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The Best of the best

We have an incredible team of teachers that are experienced, well trained and knowledgeable. A poorly trained or inexperienced dance instructor can cause serious, or even permanent injury. Both the recreational and competitive student will receive the proper training appropriate to their level. Environment is also important. Our studio is equipped with the proper sprung flooring, mirrors and barres to facilitate proper training. The atmosphere at our studio is friendly and welcoming. Negativity and “cliques” are strongly frowned upon. It is of top importance to us that every student feel comfortable and accepted so that they may learn and progress to the best of their ability. Dance is a discipline as well as an art form and we adhere to this long-standing tradition.

Bigger does not always mean better. We keep our class sizes small so that every student can receive the individual attention they need. Dancing promotes fitness, flexibility & coordination, discipline, builds self esteem while learning to work  in a group…and it’s fun!!! We can help make dance an integral part of your child’s life. The benefits that come with proper dance training will last a lifetime!

Leanne Klassen
Studio Director

Leanne Klassen


Studio Director
Leanne has been teaching dance classes to students ages 4-adult for over 35 years and has been involved in dance for over 45 years, beginning at the young age of 5 when she started taking ballet classes. This led to studying classes in jazz & tap as well, then eventually to musical theatre, modern and lyrical. Over the years, Leanne performed in many festivals, fashion shows & performing arts shows including Hamilton Ti-Cat half time shows and Hamilton's sesquicentennial celebration. Leanne attended the University of Waterloo where she studied the dance program, and furthered her training in ballet, jazz, modern and choreography, while also studying music, kinesiology, anatomy, child psychology, drama and dance history. After graduating, she taught classes in jazz, ballet, tap, acro and modern for different studios throughout the Niagara Peninsula and performed with several dance companies before opening her own studio in Grimsby (her hometown) in 1999. Starting at a modest location with only 50 students, Beyond The Barre Dance Company has grown to a thriving studio with some of the best teachers and choreographers the area has to offer. Her studio's students continue to excel in their dance studies, winning numerous awards & scholarships at competitions and going on to study dance after high school and dance professionally or teach. Her students have also been accepted into the National Ballet of Canada's prestigious summer school, the Hamilton City Ballet's production of The Nutcracker and Ballet Jorgen's production of Swan Lake. Some of Leanne's competition awards include Highest Overall Senior Mark, Overall Adjudicator's Choice, Best Overall Senior Choreography and Most Unique Concept. Leanne also credits her amazing teaching staff who have helped raise her studio to be one of the best in the area while maintaining a close, family atmosphere. Her goal is maintain the fact that dance is a discipline as well as an art form and to share her love of dance with as many students as she can...to give them the same wonderful memories, life skills and experiences that dancing gave to her. Leanne is a proud member of Dance Ontario and P.A.A. (Professional Adjudicator's Alliance).

Maria Malek
Competitive Ballet

Maria Malek


Competitive Ballet
This very talented and experienced dancer and teacher was born and went to school in Egypt. She started training professionally at age 9 when she was 1 of 10 out of 1,000 to be accepted to attend the Professional High Institute of Ballet in Egypt instructed by Russian teachers. In 1974, she moved to Montreal. Here, the Grand Ballet liked her Russian style of dance so she continued to be in many productions such as the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Life of Strauss, Don Quixote, Gizelle and many others. With a diploma to teach ballet professionally in the Russian Vaganova style, she teaches many group and private classes from which her students have gone on to great success. Her dance education credits include The Academic Ballet School in Cairo, High Institute of Ballet in Cairo, Governmental Institute of Theatre Arts in Moscow, The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. She has performed and taught with Ecole de Ballet de Danse Art de Montreal, Hungarian National Dance Academy in Budapest, Rainbow Stage Theatre in Winnipeg, McGill University, Les Ballets Russes de Montreal, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Cairo Ballet Company in Egypt.

Brittney Turnbull
Competitive Acro, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary

Brittney Turnbull


Competitive Acro, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary
Brittney has been dancing since the young age of three and began competing at the age of seven. She has trained at multiple dance studios finishing off at Rhythm Plus Dance Co. Training in multiple genres, she focused primarily on acro, ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz. As both a competitive and recreational teacher, Brittney and her students have received multiple special awards and choreography awards at competition. Throughout her training she has been molded by many inspirational teachers and has had many opportunities to further educate herself and grow as a dancer and instructor. She was part of Team Canada in 2003, travelling to Boston and working with choreographers Alex Wong and Blake McGrath. She also traveled to Poland for the jazz, ballet and modern team. In 2012, Brittney joined the Dance Masters of Canada Chapter 38, taking part in different pageants and educational opportunities . In 2015 she was announced as the new Miss Dance of Canada. Brittney continues to promote her love of dance by teaching all different genres while continuing to further her own training. She is a certified Acro instructor through Dance Masters of America. Along with dance, Brittney is also pursuing a medical education to help further understanding of the human body to aid in her teaching techniques. Brittney is excited to further promote the love of dance with her students and help them reach their goals. "If you dance with your heart, your body will follow".

