Miss Finlayson began her pre-professional dance training career at the age of 5 under the influential guidance of Teresa Randall in Fergus, Ontario studying the Royal Academy of Dance and CDTA Syllabi. With 30 years of Dance training and experience in her repertoire, Miss Finlayson has had the opportunity to study and be exposed to many different genres and styles of dance many of which include Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Lyrical, Ballroom, Hip Hop and most recently gymnastics . With over 19 years of her dance career invested and dedicated to teaching, Miss Finlayson brings significant knowledge and understanding to her teaching practice. She is passionate about her work and believes in the importance and significance of professional qualifications as she feels that dealing with human bodies and young student’s, are both crucial and paramount responsibilities which she takes very seriously.
After completing her Royal Academy of Dance training and examinations, Miss Finlayson was accepted into the prestigious Fine Arts Dance Program at York University in Toronto Ontario. There she successfully obtained and graduated with a BFA Honours Degree in Fine Arts in Dance, along with her BEd Degree in Fine Arts Dance as well as Special Education and Sign Language qualifications. Currently, Miss Finlayson continues to teach and works with special needs students outside of studio time.
After graduating, Miss Finlayson decided to pursue her life-long dreams of teaching dance, and went on to obtain her Registered Teachers Status through the Royal Academy of Dance. In recent years, Miss Finlayson and her studio have been hosts to some very prestigious and world renowned Artists Frank and Carolyn Augustyn . A dream come true and such an honour to work with both of these amazing teachers.
In past years Miss Finlayson supply taught for the Upper Grand District School Board and worked with many of their staff and students to teach, educate and expose them to the amazing benefits that dance has to offer. She has since obtained her judging qualifications and will be receiving her Level One Coaching Certification in Gymnastics. “It has been an amazing and humbling journey thus far. To begin my career in a small town only to return many years later to share my love of dance and the arts with my own students, is a dream come true”. In 2006 Miss Finlayson became the Owner and Artistic Director of The Fergus-Elora Academy of Dance and remains so today.
BEd Fine Arts Dance
Special Education Level 1
O.T. UGDSB 3 Years
Kelsey Allen is an accomplished performer, choreographer and teacher with over 20 years’ experience in the performing arts industry. She is currently a freelance dance instructor and choreographer in Guelph and the surrounding area, specializing in urban dance styles. She is also a certified Acrobatic Arts and Zumba instructor. Originally from St. Catharines, ON, Kelsey has trained at an elite level in many styles, including hip hop, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and acro dance. Over the years, she became a dancer known for her charisma on stage, winning many judges’ choice awards for showmanship and audience engagement. This emphasis on performance quality shines through in Kelsey’s classes, where she teaches confidence and showmanship alongside dance skills. Over the course of her career, Kelsey has been privileged to train alongside many renowned dancers and choreographers, including Lauren Froderman, Kaelynn Harris, Jordyn Clark, Shane Sparks, DTrix, and Alex Crenian. While attending McMaster University, she was also the Captain and Administrative coordinator for the McMaster Dance Company for three years in a row. In these roles, she led a team of dancers to many overall titles and awards at province-wide competitions. Despite graduating university in 2014 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies, Kelsey has not stopped learning. After graduation, she accepted an internship with Gadfly dance collective in Toronto to continue her dance education. She has also pursued her dance career in an administrative capacity, spearheading the administration for two dance studios. Kelsey is a self-proclaimed eternal student who still regularly attends drop-in classes whenever her busy schedule will allow. She believes that regularly learning from other choreographers and teachers makes her the best teacher she can be. Kelsey’s dance philosophy is best summed up in the words of Martha Graham: “Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.”
Artistic Director at The Royal City School of Ballet
Mrs. McLeod received her dance training in London, England at the Bush Davies Theatre School. She has her Solo Seal from the Royal Academy of Dancing of which organization she is a Life Member. She has gained Associate status from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in Modern Theatre, Cecchetti ballet and Imperial ballet. Mrs. McLeod has choreographed and done workshops for GCVI, JF Ross, Bishop MacDonnell, Guelph Little Theatre, and the Guelph Spring Festival, as well as was a founding member of RCMPI for which she has both choreographed and directed productions. She is a former Board member of the Guelph Arts Council. She was honoured by the nomination to be on the Wall of Fame at the GYC for her work with young people in Guelph and other communities. Mrs McLeod has been a mentor and beneficial presence within the Fergus-Elora Academy of Dance for many years now. Miss Finlayson’s former Teacher and current mentor, she brings a truly inspirational element to our studios ballet program.
Christine has a B.A. (Dance) and is a graduate of the University of Waterloo's dance program. She has studied dance for over 25 years and continues her training by attending workshops such as the Eastern Canadian Tap Conference.
For several years Christine was a dance instructor for the City of Kitchener teaching creative movement, ballet, jazz & tap to children and tap to adults.
Beth first became involved with the Fergus Elora Academy of Dance as the parent of two future ballerinas. But after sitting in on the parent night for the acro class her gymnastics past came back to haunt her and she foolishly volunteered to help out! She is now in the process of re-certifying her Level 1 coaching certificate and continuing to spend her Wednesday nights at the studio. In her off-hours Beth works full time as an occupational therapist at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Guelph.
B.A., B.Ed., O.C.T., A.I.S.T.D.
Stefanie Rutherford is a certified teacher for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, as well as an Ontario Certified Teacher, with qualifications in the Primary and Junior levels (Kindergarten to 6). She has also completed additional qualifications in Special Education and Mathematics. Currently, Stefanie is working as an occasional teacher for both the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Stefanie started her dance career at the age of 5 when she began dancing at Cambridge Theatre Dance Studio where she trained in Ballet and Modern dance. She graduated with her Advanced 2 Modern Theatre Dance Certificate and the Gold Jazz Award with the I.S.T.D. She also holds her Grade 8 Ballet Award with the R.A.D. Stefanie became a teaching assistant at the age of 13 and started teaching her own classes at 18.