Meet our team

Shendle Smith-Studio Manager

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Stephanie Leyland - Tap

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B. PHE, B. Ed 

Stephanie studied at Ryerson University in the Performance Dance Program  where she trained with Nadia Potts, Karen Duplisea and Vicki St. Denys and  during her time in Toronto, she was mentored by Shawn Byfield, who allowed her to explore her love for tap. 

Stephanie has completed A.D.A.P.T. jazz and tap exams up to the Advanced level and has competed at both the regional and national level receiving numerous awards and titles for Tap dancing through out her career. 

She has completed her bachelor’s degree in Physical and Health Education at Queen’s University where she was also apart of the Queen’s Competitive Dance Team. At Queen’s, Stephanie choreographed tap groups,  which were recognized for overall awards at competition. 

She pursued her passion for teaching by completing her education degree at the University of Ottawa, and  is qualified to teach grades 4-12 with her teachable subjects being health and physical education, dance and science. Stephanie is also working towards completing her masters in education, in hopes to continue to expand her knowledge such that she can come up with innovative approaches to help each student learn in a way that helps them develop to their fullest potential. 

Stephanie has a strong passion for leading a healthy, active lifestyle, which  shines through in her approach to teaching. She  instills confidence  within each student she has within her class in a positive and welcoming environment.

Taylor Demone - Pre Dance

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B.Ed, B.A (Hons), A.R.A.D

Taylor Demone began her early dance training in Toronto, Ontario. She then trained at the competitive level in Ottawa for 15 years. Throughout this time, Taylor obtained numerous awards and high scores. She is extremely versatile having been trained in all styles such as jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, contemporary and pointe. Taylor holds her R.A.D advanced 2 ballet certificate and is a full member of the Royal Academy of Dance (A.R.A.D)

As as a graduate of Carleton University with a B.A Honours in Psychology, Taylor continued her education at the University of Ottawa receiving a bachelor of education and is now teaching French at the elementary level to grades 5 & 6. With years of experience working with young children in a classroom setting, Taylor is proud to be a part of the Nxt Generation Dance faculty, and shares her love of dance in a fun, safe and nurturing environment.

Torri Weapeniccapo - Acro

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Torri began her dance training at the age of 11. At  14 she obtained her level 1 N.C.C.P. Torri is an Acrobatic Arts certified instructor and has trained and entered numerous students for acrobatic arts exams. Torri is also an accomplished well rounded dancer of all styles including tap, jazz, and contemporary. Torri has worked with choreographers from SYTYCD, Cirque du soleil and broadway shows such as “Hairspray”. Torri focuses on a positive atmosphere in her classroom and is a mentor and role model to many. She is thrilled to be part of the faculty at Nxt Generation Dance! 

Sarah Jones - Hip-Hop & Jazz

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Maxine Gauthier

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B.Sc Kin 

Born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Maxine grew up in both dance & gymnastics. At the age of 13 she made the decision to leave gymnastics and began dancing competitively. She is trained in both R.A.D and Vaganova methods of ballet. As well Maxine is trained in jazz, contemporary, lyrical and Graham modern.  Maxine's performance career includes dancing with the "Earthdancers" for over 6 years, which is a non-profit contemporary dance company in Sudbury. 

Maxine is a graduate from Laurentian University Kinesiology Program and is currently continuing her education of the subject at the University of Ottawa where she is doing her Masters in Human Kinetics with a Concentration in Sport Management. In 2017, she became a YPAD (Youth Protection Advocates in Dance) certified dance educator. 

Maxine is happy to have found a dance studio to call her family away from home, where she is ableto share her love of dance.