Our Studio

As one of Toronto's top voted dance studios, we strive to offer the very best in adult, youth and teen dance class instruction in a friendly and welcoming environment. Dance is the fastest pathway to joy, so come here to leave your troubles on the dance floor.

About Us

We believe in the joyous benefits of dance
on your mind, body and soul

Spreading the Joy of Dance

Joy of Dance Centre is committed to offering the very best in Adult, Kids and Teen dance class instruction in a warm and welcoming environment. We are provide our students with a place and space to grow: uniquely, individually, expressively, technically, passionately and with excellence. We offer instruction in a diverse and extensive dance repertoire from Ballet to Hip Hop to Contemporary to Ballroom.

We are an accredited Ballroom Dance Academy, under the CDF, DVIDA and ISTD programs.

Vision and Mission

Our vision is dance, just dance. We want you to learn the therapeutic, life affirming and spirit enhancing benefits of dance. Just dance. When life gives you lemons, dance. When you want to just go home and cry, dance. When you are celebrating life’s miracles, dance.

Dance wherever you are. No electronics, no outside distractions, no boss, partner or family to take time away from you spending time with yourself. Everyone needs to dance to survive the world today. Let Joy of Dance be that home for you.

Shameka Blake

Hip Hop, Lyrical, Competitive and Performance

Jamaican born Shameka Blake started dancing at the age of 3. After migrating to Canada, Shameka continued her training at George Brown College in the Commercial Dance Program in addition to beginning her performing career. Shameka has taken the Toronto dance scene by storm as a teacher, performer and choreographer… and she’s only getting started!

She has danced and performed concerts, tours, productions as well as having shared the stage with artists such as Ne-yo, Mob Deep, Kanye West, Lil Jon, and Ciara. Shameka has been featured in videos for recording artists Damian Marley, Kreesha Turner, and Sean Paul. She has had the pleasure of being featured as a principal dancer in Luther Brown’s productions On My Way Home and The Red City.

Shameka is the proud and successful founder of Artists In Motion (AIM), a multidisciplinary dance group that brings together different styles of dance styles such as Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae and Lyrical under the same roof.

“Dance allows me to say things words cannot”

Allison Bradley

Lyrical, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Strength and Stretch

Allison’s passion for dance is evident with every breath she takes. Ally is a gifted performer, teacher and choreographer with an amazing ability to get her students and dancers to tap into their innermost feelings and dance them. Allison trained at Dansation in her hometown of St. Albert, Alberta, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto for intensive training. In 2009, she completed the International Student Visa Program at Broadway Dance Centre in New York City where she received the Outstanding Student Award.

Allison has created opportunities for herself and others by creating her own dance company, A L I Entertainment. Her dance crew worked with N5 Pictures and performed for the music video Man-o Kabootar by Sasha. Allison performed in the production I Think I Can as an actor and dancer under the direction of Conrad Alexandrowicz at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. She also danced in the Zapix Awards on YTV, Shawn Byfield’s Live in Rhythm, and Luther Brown’s Red City.

“To be outstanding get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute for experience.The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

Ole Burlay

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American and International, Night Club dances and Certification faculty member

Olé’s passion for dancing led him to pursue training from the best teachers in England and Canada all of whom encouraged him to compete, which he has been doing for over 10 years. Olé holds the record as six-time undefeated champion in the Amateur Championship in Ukraine for Ballroom dance, as well as finalist of Open European Professional Ballroom Championships, and finalist of Open Canadian Latin Championships.

Olé is a current member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (CDTA). For 6 consecutive years, Olé has received the award for top teacher at the Crystal Leaf International Dancesport Championship. Olé loves to lay the foundation of technique, while bringing out the passion held within each student. His focus on his students never leaves them.

“To dance is to experience life at its best”

Chase Constantino

Bollywood and head of Broken Dance Company

How to best describe Chase is performer, choreographer, dancer, actor, artist, adventurer and now Creative Director and Choreographer for “Canada’s Got Talent” Finalists, Broken Dance. Chase began dancing with dancehall reggae and Hip Hop but was soon called to recognize his potential in his own community. As a South Asian dancer, Chase took the opportunity to embark on a cultural journey which has made him skilled in Bollywood, Bhangra, and the Classical Indian style Bharatanatyam.

