Faculty

Jen  

Jen Groff Owner / Artistic Director

Jen has been teaching for over 15 years in and around Edmonton and Grande Prairie, and also introduced structured dance lessons to a number of smaller communities in Alberta. Her experience, creativity, and commitment to excellence make her an ideal leader.

Jen has been formally trained in two tap syllabi—Al Gilbert, up to and including grade 9, and I.S.T.D., through Advance level 1—as well as two ballet syllabi—Vaganova and I.S.T.D. Jen has danced twice in Disney World, placed first in Hoctor’s Dance Caravan Competition in Florida, and finished second in the Grande National Championship. She has participated in many competitions in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and danced in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Alberta Winter Games.

Since she has been teaching, Jen has won numerous choreography awards for her dances and her students have been named as “most outstanding”, and “most promising” at many competitions. She has taken groups to British Columbia, to Los Angeles, to Disneyland, to New York City, and aboard the Royal Caribbean “Mariner of the Seas” for performance, training, and competition. Jen has also been asked to choreograph for Edmonton and Grande Prairie’s Festival of Trees and Edmonton Contemporary Dancers. Many of her students have gone on to dance professionally in Edmonton, Vancouver, New York, and on cruise ships.

 Julia  

Julia Friesen – Cecchetti Associate Diploma CSC-CICB

Julia has returned to Grande Prairie after four years studying at the University of Calgary where she has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in contemporary dance with a specialization in Ballet. While at the U of C, she received training focused mainly in contemporary dance from world-renowned artists and instructors, as well as ballet and pointe from the professional division of the School of Alberta Ballet. In addition to her university education, Julia aspired to attain an associate diploma within the Cecchetti ballet technique; after three years of intense instruction with the top Cecchetti experts in Canada (also through the School of Alberta Ballet), she received honours for her associate diploma examination.

 Nikki  

Nikki Harms

Nikki Harms started dancing at the age of three with baby tap and soon added ballet, jazz, lyrical, and modern. If you have ever been around Nikki, you will notice that she is never still; she is always moving her feet. She is extremely passionate about tap dance! Nikki has experience with the CDTA syllabus, and has completed her CDTA Gold Star Tap and Jazz exams with a grade of Honours with Distinction.
Nikki started competing at the age of 12 with solos in Tap, Jazz, and Lyrical; she has won many “outstanding”, and “most promising” awards all over Alberta and BC. Nikki took a few years off from dance to continue her education and became a graphic designer. But she soon missed dance and has now been teaching for four years. Nikki's method of teaching is giving students confidence and style while still having lots of fun. She has attended numerous festivals and competitions throughout Alberta and BC, both as a participant and an instructor, and has won awards for her choreography.

Hilary Schmidt Hilary Schmidt

Hilary grew up dancing in Grande Prairie, Alberta, where her love and passion for dance brought her to the Vancouver dance scene in 2009. She was accepted into the prestigious Source Dance Company, under director Joanne Pesusich, where she trained and flourished for three years while developing her own unique style in all genres of dance. She had the privilege of choreographing a tap piece for The Source in her last year with the company. Hilary is known for her charismatic teaching style, her joyous spirit, and her quick tapping feet. Some of her credits include: So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Toyota Canada, LuluLemon Athletica, M.A.D.D Rhythms Canada, Disney Magic Music Days, The International Law Organization and BC Hydro to name a few. To further Hilary's passion for teaching, she is currently working towards her education degree. She is extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to train and dance with the industry's best. She looks forward to sharing her passion with all.

 Brooke

 Brooke Shaw - Preschool Coordinator

Brooke has been dancing since age 3 starting with tap, her first memory of dance was in tap class with her batton... She's never tapped since.  At the age of 12 she started competitively dancing. She has been dancing at Diverse Dance Company (then NOW Dance) since 2008, her favorite memory was the Troupe Cruise Trip. Brooke's favorite styles are hip hop and lyrical.   Brooke has  worked in Playcare, Preschool Programs, and planning and instructing Summer Camps for 2 summers.  Brooke has been teaching dance for 5 years, and every year gets more fun.  She has built relationships with not only the children but the parents too.  Her experience in childcare make her a "Preschool Whisperer".  Brooke has recently became the Preschool Coordinator for Diverse Dance Company.  

