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MISSION: Provide exceptional training for all in a caring and safe environment, with customer service that exceeds expectations.

VISION: To be a positive guiding force in the community, fostering and developing connection, friendships and leadership through the arts. 

Faculty Anchor


The Faculty at Dance Theme Academy is passionate about sharing their love and knowledge of dance. They have trained with some of the best dance educators and choreographers and continue to develop their skills by yearly professional development. While each team member brings their own unique style and personality to each class, Dance Theme Academy’s faculty all have one thing in common … energy! 

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Owner/Artistic Director

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Assistant to the Director



















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Office Manager


Office Team






Office Team


Office Team


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Vince Akinyode

Hip Hop

Vince began teaching 15 years ago and has had outstanding results as both dancer and instructor. As a dancer, along side his dance crew White Chocolate, he has performed openings for many talented artists such as Ashanti, Shawn Desmond, Ludacris, Chris Brown, Boyz to Men, 112, Chingy, Genuine and the 2009 Canadian Grey Cup half time show in Calgary Alberta Canada.

He was also featured on “So You Think You Can Dance” seasons 1, 2 and 4. He was also the recipient of the “Choreography of the Year” award at the all Hip Hop competition “Artists Emerge” judged by Jojo Diggs and Rhapsody James as well Represent in 2016 judged by Kolanie Marks and Dytto. With his company “Eye Candy Studios he taken first place at World of Dance Arizona 2016 and World of Dance Edmonton in 2017,World of Dance Las Vegas in 2018 and again at World of Dance Arizona in 2019. He has also been asked to do choreography for Team Canada Hip Hop that competed in Austria in 2016 and will be competing in Denmark in 2017.

His routines include such dance styles as House, Street, New School Choreography, Diva, Krumping and Break Dancing. Vince’s easy going attitude combined with his passion for his art and sharing it with others creates a great learning environment for all his students.

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Colleen Boe


Colleen was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and is a fully registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance. She received her initial training at the Alberta Ballet School with Deborah Morgan, Lambros Lambrou and Alberta Ballet founder Ruth Carse. She completed her Advanced Level 2 Ballet Examination with Distinction, becoming an Associate Member of the RAD. During her student training, she performed with Alberta Ballet and appeared several times as a dancer with the Edmonton Opera and the Edmonton Musical Theatre Association.
Colleen became a company member of Alberta Ballet and the Banff Festival Ballet before going on to study at the Quinte Ballet School in Ontario with Brian Scott and then the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School with David Moroni, Jacqueline Weber, Julia Arkos and Arlene Minkhorst. Performing classical repertoire pieces including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides and Giselle, Colleen had the opportunity to appear on stage with exceptional artists like Evelyn Hart (RWB) and Marianna Tcherkassky (ABT). During this time, Colleen studied with many renowned teachers and choreographers including Brian McDonald and Daniel Seillier (Les Grands Ballet Canadiens), Choo Chiat Goh (Goh Ballet), Gretchen Ward Warren (University of South Florida), Laura Alonso (Cuban National Ballet), Alexander Grant and Reid Anderson (National Ballet of Canada), David Earle (Toronto Dance Theatre) and Sandra Neels (Merce Cunningham Dance Company). Colleen obtained her Teacher’s Diploma in 1989 from the Royal Academy of Dance under the tutelage of Deborah Morgan and Ross Brierton.
During her many years of teaching, Colleen has successfully guided hundreds of students through their ballet examinations, adjudicated dance festivals, won choreography awards and developed a solid reputation for quality ballet instruction. Colleen’s professional experience and her lifelong passion for dance have made her a well-respected member of Edmonton’s dance community.

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Thomas Boivin

Hip Hop

Thomas took his first dance class at the age of three and fell in love with it! With his incredible work ethic, talent, and warm, energetic personality he has made a name for himself in the dance industry as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer.

