Vitek Wincza graduated as a professional dancer from the State Ballet School in Gdansk, Poland. He has performed for the Musical Theatre of Gdynia, Poland; The Grand Opera; the Ballet Theatre of Lodz, Poland; and the National Dance Company “Mazowsze” where he toured throughout North America. After several successful performances in Hamilton Place, he decided to stay permanently in Canada. In 1982, after his defection, he ran and operated his own dance school in Burlington and Hamilton area. He is a dancer, choreographer, producer, and arts educator.
Faculty – Hip Hop
Monique Armstrong has been dancing hip-hop since she was 14 years old. After honing her talent for the next 3 years dancing and choreographing competitively for a Toronto group called Dymondz. Dymondz is known in Toronto for being one of the most innovative and fresh dance groups ever to grace hip hop scene. Monique then went to audition and back up dance for numerous Canadian Artists hiphop and R&B artists such as Bobby Blake, Jenna G , J-man of Camp Rock and Drake. She directed stage shows at events such as Grad Night at Canada Wonderland, Summer Rush, The International Car show at the Rogers Centre, The Grey Cup and Snoop Dogg’s tour in 2002.
In summer of 2002 she met, SYTYCDC judge, Luther Brown and after auditioning with him was given one the lead roles in the first hip hop musical call “On My Way Home”. In 2004 Monique graduated from McMaster with a degree in Communications Studies specializing in performance and mass media and Theatre and Film. For the duration of her academic career at McMaster she led the Urban Dance company as the Assistant Artistic Director under the direction of Dave Wilson. More recently she has been involved in developing hip hop programs at Dancers Burlington and Lois Laxton Dance studio.
Faculty – Modern/ Education Programs
Julia Garlisi has been working with David Earle since 2003. She is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre Professional Training Program. Along with being an active company member of Dancetheatre David Earle, independently, she has been fortunate to work with Denise Duric, Janet Johnson, Newton Moraes, Suzette Sherman, Lacey Smith, Toronto Heritage Dance, and the Niagara Dance Company. Julia has also created choreography for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Stratford Spring Works Indie Theatre & Art Festival, and the Suzuki String School. Julia is currently teaches education programs and the modern dance program at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts.
Faculty – Senior Classical Ballet
Olga graduated from the State Specialized Choreographic School in the Ukraine. She has danced for the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Moldavia, the Kiev National Theatre, The Kiev Classical Ballet Theatre in the Ukraine, and the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Russia. She has performed all classical repertoire for over 20 years throughout Europe, North America and Asia.
Faculty – Ballet
Ilona has studied ballet and other forms of dance for over twenty years. Her early training was in the Russian style of ballet. As a teenager she attended the Cecchetti based Lois Smith Dance School in Toronto. Upon completion of high school, Ilona was accepted into the dance program at York University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Degree in Dance. She studied ballet and Modern dance intensively as well as choreography and repertory. Ilona has performed in a number of pieces, the most memorable being Jose Limon’s classic work A Choreographic Offering. After deciding that teaching was her passion she enrolled at Seneca College to study Early Childhood Education.
In 1995 she traveled to Australia to attend Teacher’s College at the University of Western Sydney. During her stay in Australia she had the opportunity to implement a series of creative arts workshops for children. Ilona completed her year with a graduate Diploma in Education. Since graduating, she has taught a wide range of ages in Canada and South Korea, including preschool, middle school, high school and adults. Ilona has been employed by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board as an elementary school teacher since the year 2000.
Faculty – Ballet
Jennifer began studying dance at age seven and has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre and lyrical. She danced competitively for ten years winning numerous awards at competitions within Canada as well as the USA. In 2003, Jennifer had the honour of representing Canada at the World Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany. She competed at the World Tap Championships and won a bronze metal along with her Canadian team members. While studying at Brock University, Jennifer was an active member of the Brock Dance Team and choreographed for the competitive tap group. She currently works for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board as an elementary school teacher and is thrilled to now be able to share her love of dance with her students at the HCA.
Faculty – Triple Threat / Glee Squad / Hip-Hop / Jazz / Combo / Competitive / Ballet
Megan began dancing at the age of 3. Under the tutelage of Vitek she passed her Society of Russian Ballet exams. During this time she was part of the Hamilton Ballet Youth Ensemble, performing with Karen Kain, for Prince Charles and joining the Ensemble of Snow White, the Nutcracker and many other Ballet Productions. She then went on to learn Jazz, Musical Theater, Modern, Lyrical as well as exploring diverse cultural dances. As a competitive dancer she won many awards and scholarships. Throughout her teaching career she has won several choreography awards and her students have been awarded distinctions onstage.
Amanda De Freitas
Faculty – Jazz
Amanda is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School’s 3 year Teacher Training Program. She is an established performing artist and has been working in the musical theater, film, and television industry. Amanda performed on stage for 4 years with ‘The Lion King’, toured with the musical ‘Hairspray’, and worked on Broadway–she loves to share her first hand expertise and experience with her students.