Chase has worked with Bollywood stars such as: Neha Dupiha, Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Bobby Deol, Dharmendra, and the king himself Shah Rukh Khan. As well as other names like; Kos, Feist, Alex Cuba, Ludacris, Russell Peters and Kunal Nayyar. Chase worked on the Bollywood Hollywood film “Dr. Cabbie” as the choreographer for two great Bollywood fusion sequences and choreographed for Lilly Singh’s World Tour Show called “A Trip to Unicorn Island”.

This dancer and choreographer has now been recognized by Dance Current Magazine as well as national mainstream media, as a unique and innovative choreographer. His dynamic personality brings an unprecedented energy to everything he does. His classes are positively addictive.

Ian Crewe

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American, Night Club dances

Ian first fell in love with dance 18 years ago while watching a couple dance East Coast Swing at the Beaches Jazz Fest. Beginning with this dance, In rapidly expanded into other ballroom styles, so much so that he began teaching while at university. Upon graduating with honours, Ian pursued teaching Ballroom and Latin as a career. Ian believes in continued growth and pursuit of excellence, balanced with the inherent joy that dance offers.

As a teacher he is patient, while still pushing his students to achieve their dance goals. Ian’s qualifications include DVIDA American Silver Smooth Rhythm. Ian has many interests with one of the main ones being sharing his love of dance to anyone interested in receiving it.

“Dancing is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty.”

Michael Farrell

Irish Dancing

Farrell is one of Canada’s top choreographers, producers and teachers of Irish dance. He is a former Canadian, North American champion and a bronze medalist at the World Championships of Irish Dancing. He has lectured at University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson Polytechnic University, given many international radio and television interviews and been the subject of a documentary. He founded and is artistic director of the Celtic Dance Company of Canada.

National broadcasts include a commissioned work for the CBC on Parliament Hill, the du Maurier Concert Stage Gala (Vancouver), the 1999 Juno Awards, and a personal invitation to perform at Canada’s Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s Farewell Tribute. His company has toured Britain, Europe and North America, and appeared in the 2015 opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games, for which he collaborated with Cirque du Soleil.

Farrell’s warm, engaging demeanor, encouraging and personal style of teaching, and a commitment to an exacting standard of technique make him sought-after as an instructor by the very best schools of Irish dancing around the world. He is excited to bring his passion to the Joy of Dance.

Kelly Gregan


More about Kelly coming soon!

Danielito Guajardo

Argentine Tango, Salsa

More about Danielito coming soon!

Valentina Gurovsky

Ballet piano player

Originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia, Gurovsky is a graduate of the prestigious Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. Gurovsky made Toronto her new home in 1980 and has been with Canada’s National Ballet School for 25 years. Valentina Gurovsky has had extensive involvement with the Toronto dance scene for nearly thirty years, including accompanying RAD graded and vocational exams, and Solo Seal performances.

She has also participated in various seminars, workshops and open classes for ballet, character and creative dance. This remarkable experience has taken her across North America to Colorado, New York, Louisiana, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Halifax, to name a few. Gurovsky loves accompanying voice and playing piano duo. Joy of Dance is blessed to have her sharing her excellence with our students.

Nicole Heinecke

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American, Night Club dances and Certification faculty member

Nicole began dancing Smooth and Latin Ballroom at the age of 15, and was soon instructing both adults and children. With a background in psychology and the arts, Nicole enjoys the fact that Ballroom dancing fuses self-expression with interpersonal communication. It is a unique and meaningful way of expressing oneself and connecting with others.

Appreciating that every individual enters dance for their own personal reasons, Nicole is here to help you reach and even exceed your own dance goals. Nicole specializes in putting you at ease and leading you towards finding your own joy in dancing.

“Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It’s the rhythm of your life. It’s the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness and envy.” -Jacques D’ambroise

Jennifer Hicks

Nia & Move-it

Jennifer’s Nia expertise translates into classes that are innovative, fun and just plain good for you. She is a passionate and enthusiastic mover whose contagious energy encourages you to reach your own personal movement potential. Jenn shares Nia through community events, conferences, international retreats and spas. She is an artist with the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Living Through the Arts Program, which brings Nia to community groups.

Jennifer has been commissioned to choreograph theatrical pieces, and offers customized party classes and private lessons. She enjoys writing about her passion for Nia both on her website (www.jennhicks.ca) and for various print media. Jennifer is currently leading Nia sessions for seniors as part of a research study being led by the Royal Conservatory of Music, Baycrest Health Centre and Toronto Rehab Institute called “Exploring the Impact of Artful Engagement with Older Adults”.

