Meet Our Dance Instructors

Dana Hanes Dance Company employs a team of elite Ottawa-based dance instructors with training in various disciplines. Learn more about our dance instructors below!

Dana Hanes

Founder and Artistic Director
Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Lyrical Instructor

Certifications: ADAPT Jazz/Tap

Dana has been competing in dance since the age of 7 giving her over 40 years of experience in the dance industry as a performer, teacher, choreographer, judge and mentor.

As a performer, she trained as a competitive dancer and was Dance Captain for the CFL Ottawa Rough Riders dance team for several years.

As an instructor, Dana has taught dance throughout the Ottawa region for over 30 years. Her extensive teaching background has allowed her to train many dancers and help them reach professional levels.

Her reputation and success in the industry are renowned, and she is frequently sought after as a leader/mentor in the Ottawa dance community.

Dana’s choreography has received many awards and accolades across North America.  She has won numerous high scores and overall awards at both regional and national competitions, as well as several Diamond Choreography and Highest Adjudication awards.  She choreographed and provided dancers for an episode of “The Next Step” a well-known TV show about dance.

Dana’s choreography has also been sought after for fundraisers and charity events including:

  • The United Way Kick Off
  • “Kaleidoscope of Hope” Mental Health Awareness
  • NAC Gala for Paul Anka
  • Roaring Twenties Purple Gala for Blood Cancer Fund
  • Bollywood Gala for Blood Cancer Fund,
  • Do It For Daron
  • Dancers Give Back

She is especially proud to be part of the fundraising group called ‘Dancers Give Back’ since they began an Ottawa Chapter.

Each year, a group of studios perform at Algonquin College to raise funds for various charities supporting children, for example, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support, The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, or the Youth Services Bureau. Together they have raised over $300,000.

Her dedication, passion, and commitment to excellence make her a true visionary in the dance world. As Artistic Director of the Dana Hanes Dance Company, she continues inspiring her students and strives to encourage them to share her love & passion for dance!!

Cheryl Goodwin

Ballet Instructor

Certifications: B.A. (Honours), RADRTS, CDTA

Cheryl has been teaching dance in the Ottawa area for 40 years. During this time, she was the owner and Director of the Children’s Ballet Studio for 8 years.

She is a Registered Teacher and Full Member of the Royal Academy of Dance and the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association. She also holds the Elementary Certificate in ISTD National Branch.

Cheryl has also successfully coached students in attaining their Solo Seal Award, the highest performing award of the Royal Academy of Dance.

She is fully bilingual and has attended many dance courses in Canada and the U.K. Under her tenure, students have been very successful in examinations and competitions. She is currently specializing in Graded and Vocational R.A.D. Ballet.

Mallory Hanes

Jazz, Ballet and Tap Instructor

Certifications: ADAPT Jazz/Tap, Alixa Flexibility

Mallory started her journey in dance at the age of four and danced competitively in jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary until the age of 18. Throughout those years, Mallory took on the role of a teacher’s assistant in several disciplines, where she discovered her love for teaching.

After graduating from Dana Hanes Dance Company, she followed in her mother’s footsteps and began her career as a dance teacher. Mallory is trained in the ADAPT Jazz and Tap syllabus, along with the RAD syllabus, with successful completion of exams in both syllabi.

She has continued her dance education by becoming a certified ADAPT Jazz and Tap Teacher. Mallory shows commitment, dedication, and passion for each of her students’ growth and accomplishments.

Brelene Laskoski

Ballet, Conditioning and Contemporary

Certifications: PBT, Alixa Flexibility

Brelene Laskoski is a dancer, teacher and choreographer from Ottawa who trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Improvisation, and Contemporary at Leeming Danceworks and Canterbury High School’s dance program.

After graduation, Brelene moved to Toronto where she continued her dance education. She had the opportunity to work with various artists such as Jasmyn Fyffe, Ryan Lee and many more. She studied Graham, Horton, Contemporary, Ballet, and Creative Process while in Toronto.

In 2018, she choreographed a 20-minute piece titled “Canary in a Coalmine” for Ryan Foley’s company, Signature Dance Inc alongside 5 other choreographers. Brelene has had her choreography featured in Fever After Dark, Choreographer’s Ball, Young Creators Challenge, and Let the Elephants Dance.

Brelene is level 1 certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and level 5 certified in Alixa Flexibility. She is passionate about teaching young dancers the knowledge that she has acquired.

Gabby La Touche

Hip Hop Instructor

Gabby began her dance career dancing at Vlad’s Dance Company in the GTA where she trained in various styles. After moving to Ottawa, she joined Pulse N’ Limited Dance Co, an adult hip hop and urban dance crew, which solidified her love for Hip Hop.

Gabby is currently completing her Undergrad at Carleton University. She teaches Hip Hop classes at the University and continues to dance and choreograph in various styles.

It brings Gabby joy to share her love of dance with others. She strives to create a positive environment for all dancers so that they can grow, develop, and succeed.

