faculty

The artistic staff at the Martha Hicks School of Ballet come from many diverse, professional backgrounds such as the National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and other recognized dance institutions. The aim of our staff is to provide a positive and caring atmosphere as a background for learning the discipline of dance. Whether the student is 3 or 20 they will feel welcome and encouraged to explore the magic of movement. In addition to the primary instructors, many of our classes also have trained assistants who aid the teacher in demonstrating steps and technique as well as correcting the students. Professional pianists accompany and inspire every creative movement and ballet class.

MHSB also prides itself on a high level of administrative service to its clients. There are three full time staff members who work diligently to ensure parents are kept well informed of every aspect of their programs. Martha Hicks is always pleased to speak with parents who have any questions or concerns.

Director

Martha Hicks

Martha Hicks

Martha Hicks was born in London, Ontario, where she began ballet lessons at the age of five. She continued her training in Toronto and upon completion of high school entered the full-time dance program at George Brown College.

After intensive training in ballet, modern, jazz and choreography, she was accepted into the Teacher's Training program at the National Ballet School.

In 1990 Martha graduated from the three year program with the school's honour of distinction and began teaching immediately. In September of 1992, Martha returned to the Lawrence Park area and opened her own school - The Martha Hicks School of Ballet. The school started with one venue and 60 students. Through love, dedication and hard work, Martha has built one of the biggest and most reputable schools in Toronto. Today MHSB has eight locations providing over 1000 aspiring young dancers with superb training in an energetic, caring environment.








Teaching Staff

Grace Foster

Grace Foster
Grace Foster started dancing when she was four at a local community centre in Toronto.  Grace joined The Martha Hicks School of Ballet in 1993 where she studied until graduating high school.  She started with ballet technique, then added modern, jazz and hip hop to her dance vocabulary.  
She earned a Certificate of Professional Development from the dance department at George Brown College, in Toronto.  Foster attended Columbia College Chicago and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree with cum laude in dance teaching.  Grace is continuing her teaching education under the Professional Development Program at Canada’s National Ballet School.  
Grace has been teaching at MHSB since the 2011 dance season.  She is happy to be able to share the love of dance to she learned at MHSB to the new generation of MHSB students.


Karen Andrew

Karen Andrew

A multi talented artist and performer, Ms. Andrew has been extensively trained in New York and Los Angeles and is pleased to be re-based in Toronto. Formally trained in acting, singing, and dance, Ms. Andrew is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and is currently a member of the faculty. Along with numerous other professional theatrical accomplishments, Ms. Andrew is proud to have been an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical ‘RAGTIME’. While on Broadway, Ms. Andrew performed in concert with Chita Riviera, Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli, Glenn Close, and Rosie O’Donnell.

 

 

 

 

 



Katelyn Ettinger

Katelyn Ettinger

 

 
Katelyn Ettinger was born and raised in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, and prior to dance she was a competitive gymnast for eight years, training, coaching and competing in many levels of artistic gymnastics as well as trampoline/power tumbling. At the late age of 14, Katelyn began her competitive dance training in a variety of disciplines and soon after began teaching at her local dance studio. While attending Saint Mary's University from 2009-2013, Katelyn attended conventions in Halifax, Toronto, and New York City, and continued teaching recreational and competitive dance. Katelyn's choreography has represented Canada, and Nova Scotia at a variety of competitions and events receiving top marks and special recognition. Over the past several years she has successfully started and directed 5 Acro Dance programmes in various locations in Nova Scotia, as well as Toronto. Katelyn loves being able to provide an exciting, safe, and overall fun atmosphere for learning and achieving success in the specialized art of Acrobatic Dance.
 
