You don’t just want a good teacher, you want the best.
With over 20 years of experience in dance education & the arts, Dance Arts would love to welcome you & your dancer to our studio!
What makes us different? We are more than a dance studio…we are a family. Many of our teachers have grown up under our direction & now we are so pleased to see them continuing onto to teaching & inspiring the next generation of dancers. Our educators are trained to focus on teaching the whole student; giving them life skills such as dedication, determination & perseverance. Our dedicated, friendly and professional staff nurture students to flourish and become passionate and confident dancers.
Diana and Gillian have received numerous personal accolades, awards & grants for outstanding choreography & contributions to the arts. Many of our graduate students have been accepted at prestigious International dance schools such as Julliard, Royal Winnipeg Ballet & Ryerson University in Toronto to further their love of dance.
Meet Our Team
Diana continues to bring her expertise in dance training & choreography to dancers of all ages. Her knowledge has contributed to developing many talented & aspiring young dancers, successful studio competitive programs, summer dance programs & creating new outlets for young dancers to learn & grow.
Prior to owning a studio Diana was contracted throughout the city teaching & choreographing for local studios for 10 years strong after working globally as a Professional dancer.
Dancing professionally gave Diana the opportunity to be featured as a dancer in 42nd Street Rainbow Stage Winnipeg, Toronto Raptors Dance team, various corporate Industrials, Celebrity Cruises feature dancer/dance captain, and “Ariel” from The Little Mermaid in the opening cast of Tokyo Disney Sea in Japan.
Diana has also received numerous personal accolades, awards & grants for outstanding choreography & contributions to the arts.
Diana is thrilled to be able to continue to share her love of dance with many more children at Mahogany Dance Arts.
Howatt, RAD, RTS
Gillian Howatt trained locally in Calgary, Alberta before moving to one of Canada’s largest dance communities in Toronto, Ontario to study and perfect her art. She performed professionally and trained under the guidance of professional teachers from such well-known companies as The National Ballet of Canada, The Kirov Ballet, The Alberta Ballet and The London Contemporary Dance Theater.
Upon completion of university, Gillian traveled throughout Europe before returning home to Calgary to open her first dance studio. Gillian has been a successful dance studio owner for over 25 years, sharing her love and passion for dance with children of all ages and levels.
Gillian Howatt is specialized in Classical Ballet studies. She holds certificates in dance teaching education from three establishments:
- The Royal Academy of Dance, London England. Selected by RAD Toronto to mentor dance instructors in Alberta
- Ryerson University, Toronto Ontario. Studied under the direction of Nadia Potts, ex-professional lead dancer with the National Ballet of Canada
- Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London England. Certification in Ballet, Modern, National, Character
Gillian is the proud mom of two wonderful children, Emily and Owen.
Gillian loves to share her knowledge and passion for dance with all of the children at Mahogany Dance Arts!
Crebbin, RAD, RTS
Growing up in Calgary, Emily began dancing at the age of 2 under the instruction of her mom, who inspired and fostered her love for ballet and teaching from a young age. She grew up focusing on many dance genres; Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip Hop under the instruction of Gillian Howatt and Diana Radcliff. During her many years dancing, Emily performed in shows, competitions, and community events, and she also completed several RAD exams.
Following the completion of her final RAD exam, Emily went to the RAD Headquarters in London, England to study their Dance Education program for a year. Emily’s experience at the RAD headquarters was diverse: daily ballet and contemporary classes, dance science, and history classes.
Emily trains her students with passion, love, and structure which allows the dancers to learn in a positive environment. She is thrilled to share her energy and excitement with the MDA team this year and for many to come!
Laura Donaldson grew up dancing in various styles since the age of 5 and was and trained by both Gillian Howatt and Diana Radcliffe for much of her studio dance years.
As an emerging tap dancer, teacher and choreographer she continues to develop her artistic voice through extensive training, teaching, and performing. She has performed in various productions including “Caravan” co-directed by Derick K. Grant and Tasha Lawson, and most recently the premiere of Danny Nielsen’s newest full-length work “On Foot”.
Laura has had the opportunity to assist world-renowned tap artists Lisa La Touche and Ayodele Casel in New York City and she was the assistant to Lisa for the 2019 IDO World Tap Championships for Team Canada in Germany. Laura’s favourite thing about dance is being able to express herself through movement and music, her favourite thing about teaching dance is seeing her students learn, grow, and shine in their own unique ways!
Hannah von Rothkirch grew up training and competing in various dance styles under the direction of both Gillian Howatt and Diana Radcliffe for 9 years.
After graduation, Hannah continued her dance training primarily in the styles of hip hop and contemporary dance. Professionally, Hannah has had the ongoing opportunity to dance with a show band called The Revolucion. She has performed at many public and private events across Canada including Diner en Blanc, Taste of Calgary, Lilac Festival, Expo Latino, Festival, Mexifest, and many weddings and corporate events.
Additionally, Hannah has 7 years of dance teaching experience and has taught children of a variety of different ages in the styles of hip hop, jazz, lyrical, and ballet. Hannah is passionate about using dance to instill confidence in the next generation of young dancers. Her favourite thing about teaching dance is watching her students grow into the confident and passionate dancers that she knows they can be!
