Summer Faculty

MEGAN LAWSON

Megan Lawson is a whirlwind of passion, creativity and humor. She grew up studying tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater, contemporary and hip-hop in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta. In 2006, the young Canadian moved to Los Angeles and immersed herself in the dance scene. Megan became a member of the dance crew ‘Fanny Pak’ seen on America’s Best Dance Crew and since has been choreographing, performing, teaching and assisting in a variety of mediums. Megan’s style is a melting pot of her background in dance. This fusion allows her movement to be diverse, playful, and full of storytelling and musicality.  Megan is the executive choreographer behind Madonna’s “Rebel Heart Tour”, and her other recent credits include LALA Land, KENZO, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Shania Twain, Ricky Martin, Golden Globes, Cirque Du Soleil.

Other Credits Include:  Missy Elliot, Primetime Emmy Awards, Ellen Degeneres, Grouplove, Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, Mobbed, Dancing with the Stars, Cirque Du Soleil, American Idol, Missy Elliott, Yelle, Natasha Beddingfield, Toni Braxton, MTV’s Video Music Awards, Teen Vogue, Chipmunks 3, Honey 2, New Balance Athletics, LA Fashion week, So You Think You Can Dance, Ils Dansent and the Fanny Pak

MATT CADY

Matt Cady is the creator and choreographer for the world-renowned dance crew, Fanny Pak, who starred on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, season 2. In 2008, Fanny Pak became the first dance crew to ever receive an award at the MTV Video Music Awards. More recently, the dance crew also filmed dance sequences for the new movie, Honey 2. Matt choreographed the music videos “Truly In Love” by Lil’ Mama (feat. Fanny Pak), and “China Doll” by Natalise. He’s choreographed live stage performances for artists such as Shoshana Bean, Ty, Natalise, and under the direction of Brian Friedman, Lauren Hildebrandt. He’s also assisted choreographed on the kid’s television show “Hip Hop Harry”.

JAMES KINNEY

James has been performing professionally since the age of 15. He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and began his classical training with The Florida Ballet, later melding his training into Jazz and Musical Theater. His Broadway credits include: Fosse, Dance of Death, Barry Manilow’s Harmony and the most recent revival of Sweet Charity, starring Christina Applegate, where he also served as the production’s Assistant Dance Captain. He continued preserving the “Fosse style” when he became the Dance Captain for choreographer Wayne Cilento’s First National Tour of Sweet Charity, starring Molly Ringwald. In continuing his choreographic accomplishments, James, alongside Broadway legend  Donna McKechnie, created the dynamic movement for The Hollywood Bowl’s Guys and Dolls, starring Jessica Biel. The duo would also work to choreograph a new musical; Cross That River, premiering at the New York Musical Festival. Further musical theatre choreographic and directorial credits include: “I Do, I Do!” at the Old Globe, Hello, Dolly! starring Sally Struthers, Disney’s Newsies, Chicago the Musical, West Side Story, White Christmas, Crazy for You, Seussical the Musical, as well as countless other productions around the U.S. In addition to choreography, James continues to teach at New York City’s premier dance studios, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and Peridance.

ALEX NORDIN

Alex Nordin began studying the art of musical theatre as a child, and has been performing professionally since the age of 17, first starting in the Florida theatre circuit. After graduating from Flagler College with a degree in public relations and advertising, and spending a handful of months calling London, England his home base, he relocated to New York City and resumed his musical theatre career. Alex has danced at some of New York City’s most iconic theatres and jazz venues, sharing the stage with Tony, Grammy, Olivier and Emmy Award Winners, including Sally Struthers, Billy Porter, Jarrod Emick, Alice Ripley and Leslie Odom, Jr, to name a few.

AMBER PERKINS

Amber Ann Perkins was born and raised in Norwich NY, where she began her dance training. She went on to the University of Brockport and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she received her BFA in Dance in 1994 and her BS in Economics in 1995. Amber performed with the Danscore Company as a principle dancer for three years. As a choreographer, Amber has worked with various companies and dance institutions across the United States and Canada, including Williams/Henry Dance in Kansas City. Amber is the owner of the nationally distinguished Amber Perkins School of the Arts and is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Phoenix Project Dance. Ms. Perkins has won many choreography awards, including the very prestigious Elan Award. The Elan Award is presented annually by Dance Spirit Magazine and Capezio, honoring one choreographer who has changed the way we view dance. Previous Elan Award recipients are Graciella Danielle, Jerry Mitchell, Ann Reinking and Rob Marshall and Susan Stroman. Amber’s work has also been recognized in Dancer Magazine and Dance Studio Life.

