teachers

Our knowledgeable, certified and award-winning instructors provide professional training in a caring and motivational atmosphere.

Our teachers encourage every student to reach their personal best.

The teachers at Protégé Dance Company believe in positive role-modelling, love to teach and respect the needs of all!

teaching faculty

Chelsea Gibbs
B.A., M.A., D.M.A., PAA

Christina Laramee

Chelsea Gibbs started her dance training at the young age of four in Toronto, Ontario at the Sandra Amodeo Dance Studio. At the age of six she started competing and won numerous special and overall awards for her performances. At age eleven, she was the youngest to audition and become a member of the semi-professional tap company “iTap Youth Company,” based in Hamilton, Ontario, under the direction of, the late, Kimberley Timlock. She also successfully completed her B.A.T.D. Tap and Jazz Exams, R.A.D. Ballet Exams and her P.A.E.C. Tap Exam. She is a certified tap teacher with Dance Masters of America, Chapter #38. She obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in 2013, and received her Master of Arts in Leadership degree from the University of Guelph in 2017.

Chelsea’s performing highlights include: the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) in New York (own choreography), the Olympic Torch Relay Performance Team, the Canadian National Tap Team, Chicago Human Rhythms Project, Montreal Tap Fest and Corporate events. She also had the wonderful opportunity to perform with professional tap companies such as Bringing Tap Back under the direction of Everett Smith, and What’s On? Tap! under the direction of Kim Chalovich. In 2018, she was invited to perform with Andrew Prashad and Travis Knights at the Young People’s Theatre gala called, “Imaginarium: Jewel in the City.” She has also taken Master classes from tap enthusiasts such as Savion Glover, Jason Janas, Bril Barret, Starinah Dixon and Lisa La Touché. Chelsea’s mentors are Emmy award winner Ted Louis Levy, and sisters Chloe and Maud Arnold of the Syncopated Ladies. Over the years, Chelsea has appeared in numerous commercials and television shows such as “The Next Step”, “IIFA Awards”, “Breakfast Television”, “Motives and Murders” and “Voice of a Child” to name a few. To further her professional development, Chelsea attended The Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, CA (2017), Broadway Dance Center’s Dance Teacher Workshop in Manhattan, New York (2018), the Toronto Teacher Expo (2019), and Jump Start Dance Intensive where she took classes from Rebecca Davies, and Krista and Autumn Miller (2019).

Chelsea is also passionate about adjudicating and is a proud member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance (P.A.A.). She views her adjudicating role as an empowerment platform and judges across Canada. Chelsea has and continues to receive the finest training and is privileged to teach and conduct intensive workshops that allow her to impart her knowledge and creativity to students. With her knowledge, expertise and passion for dance, Chelsea’s goal is to continue to inspire and ignite the passion of dance within her students, as well as living her dream as a performer.

Rachel McDonald
Associate B.A.T.D. & Adv 1 Cecchetti

Rachel McDonald

Rachel McDonald is certified member of the British Association of Teachers in Dancing (B.A.T.D) and completed her Advanced 1 Cecchetti Ballet exam (Cecchetti Society of Canada). Rachel has most recently graduated as a Holistic Nutritionist with her CNP Designation (Certified Nutritional Practitioner). 
She has performed in many shows from musicals to weddings to corporate events. She has also performed in shows including Pan Am Games opening ceremonies, the Toronto Argonauts halftime shows, Escapade, Choreographers’ Ball, multiple Music Videos and A Tale of Two Cities Musical.

Rachel has extensive dance knowledge with over 15 years of dance training as a competitive dancer, in ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop.

Rachel continued her dance study at The Conteur Academy in Toronto and graduated from their two year highly intensive training program. Guided by Toronto’s industry leading teachers she was able to attain a wealth of dance knowledge. Here she learned not only about physical and technical training but compositional techniques and sports therapy for dancers.

As an award winning choreographer, Rachel's contemporary pieces have received high acclaim with students winning top marks in solos, duets and groups, as well as highest mark of the competition.

Rachel thoroughly enjoys teaching and looks forward to creating many more memories shared with the talented students at Protégé Dance Company.

Alannah Morrow
Associate B.A.T.D., D.M.A (Level One), Acrobatic Arts (AACI)

Alannah Morrow

Alannah has been dancing for the past 20 years and has been teaching dance for over 10 years. She grew up dancing in Markham when her family moved to Oshawa. Alannah started her competitive dance career at twelve years of age, training at Theatre Dance Academy (Oshawa, ON) in many disciplines including: ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, pointe and musical theatre and was always recognized for her strong technique and showmanship qualities.

