Dance Educators

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.

Dance Studio Directors
Our Directors Diana Radcliffe (left) & Gillian Howatt

As dance educators, we take on the role of mentors maintaining a professional relationship with all of our students and parents and are reliable, responsible, and inspiring.

Email Diana (diana@mahoganydancearts.com) or Gillian (gillian@mahoganydancearts.com) directly with any questions. 

Meet Our Team

Dance studio director, Diana Radcliffe

Diana
Radcliffe

Director

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.

 

Dance studio director, Gillina Howatt

Gillian
Howatt, RAD, RTS

Director

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!

Dance teacher, Emily Crebbin

Emily
Crebbin, RAD, RTS

Dance Educator

Instructor – Ballet RAD 

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, 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!

Miss Sadie

Sadie
Rieb

Dance Educator

Miss Sadie began dancing at the age of three and was instructed by both MDA artistic directors Gillian and Diana growing up. Miss Sadie’s love for the arts grew as she travelled around North America through her dance career. Receiving scholarships that took her from Los Angeles to Los Vegas, Miss Sadie quickly realized that dance was her greatest passion!

Being able to express herself through movement and music lead her to her post-secondary education at the University of Calgary. Specializing in Contemporary Dance, Miss Sadie has adored learning all about the creative process of choreographing, performing in unique productions, learning all about the health and safety of young dancers and how to help the new generation of performers grow to their full potential.

Miss Sadie is a child at heart, which makes working with young dancers, their indescribable imagination, drive to learn, and ability to make everyday fun and exciting an absolute dream.

Dance teacher Laura

Laura
Donaldson

Dance Educator

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!

Dance teacher, Hannah

Hannah
von Rothkirch

Dance Educator

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!

Arles Shipley

Arles
Shipley, RAD (RTS), ADAPT, AAC1

Dance Educator

Born in Calgary, Arles began dancing at the age of 4 with The Dance Factory, the place she called home for 17 years. During those years she achieved an expansive dance education in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Lyrical and Hip Hop.  She has received exclusive training by experienced registered Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) teachers, preparing her to complete exams in Grades 1-8 and Vocational Syllabus. She extended her training to include Advanced ADAPT Tap and Jazz. As an intensive dancer, she has had eight years’ competitive dance experience in solo, duet, and group dances and won scholarships to support her training. To broaden her education she attended enrichment programs such as Triple Threat Dance Convention, International School of Ballet Summer School of Excellence, and ADAPT TTS led by renowned Brian Foley. Outside of training, Miss Arles has had the privilege to perform with Alberta Dance Theatre and prepare her students to perform with the Canmore Canada Day Parade and Disney Dance the Magic Show and Parade in California.

Arles is passionate about giving back to her community. She began teaching through her home studio’s Student Teacher Education Program (STEP), whereby she felt called to teach her love of dance to children. Since then, she has completed teaching certification and accreditation with the Royal Academy of Dance, Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers, and Acrobatic Arts. Embracing a philosophy of individualized and detailed technical training, complemented by a positive and fun learning environment, Arles prides herself on creating a supportive teaching space based on the principles of respect and inclusion. She wants all her students to feel valued. Individual attention and constructive feedback are provided, which helps to develop their confidence as dancers. Through a variety of volunteer roles in her local community, Arles has also developed extensive leadership skills with children, and teaches them that many of the skills learned in the dance classroom can translate into important skills for life. She is a trusted role model, offering young dancers mentorship, support, and guidance.

As a full-time dance educator, she continues to broaden her understanding of dance with continued professional development expanding her knowledge of new teaching techniques. She is committed to ensuring her students receive the best education possible. Gaining certification with prestigious institutions has given her a greater perspective on the interdisciplinary relationship between the different genres of dance. Ballet provides dancers with a solid foundation of technique (enhancing the quality of lines, posture, balance, flexibility, alignment, and strength), and all other dance styles can build on this. Arles’ passion is to help students understand the differences between each dance genre, and help them connect and transfer their knowledge of Ballet into Jazz, Tap, and other disciplines. She believes that teaching correct technique is important to students’ success, together with developing positive personal characteristics. She strives to promote self-awareness, self-confidence, resilience, mutual respect, and positive relationships in her students, to help them develop healthy self-esteem and a strong sense of studio and community belonging. 

Arles is looking forward to joining the Mahogany Dance Arts team.

Kaylie Fulwiler

Kaylie
Fulwiler

Dance Educator

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.

Abby Gerlitz

Abby
Gerlitz

Dance Educator

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
students.

Leah Cameron

Leah
Cameron

Dance Educator

Leah Cameron began dancing at the age of four and has continued to enhance her career ever since. After focusing on classical styles of dance in prestigious training programs such as the Joffrey Ballet School and Pacific Dance Arts, she made the move to Toronto. From performing in the MMVA’s with LMFAO to guest appearing in a production of Giselle, Leah’s versatility is letting her explore multiple venues of dance. While in Toronto she has had the privilege of working with Jasmyn Fyffe Dance in ‘Pulse’, BOSS Dance Company in The Choreographer’s Cup competition in LA, Diamond Dancers Entertainment opening performance for Elton John (Hot Pink Party – NYC), the soloist role of Aki in ‘Worldly Women,’ and other freelance work. As a choreographer she has had the opportunity to choreograph for Pacific Dance Arts’ Mexico tour, Diamond Dancers’ samba and disco shows, and was the Associate Choreographer for ‘Anatomy of a Dancer’ for the Toronto Fringe Festival 2018 – Winner of 2 Broadway World Awards. Most recently she was the Associate Choreographer and danced the role of Abigail in ‘Tales of a Cocktail’ premiering in July 2019. Leah has been teaching dance for both recreational and competitive dancers for over 10 years and has adjudicated across Canada. She is excited to continue educating dancers and passing along her passion for the art.

Siobhan Boyle

Siobhan
Boyle

Dance Educator

Siobhan began her journey of dance at the age of 3, taking up highland dancing. At age 5 Siobhan continued dancing in technical genres such as Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, and Acrobatics. Committing to many hours of training, Siobhan was part of a performance group in Calgary and was eventually contracted to dance with Calaway Park at the young age of 15.

Siobhan completed both her Advanced 2 Modern and Tap exams with the I.S.T.D and then continued on to attain her Associate Modern and Tap Teaching Certifications, training under some of the founders of the I.S.T.D in London, England. Siobhan also has certifications under the A.G.F holding her Level 1 N.C.C.P Gymnastics Certification, Acrobatic Arts Module 2 Certification, and Acrobatique Syllabus Course Completion. Siobhan has had the opportunity to teach children and adults of various ages for over a decade!

She is also quite involved in the dance community, performing in many events around Calgary, as well as training in a professional Hip hop company. Continuing to grow within the urban dance community, Siobhan has had the opportunity to train under guest choreographers such as Roberta Bierman, Carlo Atienza, Luther Brown, and Scott Forsyth.

Siobhan is always thrilled to share passion and love for dance in hopes it will resonate with her students, so they can reach their true potential and inspire others.

Glenda Radcliffe

Glenda
Radcliffe

Office Administrator

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.

So please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time!
403 837 9514
glendamdaoffice@gmail.com

Assistant Teachers

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: contact@mahoganydancearts.com for further information or to apply for the program. 

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