“Rock whatever you want and do it with confidence. Never let anyone make you feel ashamed of your style.”

Ken Homer

Ginga Fitness Founder

Ken Homer was born and raised in St. Vincent in the Caribbean. He grew up dancing. That has never stopped. Ken has also been entrenched in marital arts and Brazilian (Capoeira) martial arts for over 15 years. His passion for health and fitness has always motivated him to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Ken combined his love of dance with his martial arts training to create Ginga Fitness in Toronto Canada in 2009.

Ginga is a driving program which combines the basic movements of Capoeira mixed with all genres of music to create a dance fitness program that provides a complete full body workout. Every muscle group is worked within a one-hour workout.

Ginga is now a movement with Ken teaching over 18 classes a week and training qualified, dedicated teachers who are hand selected. Ken not only teaches every class full out, he does it with his engaging smile and good humour.

“Move with passion, try your best, have fun and the rest is easy.”


Hip Hop, Heels, Lyrical, Founder of Urbanesque

Hollywood Jade is one of Toronto’s fastest rising entertainers showcasing his talents as a dancer, choreographer and innovator in his art form now called Urbanesque (also his dance company called by the same name). Urbanesque is a fusion of Urban dance and Burlesque 2013 style. It unites expression of Urban culture and attitude.

He has choreographed routines for MuchMusic, BET and MTV to name a few, and has worked with some of the most internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Fatima Robinson, Michael Rooney, Adam Shankman, Rich & Tone, Jamal Sims, Eboni Nickles and AJ.

Hollywood Jade is a contributing member of Artists In Motion. As Hollywood always says, “Success lies on the other side of fear.”

“Success lies on the other side of fear…. I dance because I am not afraid to be exposed.”

Steven James

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American, Night Club dances and Certification faculty member

Steven’s love of movement began on the stage as part of Theatre Beyond Words, a theatre company that took him on tour across North America, Europe and Asia. Yet Ballroom and Latin dance kept pulling him. It was Jennifer Jones, CEO and Dean of Joy of Dance Centre and Teaches College who convinced him that he should pursue his passion. Her influence is one of the main reasons Steve is teaching dance today and specializing in West Coast Swing.

Having graduated from the Joy of Dance Teacher Training program and receiving his certification from Canadian DanceSport Federation in American Ballroom Smooth and Rhythm, Steve began his teaching career and has never looked back. This love and passion for teaching American Smooth and Rhythm comes from the deep belief that dancing is a fun, liberating and energizing experience that heightens awareness of the body and creates a unique connection between people.

Practicing Ballroom has made his life both more challenging and more rewarding; an experience he is passing on to his students.

“When life is good, dance. When life hurts, dance more.”

Heather Kay

Zumba, Bellydance, Kizomba

More about Heather coming soon!

Milena Kolarova

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American and International, Night Club dances

More about Milena coming soon!

Annie Lebedeva

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American and International, Night Club dances and Certification faculty member

Originally from Estonia, Annie has been in the dance industry for over 20 years. Her dancing has taken her to England where she progressed with her training and fell in love with teaching. One of Annie’s strengths is the ability to make technique accessible for students at any level.

The joy of seeing a student progress is a personal sense of achievement and unabashed delight when they get it. Annie loves the diversity of people and helping them reach their dance goals.

Since moving to Canada, Annie has been involved in many projects including dance-consulting and choreography for a pilot of an ABC drama “Conviction”, performing live on daytime TV and other events.

Annie is certified Licentiate member of the CDF in International Standard, Latin, American Smooth and Rhythm as well as a certified CDF competition adjudicator. She frequently competes with her students as Pro-Am and competes professionally in Hustle.

Rebecca Lewis

Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Ballroom

Rebecca values the important things in life… family, friends, and that for which she has PASSION! Rebecca’s passion for dance is a family affair, passed down from her grandmother through her mother, (both dance teachers.) Rebecca trained throughout her youth at her mother’s dance studio in Kamloops, BC and is professionally trained as a performer and teacher in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop through the NATD (National Association of Teachers of Dance) based in London, England.

Rebecca is a veteran to the stage and her infectious enthusiasm for dance is apparent in the energy of her classes. Currently, you can find Rebecca in Toronto tapping up a storm with her fellow members of Funk Factory, when she is not busy training and teaching Ballroom, Latin and Tap at the Joy of Dance.

