Sponsored By:


Suzanne Blake Gerety is the director of, the leading online resource for dance studio owners world-wide, she provides information and inspiration to start, run, and grow your business.

Suzanne is the second-generation owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios where she and her mom, Kathy Blake, continue to run a thriving studio, which has been in the family for 40 years. Suzanne was born into the dance studio life and brings the perspective of an owner, educator, mom, and businesswoman to her work.

Suzanne and her mom, Kathy are the long time featured columnists for Dance Teacher Magazine’s, “Ask the Experts”. She regularly teaches and presents business seminars at the Dance Teacher Summit, Dance Teacher Connection, and for other various industry events. Her love of marketing combined with her real-life examples make the information she provides timely and immediately useful for audiences.

Suzanne is a featured contributor in the The FabJob Guide to Become a Dance Studio Owner, FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites. In addition to a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Child Development from Colby-Sawyer College, Suzanne has training and experience in communication and leadership from one of the world’s foremost personal development companies.

Suzanne is a mom of two children, married to a great guy, she loves her family and her dance studio family too! She is a passionate advocate for dance studio owners and dance education throughout the world and brings the resources and support to current and future owners to help them achieve success.

You can follow Suzanne on Twitter: or connect on Facebook:


Sponsored By:

Liz Imperio has established herself as a major director and choreographer in the entertainment industry. Some of her most well-known credits include artistic direction and choreography for Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again” world tour, two world concert tours for Madonna’s “Re-invention” tour and “Confessions” tour and director/choreographer of Gloria Estefan’s last 3 world concert tours. Liz was famed director Kenny Ortega’s Associate Choreographer for 4 years before breaking out on her own. Her work ethic and sense of vision and style make her one of the most sought after choreographer-show directors in the business today. Continued notable credits include the show-stopping tribute performances by Jennifer Lopez on the American Music Awards (Celia Cruz) and Latin Billboard Awards (Selena), American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Billboard Awards, Latin Grammys, JLo in Puerto Rico Concert, Latin on Ice, United We Stand with Michael Jackson (assoc. dir), VH1 Diva’s, ABC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Disney Channel original movie “Gotta Kick It Up” and James L. Brook’s feature film “Spanglish”.


Sponsored By: 

Tiffany is the successful owner of seven Tiffany’s Dance Academy locations with over 2500 students and enrollment of over 4000. She produces four Nutcracker’s each December, a professional dance performance each year and her 300 performing company dancers participate in 4 convention competitions each season. Oh yeah, she also still teaches 15 hours a week and produces 25 annual recitals during the first two weeks of June. Tiffany is a regular guest speaker at Dance Teacher Summit, DanceLife Conference, Danceteacherweb Conference and contributor to Dance Teacher magazine, and Dance Informa Magazine.

She was born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1973 and has had a rich and exciting career as a professional Jazz Dancer. In 1992 she was awarded a one-year scholarship to the renowned Tremaine Dance Center in Hollywood. At the completion of her scholarship she performed as the Tremaine Scholarship Show Featured Dancer. She continued her professional studies at the prestigious School of Dance at the University of Arizona, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance in 1997. Tiffany’s career highlights include: performances with Quinn/Williams Jazz at the 1995 Jazz Dance World Congress in Nagoya, Japan; the 1996 Jazz World Congress at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the opening of the International Theatre School in Amsterdam, Holland in 1997 and at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona. She was also a member of Zohar Dance Company, has performed in many industrial shows, including the Microsoft Global Summit and American Greeting Cards, and was a soloist with La JAZDANZ of Louisiana, a company she was instrumental in bringing to the Amador Theatre in Pleasanton. Tiffany is now extremely excited to share her Twinkle Star Dance™ curriculum with studio owners worldwide.

About Twinkle Star Dance

Founded by Tiffany Henderson, owner of seven Tiffany’s Dance Academy locations in California, Twinkle Star Dance is a complete toolkit for studio owners that enables them to “plug” a recreational dance program into their existing studio without increasing their workload. Our mission is to help dance studio owners re-focus their efforts on the backbone of their studio….. the recreation 2-6 year old dancers and the tricky 6-12 year old beginners.