 


Julia Gropper

Julia Gropper
Julia received most of her dance training in her native Germany. While the focus of her training always lay on Classical ballet (Vaganova based), she is also experienced in a variety of other dance techniques including Modern Dance (Limón and Graham in particular), Jazz Dance, Character, National (Folk Dance), Tap Dance and Ballroom/Latin Dance. As a member of the pre-professional Student Company with DanceCenter in Augsburg, Germany, Julia also had the opportunity to be part of an International Dance Exchange Program with schools in the USA, Canada and Turkey. Apart from being involved in performing in various classical productions as well as Musical Theatre, Julia began to discover her passion for teaching and choreography.
 
After a year of dance studies at the University of the Arts in Arnhem, Netherlands, Julia was accepted in 2009 into the 3 year Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) in Toronto where she extensively studied both the Cecchetti (ISTD) and Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabi and pedagogy. Julia then went on to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at York University and is currently completing her second degree, a BA (Hons) in Psychology.
 
“Teaching dance is not only about sharing my knowledge and love for dance and helping my students to be the best dancer that each of them can be. I found for myself that dance has taught me some indispensable life lessons and skills that have been incredibly valuable even in other parts of my life, far beyond the dance world – you never just teach the dancer, you always teach the whole person.”

 

 



Kalie Hunter

Kalie Hunter

Kalie is originally from Victoria, BC and has been dancing since an early age. Most recently Kalie played the role of Tantomile in the Toronto production of CATS at the Panasonic Theatre. She also had the opportunity to understudy the roles of Victoria, Bombalurina and Demeter. Other theatre credits include: Loretta/ensemble in White Christmas (Manitoba Theatre Centre,) Ensemble in Dirty Rotten Scoundrals (Theatre Calgary,) Ensemble in Beauty and The Beast (Citadel Theatre/Theatre Calgary,) and also the re-mount of Beauty and the Beast two years later (Citadel Theatre.) Kalie has worked as a featured dancer/aerial acrobat artist onboard Silverseas cruise lines (Jean Anne Ryan Productions;) and was fortunate enough to visit a large part of the world. As a dancer Kalie has also worked for Ballet Espressivo (Don Quixote and Forbidden Fruit/Rotten Apples,) La Caravan Dance Theatre (The Corridor,) Fayez1 Productions (Grief: Another Common Bond,) Calaway Park (Summer Jam, Jack and Jill Kids Club, Spooktacular Party,) as well as many industrials, commercials and corporate events. Film/TV credits include: Cowboy For Christmas (Hallmark,) Bang Bang Baby, The Strain (F/X,) The Ron James Show (CBC,) Nikita (C/W/Warner Bros,) Bomb Girls (Global,) and Tiny Dancer (White Pine Studios, BRAVO.) Kalie has her BA in Dance from The School of Alberta Ballet and The University of Calgary. Upon graduation she had the amazing opportunity of travelling with 16 other Canadian dancers and W&M Physical Theatre to Poland,where they performed and took part in the Bytom festival. Kalie has judged/adjudicated for many competitions and festivals including Kick It Up, Inspire and Danceworks and guest teaches at many studios in Toronto. Kalie has been on faculty at Metro Movement in Toronto for the past five years and loves teaching people who are as passionate about dance as she is! She is excited to be joining the Martha Hicks team this upcoming year and looks forward to getting to know you all!



Tanya Kosanovic

Tanya Kosanovic
As a child, Tanya Kosanovic studied RAD and the Vaganova method of ballet, but ultimately found her home in Cecchetti at The Martha Hicks School of Ballet.  It wasn't until she became a student under Ice and Martha Hicks herself, that Tanya was introduced to a combination that she found lacking elsewhere:  this being an emphasis on strong technique delivered in an encouraging manner.  And thus, Tanya was thrilled when asked to join Martha's eclectic staff:  endeavouring to continue in the tradition of great teaching in a warm and supportive environment.  
 
