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.

 

 

 

 

 



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.”

 

 



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!

 

 

 



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.

 



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! 


Katarina Tyson

Katarina Tyson

 Bio coming soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Jesse Hargraves

Jesse Hargraves

Jesse Hargraves started dancing at the age of three, and has now been a professional instructor, choreographer and dancer in and around Toronto for over seven years. Being in the industry during this time has given her opportunities to perform on television, in music videos, as a back up dancer for multiple singers and in live performances for many major events. For over two years Jesse performed around the southern United States and Caribbean in large production shows on Carnival Cruise Lines. She has gained vast experience as a versatile teacher, teaching both industry professionals as well as students at recreational/competitive studios and in workshops around the city. Jesse has also had the opportunity to choreograph for large events, including performances for clients at banquet halls, in high end restaurants, as well as a section of a show sheco-choreographed in "Panamania" for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Styles Jesse has professionally taught and performed in include hip hop, contemporary, tap, jazz, jazz funk, Las Vegas showgirl, Broadway, ballet (RAD level 2 certificate), acro, musical theatre, swing, country and samba.

Credits include: Cirque Du Soleil, Kardinal Offishall, The Tenors, Derrick Barry, Vita Chambers, Fito Blanko and more!



Jamie Cheung

Jamie Cheung

Jamie is a trained hip-hop dancer who grew up in Toronto and a Martha Hicks Alumni.  She started dancing at the age of 3 taking ballet, jazz, modern and hip-hop but fell in love with hip-hop and has been training in hip-hop ever since.  She is a graduate from Queen's University where she was Co-President of FLOW Dance Club and a member of FLOW Performance crew. She has taught many kids hip-hop classes, an intermediate/advanced hip-hop class at university and has choreographed various performances, videos and competitions including the Ontario Universities Competition for Hip-Hop, Bring Your Own Beat, The Academy of Hip-Hop Dance Competition and the 7th Annual Dance Battle at Stages Nightclub. She has also performed in the Opening Ceremony for the Panam Games and currently dances with Toronto’s all female hip hop crew, BOSS Dance Company.