Learn more:


Sponsored By:

Jill Tirone is the website manager of and owner of DanceFit Marketing. Graduating magna cum laude from The University of New York at Buffalo with a B.A. in Dance Education as well as earning an A.A.S. in Office Technology from Genesee Community College, Jill combines years of teaching dance, marketing, and administrative experience to the content and training she provides members at

She is a regular contributor to Dance Teacher Magazine and Dance Retailer News and you’ll find her teaching and presenting business seminars throughout the US and Canada during the busy summer months.

Jill is a dedicated wife and a mom of two incredible girls and she is committed to sharing her passion for dance and marketing and helping dance studio owners thrive. You can follow her on social @jilltirone.




Sponsored By: Dance Attack Competition

Kerry currently resides in Toronto but has spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival. She just choreographed HMS Pinafore for the 2017 Stratford season. Other productions she has worked on include Crazy For You, Fiddler On The Roof, 42nd Street, Camelot, and Two Gentlemen of Verona.You might have seen her on the CBC reality TV show Triple Sensation Season I and II as a dance judge and choreographer.

She has spent 13 seasons at the Charlottetown Festival as part of the creative team and the Director /Choreographer of the Confederation Centre Young Company.  Kerry was also the Children’s Casting and Resident Director for the North American premiere of The Sound Of Music with Mirvish. Her performance credits include: Anne of Green Gables (Charlottetown Festival); Gigi, Love’s Labour’s Lost, My Fair Lady, Romeo & Juliet, The Boyfriend, The Gondoliers (Stratford Festival); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, and Guys & Dolls (Stage West); Grease (Elgin Theatre); Oedipus Rex and Hansel & Gretel (Canadian Opera Company.)

Her choreographic credits include: Mamma Mia, Shrek-the Musical, Elf-the Musical, Miracle on 34th Street, Rocky Horror, Cinderella, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Wizard of OZ, Anne Of Green Gables, Forever Plaid, Nunsensations, The World Goes Round, Annie, the Canadian premiere of Batboy – The Musical, My Way, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Hello Dolly, and Songs for a New World.

Kerry is co-owner and Creative Director of Hoopla Entertainment. She has taught at many theatre institutions such as Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, St.Clair College, St.Lawrence College, Etobicoke School Of the Arts, and George Brown College.

Kerry has been a dance adjudicator for festivals across Canada for twenty years.

“To dance is to be out of yourself, larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.” Agnes de Mille.


Heather Lawrence-Thomas

Sponsored By: Acrobatic Arts

Heather brings over 40 years of teaching experience in the performing arts industry.  She has had extensive training and education from well-known dance masters around the world in Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tap, Ballet, Acrobatics, Musical Theatre and Aerial Arts.

She is a course conductor and certified examiner with Acrobatic Arts, an internationally recognized Acro Dance syllabus; whereby she travels internationally to educate dance teachers and extending into student examination in Acro Dance.
As the Owner and Artistic Director of Expressions the Dance Gallery,  now celebrating its 35th year; Heather has had the opportunity to choreograph productions which have performed in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England, Scotland, Germany, France, Spain, Greece and the USA.

Heather’s dedication and passion towards her students have led many to pursue professional careers in the performing arts, some include: Brittney Spears, Queen Latifah, Wayne Brady, Justin Bieber, Kylie Minogue, Donny and Marie Osmond and the top ten of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Many other students have gone on to performing opportunities with Cruise Lines, Second City Comedy Group, Canada’s Next Comedy Legend and in On and Off Broadway productions involving dance, theatre, aerial acrobats and circus, covering all corners of the world.
Heather is in constant demand across Canada and the USA as an adjudicator, teacher, examiner and choreographer.