Alannah is a certified dance teacher with The British Association of Teachers of Dancing receiving her Associate Ballet Certificate. She has also studied under Dance Masters of America (Level One), Acrobatic Arts (Level One) and ADAPT (Level One). In addition, Alannah is a 200 hour certified Power yoga instructor who shares a passion for Yoga and integrates Yoga techniques into her stretch classes in dance.

Alannah loves teaching and watching her students grow and excel. Her students have been awarded with many Special and Top Mark Awards. In addition to her student's success, Alannah has also received Choreography Awards for her routines. Alannah is a passionate teacher who is dedicated to seeing every student achieve their personal best.

Dance has always been a huge part of Alannah's life and she is eager to share her love for dance with all her students. Alannah loves being a part of Protégé Dance Company

Hannah Terry
B. Sc.

Alannah Morrow

Hannah was a competitive gymnast from age 3-14 when she transitioned to dance and shortly after was offered a placement on Protégé Dance Company's competitive team. As a dedicated member of Protégé's award winning competitive team from age 14-18, Hannah studied ballet, jazz, tap and acro and performed for various community events including: "Dancing With Dogs" and "Breathe: The Refuge Arts Fundraiser".   

Recently, Hannah graduated with a Biology degree from the University of Guelph. During her undergraduate degree, she was one of the Dance Captains and founding members of the "Guelph Tap Pak", a competitive tap team that competed against other universities in Ontario. 

Presently, Hannah is continuing her education at Ontario Tech University working towards her Bachelor of Education with a focus on Biology and Health & Physical Education. Hannah has a passion for physical education and working with children and is thrilled to teach at Protégé Dance Company.


Libby Avalos

Alannah Morrow
Libby Avalos is an established dance educator in the GTA and across the country. She “retired” from the stage in late 2011, after being abroad for over a decade. During that time, Libby lived, trained, and performed in New York City for several years, and spent many years traveling as a performer and Dance Captain on cruise lines. After marrying her love (whom she met on stage!), and settling into York Region, she focused her energies back onto her lifelong passion- teaching.
 
Libby is the Visionary and Co-Director of a Children’s Musical Theatre Company in Markham, ARTSies Inc. She also works in schools across Ontario; providing interactive dance assembly experiences and Teacher PD sessions with Moving EDGEucation. A member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance, Libby has sat on the judges’ panel for many dance competitions across Canada. She brings over 20 years of teaching experience, and loves to inspire, motivate, and empower students to work hard, believe in themselves, and find their own creative voice. Libby’s ability to communicate her passion to students of all ages makes her an in-demand teacher, and her choreography has won several awards.
 
Libby is excited to join the Protégé family, and looks forward to an amazing year at the studio!

 

Brett Taylor

Alannah Morrow
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Brett Taylor began dancing at the age of seven.  Upon graduation from high school, Taylor was accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, where he graduated from the Professional Division. After completing a year of the Aspirant program, Taylor joined Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet as an apprentice, performing works by Mauricio Wainrot, Mark Godden, Itzik Galili, Rudi van Dantzig, and Jorden Morris, to name a few. Taylor then joined BJM Danse Montreal, where he had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as; Wen Wei Wang, Aszure Barton, Mauro Bigonzetti, Cayetano Soto, Barak Marshal and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Taylor has also performed as a guest with companies such as Ballet British Columbia, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Skeels Danse and Wen Wei Dance, as well as independent works by choreographers James Gregg and Penny Saunders.

Most recently, Taylor performed with the Canadian Opera Company in “Eugene Onegin”, as well as Rufus Wainwright’s world premiere of “Hadrian”. Equally drawn to theatre, Taylor has also appeared in “Evita”(Vancouver Opera), ”Billy Elliot”, “Cabaret”(RMTC), “Dance Legends,” (Grand Theatre), ”The Addams Family”(Neptune Theatre), “West Side Story”, “Sister Act”, “Legends of Rock and Roll”(Drayton Entertainment), “Guys and Dolls,” ”New York, New York,”(DDP) “The Producers”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Mary Poppins”, “Beauty and the Beast.” and “Good News”(Rainbow Stage).  Television and film credits include “Make it Happen”, and music videos “Love Again”(Kreesha Turner), “The Road” and “Afterglow”(Lydia Ainsworth).

Also a choreographer, Taylor has choreographed for Ballet Edmonton, as well as Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division and Aspirant Program.  As a dance educator, Taylor has taught for over 12 years, coaching students and professionals of all ages in ballet, partnering, jazz, tap, and musical theatre. A sought out teacher for master classes, Taylor has travelled nationally and internationally to schools including Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, L'École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, University of the Arts (Philadelphia, USA), and Ballet di Roma (Rome, Italy). Brett is very excited to join the faculty at Protégé Dance Company!

