What we are all about!

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Our Mission

We believe that dance can enhance everyone's life regardless of age, and that the dance studio is a classroom for the larger lessons of life: self-knowledge, respect and discipline. Our students are taught that to never try is to never achieve. Safety is priority, with that comes proper technique based on level and ability. Teachers make it their mission to instill confidence and healthy self-esteem which will help students in all areas of life.

Here at Step Above Dance Academy, we have a passion for the art of dance and for helping others discover their inner dancer. Are you ready to get up and move? Contact us today to learn more about our studio.

 

We offer programs in ballet, jazz, tap, acro, lyrical, musical theatre, hip hop, stretch and strengthening. Our programs are available for all ages, from free movement (2 years+) to adult (18+). 

 

Step Above Dance Academy staff teach proper technique and encourage fun and confidence in all programs. We offer many special events during the year, including "Bring A Friend", "Parent Viewing", and various holiday classes for Halloween and Christmas. 

 

Our location at 8 - 3250 Schmon Parkway features a studio,  a reception area, and a washroom. 

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Step Above Dance Academy Staff

Faculty

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Miss Lily Jones

D.M.A (Dance Masters of America), Acrobatic Arts

Co-Owner & Founder/Artistic Director

Lily started ballet at the young age of 2, she then quickly added jazz, tap, acrobatics, flamenco, musical theater, lyrical, hip hop, and contemporary to her repertoire. Lily took her love of dance to a competitive level where she attended multiple competitions throughout Canada and the USA receiving many overalls, scholarships & special awards for her performances. 

 

Lily completed her Intermediate Ballet Exam through Royal Academy of Dance in 2014, while also attending George Brown College for the Ballet Intensive Program and many workshops for Acrobatics Training. In 2019 she completed her module 1 training with Acrobatic Arts and is fully certified to enter students into acrobatic examinations up to Level 6.

 

Lily started her Dance Masters training in 2014 with Chapter 38’s Jr. Members program. After becoming of age she attended the University of Buffalo for 3 years of their Dance Masters Training Program where she successfully completed her Level III and received another of many teaching certificates. Once completing her training she took her Dance Master Exam enrolling her as a full member of the Canadian Dance Masters of America, Canadian Chapter 38. 

Lily started her teaching career in 2014 receiving many overalls, special awards, scholarships and overall choreography awards for her competitive choreography throughout the years. Lily continues to inspire young dancers to strive to be the best they can be through structured, fun learning.

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Miss Ashlee Mein

T.D.C Certified, Alixa Flexibility (Module 1)

Co-Owner & Founder/Artistic Director

Ashlee has been following her love of dance since a young age; training in various styles such as, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, ballet and hip-hop. Advancing to a competitive level, she has competed in both regional and national level competitions in Canada and the United States, receiving numerous awards throughout her competitive dance career.


Ashlee had the amazing opportunity to travel to Riesa, Germany and compete as Team Canada at the IDO World Tap Dance Championships in 2008. She was apart of the team whom became World Champion (Junior Formation) and a silver medalist (Production). The following year she represented Canada a second time at the IDO World Ballet Championships and The IDO World Jazz/Modern Championships hosted in Niagara Falls.


At the age of 16, Ashlee began teaching dance and since then has worked with students ages 2 through adult, teaching at both a recreational and competitive level. During her university years, she was a part of the hip-hop team which competed in numerous post-secondary competitions such as Ontario University Competition of Hip-Hop, Bring Your Own Beat, The Academy of Hip-Hop Dance Competition and 180 Dance Competition.


Ashlee has completed the Tap Dance Centre teacher certification course (2019) and has currently passed her Module 1 course for Alixa Flexibility (2020). She also currently continues to take classes in the GTA. 

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Teaching Staff

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Phoebe Venditti

Recreational Instructor

Phoebe began dancing at the age of 4 doing ballet and tap and fell in love with the grace and technical side that ballet had to offer. She competed across Ontario doing ballet and pointe, winning many awards for her skills. She expanded her love of dance by taking classes in tap, jazz and lyrical recreationally. Phoebe started teaching at Step Above Dance Academy in 2019 and is excited to continue learning through various workshops and classes while she passes on her current techniques to all her students.

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Jessica Crook

Recreational Instructor

Jessica began dancing at the age of 11 and quickly fell in love with the art of dance. Training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, tap, pointe, and pom. She has trained and competed all over North and South Carolina and has been featured in the Columbia City Ballet Nutcracker. She was a 4-year member of her high school dance team, where she attended Universal Dance Association summer dance camps, competed in local competitions, and was captain her senior year. In 2018, Jessica was a scholarship recipient for Limestone University Dance Team in South Carolina where she performed at all home football and basketball games. During her time, she also competed at the NDA College Nationals, in Daytona Beach, Florida where LUDT finished fourth in the nation in the DII hip hop category. Jessica is excited to share her talents with the students of Step Above Dance Academy. 