Sponsored By: Tap Shoes Canada

Jay is a Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated performer, educator and adjudicator. His twenty-five year teaching career spans Canada’s most prestigious post-secondary arts institutions and dozens of dance studios. A graduate of Ryerson University’s dance program and a former Mr. Dance of Canada, he has been a faculty member at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, George Brown College and Saint Lawrence College. Jay has been a guest teacher at: Sheridan College, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Pearson School for the Arts, the Eastern Arkansas Ballet, Duboforce Mexico, Metro Movement and the Charlottetown Festival Young Company. He is currently the Tap Director at Dimensions in Dance in Kitchener and is a choreographer for the Canadian Tap Team of World Performers.
His professional choreographic credits include: Singin In the Rain (Rubarb),The Fan (Odyssey Theatre), The Time of My Life (Soulpepper), The Haunted Hillbilly (Sidemart Theatrical), Little Shop of Horrors (Magnus Theatre) & Dads II (Magnus Theatre).
As a performer, he continues to work in theatres across the continent. He has performed for The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Mirvish Productions, Capitol Theatre, Charlottetown Festival, Stage West, Drayton Entertainment, Clearchannel Entertainment and dozens more. Some of his favourite roles include: Cosmo in Singin in the Rain, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Bobby in Crazy for You, Skimbleshanks in Cats, Nana in Peter Pan, Pepper in Mamma Mia, Jimmy inWhite Christmas, Ethan in The Full Monty, Jinx in Forever Plaid, Cecil in Anne of Green Gables, Batboy in Batboy the Musical, Action in West Side Story, Barnaby in Hello Dolly.
An accomplished voice-over actor, Jay is the voice of Platy the Platypus on Arthur (PBS Kids), Data Bot, Build Bot & Garbage Bot on Space Ranger Roger (Family Jr), Mr. Security on Inspector Gadget (Teletoon/Netflix), Felix onTrucktown (Treehouse), Blinky on Willa’s Wild Life (YTV / Discovery), Satoru Kakuta on Slam Dunk and Tad in the animated feature Totally Spies-The Movie. His voice has been used by Royal Bank, Microsoft, Pfizer, Subaru, CBC, Aleve, Cepacol, Air Transat, and Motorola. He’s appeared on Discovery Channel’s Mayday, Showcase’s Lost Girl, CBC’s Getting Along Famously, Showtime’s Queer As Folk and the Gemini nominated film From Time to Time. He also provided the motion capture for the lead character Hadyn in the PS3 game Dark Sector.
Jay is one of North America’s most prolific talent adjudicators and has judged and hosted over 150 talent competitions, pageants and festivals across the globe. He is a member and contributor to the Professional Adjudicator Alliance manual, has written articles for The Agent’s Book and had a column in Dance Canada Quarterly. Jay is a recipient of a Tyrone Guthrie Award and a Maud Whitmore Scholarship.
Jay is the owner of Tap Shoes Canada and is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Miller and Ben Tap Shoes.


Sponsored By: Inspirations Dancewear

MTV Music Video nominated choreographer ,TOKYO, has a very unique induction into dance as he was not introduced to dance till he was a Senior in high school. Tokyo grew up in the martial arts and began training at age 5. By the age of 15 he attained several black belts in various arts in addition to training in Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing and MMA (Cage Fighting). At age 17, after a promising undefeated amateur record, just a few months shy of making a professional career in MMA (mixed martial arts/cage fighting), TOKYO discovered dance and his life changed drastically.

Since leaving the “fight” world and entering the dance world, TOKYO has been fortunate enough to have done master classes and choreography in the US, Canada, Australia, Central America, France, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Mexico and UK for many TV shows, music videos, musicals, studios, companies, colleges, casinos and Cirque Du Soleil. TOKYO is returning from France where he choreographed the largest musical production in France’s history, Adam et Eve. In addition, during his time in France, TOKYO choreographed and directed several music videos and TV shows.

Most recently TOKYO choreographed several pieces for SYTYCD-Ukraine as well as for Paula Abdul in Russia. TOKYO is on faculty at the world renowned professional dance studio Millennium Dance Complex as well as guest faculty with EDGE and Broadway Dance Center. Due to TOKYO’s background in martial arts his approach to dance movement, philosophy and teaching is very unique and has been received and loved by many.

TOKYO has recently teamed up with Alisha Captain to produce MOVEtheWORLD, a charity event giving people around the world financial support for medical surgeries and bills. He is extremely excited to give back to those that have given so much to him, through the art of dance!


Sponsored By: Toronto Dance Teacher Expo


Dance Educators International (DEI) focuses on developing knowledgeable dance teachers. A professional training program that offers hands-on practical approaches to key teaching fundamentals in dance education. These strategies can be applied to multiple dance genres and age levels.

