Meet Our Teachers

Encouragement and positivity are what our studio is built on and we pass this along to each of our students.
Chyna Schell Director HDA

Director/Owner

Chyna Schell

I started dancing at Haliburton Dance Academy in 1996 and cannot imagine my life without the influential part dance has played. During the time leading up to our 20th Anniversary showcase in spring 2016, I reconnected with some past alumni. So many of them talked about how much of a crucial role HDA played in shaping the person they are today. Dance is about so much more than fitness. It is a unique sport where you are not only an athlete but an artist. An artist who can’t show the pain, but must perform with a smile. Added to this are the incredible components any extra-curricular activity will teach our children; time management, teamwork, discipline, emotional release, respect, responsibility, good sportsmanship, and the list goes on. We have a strong family dynamic at HDA with all of our dancers and instructors. This includes love, consideration and above all, knowing that they can walk through the doors of a safe place and be themselves.

Instructor/Choreographer

Shay Hutchings

Read about Shay

Shay-Lynn started dancing at Haliburton Dance Academy at the age of two. She joined the competitive dance team at a young age and continued competing with HDA until graduating high school.

At the age of 11, Shay participated and performed in the Dusk Dances Performances in Toronto as a lead dancer and cast member in “The Hat”. During her dance career, she has attended numerous dance and acrobatic workshops, auditions and competitions throughout Ontario, receiving many overall awards, Judge’s Choice awards, workshop scholarships and cash scholarships for her performances.

Shay started teaching dance when she was 15 years old and currently teaches for the recreational and competitive dance teams offered at Haliburton Dance Academy. She has also had the privilege of teaching for Peterborough Performing Arts Centre’s competitive dance team. Shay has practiced Acro for many years and is certified with Acrobatic Arts; a well-renowned syllabus connected with Cirque Du Soleil.

Her love for dance and movement influenced Shay to further her education and study human anatomy and biomechanics. From there she passed the CMTO’s licensing exams and is now practicing as a Registered Massage Therapist and is a member of the RMTO. Shay has incorporated her knowledge and expertise to enhance her teaching and uses her experiences to assure the most productive strength training and flexibility exercises are understood by her dancers, educating them thoroughly on injury prevention.

In addition to learning the art of dance, Shay learned discipline, respect, time management and was blessed with many relationships with teachers and students she will cherish forever. Haliburton Dance Academy always strives for a strong family dynamic and has been like a second home to Shay.

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Contemporary/Hip Hop

Matthew Montgomery

Read about Matthew

Matthew Montgomery is a professional dancer and choreographer who has been training in all areas of dance for over 20 years. He graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Dance Performance. Matthew has had the privilege of working with esteemed choreographers such as D.A. Hoskins, Viki St. Denys, Kenny Pearl, Niki Wozniak, Julia Aplin, David Earle, Hari Krishnan of INdance, and Nick Tull. He has been fortunate enough to have toured throughout Canada and the United States with Being Human Dance, INdance, and Dancetheatre David Earle. Matthew has been teaching for over a decade, with students moving on to professional careers in dance and training programs throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has been the head of the Contemporary and Hip Hop departments at Studio P.A.V.A.S. for ten years now. One of his former students who he had privately mentored, was cast in a leading role in the Mirvish production of ‘Matilda’. This past winter, Wesleyan University invited him to be an annual guest mentor with their dance majors, helping develop new techniques and programs. Matthew was proud to be part of the Dora Award-winning opera ‘Iphigenie En Tauride’. He was also a featured soloist in Deleriums ‘Days Turn Into Nights’ music video, as well as Serena Ryders ‘Slow’ music video. Matthew proudly took the stage at the Much Music Video Awards with recording artists Nick Jonas, and Jason Derulo. To this day, he continues to advance his training and technique in Toronto, New York, and other cities around the world.

Acro Teacher/Choreographer

Tiffany Ratz

Read about Tiffany

Tiffany is well versed in all forms of dance; specializing in acrobatics. She has over 16 years teaching in the industry and has acquired many accreditations including certifications in Artistic and Rhythmic gymnastics, A.D.A.P.T., D.M.A as well as leads teacher training programs.

Tiffany’s students have been chosen for a number of prestigious opportunities including representing Canada at the Dance World Cup and IDO World Dance Championships, brand ambassador positions, as well as being cast for professional performances. Tiffany’s efforts have been recognized through the achievements of her students; who have won numerous titles, competition overalls, along with choreography and performance awards.

As the co-founder of Acro Alliance, she has been flown around the world for choreography, student and teacher workshops. Tiffany is quickly becoming one of the premier teachers and choreographers in her field. Her diverse array of training allows her to challenge and develop each dancer in her care, into a unique and individual artist.

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Hip Hop & Tap Teacher/Choreographer

Ben Gerrior

Read about Ben

Ben grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and at a young age started dancing in various disciplines with a focus on tap. After continuing dance throughout high school, and adding hip hop to his focus, he graduated from a Teacher Education Program and became a classroom teacher working throughout Ontario. His passion for dance has always been present and he is ecstatic to be able to help young dancers find and develop their creative voice, confidence and passion for dance.