“Dance is the best therapy on the planet. I think everyone should have dance in their lives… In whatever shape or form speaks to them. We’d have a much healthier world, both physically and mentally.”

Amy Lintunen


More about Amy coming soon!

Lauren Lyn

Lyrical, Jazz, CDF Certified in Ballroom: American and International, Night Club dances

Born and raised in Jamaica, Lauren was influenced by music and dance from a young age. She is an accomplished dancer and performer in a variety of dance genres including Hip Hop, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballroom and Latin. Lauren received her American Bronze level teachers certification in Ballroom and Latin at Joy of Dance and has been actively teaching ever since.

She starred on So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season Four. Lauren has also competed and placed in the professional division at both the Toronto Salsa Festival and the Six Degrees Salsa Competition. She has worked with singer Divine Brown, comedian Nicole Arbour and can be seen performing at Toronto events such as TIFF, Caribana and Pride.

Since 2009, she has been a member of Artists In Motion Dance Company (AIM). Lauren has performed with Lady Gaga, Flo Rida, Victoria Duffield.

Linda Marsella

Ballroom: American and International, Night Club dances

Linda looks beyond the needs of each dance student and sees their potential. Her goal is to have them transcend their own expectations. Linda is a seasoned teacher, competitor, and performer specializing in Ballroom and Latin International dancing. Her career spans over a decade and brings with it finesse and expertise as well as a first hand understanding of competition.

Linda has had the honour of working with and learning from some of the best dancers and teachers that the world has to offer. It is these experiences that she brings to her teaching. Linda is proud to have been working with the 2011 Canadian Junior Silver Medalists, the 2010 World Junior Silver Medalists, as well as many other talented, competitive ice dance couples.

Linda has had the privilege of representing Canada in the Professional Latin Division at many elite competitions both nationally and internationally. Linda’s promise to her students is discipline but also fun, knowledge, compassion passion and inspiration.

“Dance keeps me living in the moment. It free’s me from the aches and pains of life and allows me to express things that I wouldn’t be able to express through words. When I dance- it’s right here, right now…and nothing else matters.”

Lucy McGovern

Hip Hop, Lyrical

More about Lucy coming soon!

Vanessa McHugh

Pound Fitness

Vanessa is a POUND® Pro and Certified Fitness Instructor Specialist through Canfitpro. She has a passion for life and truly values the importance of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. She finds teaching and helping others live a true and healthy life both inspiring and rewarding. She has a love for music and exercise which lead her to become a POUND® pro. This allows Vanessa to teach through music a full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning and strength training. If Vanessa is not at Joy of Dance you can find her traveling, hiking, trying new recipes visiting family and friends or working on a side project that will help challenge her.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

– Plato

Noel Miller

Sports and Physical Therapist and trainer

More about Noel coming soon!

Allison Nichol

Ballet and Contemporary/Modern

Allison Nichol is a passionate dance artist with more than twenty years of training in classical ballet, contemporary and modern dance and almost a decade of teaching dance to movers of all ages and levels of experience. A lifelong love of dance and a strong appreciation for the joy of movement, Allison believes that creative imagery combined with a sense of play and discovery should be at the centre of all dance training and bases all of her curriculum around this philosophy.

Originally from Toronto and a graduate of the dance department at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Allison has a BFA with honours in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University as well as a MA in Transdisciplinary Art from the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland.

Allison works as a choreographer, teacher and rehearsal director. Her choreographic work has been presented in Toronto, Montreal, Berlin, Zurich, Lausanne (CH) and Delft (NL). Allison loves teaching ballet and contemporary dance to all ages and levels at Joy of Dance Centre.

Kimberly Pilc

Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz

Kim’s passion for dance started at an early age when she began to learn Tap, Jazz and Ballet. At age 13, she went to Randolph Dance Theatre. By 14, she was a performer and the assistant choreographer for Lisa Lougheed’s national tour. Kim’s dance experience spans both on and off stage. She has worked with Kevin Pugh, Dance Teq, Randolph Dance Academy, and is a graduate of the Earl Haig Performing Arts program where she continues to share her choreography with future performers. Kim is not only a teacher specializing in teaching kids and teens at Joy of Dance Centre, she is also the manager responsible for the day to day operations, systems, administrative staff, scheduling and rentals. Her creativity and ability to tell a story through dance has made her a central and in demand teacher at Joy of Dance. Kim is a graduate of Claude Watson/Earl Hague Performance Arts Program, RAD (Royal Academy of Dance), BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) with honors and highly commended. Kim is known for her commitment, sense of humour as well as her take no prisoner approach, which is what makes her such a popular teacher at Joy of Dance Centre.

