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Get to know our faculty and staff

Crossings faculty members are committed to excellence in dance training, performance and mentorship.

  • KAREN SUDDS

    Msc DANCE science


    Owner/Director


    Raised in Banff, Karen had the privilege of both working and studying at The Banff Centre. This rich exposure to the fine arts fuelled Karen’s passion for art and led her to pursue a career in dance. Karen began her training at the University of Calgary and continued her studies in both Singapore and Australia where she focused her attention on “Liturgical dance”.  Upon returning to Canada in 1990, Karen founded the Christian Dance Fellowship of Canada to network dancers and further develop dance as a faith-expressed art form. Recognizing the growing need for quality dance training, which embraced a spiritual foundation, Karen began Crossings Dance Ministries, Canada’s first dance training centre of its kind. To provide valuable performance opportunities for aspiring dancers, 


    Karen founded Corps Bara Dance Theatre and remains on the Board of Directors.  In addition she is a Board member for Healthy Dancer Canada and a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science.  Karen holds her Pilates Mat Certification from Pilates Core Integration, her Pilates Method Alliance Certificate for Pilates for Youth and Level one of the Dance Teacher and Practitioner Training through Perfect Form Physiotherapy with Lisa Howell (2015).  


    She was awarded the 2011 International Award for Dance Ministry from the International Christian Dance Fellowship for her outstanding contributions in the field of Dance and Faith.

     

    Karen completed her Masters of Dance Science from Wolverhampton University, UK, in 2018. she is actively involved in developing leading edge dance training and safe dance practice. 


    “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great

    because of their passion.” ~ Martha Graham


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  • AINSleY SUDDS

    MA DANCE PEDAGOGY


    STUDIO DIRECTOR

    CYDC Company Manager


    MODERN & jazz


    From Calgary, Canada, Ainsley holds an Masters in Dance Technique Pedagogy from Middlesex University, London England – in which her research focused on Ballet & Modern Dance Training for Adolescent Dancers. As well, Ainsley holds a BA in Contemporary Dance from the University of Calgary. 

     

    Ainsley dance professionally with Corps Bara Dance Theatre and held the position of Artistic Director for Corps Bara Dance Theatre's Youth Company from 2008 - 2014. Currently, Ainsley is the Studio Director and dance instructor at Crossings Dance, is on the modern dance faculty at the School of Alberta Ballet, is a guest modern/contemporary dance instructor for the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks; guest teaches throughout the Calgary dance community; and is the Event Producer for Project Dance Calgary. 

     

    Having studied the classic modern dance technique, Limón, extensively through completing the Limon Institute of New York Professional Studies Program (2007-2008), and both Level One and Advanced Level of the Limon Workshop for Teachers, Ainsley’s teaching is greatly influenced by the principles and philosophies of this technique. Most recently, Ainsley attended the Peggy Baker Dance Educators Seminar in Toronto, Canada (2017).  

     

    Ainsley is passionate about mentorship and as a strong believer of the potential of the human body as an instrument to express and communicate through movement, Ainsley approaches dance holistically, believing that all aspects of dance training and performance are interwoven physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experiences. 


    "we are never more truly and profoundly human than when we dance" ~ jose limon

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  • KAthryn lee




    operations manageR


    tiny toes, jazz, lyrica, acro




    KATHRYN LEE HAS A ZEST FOR LIFE AND ASPIRES TO SHARE THE GIFT OF MOVEMENT WITH EVERYONE! SHE IS A PASSIONATE ADVOCATE OF THE GREAT JOY AND FULLNESS THAT DANCE CAN BRING BOTH FOR THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE COMMUNITY.

    KATHRYN BEGAN HER FORMAL DANCE TRAINING IN EDMONTON, AB AND COMPLETED HER HIGH SCHOOL YEARS IN CALGARY AT CROSSINGS DANCE, COMPLETING EXAMS IN RAD BALLET AND ISTD MODERN. SHE LATER OBTAINED A BFA IN DANCE AT BELHAVEN UNIVERSITY IN JACKSON, MS WHERE SHE GRADUATED SUMMA CUM LAUDE, AND HAS BEEN BUILDING ON HER FOUNDATIONS OF PEDAGOGY AND CHILD PSYCHOLOGY SINCE GRADUATION. KATHRYN IS A CERTIFIED ACRO INSTRUCTOR WITH ACROBATIC ARTS, AND HAS COMPLETED CERTIFICATIONS IN ZUMBA AND BARRE FITNESS.