Jenna Carter

Tiny Tots, Kinder, Tap, Jazz and Lyrical Instructor

Certifications: PBT, Alixa Flexibility

Jenna is a former competitive dancer and DHDC alumni who trained in various styles including Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro and Hip Hop.

While training with Dana, Jenna successfully completed all of the ADAPT Jazz and Tap examinations, and all of the RAD Ballet Examinations up to and including Advanced 1.

After graduating high school, Jenna completed her Bachelors at Queen’s University. While at Queens, Jenna was an executive member of the Queen’s Competitive Dance Team, Captain of the Queen’s Competitive Tap Team, and a Tap and Lyrical teacher for Queen’s Dance Club.

Jenna spent 2 years of teaching and choreographing for TK Danceworx in Kingston at both the recreational and competitive level.

This year is Jenna’s second year on Team Canada’s Tap Team where she will be representing Canada at the IDO World Tap Championships in Germany this September.

Jenna has developed a passion for teaching. She strives to motivate
and inspire her students to reach their full potential. Her experiences in dance have led her to pursue her Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa.

Jessa Bamford

Jazz, Tap and Acro Instructor

Jessa is a former competitive dancer and DHDC Alumna who trained for 14 years in various styles including Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro, and Hip Hop. While training with Dana, Jessa successfully completed her Inter 3 and Advanced ADAPT Jazz examinations and her RAD exams, up to and including Advanced 1.

Jessa received a five-star scholarship for her advanced ADAPT jazz exam. She has also won several high-level competition awards and scholarships and has qualified to compete in title competition on multiple occasions.

Jessa is going in to her second year in Psychology at the University of Ottawa. She is very excited to join the DHDC faculty this year, and can’t wait to share her passion with her classes and the competitive team!

Cara Lee

Tiny Tots, Kinder, Hip Hop and Jazz Instructor

Certifications: PBT, Alixa Flexibility

Cara started dancing at 2 years old and has never looked back. She has trained with at Dana Hanes Dance Company for eight years in the styles of Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical and Musical Theatre.

Cara successfully completed all of the ADAPT Jazz and Tap examinations and all of the RAD Ballet Examinations up to Advanced 1. She has also won multiple high level
competition awards.

Cara is so excited to have the opportunity to teach others. Her dream is to become an elementary teacher and build her accreditations as a dance teacher.

Kaitlyn Featherstone

Tiny Tots Instructor

Kaitlyn is a former competitive dancer and DHDC Alumna. What began at the age of 5 as a love of musical theatre has grown into years of training and experience in the disciplines of Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Acro, and Musical Theatre. Through her years as a dance student, Kaitlyn completed high level ADAPT Jazz and Tap exams. This past season she successfully completed Year 1 of the ADAPT Teacher Training School in both Tap and Jazz and looks forward to continuing
that training.

Kaitlyn loves working with young children, so it only seems fitting that she is an Early Childhood Educator. Having worked with children of many ages, from infants to 12 years old, she will now primarily be teaching in the younger age blocks at the studio. Her years on stage, coupled with her nurturing approach, will ensure that her “little’s” learn not only learn the basics of the technical aspects of ballet but also find comfort in their first steps into the world of dance.

Kyla Featherstone

Hip Hop Instructor

Certifications: PBT, Alixa Flexibility

Kyla is a young choreographer trained in many styles who grew up in the Ottawa area and is now located in Toronto, Ontario. She has spent many years training
under the guidance of Dana Hanes, in styles including Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, and Acro, and after graduating high school, went on to become a
teacher and choreographer in the Kingston and Ottawa areas. She has taught a variety of ages and she has choreographed Contemporary and Hip-Hop routines for competitions.

Kyla has choreographed at the studio level and at the University level, while setting her choreography on herself and on others. Her self-choreographed solo entitled “I Don’t Wanna Know” placed 12th place solo at the University level out of over 300 entries.

Kyla has completed all levels of the ADAPT syllabus in both Jazz and Tap and has completed RAD ballet levels up to and including Advanced 1. She received exceptional scores in both Jazz and Tap exams and has even received a mark of “Highly Commended ++”. Kyla is also in the process of completing her ADAPT teacher training. Kyla has performed with “Devona Coe”, a well-known Ottawa drag queen on multiple occasions, and continues to be hired as a backup dancer for Devona. She intends to continue to choreograph and teach and hopes to widen her choreographic and dancing experience.

Cailyn Harris

Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Open and Tap

Cailyn Harris has been devoted to dance since she was 4 years old. She has undergone dance training at a competitive level for 15 years and has been teaching and choreographing since 2020. She has completed ADAPT exams to the highest levels for jazz and tap, as well as RAD exams for ballet. Prior to teaching, Cailyn assisted in the instruction of competitive dance classes for 4 years.

Cailyn is currently a student at Queen’s University studying Life Sciences. She has taught recreational dance at Queens and is this year’s co-captain of the Queen’s
Competitive Dance Team.

Contact Us to Learn More About Dana Hanes Dance Company