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.
Joy of Dance star

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 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.

Lorenz Banlawi

Hip Hop

Since the age of 3, Lorenz-Bre Perez Banlawi (Lorenz to his students and peers) has demonstrated tremendous appreciation and fervor for the arts. He always expressed his interest in a career in performing, even at such a young age. With a natural inclination toward dancing, singing, and acting, he began his journey of self-teaching in the realm of performing arts.

Now in his early 20s, Lorenz is taking formal training with DARK Dance. In addition to hip hop, he is trained in popping, locking, house, and dancehall, and is currently training in ballet, contemporary, jazz funk, and commercial and street styles. With numerous live stage and video performances- including a lead role in DARK Dance’s latest production Junkyard Bandits- Lorenz is an aspiring young artist who is hungry for fulfillment in his triple threat career. In his dance career specifically, he is dedicated to training as expansively as possible in order to explore his own unique sense of movement.

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

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.”

Mark Brenyo

Irish Step Dancing

Mark started his dancing career at the age of five under the direction of Alison Reaney-Brown at the Reaney Academy of Irish Dance. After imitating Michael Flatley around the house, the 20-year Irish Dance journey began. Competitive highlights include 5 x Eastern Canadian Oireachtas Champion, Top-10 North American Irish Dance Championship Results, and Top-20 World Irish Dance Championship Finishes. Mark finished his competitive career at the Woodgate –Shamrock Academy, concluding with the 2015 World Irish Dance Championships in Montreal.

Mark completed the demanding TCRG certification in September 2017, becoming a certified Irish Dance Instructor. When not choreographing steps for his fellow RNT dancers and others, he works as a Corporate Actuary at SunLife Financial. Mark looks forward to teaching future generations of confident dancers, judging, and giving all dancers a real love for the sport.

Danielito Guajardo

Argentine Tango, Salsa, Latin Dances, Casino Rueda

Daniel Guajardo known as Danielito, was born in Mendoza, Argentina. He has been involved in the field of dance for over ten years teaching, choreographing producing shows and acting.

Daniel is very well known for his quick movements and intricate footwork having won numerous dance competitions in salsa and other dances , appeared in many music videos such as “Phenomenal Woman” Amy Sky, as well as TV shows and Hollywood movies being the latest one “Take the Lead” starting Antonio Banderas, where he danced with his dance partner Natalli Reznik ,“Cirque Du Sole” Nelly Furtado dancer. Through his work Daniel had the opportunity to work with many well known personalities, in 2001 he danced in TANGO REVUE produced by International star Nelson Avila . “Forever Tango” Broadway show , “Tango Bar” Film etc. Currently Daniel resides in Toronto where he shares his passion for the art of dance and his experience in Salsa, merengue, mambo, cumbia, bachata and the most sophisticated and sensual dances of all times, The Argentine Tango.

Maya Gale-Buncel


Maya Gale-Buncel is an emerging contemporary dance artist currently based in Toronto, Ontario. She most recently performed original choreography by Dawson Lloyd at the 2021 “The Garage TO” Showing. In addition, she has performed work by Shameka Blake (Artists in Motion) at shows such as 1234 DanceArts in 2019 and 2020, and the 2019 Symphony Spooktacular (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) at Roy Thompson Hall. Maya trained in Royal Academy of Dance Ballet to the Advanced Foundation level with Emily Tench and is currently completing the Dance Performance Program at George Brown College, where she has studied with renowned instructors Derek Sangster, Hanna Kiel, Allison Bradley, Nicola Pantin, Kathleen Rea, Amanda Davis, and Laetitia Clement. She has also valued the opportunity to work with notable choreographers Alyssa Martin (Rock Bottom Movement) and Jose Carret (Danza Corpus) for Unleashed 2021 and 2022. Outside of college, Maya trains with instructors and choreographers Dawson Lloyd, Lianne Tammi, and Kimberly Pilc. Maya is excited to continue making and deepening connections as she grows as a teacher, choreographer, performer, and artist.