    KATHRYN IS CURRENTLY DANCING WITH CORPS BARA DANCE THEATRE CALGARY, AND IN RECENT YEARS, HAS BEEN PRIVILEGED TO PERFORM WITH VARIOUS COMPANIES INCLUDING ENCORPS DANCE COLLECTIVE, CIC DANCE THEATRE, INLET DANCE THEATRE, CLEVELAND DANCE PROJECT, AND BELHAVEN UNIVERSITY’S DANCE TEAM. KATHRYN HAS EXPERIENCE TEACHING A VARIETY OF DANCE STYLES INCLUDING BALLET, JAZZ, HIP HOP, AND CREATIVE MOVEMENT. SHE IS THRILLED TO BE BACK TO THE CITY OF CALGARY AND EAGERLY ANTICIPATES THIS UPCOMING YEAR WITH CROSSINGS DANCE!


    “I BELIEVE THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE THING, BEYOND DISCIPLINE AND CREATIVITY IS DARING TO DARE.” - MAYA ANGELOU

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  • KRISTEN EISLER

    A.D.I.S.T.D. Ballet


    CYDC artistic Director


    BALLET


    KRISTEN BEGAN DANCING AT CROSSINGS DANCE AT THE AGE OF 3, TRAINING IN BALLET, JAZZ AND MODERN. SHE ATTENDED THE BANFF CENTRE SUMMER DANCE TRAINING PROGRAM AND WAS ACCEPTED INTO THE OKANAGAN SUMMER DANCE INTENSIVE IN KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA. KRISTEN PARTICIPATED IN PROJECT DANCE IN NEW YORK CITY IN 2006 AND 2008, AS WELL AS IN TORONTO IN 2009. IN THE FALL OF 2010 KRISTEN SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISHED HER R.A.D. ADVANCED 2 BALLET EXAMINATION. IN 2013 SHE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY WITH A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE MAJORING IN COMMUNICATIONS. SHE HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF CORPS BARA DANCE THEATRE IN BOTH THE YOUTH AND PROFESSIONAL COMPANIES, AND WAS REHEARSAL DIRECTOR FOR THE JUNIOR DIVISION OF CORPS BARA YOUTH DANCE THEATRE. KRISTEN HAS BEEN AWARDED BOTH HER ASSOCIATE AND ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA IN IMPERIAL BALLET FROM THE IMPERIAL SOCIETY OF TEACHERS AND DANCING AND LOOKS FORWARD TO ATTAINING HER LICENTIATE. CURRENTLY SHE IS THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE CROSSINGS YOUTH DANCE COMPANY AND ENJOYS TEACHING BALLET FULL TIME. 


    "Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire." ~ Unknown

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  • SHEAHAN KEINICK

    F.I.S.T.D. Ballet


    Ballet & jazz/modern


    Sheahan is honoured to have taught for 20 years at Crossings Dance. Sheahan is also the Movement Instructor for Ambrose University’s Fine Arts Drama Diploma program and has been sharing her love and passion as a dance educator for 30 years. 

     

    Sheahan trained in Calgary, Toronto, Victoria, L.A., and England studying ballet, contemporary, jazz, African, swing, character, tap, and musical theatre styles and danced professionally in independent projects throughout North America and the U.K. She is a graduate of Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, England, where she was invited to teach during her final semester. Sheahan trained and practiced as a Registered Massage Therapist and Certified Decongestive Therapist which allows a deeper understanding of instruction to impart to her students. Sheahan has attained her Fellowship in Imperial Ballet, and Licentiate in Modern Theatre with the ISTD. She is grateful to have held the position of choreographer for the Badlands Passion Play for the 2019 season.

     

    Volunteering as a member of the Healthy Dancer Canada’s Dancer Screening committee and having co-presented at the 2018 HDC conference, Sheahan is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of a team that brings the communities of science and dance closer to a place of essential understanding, education, growth, and unification. 

     

    Sheahan is proud to have taught many of Calgary’s emergent dancers and honoured to see so many of her students involved in professional dance communities around the world.

     

    “Behind every dancer who believes in themselves, is a dancer teacher who believed in them first.” ~unknown

     

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  • SHIRLEY AGATE-PROUST

    F.I.S.T.D. Ballet


    Ballet


    Mrs. Proust received her early training in England at the Arts Educational School and Graduated from the London College of Dance and Drama with Distinction. During this time she gained her Associate qualifications in Ballet, Modern, Tap, National and Ballroom. She has taught throughout the world spending time in New Zealand helping to develop the modern work that was newly introduced.