“Dance is talking without using words; telling your story. It balances and heals out all the craziness and helps you catch your breath when you can’t breathe. It’s what keeps us going.”

Arpad Raymon

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American, Tap, and Musical Theatre

Arpad has followed his passion for dance and performance for over 30 years. His training and teaching experience covers a diverse range of genres including Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Ballroom, Latin and Ballet. Arpad has also served as an adjudicator and a performer throughout southern Ontario with leading artists of the time including The Platters, and Martha Reeves.

Arpad truly believes that any age is a good age to dance because it brings joy and a certain transformation. Arpad brings a loveable quirkiness and playfulness to his teaching, which is well balanced with an endless patience and attention given to anyone who wants to learn.

“You can’t be sad when you’re dancing.”

Mark Read

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American and International, Night Club dances and Certification faculty member

Mark has been dancing and teaching American Smooth and Rhythm for over 20 years. He understood early that teaching dance was a love and a calling. It gives him great joy to share his knowledge and be part of the transformation that occurs from beginner to accomplished student. Mark began training in International Standard and Latin 8 years ago in order to expand his dance and dance teaching vocabulary.

Mark is also passionate about teaching technique as it is the foundation, which allows the dancer to let go and express fully the beauty of moving as one with the music. Along the way, Mark began to love Hustle and is continuing to develop teaching this style to its fullest. Mark is certified in American Smooth and Rhythm Bronze, International Standard and Latin Bronze and Hustle Bronze.

“Happy feet make a happy heart.”

Derick Robinson

Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, Twerking

More about Derick coming soon!

Lisa Scarfo-Fender

Ballroom International, Night Club dances and Certification Program Director

Lisa is a proud graduate of the Joy of Dance Teacher Training Program with over 5 years of experience teaching International Style Standard and Latin dancing. Lisa is also a successful Pro-Am competitor and has performed at celebrations and corporate functions all over Ontario.

Lisa’s positive disposition comes across immediately. For Lisa, dancing is a life-long passion. She enjoys meeting, dancing and teaching those who share her passion for dance. Lisa is a certified member of the Canadian DanceSport Federation (CDF).

Terra Lynn Snape


More about Terra Lynn coming soon!

Sam Snyders


Sam has been dancing and performing since he was a kid. One thing Sam is known for is his “can do” attitude. He never gives up and gives his all to every thing he does and every student he teaches. Sam’s list of accomplishments is lengthy and diverse. He has been a lead performer in three network television series and played leading roles in TV, theatrical movies and stage productions. Some of his work leading roles includes in The Pit, Tomorrow Never Comes, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, The Baxter’s, An American Christmas Carol, A Chorus Line, and Oliver Twist.

Sam has also produced and directed numerous television specials for CBC as well as TSN. Currently, Sam is touring the dance competition circuit and acts as one of the judges for StarCatchers. Sam is dedicated to doing his best in every endeavor, be it performing for a live theatre audience or the unrelenting eye of the camera or creating new and exciting choreography and of course teaching dance.

“Dancers work harder than everyone else. They practice their craft and hone their skills the same as other athletes, but then they must endeavour to infuse their movement with artistry and a little piece of themselves. Each performance becomes a personal journey and accomplishment.”

Lianne Tammi

Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop

More about Lianne coming soon!

Emily Tench

Teen and Adult Ballet Program Director

Dancing and teaching bring Emily inspiration, motivation and great happiness. Through laughter and hard word, Emily teaches safe, strong, beautiful technique and expressive movement in her classes. Her training began at 10 at a small ballet school in BC where she trained daily in Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Ballet and Modern Dance. Emily is a graduate of the Professional Dance Training Programs at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and CODARTS: Rotterdams Dansacademie in the Neatherlands.

Emily had an extensive professional career in modern dance. She toured Europe with Theatre Group DOX of the Netherlands and presented a solo by Agnija Seiko at the Prague Dance Festival. In Canada, Emily danced with Toronto’s Tilt Sound & Motion for 5 seasons, for Josh Beamish at the Vancouver International Dance Festival as well as many independent Toronto choreographers including Susie Burpie, Michael Caldwell and Sasha Ivanochko.

