Creative Mentor and Director of the Youth Performance Company (YPC) - Hip Hop
Jennalee is as a passionate and fun-loving teacher and mentor. She grew up studying many forms of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Acadian and Highland, but fell in love with Hip Hop the most. She landed many roles for stage, print and television, including a national television campaign for YTV.
Jennalee has been fortunate enough to perform in WOD Toronto, the East Coast Dance Concert in Washington D.C., and the Culture Shock International Showcase in L.A. (2011) and San Diego (2012). Since joining City Dance Corps in 2013, Jennalee has won the hearts of all her students, from young to old and her classes are always infused with a deep connection to the roots of Hip Hop while maintaining fun and energy.
From a young age, Esra has been passionate about sharing her love for dance with others. With a background in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Contemporary dance, she has had the opportunity to perform recreationally and competitively for over a decade. Esra studied ballet throughout her childhood and adolescence through the Royal Academy of Dance, completing all the graded and vocational examinations up to Solo Seal. After training at the Ontario School of Ballet and Related Arts for 10 years, she began her studies at Ryerson University in the Early Childhood Studies program. Esra has simultaneously been working to complete the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies programme through the Royal Academy of Dance in order to become a certified ballet teacher with the RAD. The combination of these two programs has shaped Esra’s philosophy of teaching; through inclusion and differentiated instruction, her goal is to create a playful and safe atmosphere for children to physically explore their bodies and express their emotions.
Sarah Schmidt is a dancer and choreographer from Toronto. At age 3, Sarah marched her sass into her first dance class and instantly fell in love! She has trained in RAD Ballet, Graham Modern, ADAPT Jazz, various lyrical and contemporary styles, even taking courses in African and Indigenous dance styles. She has attended two Dance and the Child International conferences, one in Taipei and the other in Copenhagen where she had the opportunity to study and collaborate with professional choreographers and dancers from around the world.
Since becoming a teacher in 2011, Sarah found her passion in sharing her knowledge of dance, curiosity of human movement and creativity with her students. She completed an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology in 2016 and has since taken the science of movement to the next level by pursuing a diploma in Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences.
Movement and creativity are what keeps her going and nothing gives her joy like teaching at CDC!
Emily Rapley, is a Toronto based dance artist originally from Simcoe, Ontario. Her training has focused primarily on Contemporary, Modern, Ballet and strength training. Since graduating from York University’s BFA dance program in 2017, Rapley has been dancing and creating, being credited as “some of the inspiring talent flourishing in the Canadian dance community,” - David Silverberg, Now Magazine. Rapley has worked and collaborated with many in the community such as Kaeja D’Dance, Roberto Campanella, Susan Lee, Carol Anderson, Michael Greyeyes, John Ottmann, Jasmyn Fyffe and Bianca Trulli. Rapley has been a part of many festivals, films/shows and independent projects as she continues to pursue her career as a dance artist, teacher and performer. She is so happy to be sharing movement at City Dance Corps!
Zuri began learning and developing her love for dance at a young age. Her training includes 10 years of competitive dance at Denise Lester Dance Academy where she worked with choreographers including Raffaele Brereton, Brandon “Bizzy” Owusu, Ming Bo Lam, and Bailey Woodman. She also studied at the arts high school O’Neill C.V.I. where she got the chance to work with artists like Lauren Cook, David Norsworthy, Jaz-Fairy J, Kristen Carcone, and many more. Zuri currently studies at York University for her BFA in Dance Choreography/Performance. She’s also participated in a few different events including The Next Step, the Pickering Mayor’s Gala, Tim Hortons’ Black Tie Gala Fundraiser, the Toronto International Youth Festival, and Ignite. Zuri is excited to continue learning, growing, and sharing her passion and love for dance.
Street Dance Styles
Kin Nguien is a choreographer, performer, and film producer born in Ukraine and now based in Toronto, Canada. Kin’s mixed cultural upbringing has shaped her artistic expression in dance. Her European upbringing has shaped her bold and daring nature in storytelling. She creates to courageously challenge the cultural, societal biases and stigmas within the communities she’s in and encourage people to face the uncomfortable realities of life. Guided by mindfulness practices from her Vietnamese-Asian heritage, she also creates work that places significance on the values of compassion and empathy. Her movement pays great attention to breathing and the present state of the body, mind and soul. By mindfully observing nature, she combines movements that imitate the lightness of air, the fluidity of water and the power of the earth. Kin is regarded as a “versatile performer who moves with heart” (Reet Roy). She is best known for her “Project Lullaby” film series, which focuses on mental health awareness and aims to break social stigmas around mental illness. Her latest film, Project Lullaby: Choice, has recently premiered at GRIT Short Dance Film Festival commissioned by CanAsian Dance.