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


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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

Lee Jong

Hip Hop & Contemporary

Lee Jong found his passion for the arts at a young age. His journey in dance began when he was nine years old in American Style Ballroom, later branching out into Hip Hop and Contemporary where he has won a variety of awards for his work. In 2014 Lee joined Culture Shock Toronto, a not-for-profit dance organization, where he joined the artistic team as Dance Captain. Most recently, Lee has taken over Artistic Direction for Culture Shock Toronto. In the past 3 years, he has had the opportunity to perform in a variety of local shows as well as internationally in locations such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Looking to the future Lee hopes to continue to create and to work with amazing organizations.

Heather Kay

Zumba, Bellydance, Kizomba

Heather is an experienced instructor and dancer. She began dancing at the age of four in her hometown near Barrie.  Growing up, she trained and competed in Jazz, Tap, Stage, Lyrical, and Hip Hop styles. She later expanded her repertoire to include Belly dance, Burlesque, Samba, and Latin rhythms. Heather currently performs with Diva Diverse Dance Company throughout Toronto and the GTA.

After completing her Honors Degree in Psychology at the University of Guelph where she became a Zumba Fitness instructor, Heather moved to Toronto to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Wellness and Health Promotion.  Her energetic, creative and easy to follow style made her classes one of the most sought after exercise dance classes in the city.

Heather has worked on multiple productions as a choreographer, instructor, and performer.  She has taught people of all ages and enjoys the unique experience that each dancer brings to class.  In 2013, She founded her dance fitness company, which allows her genuine appreciation for the language of movement and the journey of ‘self’ to transform people in her classes.

Milena Kolarova

CDF Certified in Ballroom: American and International, Judge for International Ballroom & Latin Dances

She is a Ballroom & Latin Dance Teacher, DanceSport Competition judge, and has been teaching Beginner through Advanced levels for 20 years.
Milena is one of those rare individuals who has the ability to see and bring out the very best qualities in people.

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 30 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 Fellow member of the CDF in International Ballroom & Latin and American Smooth & Rhythm. She is also a certified CDF/WDC competition adjudicator. She frequently competes with her students as Pro-Am and competes professionally in Hustle. Annie, along with Steven James have recently been inducted into Disco America’s Hustle Hall of Fame.

Amy Lintunen


Amy Lintunen is a Toronto based dance artist who explores the elements of storytelling through movement, rhythm and spoken word. Originally from Thunder Bay, Amy co-owned a dance studio with her sister for over ten years, before heading off to France to study at Off Jazz. Since moving to Toronto, she has performed with What’s On? Tap!, Ismailova Theatre of Dance, The Parahumans, Toronto Rhythm Initiative, Dianne Montgomery and as a Tap Percussionist, with The Red Rhythm, The Charlie Ringus Trio, and a featured soloist with the Jason Raso Quartet in Jazz Goes to the Movies.
Amy is co-founder of Vintage Taps, an entertainment group, focusing on tap dancing and singing songs from the Vaudeville Era. She is also artistic director of Sisu Dance Projects, which aims to educate and entertain through tap workshops, choreography and performance pieces focusing on social justice. While Tap Dance is her main passion, Amy also loves working in movement and contemporary dance.

Amy is continuing her studies, part time in New York City at the American Tap Dance Foundation Tap Teacher Training Program, studying with Barbara Duffy & Brenda Bufalino, among others.

Amy believes that tap dance gives voice to the full human experience. She enjoys teaching students to find their voice and creating performances that speak for others.

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Emma Lu Romerein


Trained and educated at Ryerson University, The Toronto Dance Theatre and the National Ballet School of Canada, Emma Lu combines a dynamic skill set and celebrated performance experience with breadth of knowledge in choreography, composition, movement, anatomy and theory to engage and propel her in all of her studio sessions. Emma’s keen understanding of movement and 14 years of performance in dance, theatre and film combined with being a mother of a wonderful little girl fully complements her strong desire to successfully teach both children and pre-professionals.

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.”

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.”

Will Sadler

Hip Hop

Willem Sadler is a street styles and contemporary creator based in Toronto, Ontario. Willem has had the opportunity to perform and show his work Internationally, most recently in New York City. As a young dancer and performer his drive has always come from his love for movement performance and his connection to music. Following many years solely training in street styles, he expanded his training in this artform, beginning to train in a multitude of styles. Willem defines himself as a versatile dancer/creator and strives to squash the separation of ‘styles’ and present dance as movement without restrictions. Willem is grateful to have the opportunity to express freely as an artist and contribute towards enriching the Toronto dance community with his knowledge in both Contemporary dance and Hiphop.

