Our Team

An ensemble of dance professionals

Our Team

An ensemble of dance professionals
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ARTISTIC DIRECTORMarie Julien

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more
powerful.” - Agnes De Mille
About
Ms. Marie – After completing her formal dance training in Calgary, Alberta, she trained at the Edge Performing Arts Center and was a student of the scholarship program at Tremaine Center for Performing Arts, both located in Los Angeles, CA. She has performed all over North America and toured Europe, Australia and New Zealand as a performer in festivals and various stage shows. She has worked as a dancer in many professional stage productions including The Nutcracker (Alberta Ballet Company), A Midsomer’s Night Dream (Alberta Dance Horizons), Broadway Dance Dreams (Los Angeles, CA) and Disney Productions (California, Florida & EuroDisney). She has also been fortunate enough to have trained, performed and collaborated with many of the top choreographers in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles. Proficient in Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap & Ballet, – RAD, Cecchetti, BATD, ADAPT) – Marie has completed a B.A in Dance at York University and continues to hone her craft through teacher training and various dance certification programs.
Competition awards and accolades aside, other choreographic and performance credits include work for several prestigious dance events in Toronto, including the Fringe Festival of Independent Artists (fFida), the Toronto Fashion Cares AIDS Benefit, corporate events/videos/industrials (DAC Group, Toyota, PanAm Games ) and various works for different film and television companies (Universal Films, Much Music & CTV). Marie is also the co-founder and co-producer Toronto’s Original Choreographer’s Ball (ChoreoBallTO) – Ontario’s biggest and most well-known professional dance and choreographic showcase. She is a well sought-after teacher, choreographer, adjudicator, and mentor and enjoys sharing the gift of dance with kids and adults alike.
Her main passion is teaching children and young adults, emphasizing the values of hard work, dedication, kindness and humanitarianism through the art of dance.
Last but not least, she will always remember your birthday!

TEACHERTara Durand

About
BTech, Ryerson University – Graphic Communications Management
For Miss Tara, teaching dance goes far beyond technical training and the execution of steps. Her passion for molding students into compassionate, confident, and knowledgeable dancers has driven her commitment to teach for more than 20 years. Miss Tara truly believes in the value of the lessons taught at Wonderland Dance Company and how they translate to everyday life. With that, she takes great pride in guiding her students, witnessing their development through the years both on and off the stage.
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TEACHERJulia Valasevich

About
Julia’s passion for dance started when she was just 5 years old. Since then she achieved impressive results as a ballerina, teacher and artist. Julia graduated from Belarusian State Choreographic College and became a successful professional teacher of Russian classical dance. Her talent and skills brought her all over the world, she participated in multiple international competitions and ballet tours. She performed in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, South Korea, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Russia, Italy. During the time at Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus Julia’s hard work and extraordinary determination helped her to be chosen to dance such great performances like The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Spartacus, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Cinderella, Bolero, La Bayadere, La Sylphide, La Esmeralda, Anyuta, Carmina Burana, Chopiniana, Cipollino, Creation of the World, La Fille Mal Gardee, Flower Festival in Genzano, etc.
Julia always felt interested in other styles of dance. She successfully completed the certification course in Acrobatic Arts and is now recognized as a fully certified and qualified Module One Acrobatic Dance Teacher. She also spent some time learning and mastering contemporary dance and jazz in Germany and Poland, where she was also honored with certificates. Alongside her teaching, Juliya became a co-choreographer and a former soloist with the Ismailova Theatre of Dance. She also continues to seek out professional development opportunities and has recently attended a teacher training seminar (Vaganova method) and workshops in Minsk and
St.Petersbourg.
Julia is proud to be a part of WDC and can’t wait to share her knowledge with future stars of Wonder Family.

TEACHERDana Kleiman

About

My name is Dana Kleiman, I am currently studying at Ryerson University in the Professional Communications BA program. I am a member of the school’s competitive dance team, Ryerson DancePak. My parents put me in dance when I was 2 years old because I was very energetic, and dance and I have been inseparable ever since. This has been my fourth year at Wonderland Dance Company, and I cannot get enough. I love the caring and fun environment of the studio and have found so many of my life long friends here.

My favorite style of dance is contemporary and I am very inspired by GAGA and modern dance. My favorite part of being a dance teacher is watching my students finally reach their goals. Whether their goal is finally getting flat in their splits or perfecting a move to a new level. My philosophy is that we all have room to grow, even in things we feel we have already mastered.

