Faculty

NICOLE JACKLIN BLAKE R.A.D., C.D.T.A., Jr. Int. Acrobatique

Nicole grew up competing and taking dance exams under the instruction of Joan Dorothy and Sheila Vecchiarelli at the Simcoe Dance Academy. She successfully completed exams with the Royal Academy of Dance, Imperial Society of Dance, and Canadian Dance Teachers Association in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Modern. Nicole began her teaching qualifications with the Royal Academy of Dance and the Canadian Dance Teachers Association in 1998 at which time she was teaching for Simcoe Dance Academy and The Village Dance and Theatre School. Recognizing a need for competitive and exam based dancing in Alliston and Tottenham she founded the Nicole Jacklin School of Dance in 1999. She has since entered hundreds of successful students into dance exams as well as choreographed numerous award winning competitive routines. Under her instruction students have auditioned and been accepted into several prestigious dance programs with the National Ballet of Canada, Sundance, Quinte Ballet School, George Brown Collage, and York University, to name a few. Nicole has over 17 years of experience educating and inspiring children in dance. She has worked with numerous dance professionals in both the commercial and classical dance. Nicole's choreography has been recognized at several competitions winning best choreography and most entertaining awards. Nicole is continuously upgrading and evolving her technical, creative, and performance skills by attending conventions, workshops, as well as finalizing her Acrobatique certification. Nicole's love of dance began when she was 5 years old, she feels incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to pass this love and passion onto her students.

THERESE NICHOLAS B.F.A., B.Ed., R.A.D., I.S.T.D., C.D.T.A.

Therese has received a BFA in Dance from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Education from York University specializing in Dance. She is a fully qualified Ballet Teacher from the Royal Academy of Dance and has entered numerous students in exams who have achieved successful results. Therese has performed in various Ryerson University dance productions and danced with Carnival Cruise Lines. Therese loves challenging her students with her award winning competitive choreography and inspiring them to reach their goals and be the best they can be.

KELSEY LEONARD Jr. Inter. Acrobatique

Kelsey has been dancing since she was old enough to stand on two feet. It all began in 1999 when Nicole Jacklin School of Dance first opened their doors. After many years of training in ballet, modern, lyrical, jazz, musical theatre, tap, acro, and hiphop, she decided to pursue dance at a competitive level. She has completed many C.D.T.A. and R.A.D. exams including her Advanced 1 R.A.D. ballet exam. At the age of 14, she became a student teacher. This experience inspired her to become a full-time teacher and competitive choreographer. On many occasions, she has won awards for her unique choreography. Kelsey has most recently been certified as a Junior Acrobatique Acro/Dance Teacher. She is working towards completing the Intermediate Acrobatique Acro/Dance Teacher certification and the I.S.S.A. personal training certification. Kelsey is very excited to be sharing her love and passion for dance with her students.

JILLIAN EISENER B.F.A., B.Ed.

Contemporary dance artist, arts-based educator and dance instructor, Jillian Eisener has a thriving passion for dance. She started dancing in her hometown of Alliston with the Nicole Jacklin School of Dance with a focus on ballet technique. She studied various forms of dance and completed several exams with the Canadian Dance Teacher's Association, and the Royal Academy of Dance. With a keen interest in expanding her dance knowledge, Eisener trained with the Quinte Ballet School, Toronto Dance Theatre and internationally at the ImPulsTanz Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria. Eisener continued her education at York University where she completed her Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in Dance. While there she found a love for contemporary and modern dance and had the opportunity to perform as a member of the York Dance Ensemble, York University's preprofessional dance company. Throughout her education, she was inspired by artists Julia Sasso, Darcey Callison, Holly Small, and John Ottmann, to name a few. Upon graduation, Jillian has continued dancing as a freelance artist, some of her jobs including working with choreographer Catherine Murray, Simcoe Contemporary Dancers, and as a performer for the international hit band Dragonette. In 2014, Jillian graduated from York University's Bachelor of Education program where she focused on integrating the arts into the elementary classroom. She is now a certified teacher and hopes to continue her career teaching dance both in the studio and school setting. Sharing her passion for dance is Jillian's raison d'être and she looks forward to a long career calling out “5, 6, 7, 8!”