Our training programs cover topics on health, student development, class structure, lesson planning, implementation of technique, and offers insight into the business of being a dance teacher. We offer more than just a syllabus for new and experienced dance teachers.

DEI advocates building an international community of highly qualified dance educators.


Sponsored By: Acrobatique Canada

Melissa Klassen: Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus

As creator and director of the Internationally-renowned Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus, Melissa Klassen is your expert of choice for AcroDance. Her methodology and syllabus can be found utilized in hundreds of dance studios across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, the U.K, and the U.S.

Her modern acrobatic techniques, and safe and systematic AcroDance curricula, have become a game changer for dance studio owners. Strong AcroDance education and programing is the competitive edge that studio owners are looking for, and now plays a vital role in the future of professional dance.

With an eye for precision, a passion for mentorship, and a clean and understandable approach, Melissa Klassen is your industry-leader for all things AcroDance.


Sponsored By: Capezio

Paul A. Gordon Choreographer, Dancer, Singer, Teacher, Emcee, Certified Personal Trainer. Paul has performed for over 38 years in theatre, TV variety & specials, mini series, film, industrial shows & commercials. He’s currently performing “All of Me”, a 30’s & 40’s Song & Dance Revue. He performs this cruise ship and club act with his daughter Carly. Paul also created and performs his original Electronic Tap Act for industrial shows and theatres.

Some film credits include Hairspray with John Travolta, The Magic Show with Doug Henning and Didi Conn, Superstar with Molly Shannon & Will Farrell, Feast Of All Saints with Ben Verene and Jennifer Beals, A Christmas Carol with Henery Winkler and the mini series and Me And My Shadows (the Judy Garland Story) with Judy Davis and Victor Garber. Paul has also performed with Karen Kain, Johnny Cash, Ronnie Hawkins, John Ritter, The Muppets and George Hamilton, to name a few. He has appeared in over thirty-five national and international television commercials. Some favourite theatre credits include, Oklahoma at Theatre Aquarius, Swing with Drayton Entertainment and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas at Stage West, Cinderella Pantomime.

He spent four summers performing the lead role and emcee in the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show. Some of his choreography credits include episodes for the children’s T.V. show Noddy for CBC and the mini series Falcone with Jason Gedrick for CBS as well as numerous stage and theatre productions. Paul operated his dance studio for over 20 years and now that he doesn’t teach full time he teaches Tap, Jazz and Song & Dance workshops at studios and conventions across Canada.


Originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Kylie has been training in various styles of dance for over twenty-five years. She holds an honours degree in Kinesiology, and her diverse dance background and exposure includes extensive training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and musical theatre throughout her childhood, and in more recent years has taken to training in contemporary, improvisation, yoga, hip hop, house, and funk styles.  Kylie is a founder of Toronto’s Point of View Dance Project, a contemporary company that she co-directs and co-choreographs with partner Amy Adams. Outside of her own work Kylie has also performed in contemporary works by Gadfly Dance Company (Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Portillo), Alias Dance Project (Lauren Cook and Troy Feldman), Keren Rosenberg (Israel) and Marie Lambin. While residing in Toronto she performed in various commercial shows including Toronto Original Choreographer’s Ball, ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche, Toronto PRIDE, Short Dances in Small Spaces, CONTACT, and Dance Matters. She had the privilege of performing alongside pop artist Kiesza at WE Day 2015 in Toronto.  Kylie has taught and shared her passion for dance at over 50 different studios and dance companies across Canada; including Toronto’s Underground Dance Centre and Vancouver’s Harbour Dance Centre, both as a faculty member and as a guest teacher. She is also a faculty member with Dance Attack Convention. Kylie aims to inspire and motivate all those who she works with, and is dedicated to a life of making her passion her career.


With 30+ years of teaching and choreography experience, a Teaching
Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance, Bachelor of Education
Degree with Honors, a Member of the International Academy of Dance
Adjudicators and the President Alberta Dance Educators Association and
40 years of dance training, Miss Irene comes highly qualified. She makes
sure to keep updated with the latest in dance by attending various dance
conventions and master classes in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas,
Toronto,Vancouver, Phoenix, and even here in Alberta. She has published
her Student Teaching Education Program (S.T.E.P.) Program for dance
teaching preparation and has presented the program to various schools
abroad. She is specialized in Preschool Training as well as classroom
lesson development and has trained many young teachers in the art of
teaching and has presented her unique and progressive teaching methods
at various teacher conventions across Canada. She has been a teaching
mentor for the R.A.D. with the Certified Ballet Teaching Studies Program.