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TEACHERJessica Saftu

About

Jessica is currently enrolled at York University in the Dance BFA Honours program for Choreography and Performance. With 15 years of dance experience thus far in styles such as, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop, she plans to further explore dance through performance and teaching.

Jessica’s love for dance has no boundaries. She wishes to continue to share her love for dance and inspire young dancers. Being a dance teacher has always been a dream of Jessica’s and she hopes to show young, aspiring dancers that dreams really do come true. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it!

TEACHERChloe Bruce

About

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chloe Bruce began her dance training at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts (MCPA), in 2004. Chloe trained in the MCPA’s Professional Program for four years, while completing her Advanced 1 Cecchetti, Advanced 2 Royal Academy of Dance, and Canadian Dance Teachers Association Jazz exams. Chloe was the recipient of the Janice Merritt Flemming Scholarship (2015), and in her graduating year, Chloe was awarded the Benedict Wong Cup (2017), for best shown love and dedication in learning all aspects of dance. Chloe has also performed with Quick as a Wink Theatre Company, in their productions of Oklahoma, 42ed Street, and Cinderella. After graduating from the MCPA, in 2017, Chloe moved to Toronto to further her dance education in George Brown College’s two year Dance Performance Program, where she won the Ballet Award. Chloe graduated from George Brown in the spring of 2019, and became a mentorship student with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, with whom she toured throughout Canada and the United States in the world premiere of Anne of Green Gables the Ballet. Chloe is now thrilled to be teaching and sharing her knowledge of dance with the students at Wonderland Dance Company.

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TEACHERKiana Walden

About
Kiana Walden began her dance career at the age of five, where she first discovered her love of movement. By age 8, she began competing and continued her competitive career throughout grade school. As she moved forward with her academics, she attended the University of Waterloo and received her Bachelor of Science with a double minor in Philosophy and Psychology. Throughout her undergrad, she never gave up her passion for dance as she competed and choreographed for the university’s competitive dance team. After graduating from the team and school, her passion and love for dance continued to inspire her; ultimately leading her back to the place and people who helped cultivate her love for the art form. As a graduate of the Wonderland Dance Company herself, Kiana now looks to inspire and cultivate a passion for dance in the up and coming younger generations. Trained in a wide variety of dance styles, including tap, hip hop, and contemporary, Kiana now teaches both recreational and competitive classes at the studio; with a focus in tap and hip hop. Her skill and love for tap in particular, has continued to inspire her to teach her students about the importance of the relationship between music and movement. With that, she is excited to bring new and fresh ideas to the classroom, with her intricate musicality and rhythm focused teaching style leading the way.

TEACHERAndrew Dragert

About
Andrew started dancing at the age of five and it has been his passion ever since. Finishing his Regional Arts Program Certificate Program at Cawthra Park Secondary school Andrew had the opportunity to work with modern choreographers Allen Kaeja, Darryl Tracy and Michael Trent. In his final year of competing Andrew won Mr. Dance Canada and had been selected to be a “Face Of Fever” at Fever International Dance Championships. His professional career started soon after as an apprentice in the Rutherford Movement Exchange.
TV and Film opportunities include The Next Step, Backstage, Reign and most recently the Netflix Movie Feel The Beat. Stage credits include The 2015 Pan American Games closing ceremony, the 2015 Para Pan American Games opening, Stephanie Rutherford’s production of “Ascension,” Vlad Novitski’s production of “Checkmate,” The Beaches Jazz Festival and the I Am Blake McGrath Tour dancing Tessandra Chavez choreography to Missing You. Some choreography opportunities accomplished to date would be an opening number for the I Am Blake McGrath Tour in Toronto, a piece for the Canadian Mental Health Association Conference 2018 and opening numbers for Canadian movie screenings of “Paper Year” (2018) and “Sometimes Always Never.” (2019).
Andrew continues to train, take class and teach at competitive and drop-in dance studios throughout Ontario, including The Underground Dance Centre since 2017 and was also faculty at Millennium Dance Complex Toronto. Andrew also teaches for a non-profit organization called Arthouse and for some elementary schools teaching dance classes to kindergarten to grade 3 students.
His passion, determination and hard work are what have pushed him this far in his career and he plans on continuing to pursue his dreams, passions and to work on future goals.
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