Tara Pickford (Miss Tara) is the CEO of APA. She began dancing at the age of four and hasn’t sat still since! These days Miss Tara loves being in the classroom coaching her staff and students on how to discover their passion for the arts.
Miss Tara is a fully certified teacher in Acrobatic Arts, ADAPT, and Al Gilbert, and has also earned her qualifications in Alixa Flexibility and Perfect Form Physio. She is YPAD certified and a member of the Wild Rose Dance Arts Association. She earned her Bachelor degree in Kinesiology with a major in Mind Sciences at the University of Calgary.
A dance mom herself, Miss Tara has a deep understanding of what families look for in a studio. She knows what it takes for dancers, teachers, and parents to have an exciting and fulfilling experience from the classroom to the stage!
Miss Tara is proud that the people of APA have become like family to so many staff and students. She wants everyone who walks in the door to feel respected, inspired, and encouraged—like they have stepped in to their second home.
Andie Frederick (Miss Andie) is our Community Coordinator and a Dance Instructor at APA. She began dancing at the age of four, joined APA as a student when she was 12-years-old, and began her teaching career at 16. Having “grown up” at APA, Miss Andie feels like training here has been one of her best life decisions!
Miss Andie is a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor and has completed her ADAPT Pre-Advanced Jazz Exam, as well as her ADAPT Pre-Intermediate 3 Tap Exam, RAD Intermediate Exam, and Al Gilbert Grade 5 Tap Exam. She is also YPAD and RhythmWorks certified. She is also a member of the Wild Rose Dance Arts Association.
For Miss Andie, APA is so much more than a business; it is a family! She loves coming to work each day because she has the opportunity to help build a fun and safe community for APA’s students.
Director of Operations
Adrianne Jorgensen (Miss Adrianne) is APA’s Director of Operations as well as a Dance Instructor. Growing up, she studied a variety of dance styles, participated in competitions, and completed her Al Gilbert Tap exams, Intermediate 3 ADAPT Jazz exam, and Grade 8 RAD Ballet exam.
Miss Adrianne earned her Bachelor of Business and Entrepreneurship degree for Sport and Recreation from Mount Royal University and is a graduate of the ADAPT Teacher Training School. She is certified in Acrobatic Arts, YPAD, Alixa Flexibility, and Perfect Form Physio, and is a member of the Wild Rose Dance Arts Association.
As Miss Adrianne enters her seventh year of teaching with APA, she looks forward to giving back to her students, who have inspired her so much over the years. She loves that APA feels like a second home, and she can’t wait to see her students achieve their goals in class!
Rae-Lee Brower (Miss Rae-Lee) is APA’s Ballet Director and a Dance Instructor. She began her ballet and contemporary training in Alberta at Crossings Dance Studio and later performed with the Corps Bara Dance Youth Company. Miss Rae-Lee earned her BFA and Teacher Training Diploma from Simon Fraser University.
During her University experience, she was also privileged to attend the National Ballet School’s renowned Teacher Training Program and obtain her qualifications with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and the Royal Academy of Dance.
Miss Rae-Lee’s goal as a teacher is to develop healthy and enthusiastic dancers who love art and will positively influence the world of dance. She loves encouraging her APA students to love themselves for who they are and to never give up on their passions in life!
Julie Pearson (Miss Julie) is a Music Instructor at APA. With 18 years of teaching experience, she has taught a variety of musical styles and specializes in Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM), including musical theatre, rock, pop, folk, and gospel.
Miss Julie completed her Grade 10 Piano and Grade 8 Voice with Royal Conservatory of Music, and earned her Master of Music Studies in Vocal Pedagogy from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. She is also certified with Somatic Voicework™, a teaching method that incorporates physical awareness, aural acuity, kinesthetic development, and vocal freedom. Miss Julie enjoys incorporating ear training, sight reading, and music theory in her lessons in order to help each student become well-rounded.
Teaching students to become independent and creative musicians is Miss Julie’s personal mission. She loves supporting her students’ growth through performance opportunities, building their confidence and encouraging them to discover their full potential. Miss Julie is honored to be inspiring students to excellence as part of the APA team!
