Our Staff

Our dedicated staff have countless hours of training behind them, allowing them to fully support and encourage the growth of all students. Many of our staff members are teachers and social support workers in their community at large. This allows them to confidently provide safe, inclusive classrooms and for students of all ability levels to be challenged, ultimately finding success.  

Our Mission

To provide a quality dance education to any dancer, of any ability level, in whatever time we spend with them in the classroom. We will continually work with and on our curriculum to ensure that class time is spent efficiently, that progressions and goal setting are consistent and attainable and that all students are able to experience success. Above all else, we will ensure that every student is noticed, valued and welcomed, creating a safe space for dancers, young and old, to explore their creativity, physicality and expression!

Photography by Artistic Creations

Studio Director: Kirsten McOuat

B.A.

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Kirsten McOuat is a lifelong resident of Spruce Grove who is realizing a dream by becoming a business owner in the community!  Since the age of 3, when Kirsten started her dance career at Ward, she has dedicated her life to the arts. She has trained under a number of Alberta’s top instructors, as well as Al Gilbert himself! Kirsten started teaching dance 13 years ago and in that time her groups/choreography have won numerous awards and accolades. Along with her passion and love of dance, she has sung in a variety of choral ensembles. She is a graduate of the Stony Plain Memorial Composite High School’s Choral Ensemble and as is active member of the group Brava. Kirsten graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Her degree focused on the development of children and youth, which has been a wonderful complement to her dance instruction. Along with being a dance instructor, she has worked with the City of Spruce Grove as a Community Development Coordinator (Youth) focusing on preventative social programming. Kirsten has had the opportunity to work with various schools in the Parkland area providing choreography for choirs, musicals and dance teams. Kirsten and her husband welcomed their first child, Wyatt, in November of 2011 and she is looking forward to getting back to teaching this fall!  Kirsten’s goal is to inspire love and passion for dance and music in people of all ages. She feels so blessed to have the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to her! 

 

 

 

Studio Director: Kirsten Williams

BSc & BEd

 
kirsten w ward school of dance

Kirsten Williams began her dance career at the age of 3 at Ward School of Dance. After moving to Edmonton she maintained her relationship with Mrs. Ward, often reuniting at competitions and dance performances in the Edmonton area. As a lifelong student of dance, Kirsten has had the pleasure of training under some of Canada’s most renowned instructors and choreographers, at studios such as Casey’s, Sandra Gray’s, Shelley’s, and Dance Unlimited. Kirsten has won awards, studied and performed throughout Western Canada as well as on Princess Cruise Lines. Kirsten successfully pursued a degree in Neurobiology, with a minor in Biology. During her first year of university, Kirsten became the sole ballet teacher at Ward. Soon the ballet program doubled in size and since then, Kirsten has received numerous choreography awards for her work as a ballet, lyrical, jazz and contemporary teacher. Her studies in the areas of anatomy and cognition have made her a valuable asset to the development of Ward’s Dance Conditioning program. Kirsten’s after degree in Education provides her with a unique perspective on dance instruction and the most effective methods to meet her students’ needs. Currently working for Edmonton Public Schools, Kirsten spear-headed the dance program being offered at M.E. LaZerte High School before returning to a Biology position. Kirsten is dedicated to her craft; she believes that dance is a sport that instills a strong work ethic and sportsmanship while developing creativity, confidence and technique. Kirsten feels strongly that dance educators should be guiding and supportive role models to this end. She could not be more excited for the upcoming dance season! 

 

 

Ally McDermott

Ally began dancing at the age of three at the Camrose Academy of Dance. She then continued her dance career at Ward School of Dance where she trained in multiple disciplines such as Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Jazz. She performed at community events along with excelling in many festivals in the Edmonton area. She continued to train with us until she began teaching at the studio. Ally has always had a passion for helping others and her natural teaching abilities and extreme patience make her an excellent asset to our pre-school and primary programs. As well as being part of our Ward School of Dance theme, Ally is currently in her second year of Respiratory Therapy at NAIT. She cannot wait for what this year brings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dara Downey

Dara has been dancing since the age of 2, joining Ward School of Dance when she was 4. She has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater and hip hop. Dara has been assistant teaching at Ward since the age of 12 and absolutely adores working with students in regular classes, dance camps and Intellidance. Dara has choreographed, taught and acted in Spruce Grove Composite High School's productions of Babes in Toy Land, Legally Blonde, Alice in Wonderland, The Addams Family, Annie Jr. and Mary Poppins. She will be returning to choreograph and teach for Singing in the Rain this upcoming season. During her many years of training and performing Dara has won various awards and onstage scholarships such as Most Outstanding, Most Promising, and Adjudicators Choice. Her musical theater performances have also awarded her many accolades including Best Dancer, the Choreography Award and the Legacy Award. Dance has always been one of Dara's biggest passions and she is so excited to be able to share it! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Andries