Alexandra Herrington B.A., RECE

Alex grew up dancing in Aurora, Ontario at the Jaymor School of Dance with the competitive team the “Aurora Ariel’s”. Her training focused on Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Musical Theatre. Her love of classical dance led her to train at the Martha Hicks School of Ballet and Performing Dance Arts; she also spent some time training at the Quinte Ballet School. While training at Performing Dance Arts, Alex also performed with the Motus O professional theatre group. During her time at the University of Guelph, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and French Literature, she also taught at the Just Dance School of Dance, and performed with the Fierce Dance Production Company and BYS Productions. After Graduation, Alex returned to Aurora to continue teaching and completed her Early Childhood Education designation through Seneca College. She has taught at studios in the Aurora area as well as in classrooms in the Catholic District School Board. Recently Alex choreographed the Dr. John M. Denison Secondary School’s rendition of “Grease” and the Stouffville Strawberry Festival Flash Mob. Alex has received numerous choreography awards and overall awards at various Competitions in Ontario. She has danced with artist such as Shawn Byfield, David Cox, Aaron Tolson and Allison Toffan to name a few. Alex is currently a member of the Coaching Association of Canada through the NCCP, and continues to extend her dance knowledge by taking master classes in New York. Some of her students have gone on to compete with Team Canada Dance in both the Jazz/Modern and Tap styles.

Heather Taws

Heather grew up dancing in Midland, Ontario at The Dancer’s Studio with the competitive team Image Dance Company. Interested in Musical Theatre, she took vocal and acting classes while attending Queen’s University to obtain a B.A.H. in Drama and English Literature. She attended multiple dance conventions where she has the honour of learning from dance world greats including Marty Kudelka, Kelly Konno, and Tyce Diorio. After graduation, Heather moved to Toronto to perform and continue to hone her singing, acting and dancing skills. She took dance classes with Lenny Dela Pena “Lenny Len” and Shawn Byfield, the highlight of which was a week-long tap dance intensive workshop featuring guest teachers Everett Smith and Dave Cox. Heather has performed in leading roles in numerous community theatre productions in the Toronto area including Urinetown, Godspell, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Footloose. Heather has participated in many acting workshops including The Master Class Series: Triple Threat Intensive with Paul Aikens, the TV and Commercial Weekend with Sears and Switzer, the Audition Technique Workshop with Brian Levy and the 7 week long Scene Dynamics Course with Ron Leach of Dynamics Acting School. Heather was thrilled to accept a position as a full time dance teacher in Norway at the Orsta og Volda Ballettskule in August of 2011. She ran the Jazz and Hip Hop programs and founded the Musical Theatre program for two years. In her final year in Norway, Heather organized a dance completion in her area entitled Like No-One is Watching: Dance Norway 2013. She was approached by the Volda Journalism School, who included her as a featured performer in a live/streaming television broadcast and also performed in A Midsummer Night’s Festival.

Emily Bruno A.R.A.D.

Raised in Tottenham Ontario, Emily’s passion for dance started at the young age of 3. She trained at Nicole Jacklin School of Dance for 15 years and became a teacher in 2010. During this time she completed several R.A.D ballet exams including Advanced 2. She attended various summer programs including The Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, Canada’s National Ballet School and The American Ballet Theatre. After high school Emily attended George Brown College and graduated from the Dance Performance Studies program in 2015 with honours. Whilst training at George Brown, Emily had the opportunity of working with choreographers such as Derek Sangster, Dana Bondy, Darryl Tracy, Hannah Keil and Anisa Tejpar. Continuing with a professional level of training, Emily has also attended intensives such as Canada’s Ballet Jorgen, Kenny Pearl’s Emerging Artist Intensive and ProArteDanza. Here, she learned from established artists such as Bengt Jorgen, Clea Iveson, Ryan Lee, Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Sinbadinho (Gadfly) as well as Roberto Campenella, Robert Glumbek and John Ottoman. Throughout her time in Toronto Emily has performed in Fresh Blood 2015, Dance Ontario 2015 and in 2016 as a company member of Danza Corpus Canada. Emily is continuing in her dance career by training with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary, Alberta. She is also working toward completing her Junior Level Acrobatique Certification. Her future plans include becoming an R.A.D certified teacher and sharing her love of dance with her students.

Madelyn Sheppard

Madelyn Sheppard began her dancing when she was just 3 years old. Maddie was a competitive dancer and gymnast until the age of 12 when she was accepted into the full-time professional training program at Quinte Ballet School of Canada. She spent the next 3 years honing her ballet technique at QBSC and then returned to NJSD and the competitive team. Teaching dance has always been Maddie’s passion, she loves having the opportunity to inspire children to express themselves through dance.

Grace Ronan

Grace has been dancing at Nicole Jacklin School of Dance for 12 years. For the past 7 years she has enjoyed performing as a member of the Competitive Dance Team, where she has received special recognition and scholarships for her Song and Dance solos. Grace has successfully completed her Intermediate Ballet Examination with the Royal Academy of Dance. Grace is also an accomplished singer. She has been a gold medalist and scholarship winner at the Newmarket Voice Festival, Newmarket Lions Music Festival, and South Simcoe Arts Festival since the age of 7. For three consecutive years, the National Association of Teachers of Singing gas awarded Grace first in her category in their annual vocal competition. She has successfully completed her Grade 8 Voice Examination with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Grace looks forward to sharing her passion of dance and music with her students.