Daunia Del Ben
Daunia Del Ben (Miss Daunia) is a Theatre Instructor at APA. She is an MFA Theatre Practice graduate from the University of Alberta and has worked in the industry across the globe, including France and Italy. During her time in Italy, Miss Daunia was twice-honoured as best director at the Festival degli Asinelli.
Miss Daunia’s experience as a playwright has given her the opportunity to write more than 15 plays on commission, performing some of them locally. In 2017, she received the AUMA prize for best communication through her play, “Dreaming Alberta.” In addition to her work at APA, Miss Daunia also teaches Commedia dell’Arte, clown, and shadow theatre classes and is also involved in the Chinese New Year performance at the Jubilee Theatre.
With a specialty in Edutainment, a genre that uses theatre techniques for both education and entertainment, Miss Daunia looks forward to bringing her unique perspective to the theatre culture at APA. One of her favourite parts about APA is the chance to connect with the community and share her passion for theatre with children, so she can’t wait to see her students’ growth this season!
Rachel Viner (Miss Rachel) is our Academy Director. She has extensive training in nearly every dance style and grew up competing and performing. Miss Rachel began teaching at APA at the age of 16 and has since obtained certifications in Acrobatic Arts, ADAPT, YPAD, Alixa Flexibility, and RhythmWorks Integrative Dance. She enjoys continuing her education at workshops and seminars throughout Canada and the United States.
Miss Rachel considers APA her second home and loves sharing her knowledge and passion for dance with APA students! She highly values APA’s ideology of “we don’t teach dance to make great dancers, we teach dance to make great kids”. She firmly believes that dreams and dedication are a powerful combination and teaches her students that if they can believe it, they can achieve it.
Tiffany Powell (Miss Tiffany) is a Dance Instructor at APA. She began dancing at the age of four and never stopped! Her pre-professional training included training in all dance styles and participating in competitions and conventions, such as Triple Threat and Groove Street Dance.
Miss Tiffany obtained her Junior 3, Pre-Intermediate 2, Pre-Intermediate 3, and Intermediate 1 ADAPT exams in Jazz. She is an Acrobatic Arts and YPAD certified instructor, and is working towards her RhythmWorks Integrative Dance certification. Miss Tiffany is currently a student in Exercise and Health Physiology at the University of Calgary.
Miss Tiffany loves working at APA because of the friendly atmosphere created by all the staff, parents, and students. She loves seeing all of the smiles on young dancers’ faces when they come into the studio and enjoys being a part of their learning experience.
Priscilla Chua (Miss Priscilla) is a Dance Instructor at APA. Miss Priscilla was just four years old when she began dancing, and she later trained as a competitive dancer in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, acro, and musical theatre. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Hill & Powers Dance Scholarship, an honour that recognizes motivation, cooperation, and inspiration, among other qualities. As a dance student, Miss Priscilla completed her RAD exams through Grade 7 and Vocational Intermediate. She is currently studying Kinesiology and Business at the University of Calgary.
Miss Priscilla loves having the opportunity to share her passion for dance with others, and to have a positive impact on the next generation of dancers. She wants to ensure that she empowers her students with the same confidence and strength that dance has given her. Miss Priscilla’s favourite part about APA is the family-friendly community that has been built.
Rhianna Lechelt (Miss Rhianna) is a Dance Instructor at APA. She danced with APA for more than a decade and is loving her role on the other side of the classroom! Miss Rhianna is a first-year teacher at APA and her favourite style of dance is hip hop. She also trained in tap and enjoys growing her skills and experience with all styles and ages.
As a new instructor, Miss Rhianna is eager to be a role model in APA’s classrooms. She is also looking forward to continuing her education this year with teacher training and certifications. Miss Rhianna feels lucky to consider APA her second home, and she can’t wait to help her students feel the same. Miss Rhianna says that one of the best parts about APA is seeing the dancers’ faces light up in the studio, expressing their joy for dance!
Amber Chan (Miss Amber) is a Dance Instructor at APA. As a young dancer, Miss Amber started training with APA at the age of seven. She focused her dance studies primarily on ballet, jazz, and lyrical, and completed her Intermediate and Grade 6 ballet exams.