Tanya Kosanovic is utterly devoted to the arts!  She is a graduate of York University, achieving an honours double major in English Literature and Creative Writing.  She is a poet who is published is Existere magazine, a recognized piano teacher with The Royal Conservatory of Music, and also holds her Black Belt rank with the Ronin Kai Karate Federation.  More recently, Tanya has been certified in the Principal Barre method of fitness under Christie Ness and Heather Ogden, principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada.  Currently, Tanya is continuing her studies at Canada's National Ballet School in the Professional Development Program in order to further inspire and challenge her students with a necessary Cecchetti flare!

 

 

 



Amanda LaRusic

Amanda LaRusic

Amanda LaRusic was born in Truro, Nova Scotia and began her dance training at Truro Dance Academy at an early age. In 2009 she completed her studies at The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts Teacher Training Program and is an associate member of The Canadian Dance Teachers Association. She has since taught at schools such as Truro Dance Academy, MCPA, Martha Hicks School of Ballet, Ashlei Ballet School, and Ross Creek Centre for Creation.

LaRusic moved to Toronto to further her dance training and attended The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, a 2012 graduate.

During her time at The School of TDT, she had the privileged opportunity to perform Jean-Pierre Perreault’s famous work Joe et Rodolphe with 54 other emerging dance artists from across the country in Ottawa at the Canada Dance Festival.

Now working as an emerging dance artist, LaRusic has performed in Old & Young and Reckless Together under direction of Claudia Moore (a remount of Christopher House’s duet Fjeld ), Peggy Baker Dance Projects (Nuit Blanche), Peter Boneham (Ottawa ON), Megan Nadian (DanceMatters), Ruth Levin (Toronto ON) and Darryl Tracy, in the Incubator2 creation residency (Fredericton NB).

Currently LaRusic is working on her own choreographic endeavors; a solo work titled FRED, creating movement for the Canadian Dance Teachers Association -Modern Syllabus, and a newly certified teacher of the Principal Barre Method.

 



Britanny Larusic

Britanny Larusic

Britanny LaRusic began her dance training at Truro Dance Academy in her hometown Truro, Nova Scotia. She completed the Teacher Training Program at The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts where she graduated with a diploma as well as her CDTA associate in ballet and jazz. Moving to Toronto to continue her training, LaRusic graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatres’ Professional Training Program in 2013. At TDT LaRusic has performed works by choreographers Marc Boivin, Rachel Browne, Peter Chin, Jennifer Dallas, Christopher House, Allen Kaeja, Louis Laberge-Côté, José Limón, Sharon B. Moore, Tedd Robinson, Julia Sasso, Heidi Strauss, and Darryl Tracy.

Since graduation LaRusic has become a Principal Barre certified teacher and has performed work by Michelle Silagy in the Soul Pepper Dance Awards. She currently teaches at The Young Dancers’ Program at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, at The Martha Hicks School of Ballet, and continues to work along side Michelle Silagy on an ongoing project, teaching children with disabilities at Beverly Public School.

 



Alysha Lockyer

Alysha Lockyer

Alysha began her training in creative movement with the Royal Conservatory of Music at the young age of 3 and shortly after began ballet, theatre and modern dance classes at the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. During her 15 years at C.C.D.T, she had the opportunity to perform all over Ontario as part of the young professional company.

After high school, Alysha was accepted into the 3 year professional training program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she continued her studies in the Graham-based technique, ballet, Limon, Horton, African, contact improvisation, music and bouffon. In her 3 years, she had the chance to work closely and perform works by many of the industry’s top choreographers including Michael Trent, Julia Sasso, Danny Grossman, Holly Small, Sharon Moore and Sylvain Emard just to name a few.

Upon graduating, Alysha spent most of her time performing. She joined Lotus Urban Dance Company in 2004 where she performed in many of Toronto’s dance festivals, corporate events and fashion shows including Milk & Honey, A Choreographer’s Ball, Diesel/New Religion Fashion Show, Toronto’s Alternative Fashion Week, Stomp Urban Dance Show, and the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser. In addition, she was hired to work with the Italian contemporary dance company “Studio Festi” for the City of Toronto’s Live with Culture celebration.