Lianne Tammi

Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop

Lianne Tammi is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer based out of Toronto. She recently performed in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical with Starvox Entertainment. Other theatre credits include FAME with Just For Laughs in Montreal. She has choreographed and danced for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as well as performed for artists including Keshia Chanté and Blake McGrath.

Lianne is recognized for her work ethic, versatility and performance quality. She is an honours graduate of the Performance Dance program at Ryerson University, where she received extensive training in technical disciplines including ballet, contemporary and jazz. Upon her graduation, she has been training and teaching a variety of more commercial disciplines such as jazz funk and heels. She has recently choreographed and produced a full length contemporary show entitled Divulgence.

Hardworking, creative and enthusiastic, she is always striving to learn something new and pass it on to her many students across the country.

Emily Tench

Teen and Adult Ballet Program Director

Dancing and teaching bring Emily inspiration, motivation and great happiness. Through laughter and hard work, Emily teaches safe, strong, beautiful technique and artistly in her classes. Emily has been teaching Ballet and Contemporary dance across Canada and Europe since 2002.

Emily’s dance training began at 10 at a small ballet school in British Columbia where she trained daily in Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Ballet and Modern Dance. She went on to graduate from the Professional Dance Training Programs at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and CODARTS: Rotterdams Dansacademie in the Neatherlands. After dancing professionally in modern dance companies across Europe and Canada for 8 years, Emily decided to focus her attention on Teaching.

Emily next graduated from the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program offered by the RAD and is a registered teacher with them. 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. As a registered RAD teacher Emily attends continuing professional development courses to upgrade and further her pedagogic knowledge every year.

Emily feels very lucky to have called Joy of Dance home since 2009 and is proud to have founded the Adult and Teen RAD Ballet Examination Programs there. Emily also enjoys coaching dance and performance as well as alignment and safe movement practice to 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

Naya Valdellon


Naya started her dance training in Manila, Philippines. She moved to Toronto, where she took ballet exams in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus up to the Advanced foundation level. She also has a Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She is currently in the accelerated Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School and enjoys teaching ballet to young children and teens.

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.

Rachel Zinck


Rachel has spent her life in a studio. Growing up she trained full-time as a dancer; competed regionally and nationally, winning special awards and scholarships; as well as successfully completed RAD vocational examinations. Following high school, she completed the two-year Performance Studies program at George Brown training full time with Che Chung, and then immediately began a professional career as lead dancer for Carnival Cruise line as well as working as a freelance performer for both stage and film/television.

Rachel later attended the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School, where she benefited greatly from each unique opportunity that NBS offered her such as teaching ballet for an outreach program with the Boys and Girls Club of Scarborough; being hired as a full-time ballet assistant and day counsellor for both the 2010 and 2011 Professional Summer Schools; teaching for special events at NBS and being hired to teach in the Associate Program during her final year. She graduated from the TTP successfully completing her RAD Registered Teacher’s Status exams, Cecchetti Associate teaching exam, ISTD National Associate teaching exam and the Vocational
dance exams within each syllabus.

Rachel has become a sought-after professional ballet teacher throughout the GTA, working with young students as well as coaching pre-professionals, training dancers in professional ballet programs, preparing and entering students for ballet examinations (RAD and Cecchetti), private coaching, creating original choreography for performances and competitions, and was brought on to be assistant choreographer for the Hart House Theatre’s production of “The Great American Trailer Park Show”.

As lifelong learner, she continues to stay current and knowledgeable, partaking in ballet specific conferences and events such as the En Avant DTC, the RAD’s launch course for their new “Discovering Repertoire” program as well as receiving certification in Marie Walton-Mahon’s Progressing Ballet Technique (Junior, Senior and Advanced programs), first in August 2016 when she first came to Toronto and again in July 2018.

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


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.”

Grecia Harrington


More about Grecia coming soon!

Amanda Luke


More about Amanda coming soon!

Sam Thompson


More about Sam 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.

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

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.

Jennifer is the principle oboist in the Toronto Community Orchestra and is the proud owner of a Laubin oboe.

Kimberly Pilc

Studio Director

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.”

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