Emily Clark
Competitive Tap, Jazz, Lyrical

Emily Clark


Competitive Tap, Jazz, Lyrical
Emily began dancing at the age of 3 and has been involved in the dance world ever since. She trained as both a recreational and competitive dancer for 15 years, studying many disciplines such as ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, and tap, and obtaining high marks in RAD ballet examinations as well as CDTA jazz and tap examinations over the years. Throughout her many years of competing, Emily found a true passion for tap and chose to further pursue this discipline as she started her career as a teacher. With a drive to teach and improve technique, coupled with a meticulous eye for detail and cleanliness, Emily’s choreography has received numerous special awards, judge's choice awards, top discipline awards, overall standings, top-scoring placements in regional competitive dance showdowns, as well as winning Shine’s Intermediate Young Choreographer’s award in 2014, Munchkin/Junior Young Choreographer’s Award in 2019 and Shine's Young Choreographer of the Year Award in 2019. Alongside tap, Emily has also taught many jazz and ballet technique classes at both a competitive (novice, pre-competitive and competitive) and recreational level. Emily completed an Honours BASc in Kinesiology with the University of Guelph, obtained a Diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion with Humber College, and is currently a Registered Kinesiologist with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario. Her knowledge of the ways in which the human body functions and its limitations paired with her 8 years of teaching experience and love of caring for others allows her to be a motivating and well-rounded teacher who encourages goal setting and reaching new levels in the dance field for all of her students.

Toni Ellis
Competitive Hip Hop and Recreational Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop and Acro

Toni Ellis


Competitive Hip Hop and Recreational Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop and Acro
Toni had her first dance class at 2 years old while living in California. Upon returning to Canada she participated in recreational classes at a few different studios in the Grimsby area. It wasn't until Toni began dancing at Beyond the Barre Dance Company at the age of 10, that her potential was recognized and she was invited to join the competitive team. Beginning with Musical Theatre then branching out to more technical styles of dance. Toni trained and competed in multiple disciplines; contemporary, jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, acrobatics. hip hop and musical theatre.Toni was a competitive dancer at BTBDC for 7 years, having many top scoring performances and winning many special awards.. One of the groups Toni participated in won a full scholarship to Step Up Dance Camp in downtown Toronto. It was here Toni branched out and was trained in a variety of new styles of dance such as old school hip hop, popping, locking, waving, breaking, tutting, house, Bollywood, African, swing and krump. In 2015, Toni began teaching recreational classes at BTBDC and began mentorship under some of BTBDC's incredible staff. Toni has a particular talent for engaging young dancers. Toni has always been passionate about her work with children. She has worked with children in many settings including daycares, schools and the YMCA . Her love for both dance and children is what makes Miss Toni an incredible asset to any dance team. She is overjoyed to be able to share her love of dance with aspiring young dancers at Beyond the Barre!

Jennifer Lennie
Ballet

Jennifer Lennie


Ballet
Jennifer Lennie has over 25 years of dance experience in a variety of styles including ballet (R.A.D. and Cecchetti), jazz, and modern. She completed her training at the Edmonton School of Ballet where she achieved her Intermediate Level in Cecchetti ballet. Jennifer was a member of the Edmonton Festival Ballet, performing classical and contemporary ballets throughout Alberta, including Swan Lake, Peter and the Wolf and Alleged Dances at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. She also has an H.B.Sc. in Ecology and Geography from the University of Toronto, and was a member of the University of Toronto at Mississauga Dance Team. Jennifer has taught ballet in Caledonia and Stoney Creek, Ontario and is now excited to join the team at Beyond the Barre. She brings with her a passion for the performing arts, and dedication to helping each dancer reach their full potential.

Beatrice Hammond
Recreational Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acro, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre

Beatrice Hammond


Recreational Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acro, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre
Beatrice received her dance education at Lois Laxton Dance Studio where she completed her advanced PAEC examinations in ballet, jazz, and tap. In 2014, Beatrice began teaching at the studio at both a recreational and competitive level in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, hip hop, and musical theatre. As a member of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), Beatrice has appeared in television shows such as “How to be Indy” and “Skatoony” and commercials for Canadian Tire, Maple Leaf Chicken, and Smart Bread. In addition, Beatrice has played the roles of Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Beatrice is very excited to begin a new chapter of her dance life and share her love of dance with the Beyond the Barre family!

Delilah Salman
Recreational Jazz, Tap, Acro, Hip Hop

Delilah Salman


Recreational Jazz, Tap, Acro, Hip Hop
Delilah has received intensive training in dance from Lois Laxton Dance Studio. She has trained in dance since the age of three in various styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, musical theatre and hip hop. Through her years of dance, Delilah has completed her ballet, jazz and tap senior and advanced exams through PAEC (Performing Arts Educators of Canada). Through her years of dancing, Delilah was a competitive dancer for twelve years and has travelled with her home studio to Spain and Italy multiple times for performances across each country. As well, Delilah has a love for music and has received in - depth musical training. Delilah is a recording artist and uses her training to pursue her love for music in her local band as the lead singer. Delilah is delighted to be apart of the Beyond the Barre team and is thrilled to carry on her love and passion for the performing arts to her future students!