RYAN LEE

Independent Dance Artist Ryan Lee was born in London, Ontario. Ryan graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Dance, under the direction of Nadia Potts. He has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers; Emily Molnar, Stepĥen Pier, Tino Segal, Robert Glumbek, Roberto Camaplella, Meneka Thakker, Darryl Tracey, D.A Hoskins, Darcey Callision. Ryan has also been able to work with such companys as Proartedanza, Toronto Dance Theater, Keaja d’Dance, Anandum, Larchaud Dance Project and The Chimera Project. Ryan is an in demand teacher throughout the Greater Toronto Area and his work as a choreographer has taken him to Western Canada and parts of Northern Ontario.

KEVIN HOWE

Kevin Howe has been dancing since the young age of 5. After 14 years of training in various styles of dance including Jazz, Tap, Hip hop, acro and contemporary in his hometown Ottawa, ON he decided to make the move to Toronto to begin his professional career.

Since then he has taken the dance world by storm from all angles, working with big names like Girlicious, Blake McGrath, Ke$ha, and Lady Gaga to name a few. On top of his stage performances, he has also ventured into film. His film and TV credits include Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure with Disney’s Ashley Tisdale, CW’s Hellcats, and Disney’s Frenemies.

LOURDES HERNANDEZ

Lourdes Hernandez was born in Havana, Cuba. She began her ballet training at the age of 10 at the Cuban National Ballet School. Upon graduation she was selected to join the Ballet Nacional de Cuba where she danced for fifteen years under the directorship of Alicia Alonso, touring extensively through Europe and Latin America. Over those years she had the opportunity to perform in an extensive classical repertoire including Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty among others.

She was a founding member of the revitalizing dance movement in Cuba known as “La Joven Guardia” (The Young Guard) directed by Laura Alonso where she dance principal roles in La Fille Mal Gardee, Les Sylphides, Le Gran Pas de Quatre and The Dying Swan. Between 1993 and 1997 Lourdes also performed as a guest artist with Teatro Bellini di Napoli, Italy, under the artistic direction of Tatto Russo.

BREE WASYLENKO

Bree Wasylenko knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a performer. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, she trained in many styles, including jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, modern and hip hop. In order to pursue a career as a professional dancer, Bree knew that she couldn’t stay in Calgary – so in late 2007 she made the life-changing move to Toronto. Since then she has trained under some of the best in Canada, including Luther Brown and Linda Garneau. She was blessed to be a part of Linda’s renowned company, Helix Dance Project, in both the ’08 and ’09 seasons. She has also had the privilege of working with, and being an assistant to, Sean Cheesman, Sabrina Matthews, and Clarence Ford on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Seasons 1, 2, and 4.

SHANNA CIPRESSI

Since the age of five Shanna’s feet have been moving leading her into all aspects of dance.For the past 20 years hip hop has been the main focus of Shanna’s dream. The dream to dance professionally has brought Shanna into contact with some of the industries finest. She has had the pleasure of working alongside Luther Brown, Fatima Robinson, Marty Kudelka, Nick Bass, Misha Gabriel, Laurie-Anne Gibson and Marguerite Derricks, just to name a few. So far Shanna’s experiences as a dancer have introduced her to the movie industry; dancing in such movies as ‘Shall We Dance ‘, ‘ Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen ‘, ‘ My Big Fat Greek Wedding ‘, and as a principle dancer in ‘ Honey ‘. She has danced in a number of music videos, award shows, industrial shows and commercials. As a choreographer her work can be seen everywhere from studio dance groups to live shows and commercials. She has taught numerous classes and workshops throughout North America and has had the honour of teaching on Jump dance convention. Shanna has had the pleasure to choreograph on The Family Channels hit television show ‘ The Next Step ‘. Innovation and creativity are amongst Shanna’s strengths as a choreographer. Recently Shanna is proud founder and co-director of Canada’s newest dance competition ‘ The Knockout Dance Challenge ‘

ASHLEY SCHOFIELD

Ashley is a passionate and motivated teacher and choreographer, and has danced for over twenty years. Her personal competitive achievements as a student have extended into the United States, as well as in Canada, winning numerous overall awards and championships. Miss Schofield has trained across North America with notable teachers and choreographers, and has memorable performing experiences in Las Vegas, New York City and LA. Ashley now passes her love of dance onto her students across the GTA, as well as her university varsity team at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). She has been both a guest choreographer and head coach of the team for the past four years.