Alysha has spread her passion for movement, music and physical fitness throughout many studios and fitness centers throughout Toronto. This will be her 10th year of teaching ballet, modern dance, hip hop and fitness to children and adults of all ages. She has worked for the Catholic District School Board, City of Toronto, Royal St. Georges, Upper Canada College, Sports Clubs of Canada, Glendon Athletic Center & Women’s Fitness Clubs of Canada. She is looking forward to another fabulous year at Martha Hicks!



Larisa Mamin

Larisa Mamin

 Bio coming soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Megan Nadain

Megan Nadain

Megan Nadain, a native of North Vancouver, British Columbia, is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, for which she received scholarships from the School, the Hnatyshyn Foundation and the BC Arts Council. She is a company member with Dancetheatre David Earle, and has worked independently with Darryl Tracy, Typecast Dance Company (Missy Morris), Toronto Heritage Dance and Event Horizon Dance (Miranda Abbott). Megan currently works as a rehearsal director for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and as a dance teacher at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Martha Hicks School of Ballet and several independent schools in Toronto.   



Nicole Norsworthy

Nicole Norsworthy
Nicole is originally from Brantford, Ontario and currently resides in Toronto. In her 20 years of dance experience, she has trained in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Acro, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre. Nicole is a graduate of The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts where she added singing and acting to her repertoire. She was the recipient of the “Triple Threat” award for her graduating year.
As well as an educator of dance Nicole remains an active performer in the industry. She is a recent company member of Helix Dance Project (unEarth) and some of her favourite Film/TV credits include dancing on: The Next Step (Temple Street Productions) LIFE (Gen One) Bomb Girls (Global), Frenemies (Disney), Suits (USA Network), Nikita (The CW) Highlights from her theatre and stage credits include: Fiddler on the Roof as Chava (Stage West) The Spelling Bee as Marcy Park (1000 Islands Play house) Annie as Molly (YPT).
Nicole is a certified dance instructor under the affiliation of P.A.E.C. She is a member of ACTRA, CAEA, and she is also a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance. She works as a professional dancer/teacher/choreographer and loves spreading her knowledge, experience and passion for dance! 


Claire Perreault

Claire Perreault

Claire began her ballet training at Port Perry Dance Academy under Lynn Ahmad, a Graded Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance. She performed and competed locally in Classical Ballet and Pointe with her studio`s dance team and continued her ballet career by pursuing the Teacher Training Program at Canada`s National Ballet School. Claire graduated 'With Distinction' in 2012 and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Anthropology at York University. She is a registered teacher of Classical Ballet with the Cecchetti Society of Canada and the Royal Academy of Dance, and holds her Associate teaching qualification 'With Distinction' in European Folk Dance with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Claire has also completed the Advanced Two dance examinations in Classical Ballet with the Cecchetti Society of Canada and the Royal Academy of Dance, and the Advanced Two examination in National Dance with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Claire is a committed teacher who brings her passion for dance to all her students. She is excited to join the Martha Hicks School of Ballet team this year, and is looking forward to sharing her love of dance with her new students!  

 



Maytinee Salyajivin

Maytinee Salyajivin

Maytinee is known at The Martha Hicks School of Ballet as Ice. Ice started dancing at age 4, at The Jaymar School of Dancing in Aurora, and to this day continues her relationship there as a teacher.

Before becoming a teacher, Ice was a full time student at The National Ballet School. During her time as a student at NBS she was selected to dance in the famous ballet "The Nutcracker", as well as various other company pieces. Ice graduated from the school in 1991.

She has now been teaching throughout the Toronto area for 9 years, and has taught at The Martha Hicks School of Ballet since 2001. Ice's unique style teaching, brings a challenging yet rewarding learning experience to her students. She is looking forward to another successful year at MHSB.
 



Katarina Tyson

Katarina Tyson

 Bio coming soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Siona Jackson

Siona Jackson

Bio coming soon.