Teacher/Choreographer

Emma Scheffee

Read about Emma

Emma Scheffee joined Haliburton Dance Academy in 2002 at the age of 3 and is a recent graduate as of 2017. Emma is currently studying at the University of Ottawa for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Growing up, Emma was lucky enough to look up to and dance along side studio instructor, Shay, and studio owner, Chyna. With her increasing passion for dance over the years, she knew that she wanted to have the same influence and impact on the younger dancers.

Emma has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, acro, lyrical, hip hop, and musical theatre. She has participated in competitions, year-end recitals, workshops, and other dance events throughout Ontario, collecting many highest overall awards, special awards, and cash scholarships.

Emma has taken many opportunities to come closer to the dance community within Haliburton Dance Academy. She began assisting dance classes when she entered the intermediate level. Taking interest in helping dancers learn and grow, Emma started teaching and choreographing recreational and competitive classes in 2017. She quickly perceived teaching as an additional love of hers and enjoys taking on a leadership role in a dance environment.

Emma looks forward to her future in teaching and further involvement in the studio. Her hopes are to continue to instill confidence and creativity within the dancers.

Emma
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Teacher/Choreographer

Andrea Lithgoe-Allen

Read about Andrea

Andrea is a professional dance artist, choreographer and teacher based in Haliburton County. She grew up dancing in Newmarket, Ontario and graduated from the Arts York Dance Program at Unionville High School.

Her love of dance flourished as she continued on to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Performance Dance at Ryerson University. While training at Ryerson under director Nadia Potts, Vicky St.Denys, Kenny Pearl and Karen Duplisea, Andrea had the opportunity to work with choreographers D.A. Hoskins and Holly Small. Upon graduating from Ryerson, Andrea performed with Peggy Baker Dance Projects in Nuit Blanche, and with Parahumans Dance Theatre.

Other wonderful opportunities along the way include performing with Ink on Paper Dance Theatre, 60×60 Toronto, Dance Ontario Dance Weekend, and the Junction Arts Festival. Andrea performed and choreographed for Dusk Dances Peterborough, Public Energy’s Emergency Festival and at the University of Toronto. Andrea has been on faculty at various studios in Toronto and Kawartha Lakes and has been an artist-in-residence at McMaster University and York Region District School Board Arts Camp.

She is a Mama of two young wildlings, a yoga instructor, reiki practitioner, and was a pointe shoe specialist at Danceshoppe in Toronto. She moved to the Halliburton area in June 2018, and embarked on a home-building adventure with her family! So far she loves living in the woods and fostering her children’s connection with nature. Her love of dance is deep, and she knows everyone has a vibrant dancer within! Andrea is excited to join HDA and put her dancing hat/shoes on again after some time away with her babies. She looks forward to offering her perspective, experience and spark to the dancers and community of HDA!

Teacher/Choreographer

Terri Mathews

Read about Terri
*Member of CDTA  (Canadian *Dance Teachers Association )
*Level 1 Gymnastic Certification
*Member of PAA (professional Adjudicators Alliance)
*Former owner/director of Haliburton Dance Arts
*Cultural and Creative Coordinator of City Of Brampton
Terri Mathews
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Guest Teacher/Choreographer

Quinn Schell

Read about Quinn

Coming Soon!

Guest Teacher/Choreographer

Bailey Woodman

Read about Bailey

Bailey Woodman is an accomplished professional dance artist from Toronto, Canada, trained in all disciplines of dance. She grew up competition across North America and Europe from the tender age of 7, and at the age of 16 was certified by one of the worlds most influential dance organizations, the Royal Academy of Dance as an Associate Member of Ballet. She continued to further her training by attending numerous dance conventions under scholarship and training in dance capitals of the world such as New York and LA to help develop her strengths in the commercial world of dancing as well.
Bailey has been privileged to work professionally on stage, television and in film around the world. Her professional career started at only seven years old where she was chosen to perform for Toronto’s NBA team for five consecutive years as a part of the Mini Raptors Dance Pak. Since then her career has sky-rocketed and she has been fortunate enough to be a part of two original casts with Cirque Du Soleil; SAND which debuted in Saudi Arabia, and Tout Ecartille which showcased in Quebec. Bailey was proud to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday dancing on Parliament Hill for artists such as Serena Ryder, Walk Off the Earth, Alessia Cara and sharing the stage with U2. Bailey has also shared the stage with Bachman Turner Overdrive as the dance captain of the closing ceremonies of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games hosted in Toronto. Some of Bailey’s other credits include one of four back up dancers on the European tour of opening act and protege of Celine Dion, Veronic Dicaire’s Voices, the original cast of Starwater produced by Moment Factory and directed by Kristen Chenoweth, member of the Olympic Torch Performance Team, dancer at national tourist destination Canada’s Wonderland, and back up dancing for mega-stars such as Richard Simmons and Gloria Gaynor as a part of Disco Days and Boogie Nights. You can also see Bailey as a feature dancer in Canada’s version of hit American TV Shows; Lip Sync Battle and The Voice. Bailey is featured on the third largest cruise ship in the world as the featured
dancer in the state of the art Two70 show, Starwater’s 18-screen footage created by
Moment Factory.
When Bailey is not performing around the globe, she finds herself teaching, choreographing and adjudicating around Canada. Bailey is known for her never-ending supply of positive energy and passion for storytelling. Students of hers are inspired through her enthusiasm, energy and “performance first” full out approach to dancing. Bailey loves sharing what she has learned with students of all ages and skill levels.
She will inspire those in her class to work to their fullest potential through her passionate
approach and have you telling the audience a story you’ve never told before!

