Stephanie started dancing at age 3, under the tutelage of Ida Sutton-Jones, at her studio in the Guild, Scarborough. She later trained with Audrey Looker, Royal Academy of Dancing (R.A.D) teacher and examiner. Her earliest teachers provided a solid foundation in classical ballet and her love of dance quickly blossomed, thanks to their warmth and meticulous training. She joined Coysh School of Dance and spent the remainder of her student years in the expert care of Miss Donna Coysh, Royal Academy of Dancing (R.A.D) teacher and life member.
Stephanie is a fully certified ballet teacher with the Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PAEC) and the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (CDTA). Additionally, she earned her Jazz and Tap teaching licenses with PAEC, and is happy to be a part of their Musical Theater team. For the past eighteen years, Stephanie has taught ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern and musical theater in the Durham area, most of those years at Kimberlee’s Dance Studio, in Ajax. Stephanie co-directed Art*Beats, an arts immersion program for children, and is one of the founding directors and performers of You-Nique Dance Collective, a non-profit performance company based in Toronto.
Stephanie graduated from the University of Toronto with specialist degrees in Arts Management and Dramatic Arts. She earned her Bachelor of Education degree from York University and a Masters degree in Teaching, Curriculum and Learning from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto. Stephanie completed her Specialist degree in Theater Education (elementary and secondary levels) and is a member of CODE (Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators).
While completing her Masters degree at OISE, Stephanie was a volunteer performer with The Kids on the Block, an educational puppet troupe that uses life sized puppets to educate young people about childhood illnesses. With puppet skills refined, Stephanie accepted an offer from NEDIC, housed in The Toronto General Hospital to help create puppet shows for children in Toronto schools about healthy body image and nutrition. Never passing up an opportunity to work with young people in artistic ways, Stephanie accepted numerous drama and dance teaching opportunities, most notably at the ROM, Confederation Center of the Arts (P.E.I), Spadina Museum, and Colborne Lodge, in Toronto.
Stephanie had the incredible experience of working for two years at The Institute of Child Study, a laboratory school of the University of Toronto. There she helped implement the Learning Through the Arts project, partnering community artists with ICS teachers to create rich and lasting artistic experiences for kids, both at their main campus in Toronto and the integrated kindergarten program at the Bloorview MacMillan Center.
Stephanie is beginning her twelfth year as a full time school teacher with the Durham District School Board. She has taught kindergarten and grades 1-3 in the past and is currently working as a Drama, Dance, and Vocal Music teacher at a public school in Oshawa. Always wanting to provide artistic experiences to as many children as possible, Stephanie happily runs many extra curricular programs, including dance groups and school choirs.
This year marks the fifth season of Emerald School of Ballet and she is delighted to welcome back friends and cherished students. Grateful for the meticulous and refined training she received throughout her life, Stephanie offers the same to her students and will work diligently to nurture the love of dance in all who walk through the emerald doors.
"I was once asked how I could make my small corner of the world more beautiful. I waited only a minute or two before answering...kind words, relentless belief in the human spirit and hundreds of dancing souls."