As a current Kinesiology major at the University of Calgary, Miss Amber’s long-term professional goal is to become an occupational therapist. She also loves teaching dance at APA and strives to encourage the joy of movement while emphasizing proper technique and alignment.
Miss Amber’s favourite aspect of teaching is that she gets to watch her students grow and develop confidence in themselves. She loves being a role model to her dancers because she remembers what it was like to be in their shoes at APA!
Alexa Lefebvre (Miss Alexa) is a Dance Instructor at APA. Her love of dance began when she was just a child, and she studied many different styles throughout the 15 years she was a competitive dancer. After high school, Miss Alexa earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Calgary.
A dedicated lifelong learner, Miss Alexa loves working with children and has achieved her Level 1 Kids Yoga Teacher Certification as well as her Level 1 Child Development Assistant Certification. She looks forward to continuing her professional education in the coming years!
Miss Alexa appreciates having the opportunity to teach at APA, where she loves the positive atmosphere and strong sense of community. She takes pride in finding new and creative ways to help her students learn, grow, and express themselves through dance. For Miss Alexa, there is no greater reward than to see her dancers light up with the joy of dance!
Mackenzie Cook (Miss Mackenzie) is a Dance Instructor at APA. Growing up, Miss Mackenzie trained in every style of dance offered to her, including ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. She obtained her Grade 8 RAD ballet exam, Intermediate RAD exam, Intermediate 3 Tap exam, and Intermediate 1 Jazz exam.
Miss Mackenzie is currently attending Teacher Training School for her ADAPT certification and also working towards her Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the University of Calgary. She loves being in the classroom, both as a student and as a teacher!
As a new instructor at APA, Miss Mackenzie is excited to begin her teaching journey here and be a part of APA’s mission. She is looking forward to contributing to APA’s positive classrooms and being a positive influence on her students.
Customer Astonishment Representative
Michelle Dupont (Miss Michelle) is an Office Administrator at APA. Before working at APA, Miss Michelle helped manage the office at a medical office, where she was recognized for her outstanding work and communications. Miss Michelle enjoys working on detail-oriented projects and creating strategies for problem-solving.
Miss Michelle prides herself on having developed a positive, professional attitude and enjoys learning about dance and serving APA parents and students with a smile. She strongly believes in APA’s “Family First” mission and looks forward to personally getting to know each dance family!
Ana Morales (Miss Ana) is an Office Administrator at APA. She began dancing at the age of seven, after her family moved to Canada, and trained in many different dance styles. With a focus on ballet, Miss Ana completed her RAD exams up to Intermediate and Grade 7. Miss Ana also danced at APA during her training and during that time fell in love with APA’s culture.
Miss Ana has a passion for dance and helping others, which is why her position at APA is an ideal fit. She is committed to bringing her positive attitude and smile to the studio every day! Miss Ana loves that APA is about family, positivity, and excellent service, and she is looking forward to being a part of this mission.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We are driven to provide quality dance and music lessons in a safe, innovative and enriching environment. We hold ourselves to a high standards and put life skills, community, friendships and family first.
Parents choose APA Dance Studio for our convenient location, friendly service, and welcoming atmosphere. They stay with us because of our commitment to excellence, value, and customer care.
Our mission is to be an innovator in dance education, developing friendships and skills for a lifetime. We believe that an arts education is about more than just great dancing.
HAPPY PARENTS AND DANCERS
This was our first year at APA, and it has been a wonderful experience for our daughter. Between the excellence and caring shown by the staff, and the friendliness of other students, this has been the best dance year yet!
We love APA. It's an amazing dance academy and I would highly recommend to everyone to come and join. It has been an amazing experience for my girls, and they have learned so much from the amazing instructors, we wouldn't go anywhere else!
Amazing! The dance academy staff is outstanding, the parents are so welcoming and supportive, and my daughter is thriving off her experiences. She made a comment to me just the other day that sums up Apa: "Mommy, I finally fit in." I am so thankful I found APA.
I love Ambition Arts for many reasons. They really show how much they care about their students by taking the time to acknowledge improvements and hard work. I praise APA staff. They are the main reason my daughter loves dance!