She has owned her own business for 23 years and has shared her business
skills at various conventions including marketing techniques and customer
service relations. Many of her students have gone on to professional dance
careers as well as dance education. She is very enthusiastic and
passionate about the dance industry and she looks forward to passing on
her knowledge and vast experience to teachers of all ages and
experiences. Sharing is the key to becoming an exceptional teacher and
business owner!


Sponsored By: Capezio

Raised in Banff, Karen had the privilege of both working and studying at The Banff Centre.  This rich exposure to the fine arts fueled Karen’s passion for art and led her to pursue a career in dance.   After thirty years of experience in both the pedagogical and artistic performance aspects of dance, Karen is currently completing her Masters of Science in Dance Science at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK.  In addition, Karen holds her Pilates Mat Certification through Pilates Core Integration and is a member of the Board of Directors of Healthy Dance Canada. 

The experience and perspective Karen brings as a dance teacher, studio owner and researcher in dance science, is well rounded. Karen is committed to integrating dance science research and practices into the local dance studio, educating teachers and promoting dancer health and wellness to optimize performance.


When passion meets purpose, you never work a day in your life. Taylor Hiller was born into the dance world as a third generation dancer and educator. Her infectious drive and genuine joy for dance radiate through all of her endeavors. After graduating summa cum laude from University at Buffalo with a B.A. in Dance Education, she worked with River North Dance Chicago and taught dance full-time before starting at REV UP BRANDS.

As a Sales and Marketing Associate at REV UP BRANDS, Taylor works for Revolution Dancewear, Tenth House, Nimbly and where she injects her dance studio knowledge and passion for dance into the annual catalog publications, tradeshows and events. From the excitement of a dancer’s first recital to professionals in the industry, Taylor enjoys working with dancers in every stage of their career by directing and choreographing onset during photoshoots and continuing her teaching career.

With her family, Taylor helps to run La Danse Academie, an educational dance studio in Crest Hill, IL that has been in her family for 50 years. She is passionate about helping other studio owners transform their studio into a thriving and successful business.


Stephanie Graham is an accomplished performer, director, choreographer, producer, and dance educator.

She began her professional career twenty years ago and has performed on stages across Canada including three seasons at The Stratford Festival and five at the Charlottetown Festival. She has directed and choreographed over fifty shows at regional and summer theatres including The Little Mermaid, All Shook Up, Dogfight, Crazy for You, Mary Poppins, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Addams Family and The Sound of Music. She is the recipient of a Dora Award (Toronto) for Outstanding Choreography Musical/Opera for The Wild Party. Upcoming projects include: Kiss Me Kate and Shrek-The Musical.

She is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance Program and has trained at the National Ballet School, Carousel Dance Centre, Banff School of Fine Arts, Broadway Dance Centre (New York City), in London, England and Sydney, Australia.

She has been on the faculty at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, George Brown Dance and has guest taught and adjudicated extensively across Canada. She currently teaches and coordinates a Theatre Jazz class at Metro Movement in Toronto and is the Intern Artistic Director at the Musical Stage Company.



Sarah Dolan has served as the Artistic Director of O2 the Dance Company since it’s creation in 2010. Her commitment to the art and its artists provide a critical framework under which the contemporary company and its members thrive.

She has had the privilege of being part of numerous works and diverse dance shows. Sarah has had the honour of assisting Sean Cheesman on CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Fox America’s So You Think You Can Dance, BBC’s So You Think You Can Dance UK and CBC’s Over the Rainbow. She has enjoyed being a part of Art On Ice as Dancer and Assistant Choreographer, working with musical artist such as Nelly Furtado, Tom Odell, HURTS and skating champions such as Tessa and Scott, Kurt Browning and Joannie Rochette. Sarah has had the pleasure of choreographing for musical artists Paul Brandt, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and Hockey Canada.

She is thrilled and honoured to be a part of the Toronto & Calgary Dance Teacher Expos.