Faculty and Staff
Dance is a rich and ever-evolving art form. DanzArts Toronto is thrilled to have such a fantastic team of professional, knowledgeable and inspiring faculty and staff providing our students with the best in dance education.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Tara Pillon is a professional dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. She graduated with honours from Ryerson University, where she received a BFA in Performance Dance. Tara has performed professionally with Ballet Creole, Gadfly, emiMOTION, 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 has choreographed for events including the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, Dance Ontario, New Blue Festival, Ricarda’s Grand Opening, and the Allstate Honor Ring Banquet. Most recently, Tara choreographed for The Tenors’ Christmas music video – Santa’s Wish.
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.
Alanna has been working in arts administration in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sector – with a focus on dance, for over 15 years. She is passionate about creating awareness for dance programs and helping businesses succeed at all levels. Alanna is an excellent communicator, highly organized and works with integrity.
She recently started her role in November 2019 and is thrilled to be a part of DanzArts!
Liana Bellissimo is a professional dance artist based out of Toronto. She began her training with The Society of Russian Ballet and the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. In 2014, Liana graduated with honours from Ryerson University earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance Dance. Since graduating, she has gone on to perform professionally with the Canadian Opera Company, ProArte Danza Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Creole, Alysa Pires Dance Projects and Creativiva.
Liana was also a cast dancer in Season 3 and 4 of the hit TV series Reign, in the Hallmark Channel film A Nutcracker Christmas, and most recently, Star Trek: Discovery. She has appeared in music videos for artists such as Feist, The Tenors, Scott Helman and Andrew Briol. Most recently, Liana co-founded ACE Dance Theatre – a professional contemporary dance company based out of Toronto and The Ballet Lab – a comprehensive summer training program devoted to technical excellence.
Furthermore, Liana is a certified teacher of the ballet fitness program The Extension Method, as well as JOGA- a yoga program designed specifically for professional athletes. She holds her teaching certification with The Society of Russian Ballet and is an in-demand ballet teacher throughout the GTA.
Ali is a BFA Graduate from Ryerson University’s Performance Dance Program, Certified Personal Training Specialist with CanFit Pro, certified Barre instructor and distinguished teacher and performer.
With more than 20 years experience in multiple genres, Ali has had the opportunity for professional performances including three seasons dancing for the Toronto Blue Jays. She has been featured in commercials for Sportsnet, performed at Toronto’s BIA Illuminite Festival, Nadia Potts Life Time Achievement Gala and for the David Foster Miracle Gala. Ali has worked with numerous choreographers such as Julie Tomaino, Kenny Pearl, Vicky St. Denys, Karen Duplisea, Hannah Kiel, Louis Laberge Cote, Robert Campanella, Robert Glumbeck and Blake McGrath.
With her expertise in strength training for dancers, she is a valuable asset to the DanzArts team.
Originally from Ljubljana, Slovenia, Miha has danced and choreographed for many of Slovenia’s most popular singers and performers.
He has also performed and choreographed for live television in the Eurovision Song Contest, Miss Universe Pageant, and Slovenia’s Got Talent. Miha decided to move his career to London in 2010, where he had the chance to perform alongside artists such as Rihanna & Mariah Carey, and was also chosen as one of 80 professional dancers in the London Olympic Opening Ceremonies in 2012. In March 2014, Miha moved to Toronto, and performed on the Much Music Video Awards and Junos with Kiesza.
He also works with renowned Toronto dance company Gadfly on various projects. In 2016 and 2017, he was a company dancer with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, a jazz dance company based in Calgary. He has recently moved back to Toronto. He is a sought after teacher and choreographer, and has delivered classes throughout Europe and North America.
His classes offer an emphasis on musicality and athleticism, as well as a feel good atmosphere that always leave students wanting more.
Alessia graduated with honors from the dance program at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts and is currently studying at Ryerson University. She has trained extensively in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and lyrical dance and graduated from DanzArts in 2011.
During her years of competitive dance, Alessia had the honour of being selected to perform at Villa Charities Annual Venetian Ball, OTF’s Annual Gala for SickKids and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery’s annual Power Ball. She was chosen to participate in ProArte Danza’s Aspirante Program. During this program, she worked with some of Canada’s top contemporary ballet teachers and choreographers.
Alessia volunteers her time at Humewood House, where she leads stretching and conditioning classes for young single mothers.
Nicole Pillon is a graduate from Canada’s National School’s Teacher Training Program, where she received her teaching diploma. She holds a BFA in Dance from York University and her registered teachers status from the Royal Academy of Dance. She has also completed the Advanced 1 ISTD National and Advanced 1 Cecchetti exams and comes with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
Nicole has worked with some of Toronto’s top educators and choreographers including Kimberly Glasco, John Ottman, and Anushka Roes. She spent 2 years training under the tutelage of Mary Anne Lee, an expert in creative dance for young children. She has performed in events such as the Crystal of Dance Festival in Italy and Toronto’s Venetian Ball. She has also choreographed for events including Castello Italia and the Mississauga ITALFEST.
Nicole is an in-demand ballet teacher across the GTA and award winning choreographer. She continues to inspire and spread her love of dance through her unique and effective teaching style.
Sophia is a graduate with Honours from York University, majoring in Sociology. She completed her Bachelor of Education degree at Lakehead University and is qualified to teach from Kindergarten to grade 12. She also received her Masters of Education degree at Lakehead University specializing in education for change.
Sophia began her dance training at the age of 3 and entered the competitive program at the age of 6. She trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, tap, acro, hip-hop and musical theatre. Sophia is a graduate from St. Elizabeth Catholic High School Regional Arts Program where she majored in dance. The program helped to strengthen and educate her as a dancer, choreographer and student. She is very excited to continue growing with the DanzArts team, and sharing her love and passion for dance.
Heather has completed her examinations through the British Association Teacher of Dance (B.A.T.D) in Jazz, Tap and Ballet. She has also completed her certification with the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D) and most recently Acrobatic Arts. She attended the Etobicoke School of Arts until grade 11 when she was accepted into Silverthorne Collegiate Institute in the High Performer Program for Gifted Athletes. Heather is a graduate of the Computer Sales and Marketing Program and the General Arts & Sciences Program at Humber College. She continued her education at Humber completing the Fitness Leadership Program Diploma.
Heather brings to DanzArts many years of teaching and choreography at local studios all over Ontario and a love for instilling her love for dance to our recreational students.
Katerina is currently a student at Ryerson University. She graduated with honours from the Dance program at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, where she trained in Modern and Ballet. She performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Legally Blonde. Recently, she has gone on to perform for many professional choreographers and dance companies in Toronto, as well as taking part in various music videos and dance projects.
Katerina began her dance education at DanzArts at the age of 4, where she trained extensively in ballet, pointe, jazz, acro and contemporary. She joined the competitive team at the age of 12 where she also trained to prepare for the Royal Academy of Dance Intermediate Ballet Exam and received Distinction for her performance. Through competing, she was chosen to perform at the OTF SickKids Gala.
Monica Sorbara began her love for dance at the age of three. Ontario grown, she was technically trained in acrobatics, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, tap and hip hop. She was trained at a competitive level, where she competed across Canada and the United States, winning many overall awards. After completing her competitive dance journey, she pursued her passion and now holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ryerson University’s Performance Dance program.
Professionally, Monica was a member of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak and the Toronto Blue Jays J FORCE team. Since graduating, Monica has been teaching competitive dance across the GTA with award-winning choreography. Monica is also the Co-Director of Matricks Acro, an intensive program geared towards training acrobats in a gymnastics facility.