Shaniece Phillips’ first experience with dance was at a ballet class at a community centre in grade 2. While it didn’t stick at the time, dance was something she loved to do and fantasized about performing on stages. Her older sister was a dancer and teacher. Shaniece spent most of her time playing sports, specifically soccer. She rediscovered dance in high school, joined the dance club, and through inspiration of America’s Best Dance Crew and the Krump scene joined a crew with her brother and other friends. She continued to play sports, and went on to study Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber. But dance always had a place in her life. After experiencing a brain injury while playing sports and it sidelining her for months, she decided to step away from sports to make sure that nothing could take her away from dance that long, ever again.
Shaniece has performed at various shows in the city such as Fever After Dark and Dusk Dances. She has been a member of Culture Shock Toronto since 2015, which has given her the opportunity to perform on stages in Ottawa, Las Vegas, LA and Chicago. She is now the artistic director of Culture Shock Toronto’s adult troupe. She is currently studying Expressive Arts Therapy at the Create Institute. Her main styles are hip hop and dancehall. Her hope is that in teaching, she never forgets to share the true essence of dance, to pay homage to those who came before her and to always acknowledge the powerful role that art plays in society today.
Jimmy 'Chico' Vasquez
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jimmy Vásquez González started his dance career at the age of 7. Surrounded by the Latin culture of his native land, Jimmy started his journey with the dance styles of Salsa, Bachata and Merengue.
At the age of 13, Jimmy moved to Toronto, Canada, where he was introduced to the style of native Toronto Hip-Hop for the first time, also referred to as "Flavor".
Though it wasn't an easy transition, Jimmy was able to maintain his love for dance by facing and accepting new challenges as well discovering his own identity through Hip-Hop and what it means to have your own identity through the art of dance.
Shortly after his move to Canada, Jimmy was able to find other relatable individuals with the same drive and passion for dance, soon after becoming a member of Scarborough's very own dance crew, “The FLVRSquad”.
The FLVRSquad is a team of individuals under the mentorship of one Toronto's most notorious and respected dance crews, BUCC N FLVR. With the mentorship of arguably Toronto's best of the best, Jimmy has been equipped with the tools necessary to comfortably share the knowledge passed down, as well as adding his personal Dominican flavor, giving his dance a very distinguishable energy and charisma.
Jimmy has distinguished himself as a leader and mentor to his peers and those around him, further strengthening his values and the impact one can spark in others through dance.
Today, Jimmy continues to pursue his undeniable love for dance, through teaching, performing and sharing his own creativity in hopes of inspiring others.
Dance Athletics, Jazz, Tiny Tumblers
Madeline Feist is a dance artist, instructor and choreographer located in Toronto,
Ontario. She began her dance training in Leduc, Alberta where she studied ballet, jazz, Irish,
contemporary, hip hop, tap and acrobatics. She followed her passion for dance to York
University where she graduated with a BFA in Dance specializing in Choreography/Performance and is currently completing a BA in Kinesiology. Madeline has been fortunate enough to train throughout Alberta, including the Alberta Ballet School’s Summer Intensive, as well as taking classes in New York and Toronto. She has been privileged enough to learn from dance artists such as Tracey Norman, Syreeta Hector, Jennifer Bolt, John Ottmann, Alyssa Martin (Rock Bottom Movement) and Julia Sasso. Her certifications include Acrobatic Arts and FLX Conditioning. She has performed through York University as well as in emerging choreographer Alexis Burling’s 2019 work 2:14 am at the Winchester Street Theatre. Madeline teaches at multiple studios throughout Toronto and the GTA and is passionate about integrating her anatomical and biomechanical knowledge into dance instruction. She is passionate about sharing her love of dance with all students and helping them reach their full potential.
Vanessa De Rose
Vanessa’s love for dance began at the young age of three at the Ontario School of Ballet and Related Arts, where she studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop. She was a competitive dancer for over twelve years, and was a member of the Trillium Dance Company, and TAP! Dance Company. Throughout her childhood, Vanessa studied the Royal Academy of Dance, and ADAPT syllabi, completing many Ballet, Tap, and Jazz exams at advanced levels. In 2018, Vanessa graduated from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts with an arts specialization in dance, and continued on to compete in a national titleist competition later that same year. Vanessa is very excited to share her gift and love of dance with the next generation of dancers!
Parent n Tot, Tiny Stars (Musical Theatre)
Katrina is a Toronto based musical theatre performer/teacher. She is a graduate from both the Eastwood Collegiate Integrated Arts Program where she was a vocal, dance, and drama major, as well as a graduate from the Triple Threat program at the Randolph College for the Performing Arts in Toronto. She has trained in many styles including ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap, hip hop, modern, acro, and musical theatre. Throughout her life she has performed competitively and has received many awards and scholarships including an opportunity to perform on Broadway in New York City. She has also performed with the K-W Symphony, NIKE HANGtime Fitness, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. Her most recent and favourite performing credits include Legally Blonde: The Musical (Pilar), Seussical: The Musical (Bird Girl), and Guys and Dolls (Hot Box Dancer).
When she is not performing, Katrina loves to teach children of all ages. She loves bringing her positive and bubbly energy to her students as well as the ability to really push them to become their best. She is so excited to be able to share her love of dance with the City Dance Corps Youth Program!