Daniel Andries is one of the driving forces behind the Hip-Hop dance scene in Edmonton, as a choreographer for many studios across Canada and as a member of the professional crew White Chocolate. White Chocolate has performed for numerous recording artists such as; Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Ashanti, Ginuwine, Sean Paul, Kreesha Turner, The Game, Nelly Furtado, Obie Trice, 112, Boyz II Men, Fabolous, K-Ci & JoJo, Chingy, Sean Desmond, Massari, Gary Beals, Rochester, Fabolous, and Snoop Dogg. White Chocolate have been featured as the only Hip-Hop group set to perform for Alberta’s Centennial event where the Queen of England was in attendance. White Chocolate have performed alongside Jabbawockeez, Supreme Soul, Fanny Pak, and Super Crew from America’s Best Dance Crew. Daniel has starred in the hit music video “Bounce With Me” by Kreesha Turner which was directed by world renowned director Little X. Daniel was a part of the tour called Hip-Hop Saved My Life which toured across mainland China. Daniel teaches at workshops across Canada, U.S.A , and China and continues to help educate and teach across his hometown of Edmonton. Daniel was also a featured dancer in the movie "Lullaby For Pi".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Olsen

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Elizabeth Olsen was born on February 28th 2001, and she started dance when she was three years old. She has trained in many styles of dance, including: tap, jazz, hip hop and musical theater. At the moment she is training at Ward School of Dance in Spruce Grove (primarily under the instruction of Kirsten McOuat) and at Power House Dance in St Albert (primarily under the instruction of Jenna Werhun) where she is in the process of completing her
grade seven Al Gilbert Exam. In addition to this, Elizabeth is currently attending Memorial Composite High School, where she is in grade ten.

One of Elizabeth’s most significant accomplishments was her first tap solo in 2011. This solo was choreographed by Kirsten McOuat, and gave her the opportunity to experience what it is like to perform and compete as an individual. In addition to this, Elizabeth has been an active teaching assistant at Ward School of Dance, where she has worked closely with Kirsten McOuat
in three beginner level tap classes. She is currently assisting Kirsten with one junior tap group at Ward School of Dance, where her students are an average age of twelve.

In 2015, Elizabeth was accepted into Jenna Werhun's advanced tap technique and professional development program, The Next Steps. The program aims to provide young, and upcoming tap dancers with opportunities to prepare them for the professional dance community. Through this program, Elizabeth has had many opportunities including: teaching her peers, choreographing
her own solo at the Next Step’s first major production “For the Love of Tap,”and performed a comping exercise alongside Mikayla Newbold at the Sole Rhythm’s album release at the Vinyl Needle. Her most recent accomplishment is auditioning and being accepted on to the Senior Elite Tap Team at Power House Dance under the direction of Tracy Sestito. Being a part of this
team has afforded Elizabeth the opportunity to work with Travis Knights on a tap routine which will be performed at multiple competitions across the city. In addition to this Elizabeth traveled to Las Vegas Nevada in July of 2017 with her alite team for the Velocity Dance Convention season finale. While at the convention she had the opportunity to work with some amazing dancers including Mark Goodman, Zack Everhart and Alexander Chung just to name a few.

 

Ginny Rose

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Ginny is a certified Primary to Pre-professional Level 2 Acro Teacher from Calgary, where she first started coaching. After moving to  Edmonton for University, she began teaching at local studios and working hard with the owners to develop the Acro program in conjunction with the dance world. As a dancer herself, she has trained in almost every discipline but loved to focus on ballet and lyrical. She has competed in  Banff, Red Deer, Regina and Las Vegas to name a few, but has since turned to her passion, which is teaching Acro.  

Ginny loves coaching and the feeling she gets from watching students light up when they finally achieve a skill they have been working hard on. She is so grateful to be a part of the process that helps dancers become more skilled in Acro and Dance. 

 

Kelsey Hamilton

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Kelsey began dancing at age 3 with Ward School of Dance and has trained in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Irish, Pointe, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Modern. As a dancer, Kelsey was consistently recognized with onstage scholarships, and she gained valuable experience from renowned choreographers at conventions such as Triple Threat and Feats Festival of Dance. Also, she has performed in Bridal Fantasy, Hip Hop for Hope and many other community festivals. She has also successfully completed grades 1 through 7 of the Al Gilbert tap exams, and volunteered extensively with children’s programs including Musical Theatre workshops at Festival Place and summer camps for ages 3 and up. 

Throughout her training Kelsey developed a passion for Musical Theatre. Performance and choreography opportunities have included various productions with St. Thomas Aquinas High School, during which time she was nominated as “best dancer” and “best choreographer” by the Edmonton Journal Cappies and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. 

