MEET THE TEAM
Owner & Artistic Director
Kelsey has been dancing for over 25 years and her teaching career has been thriving for almost a decade. She is the proud Owner & Artistic Director of Connections Dance Collective and also works as a freelance teacher and choreographer in Guelph and the surrounding area. Kelsey has a broad background in a variety of disciplines, including hip hop, jazz funk, jazz, acro, musical theatre, modern, lyrical, and contemporary. In her youth, she competed across Ontario, winning many awards and scholarships for her charisma and performance quality, specifically in urban styles. While attending university in Hamilton, Kelsey was a member of the McMaster University Dance Club as well as the Director of the McMaster Dance Company. In her professional career, she has been the proud recipient of many choreography and special awards for her uniquely themed routines and dedication to teaching true hip hop movement and culture in her classes. She is a certified Zumba and and Acrobatic Arts instructor and is known for her lightheartedness, humour, and warm nature.
BA hons. Dance, MDW, AAC, CDTA Affiliate
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!
We are so excited to welcome Miss Melanie back to CDC for Season 4!
Meet Miss Sara - our resident acro Queen! Miss Sara will be working with not only our acrobats this season, but also our tiny pre-schoolers. Sara is a natural-born leader and role model. Dancers who have trained under Sara will know her unique blend of passionate motivation and humour make every dancer want to push themselves to be better. Sara has trained in a variety of styles including jazz, ballet, acro, contemporary, and hip hop - and somehow manages to excel at them all! She is proudly Acrobatic Arts certified and excited to continue sharing her knowledge with our dancers again this season.
Miss Ally has been dancing for almost a decade and has focused her training exclusively around the styles of hip hop and urban dance. She has trained under Miss Kelsey for the majority of her dance career and has used many resources within the dance world, such as STEEZY, to expand her hip hop knowledge and style. She has also completed hip hop workshops and classes taught by various choreographers throughout southern Ontario. Ally is working to develop her own dynamic in classes that encourages confidence, support, and understanding of the foundations of hip hop and its culture. She will be working with our recreational and competitive hip hop dancers and is excited to bring a new and fresh energy to the hip hop programs at CDC. Ally has been an integral part of the development of
CDC, and we are so happy to have her as a part of the staff team.
Emily began her dance training at 7 years old with the O’Neill Academy of Dance, in London Ontario under the direction of Kim O’Neill. As part of the competitive team, Emily has trained and competed in many different genres, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop. At 14 years old, she began her journey as an assistant teacher, assisting in the previous mentioned styles as well as tap and acro.
She has taken many workshops in different cities and has been able to train and learn from so many inspiring professionals.
In 2021, Emily entered and won the first Breaking Boundaries Movement choreography competition for her age division, as well as the winner of the first improv competition. She has also won many different scholarships and awards during her competitive journey.
Emily is looking forward to being a part of the CDC family, and sharing her love and passion for dance!
Olivia started her dance career at age 7 where she fell in love with ballet. She then joined Micki's Dance Connection in Brantford, On to continue her training in tap. She joined their competitive team in 2008 where she trained further in tap, jazz, lyrical, and musical theatre. She began her teaching career when she started assistant teaching both recreational and competitive teams back in 2012, helping with hip-hop, acro, and kidz combo classes, making her a very versatile individual. She also helped choreograph and danced in both her high school musicals back in 2015 and 2017.
Olivia adores all things fun and sparkly and she truly lights up any room she walks into. She is beyond patient, a great listener, and a very confident individual. There are no bad vibes in her classroom and will work incredibly hard to ensure that stays in place! Olivia is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph where she received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology. Additionally, she is a proud cat mom to her pride and joy Bagel who she never gets tired of talking about!
Competitive Ballet Instructor
Alanna’s love for dance began when she was three years old. She danced competitively at age 8, competing in ballet, jazz, and acro, and later explored other styles such as lyrical, tap, hip hop, and modern.
From 2016-2018, Alanna trained at Canada’s National Ballet School where she performed with the National Ballet of Canada in the Nutcracker, and in James Kudelka’s debut ballet School. Throughout her time at NBS, she focused primarily on ballet and developed a strong understanding of its foundational techniques and its history. Returning to a studio closer to home for her high-school years, Alanna continued her training in vocational ballet, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary dance, achieving Distinction on both her Intermediate and Advanced I Royal Academy of Dance exams. In 2019, Alanna was offered both an RBC scholarship and a position at the Goh Ballet Academy, and in 2020 was accepted to the Alberta Ballet School Professional Program summer intensive. During her last season, Alanna returned to competitive dance earning high distinction and performance awards.
She is currently in her second year at the University of Guelph completing an Honours BA in Sociology. Alanna is very excited to begin this season as part of the CDC family.
Cassidy was the first student to register when CDC opened! She is proud to be back now as a the office manager, running part of our lovely reception team. She danced for 15 years, including a decade of competitive dance (three years at CDC), competing in every style from ballet-hip hop. She is known for her positivity and kindness, making her a perfect fit for our team. Additionally, Cassidy is studying business at the University of Guelph. You will see her at the reception desk in the lobby- make sure to say hi!
Ainsley is a competitive dancer who has trained with Miss Kelsey for over 5 years. She has been part of the Connections Dance Collective family since year one, and has been competing for the last 3 years now. She has taken various styles such as hip hop, jazz, contemporary, tap, acro, and musical theatre. Ainsley teaches many kids combo classes and has lots of experience with younger kids. She also teaches one of her favorite styles of dance; hip hop on Thursday with Miss Ally. She is beyond excited to start her teaching journey, and can not wait to meet all the new people arriving at CDC!
Mackenzie is a competitive dancer who has been training since she was five years old. She has been a part of the Connections Dance Collective competitive team since 2019 and trains in a variety of styles such as jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip hop, and more. Mackenzie is so excited to be joining the teaching team at Connections Dance Collective and is especially excited to be training the next generation of CDC dancers!