Holly Eskins

Alannah Morrow

Holly started dancing at the age of three in the Durham region. She quickly began competing at the age of six and went on to win numerous special awards, scholarships and overall awards for her group and solo numbers.

When Holly was fifteen years old, she became the leader and choreographer for the Pickering High School Dance Team which went on to win high scores at competitions such as Strive Dance Challenge and Attitude Dance Challenge. She then began her teaching career at the young age of sixteen.

Holly has since graduated with a Diploma in Dance from the Centennial College Dance Performance Program where she studied numerous genres and learned from some of Toronto's best including Lineen Duong and Leah Totten.

Since beginning her journey as a dance teacher, Holly has taken every opportunity she can to work with the best mentors in the industry. She has worked with well-known choreographers such as Mark Samuels, Kojo "Tuch" Mayne and Brandon "Bizzy" Boom. She also continues to attend international conventions and workshops like Buildabeast 2017 and Road to Buildabeast 2019 where she learned from amazing choreographers and dance moguls like Willdabeast Adams, Janelle Ginestra, Jade Chynoweth, Tricia Miranda, Nicole Kirkland and many more! Holly continues to train and perform in the style of hip hop with her performance team "Keystone" which has achieved high titles including 3rd place at Prelude Dance Toronto as well as choreography and performance special awards.

Holly wishes to never stop learning as she believes all dance instructors should always remain students as well. She is so excited to start her new journey with Protégé Dance Company and hopes to bring something new and exciting to her hip hop classes. 

Kristen Smith (Substitute Teacher)
Associate B.A.T.D., Acrobatic Arts (AACCI)

Kristen Smith
Kristen began dancing at the age of three and at the age of six, her passion for dance led to a long competitive career where she earned many awards and scholarships. She competed in many genres such as jazz, tap, acro, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, and musical theatre. Her passion for acro led her to pursue many years of additional gymnastics training. Kristen gained her teaching accreditation in B.A.T.D in 2012 becoming certified in jazz, tap, acro and ballet. Along with her B.A.T.D training, she has also been trained in the Cecchetti Ballet syllabus and successfully achieved her Grade Six Cecchetti Ballet. Most recently, she has been certified in the Acrobatic Arts Syllabus Module One.

After graduating from Protégé Dance Company in 2012, Kristen continued her competitive dance career competing on both the University of Ottawa and the University of Guelph’s competitive dance teams. During her time on the University of Ottawa dance team, she performed at the half time show of the Capital Hoops game held at the Canadian Tire Centre. Along with her competitive career, she has performed in many fundraising functions such as the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Gala and the United Way Rouge Gala. She has also performed with Ballet Jorgen in their performance of the Nutcracker. In addition, her strong stage performance was noticed and opened the doors to model for several years for Hamilton’s Theatrical Supply. 

Kristen is recognized for working with our students during Protégé's Summer Acro Intensives and specialized Aerials and Tumbling classes. Her beautiful style and technical strength inspires our students to perform with passion while executing precision. Kristen is thrilled to be a part of the faculty at Protégé Dance Company and looks forward to imparting her love for dance to the next generation of dancers!>

Lexie Bird (Substitute Teacher)
Associate B.A.T.D., Acrobatic Arts (AACCI)

Lexie Bird

At the young age of 3, Lexie started dancing better than she could walk, so much so that her competitive career had taken flight soon after when she was just 7 years old. She was known to be a well-rounded dancer immersing herself in all styles of dance inclusive of but not limited to Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Acro. Along with her passion for dance, spending most of her free time at the studio, Lexie used her acro skills to her advantage and became involved in gymnastics. During her competitive years, Lexie earned high titles along with scholarships through judges choice awards. Completing her competitive career here at Protégé Dance Company in 2012, Lexie also attained her B.A.T.D teaching examinations in acro, jazz, tap and ballet and has also trained under the Cecchetti Ballet syllabus.

Over the years Lexie has preformed in numerous galas and fundraisers including; Starlight Children’s Wish Foundation Gala, Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Gala and United Way Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser. Continuing on her performance experience in 2014, Lexie was chosen to be a member of the Toronto Argos Cheerleading team, where she performed in all CFL Argos home games and in Vancouver for the 102nd Grey Cup. The Argos' community further connected Lexie with additional opportunities stemming from entertainment companies such as Magen Boys Entertainment and Cotton Candy Events.

Currently Lexie is a second year member of Guelph University’s competitive hip-hop team: Atcha Crew.

Lexie’s love for dance continues to grow each and every day, not only does she enjoy performing but is passionate in teaching others and watching them grow.