 

Miranda VanderZee

Miranda VanderZee

Miranda danced on and off throughout her childhood in Grande Prairie but started taking dance seriously when she was 13 with disciplines including ballet, modern, lyrical, jazz, and hip hop.Miranda completed her Grade 8 RAD Syllabus ballet exam with distinction, as well as distinction in her RAD Intermediate Foundation ballet exam.  Miranda has attended many dance festivals as both a dancer and a teacher and has won awards including Choreography, Most Outstanding, Most Promising, and in 2013 won a scholarship to a Summer in L.A. intensive with Be Discovered.  Be Discovered has recently approached Miranda with an opportunity to dance in an Alumni performance in New York City, New York which she will be going to in the spring of 2015.Miranda has been teaching dance for three years now, and is extremely passionate about not only showing kids the basics, but giving them confidence to step out of their box and not be afraid to show who they really are in the classroom, on stage, and in everyday life.

 

Patricia 

Patricia Bukkos

Patricia grew up in Prince George, B.C. and started dancing at the age of 9. She successfully completed exams in grades 1 through 5 of the ISTD syllabus, passing all with Special Merit. She then went on to complete her advanced foundation exam of the RAD Syllabus.  As a young adult she moved to Grande Prairie and started training competitively in Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical and Ballet. She has attended many Dance festivals as a dancer, winning numerous awards.  Patricia has very much enjoyed continuing to pursue her passion for dance in Grande Prairie, over the last 14 years. She is extremely excited to join the Diverse Dance teaching team and share her love of dance with her students.

 

Megan 

Megan Grandel

Megan has been dancing since the age of five. She has trained and competed in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and tap. In 2010, she had the opportunity to travel to California with the NOW Dance Performance Troupe and perform on a Mexican cruise ship as well. In 2013, Megan trained and competed in New York with the NOW Dance Performance Troupe. She has won multiple awards at competitions across Alberta. Megan is now going to school to become a psychologist, so she no longer competes herself. However, she excited to continue her dance journey by sharing her love of dance with her students! 

 

 Janelle

Janelle Lizaire

Janelle has been dancing for 7 years.  She started in Hip Hop for the first 2 years then expanded her view of dance by adding contemporary, jazz, and ballet.  She has won numerous awards at many competitions as well as conventions.  She is proud to say that she has just had the opportunity to dance in Los Angeles and in the Disneyland parade with the Diverse Dance Corps.

 

 Alexandra Boucher-Carter

Alexandra Boucher-Carter

Alexandra has been dancing consistently since she was 5. She has trained competitively in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Lyrical with NOW Dance and Diverse Dance Company. More recently, Alexandra has been enrolled in the Academy dance programme, allowing her to receive instruction from dancers and choreographers across the globe, for three years. She has won multiple awards and scholarships at competitions across Alberta. In the past three years, Alexandra has been dancing preforming in musicals such as The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, and Fame with the local theatre company BROADWAY LIVE BROADWAY. These 3 different sources of training have allowed Alexandra to create a detailed understanding of not only dance, but also performance and creativity. She is excited to bring these aspects into her classes!


Ashley 

Ashley Henton 

Ashley was born in Neepawa, Manitoba 16 years ago, her family then moved to High Level, AB in 2004. While in High Level she began her dance career in 2009 at the age of 10 with Petkus Arts Company under Ms. Courtney Petkus. It began with ballet, jazz and tap and has since then progressed to Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Pointe and Acrobatics. She then moved to Grande Prairie in August of 2014 where she began dancing with Diverse Dance Company. Within those years of dancing Ashley has won a most improved dancer of the year and an attitude award. She has attended several competitions all over Alberta.  in her free time she enjoys babysitting, hanging out with friends and visiting family. 

 

                                                     

Michaela Schultz                                                                                                           

Picture and Bio coming soon!