Emily has been teaching Ballet and Contemporary dance across Canada and Europe for 14 years. She is a graduate of the RAD’s Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and is a Registered Teacher with the RAD. She studied ballet pedagogy with the National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program and modern dance pedagogy with Limon great, Risa Steinburg, in New York.

Emily’s passion for teaching has been greatly influenced over the years by her own incredible teachers, namely Stelio Calagias (Toronto), Nikolai de Lusignan (Rotterdam) and Patricia Minor (Toronto). Emily feels so lucky to have called Joy of Dance home for the past 8 years and is so happy to now offer the RAD syllabus to Joy’s Adult and Teen dancers. Emily also loves coaching dance and performance skills and developing body awareness and safe movement practice with Ballroom dancers and competitive Figure Skaters.

“Don’t invest in being Pretty, invest in being Beautiful. Pretty is shallow and leaves nothing to discover. Beautiful is honest, rich and deep and makes you want to learn more. With Pretty the power lies in the observer, with Beautiful the power lies within the self.” -Risa Steinberg Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher

Julia Vokhmina

CDF Certified in Ballroom: International Style

Julia began her dance career in 1990 when she was 4 years of age in Yekaterinburg, Russia where she learned Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz and Tap. Her parents say Julia started to dance before she learned how to walk. She expanded her dance education to include International Ballroom and Latin styles. The most intense training Julia experienced was in Moscow with European World Champions Victor Nikovsky and Larisa Davidova.

In 2002, her dreams started to come true when she won the title of Moscow Youth Latin Champion and Semi-finalist at Russian Youth Latin National Championship, Latin Champion of Sweden, Poland, Germany, Finland, Ukraine, Belorussia, and Austria. Between 2003 and 2007, Julia was invited to study at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, where she earned a Diploma in Dance Choreography Historical and International Ballroom Dance.

In 2005, Julia was invited to dance for Canada. She became a 10 dance Amateur National Canadian Champion and placed 3rd in North America. Now Julia is a professional competitor, instructor and choreographer in International Ballroom and Latin dance with 20 years experience.

“Dancing is my life, my passion, my way of living. I could not exist without dance. It is a way to truly communicate myself. I love every minute of every class I’m in. I will dance as long as I live, as long as music exists, as long as I am free. Dancing is so much a part of me that I probably would not have been born if it did not exist. I dance to feel alive.”

Linda Walsh

Argentine Tango

Linda is a writer, artist, and dancer with a background in Ballet and Modern dance. In 2002, after 10 years of listening to Tango music and the first of several trips to Argentina, she began to dance Tango. She says, “To dance, you must become part of the music.”

Linda hosts the weekly Palermo Tango Club Milonga, contributes articles to dance magazines, and is a DJ for Tango events.

Irene Yacoub


At a very young age, Irene began her training with Cairo Opera Ballet. She was a member of their corps de ballet at the age of 16 and has a repertoire, including, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

After relocating to Canada and receiving her undergraduate degree from McGill University, Irene went back to dancing at Ballet Divertimento under the direction of Victoria Yakabov and Serge Petrosyan. She then performed The Nutcracker with Ballet Ouest as a member of their corps de ballet and completed summer intensives at Ballet Jorgen.

Irene continues to dance every day in studios across Toronto.

Irvin Washington

Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, heels

More about Irvin coming soon!


Melissa Clark

Reception – program support

We affectionately know Melissa as Mel. She not only is one of the bright faces at our reception desk, she is also a fantastic organizer, and the person who keeps track of the entire dance inventory at Joy of Dance. Mel has had a life long passion for dance and has trained in Ballet and Jazz. She also has a passion for fitness and is an active participant in our Ginga, Nia and Zumba classes.

After graduating from the Police Foundations with high honours, Melissa joined Joy of Dance in 2010 and now calls it home. Melissa shares her love of food, baking and bargain hunting. Melissa brings her First Nations background to our environment contributing to the diversity that is a robust part of our culture. If you ask Melissa what her most important job is, she will smile brightly and tell you it’s raising her son Jaden. He is as much a part of us as his mom.