With 8 years of teaching and choreography experience, Kelsey has had the opportunity grow with Ward School of Dance and continue her work in Theatre. She strives to inspire her students, and her work with Ward School of Dance has been recognized with numerous choreography awards. Selected Theatre choreography credits include “Footloose”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Grease” with St. Peter the Apostle High School, “Spearsical 1 & 2” with Raw Meet Productions and “Anne of Green Gables” with Horizon Players. 

Kelsey is currently enrolled in NAIT’s Medical Radiology Technology program where the key focus in anatomy and physiology has enhanced her understanding of the body’s movement in dance and injury prevention. Kelsey is excited for another great season at Ward and can not wait to see what the year holds!

 

Kelsey Wangler

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Kelsey started dancing at the age of 3 right hear at Ward School of Dance. Through the years, she has trained in a large variety of disciplines including Irish, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theater, and Hip Hop. After dancing for her whole life, she started assisting with classes when she was 12 years old and started teaching classes in 2008. Kelsey is also a certified Zumba Fitness instructor. Kelsey is passionate about dance and all things arts and is excited to be back teaching with Ward School of Dance. 

 

 

Kinsey Hamilton

KInsey Hamilton ward school of dance

Kinsey first began her dance education with Ward School of Dance at the age of 5, where she developed her lifelong passion for the art. She continued training in several disciplines such as tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, musical theatre, hip hop, contemporary, and lyrical. She has performed for many benefit events in addition to several festivals throughout Edmonton and its surrounding area and has been given many scholarships and awards for her competitive performances. Kinsey’s dance training gave her the opportunity to choreograph and teach dance to local high school drama students for the productions of 13! The Musical, Aida, and Seussical. She received two Cappies nominations for best choreography for these productions. Kinsey has since expanded her dance training to include traditional dancing from the coastal and sierra regions of Ecuador. She continues to learn and perform with the Aymara Nuca Llacta Dancers at various venues and cultural events in Edmonton including annually at Heritage Days and Canada Day. In addition to working as a camp leader for Spruce Grove’s ‘Summer in the City’, Kinsey has volunteered and worked with children to a great extent throughout her life. Kinsey is entering her fourth year at the University of Alberta working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a focus on child development and mental health. She hopes this degree will compliment her love of working with children and her desire to help make a difference in peoples’ lives. Kinsey is excited for another wonderful year with Ward.

 

 

Nicholas Kolos

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Toronto native Nicholas began his training at the age of 7 with Ukrainian folk dance at the Ukrainian Academy of Dance/Arkan Dance Company. He then went on to attend George Brown College where he studied dance/performing arts. He has also attended the Oakville School of Dance, School of Alberta Ballet, L’École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, and has attended the summer dance intensive at Canada’s National Ballet School.

 

Aside from his roles in The Nutcracker and a character role in Alberta Ballet’s Swan Lake, Nicholas has performed with Cirque du Soleil in the opening ceremonies of the 2013 C2-MTL Conference in Montréal. He has also traveled across Canada and internationally to Ukraine and South Korea performing with Arkan Dance Company

 

Nicholas is currently dancing with Citie Ballet, Edmonton’s resident ballet company.

 

 

Jayme MacDougall

jayme macdougal ward school of dance

Jayme began her dance career at Ward School of Dance 35 years ago. She started dancing at the age of three and trained in a multiple of disciplines. When Jayme began teaching dance, she quickly realized that the preschool program was her passion. She followed this calling in her Post-Secondary Education and enrolled in the Education Faculty at the University of Alberta. As Jayme completed her Bachelor of Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education, she continued to teach at the Ward School of Dance.

Jayme had been a school teacher in the community for ten years teaching grades five, six and kindergarten. She continued to be an instructor at the Ward School of Dance during her teaching career because of her love for dancing and sharing that passion with her students. After her daughter was born, she took a leave of absence from Parkland School Division but still maintained her teaching position with Wards. Once her son was born, she decided to put her teaching career on hold to be with her children and watch them grow, explore and soar!  Jayme is so excited that her 6 year old daughter shares the same love of dancing and even when she is not at the studio, Jayme is in the world of dance!

Jayme is looking forward to another wonderful year at Wards and can’t wait to get started!

 

 

 

Jessie Lynn Mounseff

Jessie-Lynn has been dancing since the age of 3 and has trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Ukrainian, Musical Theatre, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Modern and Contemporary. She has won many awards including Top Ten Dancer Of The Year at 5-6-7-8 Showtime in Kamloops, BC in 2006. She has traveled for workshops, competitions and conventions to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, B.C., Saskatchewan and around Alberta and has successfully completed many exams in ballet both in Cecchetti and RAD syllabi and tap and jazz exams in the A.D.A.P.T. syllabus.