Thomas has had the opportunity to work with some of Canada’s greatest talents in tap, hip hop, and “commercial choreography”. He is frequently performing in shows and productions, such as Energy (Los Angeles), Hip Hop For Hope, 4KBK Benefit Concert, YEG Kinesis, Stand Up For Love. Performing has led him to being part of producing shows around Edmonton such as, For The Love Of Tap (2017), Eshajori (2017), and Golden Era (2018).

As often as Thomas performs, he trains even more and seeks out opportunities to train with some of the best in the industry. Traveling to conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop, Build-A-Beast Experience, Radix Dance Convention, numerous workshops, and classes, as well as taking frequent training trips to LA and Vancouver he develops his own skill and can pass this knowledge onto his students. Thomas is a firm believer that great teachers will always be great students first, so he incorporates the rigorous training he receives into his own classes to give his students the highest level of training.

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Karen Doidge


Karen is a dedicated ballet instructor working in Edmonton and the surrounding area.
She has taught for over three decades, entering her students in examinations with consistent results and preparing them for acceptance to such prestigious schools as The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, The School of Alberta Ballet, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, as well as the dance programmes at York University, the University of Calgary, and Grant MacEwan University. She has a passion for aligning her teaching practices with the sciences of anatomy and kinesiology; and with a strong appetite for learning, she never misses an opportunity to take workshops, classes, and teaching courses, consistently expanding her knowledge base to share with her students.

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Debbie England

Tap, Adult Tap

Debbie England began her dance training at private dance schools in Edmonton and continued her dance training at Grant MacEwan College, various workshops and studios in New York and Los Angeles. She trained in all disciplines of dance but tap won Debbie’s heart and she excelled in her tap skills enabling her to pass her knowledge and passion on to her students.

Debbie’s natural ease with children makes her a sought after adjudicator and teacher. Her students do well in both exams and on stage and her choreography awards are numerous! She has been a guest instructor, choreographer, examiner and adjudicator for workshops, competitions and festivals across Western Canada.

Debbie has successfully entered students into competitions and is a recognized instructor of the Al Gilbert Tap Syllabus. She loves teaching and watching students develop their tap skills. She is proud to be celebrating 40 years of teaching along with Dance Theme!

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Hailey Feser

Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary

Bio Coming Soon!

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Heather Gagnier


Bio Coming Soon!

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Katie Hedman


Bio Coming Soon!

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Katie Hedman

Ballet, Preschool

Bio Coming Soon!

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Katie MacEachern

Musical Theatre, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary

Katie started dancing at Dance Theme when she was three years old and was immediately drawn to the performing arts. She studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop at both private studios and conventions in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. As well as dance, Katie took extensive vocal training and acting classes. Katie received roles in St. Albert Children's Theatre's productions of What a Knight, High School Musical and Legally Blonde. After graduating high school, Katie moved to Toronto where she studied dance, vocal and acting in a three year program at The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, graduating with her Diploma.

Since returning to Dance Theme where she shares her passion for teaching and the arts with her students, she has continued to learn and grow at conventions and conferences. She is certified in Acrobatic Arts, Alixa Flexibility and Rythm Works Integrated Dance.

Katie continues to share her passion with her students through many different styles of dance.

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Grace Marett

Ballet, Preschool

Grace Marett recently moved from England, where she taught at many dance schools, including the Royal Academy of Dance London.
She is a 2021 graduate of the BA in Ballet Education Degree and the Licentiate courses at the Royal Academy of Dance, London. Along with ballet, Grace has studied tap and modern extensively, obtaining her ISTD Diploma in Dance Education for Modern Theatre and Imperial Classical Ballet. Her dedication to the arts is further evident in her completion of Grades 1-5 in piano, adding a musical dimension to her teaching.
Grace's dedication to her students extends beyond the classroom. She believes in nurturing not only their technical prowess but also their artistic expression, creativity, and love for dance. Grace brings a wealth of knowledge, and passion to the Dance Theme students. Her dedication to her craft and her students is truly exceptional and her passion for dance and teaching is obvious.

