Join us for our Annual Fall Dance Intensive
Date / Location
Click here to download the full registration package:
8:30 – 9:00 Registration
Studios 1 and 2: In-Studio Schedule:
|8:30 – 9:00||Registration||Registration|
|9:00 – 10:00||Ballet – Tara Pillon||Tap – Alison Toffan|
|10:00 – 11:00||Tap – Alison Toffan||Ballet – Tara Pillon|
|11:00 – 12:00||Urban – Edz Gyamfi||Contemporary – Michelle Crossman|
|12:00 – 12:30||LUNCH||LUNCH|
|12:30 – 1:30||Contemporary – Michelle Crossman||Urban – Edz Gyamfi|
|1:30 – 2:30||Jazz – Kristen Bowen||Musical Theatre – Payton Carvalho|
|2:30 – 3:30||Musical Theatre – Payton Carvalho||Jazz – Kristen Bowen|
2023 Guest Faculty
CONTEMPORARY – MICHELLE CROSSMAN
Michelle has had a passion for dance ever since she can remember, and grew up classically trained in the styles of ballet (RAD), jazz, tap and acro eventually extending her training with hip hop, contemporary and burlesque. Her professional dance career started when she joined Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, after that Michelle focused more on the commercial side of the dance industry where some of her credits include Mariana’s Trench, Kardinal Official, Fito Blanco, Keshia Chante, Hedley, and Nelly Furtado.
Stepping into the roll of Choreographer was the next step for Michelle, she has had the pleasure to choreograph for Canadian recording artists Craig Smart, Foxx Williams, Andrea Godin, Sebastian Ellis and Jade Mya for both live performances and music videos. Michelle continues to explore her career in as many fashions as possible, pushing boundaries in choreography, and never shying away from a challenge to continuously grow herself and with those who dance along beside her. She has been a part time dance teacher for 6 years in Toronto, heavily focused on story telling and known for her clean lines in her work. Michelle is also known for producing “Let The Elephants Dance”, an event that takes place once a year in Toronto focused on the importance on mental health and that gives many performers the chance to share their own stories in the form of dance, song or poetry.
TAP – ALISON TOFFAN
Allison Toffan has established herself as a leader in the Canadian tap dance scene by consistently stirring up momentum as a producer, curator, dancer and choreographer. Her professional roots were planted working with the incomparable Paula Skimin, and her mentors include world-renowned tap dance artists Heather Cornell, Brenda Bufalino, and Max Pollak.
Her work has been presented at Fall For Dance North (Union Station Series), Dusk Dances, The Edwards Summer Music Series, Toronto Body Percussion Festival, TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival, and the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival. Other career highlights include: 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, TapCity (NYC) and Vancouver International Tap Festival with Lisa La Touche, Festival Dance Encore with Tasha Lawson, Montreal Tap Festival’s Rhythm Lives! with Tanya Knights alongside the legendary late Arthur Duncan, and establishing the Toronto Rhythm Initiative [TRI] – a platform Allison created to voice the artistry of Toronto’s tap dancers in collaboration with live music.
MUSICAL THEATRE – PAYTON CARVALHO
Payton Carvalho has been dancing since the age of four with consistent training in all disciplines. She credits her training as both a dancer & teacher to the AnnaMarie Oliver School of Dance, mentored by Mrs. Oliver.
As a dancer, Payton has received top marks in all CDTA Tap & Jazz examinations along with all RAD Ballet Examinations.
Payton attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City for their Theatre Dance Program. While in studying in New York, Payton had the opportunity to train with top industry professionals at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and various master classes and intensives.
Teaching students of all ages is Payton’s greatest passion. She takes great pride in helping dancers reach their potential. Payton’s love for dance translates into both her choreography and classroom environment.
URBAN – EDZ GYAMFI
Edmund “Edz” Gyamfi (born, 1986), better known by his stage name Edz Gyamfi, is a Ghanaian-Canadian dance choreographer from Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
Born in Kumasi, Ghana, Edz was exposed to dance at an early age. He was exposed to various genres of music from all around the world.