Kaylie began dancing at the age of 3 under the instruction of Gillian Howatt and Diana Radcliffe. Her love of dance shined on the stage where she competed in various dance styles and gained scholarships, awards, and titles. Kaylie has had the opportunity to perform at many competitions, conventions, and showcases, including an International Tap Day performance at the National Music Centre in Calgary. Under the instruction of Gillian Howatt, Kaylie has completed many RAD examinations which taught her the importance of discipline, determination, and hard work.
Kaylie has been assisting and teaching at Mahogany Dance Arts for years and loves seeing young dancers grow and find a passion for dancing. She is looking forward to continuing to share her positivity and love of dance for many years to come.
Chiarra started dancing at three years old in Okotoks, Alberta, where she found her love for dance. As her passion for dance grew, she increased her hours of training and competed in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary, musical theatre, and acrobatics.
At the age of 16, Chiarra had the opportunity to be employed with Calaway Park as a dancer and entertainer for the season, which enhanced her love of performing immensely. Chiarra has completed up to the Advanced 1 level with the Royal Academy of Dance, trained in the Al Gilbert tap syllabus, and completed levels 6 & 7 in the Acrobatics Arts syllabus.
She has received a scholarship to the Nuvo Dance Convention directed by Ray Leeper and many overall awards for individual, small and large group dances at various competitions across Alberta. Chiarra has had opportunities to perform in many settings, the most memorable being California Adventure Park at Disneyland.
She has recently received her Acrobatic Arts Module 1 Certification with 100% on her exam. Chiarra is also working on her Developing Dance Teacher certification program with International Dance Teaching Standards and plans to gain other certifications in the near future.
Chiarra is currently entering her third year at the University of Calgary, working on her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Dance combined with a Bachelor of Kinesiology. As she continues to study under professionals in post-secondary, she has opportunities to perform in Dance@Noon, Dance@Night, Dance Montage, and Mainstage.
As Chiarra continues to grow as a dance educator and a person, she looks forward to sharing her passion for dance and inspiring her students to reach their full potential in and out of the studio.
Abby began dancing at the age of 14 where she found her lifelong passion for dance!
She began training in hip hop, which led to training in contemporary, ballet, jazz, acro,
tap, and cheer! Once dance was a part of her life she spent hours at dance class or at
home practicing. She continued to train in her school dance program where she had
received a dance scholarship for her pursuits in dance. Abby started competing in
contemporary and jazz throughout high school as well as being a part of a student
teacher program where she began her journey as a dance teacher.
After high school, Abby began teaching her own classes, which was her dream job since
age 10. Abby has begun working towards her ADAPT syllabus training certification and
will have the chance to complete that in summer 2023! She is also excited to continue
her dance training and gain more certifications this upcoming year.
Abby’s favourite part about teaching is seeing the dancers gain knowledge about the art
as well as gain confidence and find their passion. She loves to teach her students how
expressive dance can be. Abby aspires to inspire! And is happiest when with her
Brooke Risling is originally from Wilkie, Saskatchewan. She is a professional dancer and choreographer who has trained in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Calgary, and Toronto. She studied dance at George Brown College in Toronto, where she trained in hip hop, singing, and acting. She has also performed with Abiding Lines Dance Company for three seasons to sold out performances across Saskatchewan. Brooke has finished all her tap exams with high marks. She has performed on many stages including the stage for WE Day.
Over the past year Brooke has been training under the professional choreographer Shotyme in an all-girl group called Flowmatk. Brooke has also been a hip hop teacher for four years at studios all over Alberta and Saskatchewan. She has taught all ages and excels at maintaining a positive environment for all students.
Glenda Radcliffe is your “go-to” girl! She is a very important part of the MDA Team as our office administrator & first point of contact for many of our dance families. She will always be happy to assist you with all of your questions via phone or email.
The majority of Glenda’s professional career was in the medical field as a Medical Technologist in Microbiology, with a brief period in Virology (thankfully prior to the COVID era). Having been a mother of 2 daughters who were heavily invested in dance, upon retirement & her girls growing out of the dance studio community she wanted to continue to share her knowledge of dance that she had gained over the years. She also knew & understood the many roles of a dance studio so felt her knowledge could greatly benefit studio owners & current dance parents alike. Having seen & experienced firsthand every aspect of the dance community there are no questions she is unable to answer.
Mahogany Dance Arts offers a teaching assistant program in order to train dancers that are interested in following a career in dance education.
The assistant teacher program is offered to Intermediate & Advanced students who who are interested in developing experience working with young children, teaching dance & moving into a teacher position after graduating high school. We believe that by starting off your dance career on the right foot, with an understanding of classroom management and child development is imperative. Our assistants play an imperative role in running successful classes at MDA, as it improves the teacher-student ratio and it helps make the classes run more smoothly.
All Teaching Assistants who successfully complete their volunteer term in a dance year will earn a certificate and reference letter, which can be used for school, volunteer, or work applications.
Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or to apply for the program.