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Michelle McBride

Acro, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary

Michelle began her training with R.A.D. ballet, but became a multi disciplined dancer shortly after. She has studied jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, modern, musical theatre/acting, piano, trumpet, as well as Ukrainian, Latin and Polynesian dancing. Michelle has been fortunate to study under many talented instructors over the years, abroad and at home, including Alberta Ballet’s Ruth Carse and Shumka’s Terry Mucha.

At a young age Michelle joined a performance company that toured Canada and the United States, enriching her enthusiasm for performing on stage. Today she continues her dance/acro education through classes with Leaders in Fitness, IBBFA, Acrobatic Arts, Alixa Flexibility, TADA hand balancing, Aerial Arts, Baton Arts, gymnastics, yoga and strength training. Michelle performed with local Polynesian group, Tropical Breeze. Currently Michelle choreographs and performs with Vixen Fatale Dance Force.

Michelle is a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor and is excited to steward this program at Dance Theme.

Vince Anchor
Katie Hedman
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Deejay Ness

Hip Hop

At age 10, Deejay started taking hip hop classes at Dance Theme and never looked back. What started as recreational, led them through the competition scene into the teaching world, starting at Dance Theme and gradually connecting with studios all over the Edmonton area. Deejay has a passion for inspiring individualized movement, and they bring that passion to every moment; whether it's weekly classes, artist-in-residency school programs, or jams with friends. They specialize in New Jack Swing, popping, locking and animation, with additional training in other street styles. Deejay takes pride in sharing the history and culture they've learned from black artists and other guests of the culture with their students.

Deejay has competed in various high-level street dance competitions across western Canada and the United States including World of Dance, Artist's Emerge and Represent, as well as IDO Hip Hop championships in Austria in 2016. They performed with the Edmonton Elks Hype Team for two Grey Cup seasons.

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Kristin Nowazek


Bio Coming Soon!

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Bobbi Payne

Early Childhood, Jazz, Heels, Novelty, Musical Theatre

Bobbi is an energetic and passionate teacher who began her dance training at the age of three with Dance Theme. The studio provided her with a versatile background in jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theatre, lyrical and ballet training. As well as studying dance locally, Bobbi travelled to workshops in Calgary, Florida and California,

Bobbi has been teaching for the past five years and her enthusiasm for the studio and her students has led her to become the Preschool Director. Along with her knowledge, she shares an energetic and caring quality with her students. Bobbi has been involved with Dance Theme for the past 22 years and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. She enjoys helping her students find their passion and love for dance and cannot wait for the new season to start!

Bobbi is a founding member The Vixens, a female lead heels/dance program.

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Jane Porter


Jane fell in love with dance because of her love of movement. She started dance training at the age of seven in ballet, tap, and jazz, and quickly added more classes as she grew older. Jane’s journey with Dance Theme began after moving across the country in 2013, and she quickly found her new dance family! Jane trained in R.A.D ballet, Al Gilbert tap, and Acrobatic Arts taking multiple exams in these syllabi.

Jane began assistant teaching through Dance Theme’s STAR team program in 2014 and fell in love with sharing her passion for dance with other dancers. She hopes that the dancers she teaches experience joy and happiness while taking dance class!

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Priya Usman


Bio Coming Soon!

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Jolie Van

Tap, Jazz

Jolie trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Hip-Hop and has studied with many renowned teachers and choreographers. She has a special affinity for tap, has completed the Al Gilbert Tap Examinations and was a feature dancer in his instructional videos. Her choreography has won numerous awards and has been featured in 'The History of Rock & Roll’, the annual CFLPA All Star Charity Baseball Game, Bridal Fantasy and The Rainbow Gala.

Jolie’s passion for dance and sharing this with students inspired her to direct her own successful studio for fourteen years. During this time she trained hundreds of students in all genres, but tap remained her specialty. Her students excel in both exams and competitions, where her own talent is acknowledged with numerous choreography awards.

Along with teaching her own students, Jolie is continually asked to teach at workshops and summer schools. She also enjoys adjudicating at several competitions throughout Western Canada. Jolie loves to share her passion and knowledge of dance with others!

Jolie is an active board member of the Alberta Dance Educators Association.

