Roll Model Method Teacher in Atlantic Canada.

Practicing preventative health care and having learned to heal from her own injuries through chiropractic, massage, corrective exercise and myofascial release, Claire offers a variety of highly effective restorative programming and receives client referrals from Chiropractors, Doctors, Massage Therapists and Physiotherapists.

Claire is known for providing a "personal touch" to all her classes by tailoring them to suit her students' needs. She teaches with infectious excitement and is thrilled that there is always more to learn!

+ 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.