At Leap Studios, we are passionate about dance, supportive communities, and learning skills that make lives better. Our talented team of teachers is dedicated to providing a friendly atmosphere, where individuals can learn and grow while making strong friendships.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Leap Studios!
I love being able to inspire people in their daily lives, make them smile and feel lighter…I’ll be your guide into the wonderful world of dance and movement here at Leap!
I started Leap in 2013 when my daughters were 2 and 5 years of age.
As someone who grew up dancing all styles of dance and competed for over 10 years, I was inspired to build a studio where kids could have the same opportunities as I did. I wasn't finding that same balance of keeping kids "kids-first" and able to have proper time for their family, school, and friends that I had experienced - but also, have come to know through academic research, is important for the mental, physical, and social health of developing young children into healthy adulthood.
Leap was created to fill a void in the Calgary dance education experience based on what I could see - or rather, not see.
I was driven to create a safe and engaging school that would do away with the old model of murky secrecy around methods and conduct, and the damaging "be the best, at all costs" mentality. I created this studio as a parent, as a community member (my family lives in the area we serve), a business professional with vast experience, a community supporter, a certified educator, a lifelong learner, an advocate for stopping the objectification of underage dancers and non-consenting adults, a proponent of using peer-reviewed research to inform dance programming, and as someone who is willing to take the difficult path to make the dance industry better, day by day, decision by decision because it's the right thing to do and not because of trophies and arbitrary awards.
My reason for building the Leap community is not to corner the dance market: rather, I do what it takes to make the dance industry better - for your children and mine, and the children who will follow.
I thank you for entrusting Leap Studios with the education and experiences your child will have with dance. I promise we will take great care of them, and will provide a nurturing and rewarding community for them and your family. We are glad you're here!
Jill holds instructional dance certifications from Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (Y.P.A.D.), Leap 'N Learn ballet, and Sugarfoot Theraphy. Jill's formal education in Commerce (Marketing and Finance majors), Interior Design, and Advanced Principles and Practice of Mindfulness has taken her around the world in her career, working in industries such as oil and gas pipeline and refining, regulatory training and compliance, critical infrastructure management, workplace design and product manufacturing, and marketing management. A lifelong learner, Jill is currently pursuing graduate studies in Psychology in pursuit of defining why and how dance and movement contributes to a joyful life - so we can all benefit from doing more of that!
Besides building a positive community within the studio, she also enjoys giving back to the community-at-large. Jill is a co-founder of Dance Safe Canada Council Inc., a national non-profit association that serves the mission to create and educate on safety, compliance, policy and procedural standards of excellence for dance studio owners and educators. DSCC originated as Dance Safe Alberta, which remains the active Alberta-based chapter of DSCC assisting all studios and educators in Leap's home province. Jill is an active member of Wild Rose Dance Arts Association (WRDAA), and serves internationally on the Board of Directors for YPAD (www.ypadnow.com).
Leap Studios is a proud sponsor of local school foundations, community groups, and non-profit agencies through corporate donations and sponsorships.
Miss Chelsea's love for dance began when she took her first dance class at the age of three in her home town studio in Lloydminster. Her talent and commitment earned her exciting opportunities to travel and showcase her artistry: she has performed as a dancer with Caribbean Cruise Lines, on stage with Shania Twain and in a Jason Blain music video.
Chelsea obtained her Bachelor in Education from the University of Saskatchewan in 2011, and has taught in elementary and middle schools in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. She recently moved to Calgary from Kelowna with her husband and daughter (who celebrated her second birthday this past summer!). Chelsea has completed her Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD) and Leap N' Learn (ballet and creative movement) certifications through Leap Studios' -sponsored faculty development program.
Miss Jenna has been an active member of Calgary's dance community for over 20 years. She greatly enjoyed 13 years dedicated to dancing competitively, and three years in a pre-professional high school program at Central Memorial High School. She loves to teach all styles of dancing but in particular Jazz and Acro hold a place in her heart.
Jenna recently completed her certification in Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT), Module one of Acrobatic Arts, as well as her first and second module of Acro Dance Teachers Association. Miss Jenna has also attended countless teacher workshops with some of the top choreographers in the world including:
Mia Michaels, Shannon Mather, Denise Wall, Anthony Morigerato, Mandy Yip and more.