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Shari VanderWoude

Artistic Director

Shari is proud to have shared in the lives of countless children, parents and teachers who have been a part of the Dance Theme family for over 40 years.

Her philosophy of teaching and nurturing children to be the best they can be, to recognize their strengths and to challenge themselves has overseen the direction of thousands of students. Many of Dance Theme students have gone on to perform on cruise ships, Disney and professional shows as well as being sought after teachers themselves.

Shari received extensive training in a variety of dance forms through private studios, college and classes throughout North America. Along with dancing, she has had the opportunity to act in several docudramas, T.V. commercials, industrials, movies and films.

Shari’s beliefs and philosophies is the drive for her to create opportunities for people. Her belief in healthy competition and recognition for every dancer’s ability in a positive environment was a driving force behind the formation of two competition/festival companies.

Her belief in philanthropy and teaching this to children was the reason she founded and produced a benefit show called Stars of Hope. Shari felt that her students, as well as dance students from Edmonton and surrounding areas could give back to the community by doing what they love; dancing. Stars of Hope raised over $230,000 for the Kids With Cancer Society.

Throughout all her ventures, Shari’s heart and passion remains with the studio. She loves developing new programs and ideas at the studio to keep Dance Theme fresh and on the cutting edge of performing arts training.

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Katie Willhoeft

Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Katie was born with a passion for the arts and an innate desire to create. She began her dance education as a competitive performer in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary and musical theatre. She prides herself on having completed her Advanced II I.S.T.D ballet certificate, and Advanced ADAPT jazz and tap certificates. Upon completion of her BFA (honours) in Performance Dance from Ryerson University, Katie evolved her training onto the stage, and later into directing, teaching, and choreographing. She has had the privilege of working with incredible visionaries such as Nadia Potts, Darryl Tracy, Kenny Pearl, Vicky St. Denys, Courtnae Bowman, Donald Sales, and Allen Kaeja to name a few. She has had the opportunity to perform contemporary, commercial and theatrical work, starting her career as a principle dancer for Cadence Contemporary Ballet Company, and then went on to perform in musicals such as A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, Footloose, as well as various Broadway revues, festivals, and tv/film. Katie continues to share her artistic perspective by working with dancers from all over the GTA, and continues to participate in many workshops and classes with industry leaders to ensure that her knowledge and abilities continue to expand. Katie has won numerous choreography awards and special recognition for her creativity, and story-telling. She has an outstanding and proven reputation for compassionate, inspirational, yet challenging dance classes. Katie’s goal is to create a positive environment for her students to take chances both physically and emotionally.

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Wendi Danbrook

Guest Choreographer

Wendi has been involved in the dance and entertainment industry for over 35 years. She has touched a wide range of the performing arts, television, modeling, stage performances, adjudicating as well as owning and operating 3 successful studios.

As a free-lance Choreographer, Creative Director, Judge, Master Class Teacher; Wendi continues to travel across Canada, the US and Asia. Credits include choreographing for So You Think You Can Dance Vietnam, working with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, working with the CFL – Canadian Football League choreographing as well as auditioning for the Professional Edmonton Eskimo Cheer Team.

Wendi is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of 1820 Dance Convention, a new breakout Canadian based Dance Convention bringing in the hottest talent and faculty from all over the world. Going into their third successful season in 2022 Wendi and her partner Kara Wozniak are thrilled to expand 1820 Dance LTD and will be announcing an exciting extension of company in the months to follow.

As the Director of Entertainment for the 2000 Winter Games and 2002 Alberta Summer Games she choreographed the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. She also choreographed the opening ceremonies for the International Aids Walk and Cancer Walk for Life in 2001.

She has also produced and choreographed music videos for many local emerging artists.

Wendi started her training at the young age of 4 in Edmonton; and throughout her later years followed her passion for dance to training facilities in New York and Los Angeles studying with some of the most well-known and respected teachers in the dance industry.

Wendi believes her greatest accomplishments have been the ability to train, mentor and inspire hundreds of students, many of whom are now teachers, choreographers, and professional dancers around the world.

Kate Will
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