Theatre Dance Academy Teachers
Barbara Szabunia Forrest
Founded Theatre Dance Academy in 1984 and has watched her school grow to include 2 striving studios:
A certified Member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (C.D.T.A.) and British Association of Teachers of Dance (B.A.T.D.), Barbara’s repertoire is extensive. Her studies span various esteemed schools throughout Toronto and North America and include Ballet folk Choreography in Lublin and Poland. She has performed across Canada with the Canadian Heritage festival and won the Canadian Championship in lambada, becoming a semi-finalist in Italy. She has danced as an Toronto Argonaut Sunshine Girl and performed at Various Convention and Industrial shows.
Barbara has made several T.V. appearances and has choreographed many routines for T.V. variety shows, Toronto Blue Jays, C.N.E. and the opening ceremonies for the Ontario Summer Games. Barbara regularly attends dance seminars and conventions to maintain her high level in dance standard. She is also proud to see some of her students go on to perform on cruise ships,Los Angeles , California with Mariah Carey, Stratford Festival Guys and Dolls, T.V. commercials or become teachers and open dance studios of their own. She has Choreographed and performed as backup dancers for “The Living Legends Impersonators” throughout Ontario. She also choreographed and performed for Boby Curtola at various fairs and concerts.
Most recently Barbara choreographed a Duet Dance Number for the Senior Show at The Roy Thompson.
Robert Jensen has over 20 years of experience dancing and teaching. Serving as the Department Head of the Tap and Jazz division at the Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance, he is a full member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association, Stage Division Tap and Jazz, and has also attained his Intermediate level Cecchetti through examination by the National Ballet of Canada.
Robert began his dance career at the Dot Blakeley Dance Studio, then on to the Port Colborne Dance Academy where he also began to teach. His award winning choreography has graced many competitions and festivals throughout South Western Ontario. He has studied with such teachers as Dulcie Lee, in Melbourne Australia, Sam Fiorello, Bob Rizzo, Gus Giordano, and Tom Ralabate and has taught workshops, summer schools and master classes across Canada and the United States.
Robert is an accomplished and sought after adjudicator, judging competitions across Canada annually and has danced professionally in several industrial shows in Ontario and Quebec, appeared in several movies, commercials and T.V specials.
Tammy Robinson is a certified BATD and DEA instructor with the Theatre Dance Academy. Tammy is very proud to be entering her 20th year with TDA. As a dancer, Tammy performed across North America in a variety of competitions and professional shows including Blue Jays games, Ed Mirvish’s Birthday Bash, opening ceremonies of the Ontario Summer Games, the CNE, Canada’s Wonderland, and many charity events including the Sick Kid’s Telethon and touring as a dancer with a Beach Boys tribute band.
After 11 years of competing, Tammy became a full time instructor with TDA. Since then Tammy has lead a variety of dance genres through all age groups to numerous top awards including Platinum awards, top Choreography awards and best overall performances. In addition, Tammy has helped many individuals and groups earn scholarship money for their efforts. Besides her work with TDA, Tammy has taught workshops at the YMCA, local gymnastics clubs and managed a co-op program for high school students. Tammy enjoys working for Barbara at TDA and adds,” it has been very exciting to see and be a part of TDA-watching it grow and expand into 3 amazing locations. The staff and students care and support each other like a family.
At four years old I began dancing at Theatre Dance Academy in Oshawa, Ontario. Twenty years later, my love for dance and passion for competition have led me through professional contests and into a teaching role. I’m currently instructing recreational, competitive, and B.A.T.D-exam classes in a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, pointe, hip hop, musical theatre, and acro. My students and I have been recognized with many overall and choreography awards throughout the years, and look forward to continuing success in the future.
Special Awards Judge for Jump Shout Boogie, Auditioned students for the Competition Program at Premiere Studio of Dance, Auditioned and Choreographed for both the Clarington Tigercats and the BHS Talons Cheerleading Teams, Performed in Juju’s Music Video “Sugar Daddy”, American Bowl, Ontario Summer Games, 50’s/60’s show at Casino Niagara, Dancer for Impersonators and Bobby Curtola, Line Dancing, Salsa, BBQ Conventions, Weddings, Parties, Dinner Theatres, Galas and many Industrial Shows and Corporate Events throughout Ontario
B.A.T.D., P.A.A., Registered Dental Hygienist, Standard First Aid and CPR Level C, French Immersion Certificate
Tiffany is a Level Two gymnastics coach and dance instructor who focuses on the Academy’s Acro program. Her career includes over fifteen years of dance training in Tap, Jazz and Acro. As a teacher, Tiffany has been the mainstay of the Acro program of a major gymnastics academy and dance academy in the Durham region. Tiffany is in the final year of the world-renowned DMA training program
Courtney, has been a dancer for over 20 years. A graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts’ Triple Threat program, Courtney has had the incredible opportunity to perform in many larger-scale productions like Thoroughly Modern Millie: Toronto, ON; Miss Canada Globe Pageant: Toronto, ON; The Heidi Chronicles: Toronto, ON; Grease Ball 50’s Concert: Niagara Falls, ON; Steve Nash Charity Basketball Game: Toronto, ON and many more. Courtney has studied dance under both the R.A.D. and C.D.T.A . Courtney is also a member of ADAPT and is eligible to enter candidates at any level of the ADAPT Jazz and Tap examinations.