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Meet Our Teachers
in Training & Summer Dance Camp Counsellors

Teacher in Training

Wyatt Hutchings

Read about Wyatt

Wyatt Hutchings has been dancing for 12 years, starting at the age of four. After attending competitions with his older sister and brothers, he became so fascinated that he could not wait to have his turn on the stage. Being especially interested in Musical Theatre at every event he attended, he was drawn in by the possibility of being silly and making people laugh. Bringing a sense of relief and joy to his audience is what drives Wyatt during his performances as he feels that is something the world needs more of. He also loves dancing because it is his way of showing people it’s okay to bring whatever side of yourself you may be nervous to show the world to the surface, be confident and of course, always have fun.

 Wyatt has won many special awards, overall awards and highest overall scores while attending competitions across Ontario, some of which including cash scholarships.

Along with his favourite, Musical Theatre, Wyatt also studies Tap, Jazz, Acro, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Pointe and Hip Hop.

Wyatt says that he can confidently say dance has helped him achieve a new level of self-esteem, allowing him to be more comfortable talking to people and helping him to be more outgoing.

He looks forward to applying his knowledge and experience to a career in the performance industry in the future.

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haliburton-dance-academy-Skye Lambshead

Teacher in Training & Summer Dance Camp Counsellor

Skye Lambshead

Read about Skye

Coming Soon!

Teacher in Training

Jordy Schell

Read about Jordy

Jordy started dancing at the age of 9 after attending the HDA spring recital. He quickly fell in love with the studio and it became his safe space where he was free to be himself. Since then, Jordy has competed at multiple competitions across Ontario winning many overall high scores, scholarships, special awards and receiving special performance opportunities.

In 2015 Jordy had the opportunity to work with Cirque du Soleil for three months and performed in the opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games. In 2016 he played the role of The Artful Dodger in Oliver for the Haliburton Summer Festival and won the hearts of his audience. In 2019 he will be working with the Summer Festival once again in the role of Nelius in Mary Poppins.
 
Jordy has attended many workshops including Acrobatic Arts, a Contortion Workshop with Meaghan Wegg, and one of his favourites was with the cast of The Next Step where he won the “Best Hip Hopper Award”. 
 
Jordy is happiest when he is onstage or working in the studio. Dance has become his outlet and he puts his heart and soul into perfecting his art. He currently studies Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Tap, Acro and Hip Hop.
 
Jordy’s future plans are to get his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and become a full-time dance teacher.
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haliburton-dance-academy-Jordyn.Nicholls

Summer Dance Camp Counsellor

Jordyn Nicholls

Read about Jordyn

Coming Soon!

Summer Dance Camp Counsellor

Sydney Churko

Read about Sydney

Coming Soon!

Meet Our Dance
Assistants

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Dance Assistant

Hannah Sharp

Read about Hannah

Hannah Sharp has been dancing since 2012. She loves all types of dance including Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Musical Theatre, Lyrical and Hip Hop, but Acro is her favourite. In 2018, Hannah received the award as Dancer of the Year. She loves the feeling of dancing on stage and showing her friends and family what she has worked so hard on all year long. Hannah looks forward to dancing for many years to come!

Dance Assistant

Sydney Parish

Read about Sydney

Sydney’s love for dance began at the age of 3. She lives and breathes for dance and aspires to be a professional and admirable dancer for the national ballet. Sydney loves to help teach young dancers whose goals and ambitions align with her own and watching their passion for dancing is one of her favourite things. Sydney has been a competitive dancer for 7 years performing at multiple competitions across Ontario winning many special awards, overall high scores, Most Potential Dancer Award and a Scholarship to CDX Summer Workshop. With Ballet and Acrobatics being two of Sydney’s favourite disciplines, she has extended her training to include studying with Acro Alliance, attending the Ballet Jorgen Summer Intensive program in 2018 at George Brown College and after a successful audition for the Professional Training Program Summer Intensive at Quinte Ballet of Canada; she anticipates a fantastic experience this coming summer 2019 there as well.

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Dance Assistant

Madelyn Walker

Read about Madelyn

Madelyn is an assistant for our younger classes at Haliburton Dance Academy and is 11 years old. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and dancing competitively since she was 6. Dance is her passion and she love all types, but lyrical is her favourite. Madelyn and her cousin have performed a duet for three years now winning multiple overall and special awards at many competitions throughout Ontario. Madelyn loves helping the little dancers and enjoys watching them fall in love with dancing just like her.