“Success lies on the other side of fear…. I dance because I om not afraid to be exposed”

Elza Duarte

Reception & accounting

Elza is passionate about dancing. She started at Joy of Dance as a student and has since become an integral part of the Joy of Dance family on the administrative side of things. Elza not only works reception but also is an important part of ensuring registrations are up to date. With her eye for detail, Elza has proven invaluable in her assistance on the marketing side as well.

With a background in sociology and human resources, Elza finds it fascinating how dancing brings people together and connects them to the world around them. She loves how dancing brings the body, mind and soul together and how it makes her feel present and connected to the music when she dances. She believes dancing is a physical manifestation of the music. Currently she is learning to dance American Smooth and Rhythm Ballroom.

“I feel like the true me when dancing.”

Charlotte Ferrarei


More about Charlotte coming soon!

Amanda Luke


More about Amanda coming soon!

Kimberly Pilc

Studio Manager

Kim’s passion for dance started at an early age when she began to learn Tap, Jazz and Ballet. At age 13, she went to Randolph Dance Theatre. By 14, she was a performer and the assistant choreographer for Lisa Lougheed’s national tour. Kim’s dance experience spans both on and off stage. She has worked with Kevin Pugh, Dance Teq, Randolph Dance Academy, and is a graduate of the Earl Haig Performing Arts program where she continues to share her choreography with future performers. Kim is not only a teacher specializing in teaching kids and teens at Joy of Dance Centre, she is also the manager responsible for the day to day operations, systems, administrative staff, scheduling and rentals. Her creativity and ability to tell a story through dance has made her a central and in demand teacher at Joy of Dance. Kim is a graduate of Claude Watson/Earl Hague Performance Arts Program, RAD (Royal Academy of Dance), BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) with honors and highly commended. Kim is known for her commitment, sense of humour as well as her take no prisoner approach, which is what makes her such a popular teacher at Joy of Dance Centre.

“Dance is talking without using words; telling your story. It balances and heals out all the craziness and helps you catch your breath when you can’t breathe. It’s what keeps us going.”

Alex Sadler


More about Alex coming soon!

Valerie Sawada


More about Valerie coming soon!

Sam Thompson


More about Sam coming soon!

Natalie Chung

Social Media Energy Exchange

More about Natalie coming soon!

Mercedes D’Almeida

Social Media Energy Exchange

More about Mercedes coming soon!

Jennifer Lambert Jones


Jennifer Jones steps into her leadership role with both feet. She walks the talk, which comes from a core belief that good business is founded on solid connections and good relationships. She also believes that everything you do should be based on what you love and encourages others to live and work their passion. Jennifer’s love of dance and performance began in early childhood and stayed with her.

Her passion for dance combined with her natural qualities in leadership has placed her in academic and corporate management roles in Canada, Chicago and Ireland. With over 20 years of experience in business and the arts, Jennifer embraced the opportunity to co-own and then become CEO and Dean of Joy of Dance. Joy of Dance is more than business; it is home for every person that comes through the door to find the most direct path to JOY.

Jennifer is a 6-year board member of Danforth BIA and newly elected board member of Career Colleges Ontario. She is also the Chair of the Prince Edward Viaduct Bridge Lighting Project planned to be unveiled at the ceremonies of the Pan Am Games in July 2015.

Joyce Audrey Jones


Joyce Jones is the founder of Joy of Dance Center. It is the result of a vision developed from many years of involvement in the ballroom industry. Joyce believes that dancing is a significant counter for the many ills facing our society. She says words cannot explain the JOY of dancing and must be experienced much like an existential encounter, which provides the opportunity to connect another human being.

In order to bring this Joy of Dance to you, she recognized that skilled and competent teachers were needed. To this end she initiated the Joy of Dance Centre Ballroom Academy program. This course, taught by a faculty of professionals, provides graduates with recognized certification in the International Standard and American Smooth and Rhythm styles. Joyce wishes to thank and acknowledge Diane Jarmolow the originator of this new system of certification. Diane is the founder and current National Director of the Ballroom Dance Teachers College in San Francisco.

Joyce attributes her entrepreneurial spirit to her mentors, Dr. D.J. McCulloch and Professor Farrell Toombs (University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry). They encouraged her to go where angels fear to tread. Joyce has been a trailblazer in family therapy, working with learning disabled and autistic children. She was also one of the first initiators of group therapy observed behind a one-way mirror by a team of professionals from all over Canada.

One thing she knows for sure is: “Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other ….. secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another.” Martin Buber

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