Rachel McDonald is certified member of the British Association of Teachers in Dancing (B.A.T.D). She has performed in many shows from musicals to weddings to corporate events. She has also performed in shows including Pan Am Games opening ceremonies, a Harlem Globetrotters half time show, the Toronto Argonauts halftime shows, and A Tale of Two Cities Musical. With over 15 years of dance training as a competitive dancer, in ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop, Rachel has been the recipient of numerous awards and overalls in Canada. Rachel has choreographed for many years as she was a part of and the captain of her high school dance team where she choreographed pieces in all styles. Rachel is continuing her dance education by studying and training daily at The Conteur Dance Academy in Toronto, where she learns not only about physical and technical training but the fundamentals of compositional techniques. As an Theatre Dance Academy Alumni Member, Rachel looks forward to continue her dance career working with the TDA family!
Kelly was born and raised in Montreal and was introduced to the art of dance at a young age. She studied under the late Madame ludmilla Chiriaeff who was the artistic director and founder of the Les Grandes Ballet Canadiens in Montreal Quebec.
Kelly trained for seven years in the professional program, studied Vaganova and Cecchetti and performed in several productions with the company. Presently, Kelly is a fully registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and is accredited with the Association of Dance Arts Professional Teachers.
Her students have gone on to study in the professional division at Royal Winnipeg ballet, Winniipeg Contemporary dancers, University of Arizona Dance Program and throw out Europe.
She is an accomplished choreographer and an adjudicator for the AMAF. Kelly’s students have a 100% pass rate while participating in ADAPT and Royal Academy of Dance exames. Her unwavering loyalty to dance and dance education continues to this day.
Comp Solo Teachers
Danielle Matte broke her way into the business side of the entertainment industry almost overnight. Having worked with clients such as, Disney Canada, Sears Canada, Bell Mobility Celebrity Gala, Rogers, REMAX,The Wynford Group, and the Children’s Aid Foundation, to Redken, Danielle’s work quickly became a widespread name. She recognized a void within the industry between corporate professionals within the entertainment industry and individual artists and founded MOI Artist Management.
After retaining singer/songwriter and music producer Chad James, came an opportunity hit the table to merge the music division of the company with The Management Trust. As the representative heading up the Producer Management division of The Management Trust, she manages the career’s of various Internationally recognized and multi platinum selling Producers.
Stephen has completed Sheridan College’s prestigious music theatre performance program. Past theatre credits of Stephen’s include A Tribute to James Taylor (featured soloist); Sheridan College, Superstars and Graveyard Shift; Paramount Canada’s Wonderland, and Tommy (Pinball Wizard); Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute. Stephen was most recently seen performing in Les Feux Follets (dance captain) as a member of the 2004 Charlottetown Festival’s Confederation Centre Young Company. Along with Stephen’s many theatre credits and industrial work, he has won numerious awards and titles throughout North America, as well as scholarships to New York City. Stephen has also taught and guess taught at many schools throughout Durham region as wells as the Durham Region Skating Academy as a certified Performing Arts Educators of Canada Associate teacher. (jazz, tap, ballet and acro divisions)
Stephen Gray is an established performer, choreographer and dance educator. Coming from a dance background, Stephen trained in all disciplines of dance, winning overall titles and scholarships to dance workshops, including Performer’s Training Outlet in New York City. Continuing his training on full scholarship at Sheridan College’s Music Theatre – Performance Program, he graduated with honours as a Sheridan Scholar. He is also a past Associate of the Performing Arts Educators of Canada, and member of the Professional Adjudicator’s Alliance and has studied Benesh Notation through the University of Waterloo. Stephen has played leads across Canada including Abe in the Toronto Premiere of ALTAR BOYZ, the title role in PETER PAN at Neptune theatre, Calvin in GUYS & DOLLS for Drayton Entertainment, Scarecrow in THE WIZARD OF OZ for Neptune Theatre, the Canadian Premiere of DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, Tommy Sloane in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES for StageWest Mississauga, and several seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the Charlottetown Festival and Paramount Canada’s Wonderland. Stephen can also be scene in the MTV Film SAVE THE LAST DANCE II and the CTV Movie DEGRASSI GOES HOLLYWOOD. Stephen has been teaching and adjudicating for over 10 years at private studios across Ontario, numerous Elementary and High Schools, including Cawthra Park S.S. and his alma mater; Sheridan College. He is also a Faculty Member at George Brown College where he teaches Jazz, Hip Hop, Chorus Repertoire and Performance Choreography. His choreography can be has been performed at Disney World, The Miss Universe Canada Pageant and The Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts. Stephen has won 2 Guthrie Awards while at Stratford, the Ron Holgerson Award for Technical Excellence (Sheridan), the Pauline Laing Memorial Scholarship (DDSB), The Mayor’s Medal (ACVI) and was a Weston National Scholar.
At the age of 5, Jenna began dancing at Theatre Dance Academy in Bowmanville, Ontario. After completing her post secondary education she returned to TDA to begin teaching. Theatre Dance Academy took her all over Ontario as well as New York State as a competitive dancer, instructor and choreographer. Jenna instructs recreational, competitive and B.A.T.D. exam training classes, in a variety of styles. Her students have been recognized with many awards throughout the years. Jenna has a passion for dance as well as teaching dancers of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience.
N.F.L. American Bowl, Disney World Florida, ABC’s network movie “ A Mother’s Day Special”, Toronto Blue Jays, Variety Club Telethon, Living Arts Centre, the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto’s Spring Fling, Line Dancing Country Club Show, Salsa Instruction Show, Orono Fair, Fiesta Week Performer, Santa Claus Parade, YMCA, Weddings, Parties, Dinner Theatres, Galas and many Industrial Shows and Corporate Events throughout Ontario.
Jenna has also performed as backup dancer for “The Living Legends Impersonators.” She also choreographed and performed for Bobby Curtola at various dinner shows and concerts. Jenna also toured as a dancer with the Beach Boys tribute band “Low Down”.
B.A.T.D. (British Association of Teachers of Dancing), Standard First Aid and CPR Level C, College Diploma in Correctional Worker, French Immersion OAC Diploma.