Edz main dance styles consist of Hip Hop, Dancehall & Afro Dance. He has over 15 years of teaching experience and has taught hundreds of clients ranging from toddlers to seniors. This has given him the opportunity to travel all over Canada and abroad.
Edz has taken his dance training to new heights by traveling and seeking knowledge from world renowned Choreographers such as Rhapsody James “Motivating Excellence” (Intensive Program) in Montreal, Luam Keflezgy’s “Rock The industry” in NYC and Galen Hooks “Galen Hooks Method” in LA. Edz has also worked alongside world renowned Choreographer & Author LaurieAnn Gibson.
Edz has recently expanded his repertoire by taking numerous acting, commercial voiceover and animation classes. He believes that the industry is filled with opportunities that could present itself at any time, so why not train and learn new skills along your journey.
BALLET – TARA PILLON
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Tara Pillon is a professional dancer, choreographer, creative director, and dance educator. She graduated with honours from Ryerson University, where she received a BFA in Performance Dance. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of ACE Dance Theatre, a professional contemporary dance company, and THE BALLET LAB, a workshop dedicated to developing dancers’ technique and artistry.
Tara’s choreography has been a part of several international tours to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Dubai, Singapore, and China, with companies including Creativiva, World Performers, and ACE Dance Theatre. She has choreographed for events including the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, Dance Ontario, Echo Chambers, New Blue
Festival, Ricarda’s Grand Opening, PowerBall, Italian Heritage Festival, and the Allstate Honor Ring Banquet. Tara recently choreographed for The Tenors’ Christmas music video – Santa’s Wish. She was also recently commissioned to choreograph for Ryerson University’s Choreographic Lab.
Tara has performed professionally with Ballet Creole, Gadfly, Human Body Expression, Avinoam Silverman Dance, and Creativiva. She can be seen dancing in the Hallmark film A Nutcracker Christmas, and in Diversion, a dance film by Avinoam Silverman. Tara has performed in events such as the JOGA x Reebok Fashion show for Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, the Pan Am Games opening ceremonies, WeDay, and TedX Toronto. She has also performed in festivals such as Dance Ontario, Dance Made in Canada, and TUDS.
Tara received her Certificate for Russian Ballet Pedagogy in Amsterdam, Netherlands and is also a member of the Professional Adjudicator’s Alliance. Tara is an in-demand teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator throughout the GTA.
JAZZ – KRISTEN BOWEN
Kristen Bowen is a dynamic dance instructor and choreographer who is certified across a variety of
dance styles. She has been part of the dance industry for over 20 years. For the last 10 years she has been dedicated to educating herself, teaching students, and working professionally, which has allowed her to gain an amazing
understanding of the industry and dancers’ needs.
Kristen started out as a dancer at Deborah Thomson’s School of Dance where she had the
opportunity to work with choreographers such as: Deborah Thomson, Starsha Dalmer, Faye Rauw, and
Tiffany McLauchlan. She trained in RAD Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, Lyrical and Contemporary. During this time
Kristen also attended Mayfield Secondary School, majoring in dance, where she studied jazz, ballet and
After several years Kristen moved onto teaching at several dance schools, including but not limited to, Grand River Academy of Dance, The DanceCentre KW, Boogie Down Studio, and Dance Arts Academy. At these schools, Kristen was able to produce award winning choreography and has had several students recognized for excellence with
scholarships to World Performer’s Canada, CDX, Dance Attack and more. Some of her students have also
gone on to professional careers with companies such as Toronto Raptors Dance Team and The National
During this time Kristen also became certified and educated in a variety of disciplines. She gained
certifications with the following, Royal Academy of Dance, ADAPT, PAA, Acrobatic Arts, Acro Dance
Teacher’s Association, and Progressive Ballet Technique. She is also a proud member of Healthy Dancer
Canada, Royal Academy of Dance, Dance Ontario, and Dance Educator’s International.
This journey as a dance educator has been the most rewarding, and Kristen is excited to continue to
share her passion of dance with dancers.