    She has continued to further her qualifications, holding Fellowship status and Examiner for Ballet, Modern, Tap and National for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

    She is the only Quadruple examiner in Canada, and very few hold this status. She travels extensively as an Examiner for these faculties visiting such places as Australia, South Africa, Portugal, Mexico, Italy and Malaysia to name a few, as well as North America. In the past she has taught for the University of Calgary, was Dance Mistress for Decidedly Jazz, ran the Imperial Baroque Dance Company and ran her own school, Calgary Imperial School of Ballet. Shirley worked with the School of Alberta Ballet for 25 years and was Head of the Regular Division. Now semi retired Shirley continues to examine internationally, visiting Japan and China in the last two years.

    Shirley is part of the faculty at Crossings Dance and has developed the ballet program at BALANCE Studio in Okotoks.

    Shirley works with teachers working to upgrade their teaching status and coaches students for competition and examinations. This summer Mrs. Proust will be upgrading her examiner status to examine up to Fellowship level in the ISTD Ballet Faculty.


    "Her dream becomes reality, her passion is ignited, her future is bright. 

    Dance is about more then the steps, it is about life lessons." ~ Unknown

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  • LAURA BARCELO

    A.I.S.T.D. MODERN



    CYDC Rehearsal Director


    Laura Barcelo is a Calgary-based dancer, teacher and choreographer whose love of dance was nurtured at a young age through membership with Corps Bara Youth Dance Company and later, the Professional Company. With a Distinguished Artist Award, Laura earned her BA in Psychology with minors in Dance, Neuroscience and Social Witness Ministry from Hope College, Michigan. Studying under professionals associated with the Ailey School, LINES training program, Joffrey Ballet, Lehrer Dance, Nikolais/Louis, Pilobolus, and Giordano Dance Chicago opened her eyes to the vast world of dance. Pursuing her everlasting love of learning, Laura’s intensive training includes Yin Yue Dance Company, MADBOOTS, GagaDancers, Kidd Pivot, Steps on Broadway and Peridance Capezio Center, Hubbard Street, Transformation Danse, Hofesh Shechter, and J-SIK Movements.

     Laura holds certifications in the Modern Theatre Syllabus with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and Module 1 Acrobatic Arts. In addition to teaching Modern/Jazz and Rehearsal Directing for Crossings Youth Dance Company, Laura teaches Modern at the School of Alberta Ballet and AcroDance at Alberta Dance Academy. 

     Laura maintains her freelance performance career in Calgary. Most notably are her seasons with Corps Bara Dance Theatre (2013-2017), three Annual Alberta Dance Festivals (2015, 2016, 2017), the Ignite! Festival of Emerging Artists (2016) and “Fall of the Leaf” Premiere by J-SIK Movements & Purposely Soulful (2017). 

    Being creative through dance reminds her that everyone was created in God’s image…because, “In the beginning, God created..”


     "You are unique...and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost." ~ Marty Graham  

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  • VALENTIA DIMITRIOU



    CONTEMPORARY/MODERN



    Born and raised in Calgary, Valentia Dimitriou is a 2014 Alumni of the University of Calgary and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance (Honors), concentrated in Choreography & Performance. With a background focused on Ballet, Contemporary and Physical Theatre, Dimitriou has also trained at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center New York, Toronto Dance Theatre, Transformations Danse Montréal and ImpulsTanz International Dans Festival Vienna. Valentia has been seen performing with Corps Bara Dance Theatre, J-SIK Movements, Dancers’ Studio West and many individual dance artists in and around the city.  She has most recently been seen performing at the Calgary’s International Fluid Festival (2018), as well as the Stream of Dance Festival in Regina (2019). As an educator, Valentia has dance teaching experience, teaching ballet, modern/contemporary and jazz styles to students of all ages. She successfully completed her Advanced 2 RAD ballet examination through the International School of Ballet (2010), and received her Canadian Dance Teacher’s Full Membership teaching certificate in 2016. Dimitriou has a passion for using her experiences and knowledge to inspire and educate young dancers, and has an interest in pursuing her RAD certification in the near future. With ten years of teaching, and a continuous passion for performance, Dimitriou is always looking forward to future artistic opportunities.