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Alexis Vanballegooyen

Recreational Instructor

Alexis began dancing at the age of 10. She trained competitively for 5 years in jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical and acro. Alexis also competed on a strictly ballet and strictly acro competitive team for 2 years! She currently attends Niagara Collage where she coaches the dance club! She is dancing for the NRL dance pak for the 2022-2023 season.

She is very excited about getting to share her passion and love for teaching dance at Step Above Dance Academy this season!

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Erin Morningstar

Recreational Instructor

Erin began dancing at the age of 13 doing jazz and Hip Hop. She trained at a local studio for 5 years until she attended Brock University. During university, she was a part of the junior varsity cheer squad and recreation dance club. In the summer of 2019, she was a part of the Welland Jackfish Dance squad and is currently dancing with the Niagara Ice Girls for the 2022-2023 season. She is looking forward to teaching and passing on the love of dance to her students. 

Assisting Staff

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Miss Mia

Assistant Teacher

Miss Mia has been dancing for 9 years, joining the Step Above Competitive Team in 2021. Miss Mia has taken classes in Tap & Jazz but truly found her passion in Ballet and will be starting her Pointe journey as well as adding Musical Theatre to her class list this fall. With her expertise in babysitting and assisting in school, she has made a great assistant dance teacher in our ballet/tap combo classes this past year! We look forward to her continued work and dedication as a Step Above Dance Academy staff member.

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Miss Emily

Assistant Teacher

Miss Emily has been dancing for 10 years, once she realized her passion, she decided to take dance to the next level by joining the Step Above Dance Academy Competitive Team in 2019. This past June Miss Emily took her Level 3 Acrobatic Arts Exam receiving a honored Grade of Excellent and is looking forward to continuing her Acrobatic Examinations in the fall. Miss Emily continues to take classes in Acrobatics, Jazz, Ballet and Pointe and is always ready for a challenge. After starting her assisting career in 2020, she has found a love of sharing her talents with our younger generation.

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Miss Ella

Assistant Teacher

Miss Ella has been dancing since the age of 5, falling in love with tap, hip hop and ballet. with all styles attributing to her love of dance as an art. Dance has been her outlet to express herself and release her emotions. While this is her first year joining the Step Above Dance Academy team, she has past experience babysitting children, helping in kindergarten classes and working with youth red cross programs. We are excited to have her join the team and share her love of dance with the students!

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Miss Makayla

Assistant Teacher

Miss Makayla has been dancing since the age of 4 and has recently fell in love with Acrobatics. She has taken lessons in Acrobatics, Lyrical, Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Musical Theatre, joining the Step Above Competitive Team in 2019. Miss Makayla will be expanding her Acrobatics training by participating in our Acrobatic Arts Examination Class in the fall. Her love of dance shows every time she sets foot into the studio! With her experience with babysitting and helping her brother, she joined the teacher assistant team in 2019. While she continues to assist classes, she is working towards becoming a dance teacher in the future. Miss Makayla is excited to continue sharing her love of dance to all the students.

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Miss Clara

Assistant Teacher

Miss Clara is passionate in her dancing, truly striving in the art of Tap. She has done ballet for 7 years moving up quickly through the grades. Miss Clara expanded her training in 2020 by joining the Step Above Competitive Team. She loves to help kids and is a skilled dancer, what a better combination. Clara is excited to start her 2nd year of assisting.

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Miss Nina

Assistant Teacher

Miss Nina is a friendly dancer and musician who is passionate about sharing her talents with young dancers! She loves to motivate, inspire, and encourage people in reaching their goals! Miss Nina always loved dancing as a child and found her passion for ballet and lyrical upon watching Ballerina: Leap! She has taken classes and workshops in styles such as ballet, pointe, acro, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, hiphop, as well as latin styles. Miss Nina is so excited about this upcoming season and can't wait to help dancers grow in the Ballet level 1/2 class and Mini Movers Hiphop!

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Miss Autumn-Skye

Assistant Teacher

Miss Autumn is an energetic individual. She has been dancing for 7 years taking classes in acro, hiphop, jazz and more! She enjoys all aspects of dance. Assisting in the younger classes at school and daycare started her journey with helping kids. We are excited to have her join a free movement class this year!

Office Staff

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Nathaly Jones

Administrative Assistant

Mrs Jones has danced since she was 2 years old. She is continuing her love of dance through Step Above Dance Academy by assisting with social media, administrative work and is our studios make-up and hair stylist.