Miguel Ramirez
Competitive Guest/Choreographer - Hip Hop

Miguel Ramirez


Competitive Guest/Choreographer - Hip Hop
Miguel found his passion for dance at a young age, and has been able to teach and inspire young dancers all over the world. He is one of the most sought after hip hop choreographers working today. Miguel has choreographed for the Emmy award winning television series on PBS ‘Odd Squad’ and ‘Odd Squad: The movie’. He is on the Dance Attack workshop and student expo faculty and the Co-founder and Choreographer of the hip hop crew ‘The ARTillery’. Which placed 1st at World of dance Michigan 2018 and 3rd at the Beatdown in 2016. Miguel is also the choreographer of the youtube sensation dance crew ‘3rd motion’. Miguel choreographs numerous award winning routines all over Canada, some of the awards include; Top choreographer, Top soloists, Top duet/trio, Top scoring routine, and Top scoring hip hop routine to name a few. Miguel continues to develop his technique and refining his talents by training all over Canada and USA. Miguel was the assistant choreographer for the 2011 Canadian national hip hop team, and was a performer with Airtight Entertainment. He mentors his students with a fundamental message: with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve greatness. Miguel has had the opportunity to take his talents worldwide including Trinidad and Tobago instructing dance and Afro Caribbean drumming. He always takes time to give back to the community by volunteering at orphanages sharing his many joys and talents with others. He always encourages his students to get involved in different community projects as it builds the passion they have for dance.

Dustin Wood, DMA, ADA
Competitive Guest/ Choreographer - Jazz/Acro

Dustin Wood, DMA, ADA


Competitive Guest/ Choreographer - Jazz/Acro
Dustin is a competitively trained gymnast and dancer. Beginning his acrobatic career in men's gymnastics at age 9, he won many Overall Awards and TOP Scores at competitions across Ontario. I started my dance training when I was 13 in Brantford, Ont. at Dance Discovery under the direction of Carol Ann Bradley. Then, at 16, I decided to continue my training at The Academy of Dance under the direction of Nancy English. Mr.Dustin is highly trained in Acrobatics, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical & Tap. Dustin holds the titles of Senior Mr. Dance of Western N.Y. DMA Chapter 8 (1996) and Mr. Dance of Canada CDMA Chapter 38 (2000). He started dancing professionally when he was 17 and has performed around the globe with Carnival Cruise Lines (Feugo del Caribe, Shout and Swing), Canada's Wonderland (All Shook Up), Panda Dance Company's The Nutcracker, Opening Ceremonies of the Ontario Summer Games, Electric Circus (Brandy & Mase), Academy Award Winning Actress Shirley Jones, Music Videos, Industrial's, Corporate Events, Much Music and Television (Queer as Folk). While working for Carnival Cruise Lines Dustin had the opportunity to Choreograph for magicians Kevin & Caruso. As a Coach and Educator for the past 27years Dustin has seen his students go on to perform on Cruise Ships, Music Videos, Television , Movies, Dance Companies, Cirque du Soleil and I AM BLAKE MCGRATH TOUR 2018 Toronto. His choreography and creative concepts have WON him and his students many Special Awards, Overall High Score Awards, Judges Choice Awards, Choreography Awards, Most Entertaing, TOP Acro Score Awards, National Top 10 & National WINNERS. Over the years, Dustin has been on staff at The Academy of Dance, Beyond the Barre Dance Company, Bojangles Dance Arts, Burlington Studio Dance, Greta Leeming, Leeming Danceworks, Rhythm Plus Dance Company & Xklusiv Dance Productions. Dustin is currently the Acro Director/Choreographer at Dance FX Studio in St Catharines. During the Summer months Dustin keeps busy by teaching at MANY Workshops & Intensives at various dance studios and is on Faculty with Dance Attack Acro Workshops. For 10 years Dustin was the Emcee and Host for Dance Masters of Canada Chapter #38's Pageants and Performing Arts Competition as well Dustin was the Photographer with Dance Odyssey Dance Competition for 4 years. Dustin has sat on Adjudication Panels for Dance Masters of America Chapter #43, Kiwanis Dance Festival, SHOCK, Mercy Dance Productions (Halifax) Bedazzled Dance Champions & CDTA Atlantic Dance Festival in Halifax. In 2011 I proudly became a member of Dance Masters of America in 2011 and I am also a Certified Acrobatics Instructor with Dance Masters of Canada Chapter 38. At the beginning of 2020 I became a Founding Member of The Acro Dance Adjudicators Program through the Acrobatic Dance Teachers Association