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  • JOHI duguid

    A.I.S.T.D. TAP


    Tap



    JOHI GREW UP DANCING IN CALGARY AND ENJOYED A VARIETY OF AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES! SHE TRAINED IN ALL DISCIPLINES OF DANCE AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED RAD BALLET EXAMS UP TO THE ADVANCED LEVEL.  SHE WAS VERY INVOLVED IN THE COMPETITIVE STREAM OF DANCE WHICH INVOLVED TRAVELLING

    WESTERN CANADA AS WELL AS THE USA. JOHI ALSO HAD THE PLEASURE OF BEING INVOLVED IN A VARIETY OF

    MUSICALS INCLUDING SMALL SCALE FEATURETTES OF “MOULIN ROUGE”, “HAIRSPRAY” AND “WICKED” AND FULL

    STAGE PRODUCTIONS OF “GOOD NEWS!”, “GUYS & DOLLS” AND “THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE” WHILE WORKING

    CLOSELY WITH CANADIAN TALENT SUCH AS STAN LESK AND KEVIN AICHELE. JOHI BEGAN HER TEACHING CAREER AT 20 YEARS OLD AND SOON FOUND A HOME AT CROSSINGS. HERE SHE HAS GROWN AND BEEN INSPIRED BY THE SURROUNDING FACULTY TO CONTINUE HER DANCE EDUCATION. 

    SHE IS CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS COMPLETING THE ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA TAP EXAM IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND

    DESIRES TO CONTINUE HER PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXCELLENCE BEYOND THAT! 


    "THE HIGHER UP YOU GO, THE MORE MISTAKES YOU ARE ALLOWED. RIGHT AT THE TOP, IF YOU MAKE ENOUGH OF THEM, IT'S CONSIDERED TO BE YOUR STYLE." ~ FRED ASTAIRE

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  • RAE-LEE BROWER

    BFA, TTP Dip (NBS), ISTD, RAD


    ballet & tiny toes


    Rae-Lee is a dance instructor who is devoted to aspiring young dance artists. Her goal is to create healthy and enthusiastic dancers who love art and will positively influence the world of dance.  Rae-Lee began her ballet and contemporary training at Crossings Dance Studio. She danced for six years in Corps Bara Dance Youth Company traveling around Alberta, Toronto and New York City.  In 2012, she began her training in contemporary dance at Simon Fraser University where she furthered her skills in modern dance and choreographic composition. Rae-Lee moved to Toronto in 2014 to learn from renowned faculty at Canada's National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program. During her training at NBS she obtained her teaching qualifications with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and the Royal Academy of Dance. In 2017, Rae-Lee graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Contemporary dance from Simon Fraser and her Teacher Training Diploma. 

    Rae-Lee is excited to be returning to Crossings to begin spreading her new knowledge she has gained while also learning from the teachers and students at Crossings and around the province. 

     

    " It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."

    ~ Albert Einstein

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  • emily tonne


    tiny toes, tap & musical theatre


    Emily started dancing when she was 3 years old in Valleyview, AB. She moved to Red Deer in 2005 and started dancing competitively at Dance Traxx, and later Joy’s School of Dance in Innisfail, where she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and musical theatre. She danced at various competitions and local events in Alberta, British Columbia and Anaheim, California.

    Emily successfully completed multiple RAD ballet, and ADAPT tap and jazz exams before moving to Calgary in 2015 to start dancing at Crossings where she successfully completed her ISTD Intermediate exam in ballet, tap and modern.

    Emily has been involved in multiple full theatre productions through homeschool groups and in addition performed in numerous productions with Christian Youth Theatre in Red Deer. She danced as an extra in Jeunesse Classique Ballet Society’s Sleeping Beauty ballet in Calgary. She has also taken many voice lessons and various theatre classes over the years. In spring 2019 she successfully completed her Grade 6 Musical Theatre exam through Trinity College London.


    Emily enjoyed dancing in CYDC for 3 years, and has also had the opportunity to perform onstage and take dance workshops at Disneyland and dance in the parade at Walt Disney World.



    Emily will continue to further her training at Crossings and has also been accepted into the Tri-Tone Tap Performance Troupe this year. She looks forward to continuing teaching, working towards new goals to improve her ability as a teacher and seeing how God may use her to glorify Him through the arts.


    "Everybody can dance, it's the drive and the passion that makes you a dancer." -Unknown


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  • Sandro rajic


    strength & conditioning



    Sandro Rajic is a Strength and Conditioning coach who has been in the athletics and movement industry for over ten years. Sandro has coached and developed athletes from youth level to professional, in an extensive array of sports. Sandro is currently pursuing his MSc in Strength and Conditioning with a focus on movement proficiency and hip and knee mechanics. Sandro’s work in the field of rehabilitation has allowed him to understand movement from not only a power and speed context, but also from a precision and control. For the last five years, Sandro has formed a strong passion for working dancers and dance itself. This breadth of experience has enabled Sandro to see movement from a unique perspective and has formed the basis of his philosophy. 


    "Dancers are athletes of God." ~ Albert Einstein  

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