Heather Thomson was born in Calgary Alberta, Canada. She started her professional training at the age of 15 at the School of Alberta Ballet under the direction of Murray & Nancy Kilgour. She later joined Alberta Ballet II under the direction of Aram Manukyan, where she performed a variety of Ballets including Ben Stevenson’s Don Quixote, Edmond Stripe’s The Nutcracker and Madame Butterfly, set by Houston Ballet’s Stanton Welch.
Heather received the Muriel Jolliffe Endowment for Dance scholarship to attend the Banff Centre’s Professional Dance Program the summer of 2015. She later joined Ballet Kelowna, and since that time has performed works by Artistic Director Simone Orlando, and choreographers such as John Alleyne, Gioconda Barbuto, James Kudelka, Heather Myers, Donald Sales, Gabrielle Lamb and Matjash Mrozewski. In 2017, she joined the Performance Research Project in Vancouver, under the direction of Lesley Telford. Most recently in 2018, Heather has performed in Dancer’s Studio West's 37th Annual Alberta Dance Festival under the direction of Sasha Ivanochko, performing We Three choreographed by Allison Burns.
Heather’s true passion lies in movement and connection with her students. Through her dance and teaching experience, she aims to create a motivating and empowering atmosphere for her students to grow and unlock their maximum potential. When Heather is not occupied by the arts, you can also find her on her yoga mat as a registered yoga instructor.
Daphne White is a certified dance instructor with vast education and experience! You'll find Daphne working with Leap students this year in: Ballet, PBT, Acro, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Lyrical.
Jenny Dahm is a certified dance instructor, experienced in teaching styles including Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Musical Theater, hip hop, modern, lyrical, and Pointe. Miss Jenny competed for 12 years at many different dance competitions in Canada and the US and performed in Disneyland! Right now Miss Jenny is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Royal University. She is a certified Adapt tap and jazz syllabus teacher.
Amber Chan is a certified dance instructor, and most enjoys teaching Ballet, Lyrical, and Jazz!
Miss Rachel keeps our office running oh so smoothly with her keen eye for detail and exemplary organizational skills. It's not a wonder she approaches every task with precision: she is a Professional Ballerina after all, and performs with Nevada Ballet Theatre!
Dance has been a big part of Miss Jenny's world since she was 7 years old. She has experience with all different kinds of styles including tap, jazz, contemporary, ballet, musical theater, hip hop, modern, lyrical, and pointe. Miss Jenny competed for 12 years at many different dance competitions in Canada and the US and performed in Disneyland! Right now Miss Jenny is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Royal University. She is a certified Adapt tap and jazz syllabus teacher.
Miss Amber will tell us more herself very soon :)
Miss Rachel keeps our office running oh so smoothly with her keen eye for detail and exemplary organizational skills. It's not a wonder she approaches every task with precision: she is a Professional Ballerina after all!
Our conveniently-located studio in Springbank Hill/Aspen is equipped with viewing monitors, state-of-the-art equipment and is professionally cleaned daily. Enhanced COVID cleaning and disinfection protocols in place, using safe and Health Canada approved botanical products:
We are proudly affiliated with leading dance curriculum that encourages safe, happy and healthy training.
One of the best indices of our safe training philosophy is that we have had one injury (a broken finger) since our studio started...over the course of 18,000 hours of instruction! Our students do not get injured or experience strain - we believe our ultimate responsibility as coaches is to teach progressively, with safe techniques, so that children learn to take great care of their bodies!
Whether dance is a primary activity or a casual interest, we have intake throughout the year to keep you moving!
Ms. Melissa Klassen (Acrobatique founder and master instructor and examiner)
Mr. Brandon Wood (Acrobatique master instructor and examiner)
Miss Julie England (RAD Ballet, Acro; Award-winning choreographer; Expert Adjudicator)
Mr. Christopher Scruggs (Alberta Ballet Company Dancer)
Mrs. Beverly Spell (Founder, Leap 'N Learn syllabus program)
Mr. Ryan Jackson (touring member with "Wicked")
Ms. Abigail Gatlin (touring member with "Beauty and the Beast")
Ms. Danielle Benton (touring member with "Mary Poppins")
Mr. Farzam Bahrambic
Calgary dance studio teachers