Jessie-Lynn also sings with Spotlight Studios as she has a love for Musical Theatre and believes that the ability to sing is a good skill to have because it enhances a dancer's training. In 2009 she had the opportunity to take part in the musical Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Festival Place in Sherwood Park and says that it has been her favorite performance experience as of yet! 

Although she loves all styles, ballet has always held a special place in her heart. She truly values the importance of ballet, especially ballet exams in a dancer's training and looks forward to sharing her passion with the students at Ward.

 

 

 

 

Madelin Porayko

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Maddie started dancing at the age of 2 and has been in love with the art ever since.  She has trained in many disciplines including Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, and Pointe. She has also competed in festivals and competitions throughout Alberta. Maddie is currently taking her Bachelor of Science degree at MacEwan University and hopes to eventually pursue a career in medicine. Maddie recently joined the Ward family last season as a dancer and also as an assistant teacher, where she was given the opportunity to pursue her passion while working with young dancers. Maddie truly believes in the importance of dance both as an art and a sport, and looks forward to sharing these values with the students and families at Ward.

 

 

Rebecca Arkinstall

Rebecca began dancing at four years old with Ward School of Dance. She later went on to dance in more styles including jazz, lyrical and contemporary, ballet, tap, and pointe. At nine years old Rebecca received her first onstage scholarship and realized that she was getting recognized for her dancing. She later when on to do solos and won many top solo marks in her category, top awards, and placements. Rebecca is continually expanding her dance knowledge by taking classes and workshops with a variety of other talented instructors around the area. She has participated in local plays and has learned from members of Broadway's the Wizard of Oz. Rebecca is committed Motives Dance Company for the 2017/2018 dance season where she will train pre-professionally in many styles of dance. Rebecca has volunteered for summer camps annually, and finds any opportunity to work with kids. Rebecca is so excited to be apart of the Ward staff and looks forward to this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robyn Sansom

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This is Robyn’s 28th year with Ward School of Dance.  She began dancing at the age of 3, and continued until age 21 when she began teaching for us.  Robyn trained in many different disciplines at Ward, and continued her dance education in various cities in North America by taking workshops and courses with many world renowned choreographers and teachers in a variety of different disciplines.  She has also choreographed for a variety of school musicals and arts programs,  Edmonton Fashion Week, as well as performed in Alberta Summer Games opening and closing ceremonies, Hip Hop for Hope and Artists Emerge to name a few. Robyn currently teaches many different styles of dance at Ward including Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Preschool, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Intellidance.

After realizing at an early age that she had a passion for working with children and youth, Robyn decided to take the Child and Youth Care Program at Grant MacEwan University where she received her Diploma in 2008. She then went on to specialize in using creative arts to work with children and teens, and travelled to Denver to train at the Colorado School of Family Therapy.  There she became a certified Dance and Movement Therapist and a certified Systemic Play Therapist.

In 2010, Robyn started her own business, ‘Creative Expressions Therapy’, which uses various creative arts to work with at-risk youth in local communities. 

Intellidance has always been close to Robyn’s heart, as it is a close combination of her love of dance and her business using creative arts to work with children and youth. Since the birth of her 2 girls in the past 2 years, Intellidance has become an even greater passion for Robyn to teach, as she see’s how a love of dance, music, movement and play can greatly foster children's development. Allowing children to experience the joy of dance, starting at such a young age, is such a rewarding experience. Robyn hopes to continue to share these experiences with many more families, as well as watch as her own girls grow from babies in a parented creative movement classes, to beautiful independent dancers in their own classes at Ward. 

Dance has definitely been a large part of Robyn's life, and she hopes to continue sharing her love for it with others in the Spruce Grove community and her family for years to come!

 

 

Sarah Ranger

Sarah has spent approximately the last 20 years dedicating her time to the arts. She has studied ballet, modern, tap, jazz and most recently hiphop. She has performed in various regional and national dance competitions as well as performing with a local dance company, "3rd Street Beat", in China August 2010. Her love for the arts extends not only through movement but through voice as well. She capture the stage with her quirky charm as Rhoda in the Festival Place production of "White Christmas" last winter. Festival Place has also featured her in "Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat" and "Crazy for You", along with her role as Patti Lupone with Edmonton Musical Theatre's "Ladies in Lights". Sarah is currently working with Derek Jean, a landscaping company based out of Spruce Grove, in addition to Variations Academy of Performing Arts where she educates students in Jazz and Musical Theatre. She believes that with hard work and perseverance almost anything is possible... and that a smile really can change the world. She's thrilled to be teaching at Ward again this year and wishes all of her students the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sarah ranger ward school of dance