Directors

LEE NEWMAN, BA, MA (DANCE), Dance Director. More than just the studio owner, Lee is involved in the development of all dance students, teaching many of them directly. Lee has assisted the faculty at York University where she completed her Masters Degree in Dance, teaching Jazz & Dance Pedagogy classes, in addition working as a TA for Dance Injury Prevention, and Dance Kinesiology. Lee has also completed training in Bartinieff Fundamentals, Pilates, and Integrated Movement Therapies.

Lee is a member of the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA) as well as the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS). In addition to her extensive teaching experience, Lee's professional work includes TV commercials, corporate films, and music videos. Lee is responsible for developing and creating the performers and teachers of tomorrow. Current and former students have been accepted into dance education programs such as the National Ballet School of Canada, York University, Ryerson University and George Brown College. Many in fact, have gone on to successful performing and dance teaching careers themselves.

TOM CARTER, BA, Music Director. Tom is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter with a lifetime of music study and performance. He began his musical study with the accordion at the age of four, while his mother saved in order to afford a piano. He continued his studies at the world-renowned Saint Michael's Choir School, where he studied voice, piano, organ, guitar, as well as musical theory and harmony. He is also a passionate drummer. He performed in concerts as both a soloist and a chorister at major concert halls and venues across North America, including annual performances at Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall. He has performed at numerous sporting events, for dignitaries, on television, and recorded albums with the Choir, including as a soloist.

Tom is a member of the Ontario Music Educators Association, and a registered teacher with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Tom has completed and prepared students for examinations in Piano, Voice, Guitar, Drums, and Theory.

In addition to his classical and formal training, Tom spent much of his formative years singing and playing in bands, his first with Choir School classmates Kevin Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies and Andrew Craig of CBC Radio. He spent several years signed as a development artist with A&M records, after which he spent several years working in post-audio production, recording artists and scoring film and television.

ANDI GIONA, THTD, Competitive Director. A graduate of Ryerson's Dance & Theatre Arts Department, Andi has been sharing her talents with competitive dancers for almost two decades and is a founding faculty member at The Stouffville Academy of Music & Dance. Her work as a professional dancer includes performances for some of the country's most renowned choreographers such as Danny Grossman and Judith Miller. Her original and innovative choreography has won her numerous accolades, such as teacher of the year, and choreography awards from judges and peers throughout the country. Among her many accomplishments, Andi was recently awarded the 'Outstanding Choreography Award' at the Dancefest Canadian Dance Championships. Andi's exciting classes have landed her many invitations to appear as guest artist, teacher, choreographer and adjudicator at institutions such as Skate Canada, the York University Dance Team, as well as many other dance schools, studios and competitions throughout Ontario.

BRIANNE THIERMAN, BFA Honours (Theatre), BEd., Drama Director. Brianne joins the Stouffville Academy as Drama Director, bringing a wealth of education and experience to her position as Drama Director. In addition to completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) where she majored in Drama and minored in Visual Arts, Brianne has completed her Bachelor of Education Degree, as a qualified intermediate and senior Drama and Visual Arts teacher. Her experience includes teaching at both the high school level, as well as at various private institutions. Brianne is also an avid performer, writer, and director, having worked and created numerous productions in schools and in community theatres.

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