Owner, Director & Instructor
Telisa began dancing twenty years ago at Dance Innovations in Yorkton, Saskatchewan and continued her training at George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario where she completed the Dance Performance Foundation program. Telisa has extensive training in many areas of dance including ADAPT jazz, RAD ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary and hip hop and has taken vocal and acting classes as well. In addition to dancing, Telisa has also been teaching for the last fifteen years and has most recently become certifed in Rhythm Works Integrative Dance and Autism Movement Therapy. Her love for the arts continued to grow as she received certification in teaching yoga to children from the profound teachers, Sonia Sumar, founder of Yoga for the Special Child, and Sherry LeBlanc, founder of Yoga 4 Kids. In addition to teaching children and youth, Telisa enjoys teaching and coaching professionals within the industry, as a keynote speaker for such events as the Southern Alberta Preschool Teacher’s Convention and Mount Royal University Bachelor of Child Studies Degree Program. After her years of work following a multidisciplinary approach with children and youth with special needs, Telisa is thrilled to unite her passions to create a dance & yoga community fostering the uniqueness of its families. Telisa brings forth a world of expression and joy through her teaching and cherishes every moment she spends with her students!
Glee Club, Hip Hop Instructor
From the young age of 14, Abigail was certain she wanted to teach dance. This lead her to study dance and drama and she became heavily involved in musical theatre. Abigail knew she had passion to instill confience in others to perform and move, and with exposure in the special needs community for many years, set out to make this her career. This began her path to continue to learn more about all areas of disability and special needs, teaching all forms of performance and movement, which lead her to specialize in a practice known as Conductive Education. This has given Abigail in-depth knowledge of the body, movement patterns, educational psychology, family support, and neurological conditions. Teaching in Europe, Africa, Vietnam and Canada, she has finally settled in the country she now calls home. Abigail believes that learning never stops, and that every life can be impacted by accessing any form of movement activity, so has added yoga and Zumba instructing to her repertoire. Abigail is glad she continues to follow her lifelong dream of teaching to such a wonderful community and she is excited to share her love of movement with the DDW family!
Teaching is an art, teaching is a science, teaching is sharing your passion with love!
School Program Facilitator
Marie-Claire is an energetic, creative, passionate young woman who grew up in a dance studio setting. From ballet, to jazz, modern, hip-hop, tap, and latin ballroom, she always adored dancing. Having worked with at-risk and developmentally delayed children and youth for over 10 years, Marie-Claire is so excited about teaching with Dubasov Dance and Wellness this year. She has a variety of educational and professional trainings; including a B.A in Economics from the University of Alberta, Mental Health First Aid, Diversity and Inclusion Training, among others. Marie-Claire is also in training to become a Dance Movement Therapist. Marie-Claire has been described as goofy, fun-loving, and adventurous. She has a special talent for connecting with kids, believes in spreading the love of dance and is excited to spread that love of dance with all of the DDW students and families!
Glen and Tannis Smith
Karate Instructors, Kanto Sho Karate Club
Glen started training Renbukai karate in 1978 and he began teaching in 1979. Glen travelled to Japan in 1984 to grade for his Blackbelt (Shodan) and to compete in the All Japan karate tournament. This was the first of many trips which continue to this day. He is currently a 6th degree Blackbelt in Renbukai karate, the highest ranked non-Japanese person in the world. Glen is registered and licenced to teach karate anywhere in the world by the All Japan Karate-do Federation. He was also appointed as the Canadian Director of Renbukai in 2017. Glen has been the owner and operator of the Kanto Sho Karate Club since 2002. Glen is a retired Police Officer with the Calgary Police Service.
Tannis trained karate as a young girl in Regina, Sask. and decided to re-new her pursuit of training in 2002 here in Calgary with the Kanto Sho Karate Club. Tannis has traveled to Japan several times to train and in 2010 she graded for her Blackbelt (Shodan) and competed for team Canada in the All Japan karate tournament. She currently holds the rank of 3rd degree Blackbelt and is registered with the All Japan Karate-do Federation. Tannis is co-owner and operator of the Kanto Sho Karate Club. Prior to becoming a full-time teacher, Tannis worked with Aspen Family (a non-profit social services agency) for 13 years.
More important than these credentials, Glen and Tannis love to train and teach karate, (it is a family affair as their daughter trains and teaches with them as well). They believe that karate can change lives and should be accessible to everyone. Along with Glen and Tannis, numerous volunteer teachers from their dojo assist in teaching classes. This allows us to provide individual attention to each student’s unique needs and allow for growth in their training.
Teacher Workshop Co-Facilitator, Volunteer
Lauren has worked in the world of inclusive education for the better part of ten years and has experience as a Junior Kindergarten Teacher, a School Administrator, and presently an Early Learning Specialist.
She is extremely passionate about learning and has a Bachelor of Education, a Masters in Education in
Leadership and Administration, and a diploma in Counselling. Lauren is also passionate about the Early Learning and Child Care Curriculum Framework and tries to use this in her everyday interactions.
Lauren is excited to be collaborating with Telisa to provide engaging, exciting and motivating workshop series to early education teachers, and continues to show her support of Dubasov through her time spent volunteering.
Community Outreach, Program Consultant
Melissa began dancing at the age of 4, and has always had a keen interest in all things related to the expressive arts. Her passion for working with children with special needs developed over ten years ago working within community programs and led her to complete her Master’s in Educational Psychology at the University of Victoria. She currently resides in Calgary working as a Registered Provisional Psychologist.
Growing up exploring the arts and using them as a form of personal growth and expression turned into a professional pursuit while interning for an arts organization in New York City. Integrating her passion for working with children and families with special needs, and love of the arts led her to explore various therapeutic modalities and intervention programs in cities including Victoria, Vancouver, New York and Calgary, eventually landing here at Dubasov as part of our dynamic team.
Melissa thrives off of the unique, unpredictable, and special moments that she shares with the children and families she works with every day, and is so excited to share these moments with everyone at Dubasov Dance & Wellness!
Website Designer, Volunteer
Asha discovered her passion for working with people with disabilities four years ago while volunteering with Between Friends. She joined the Dubasov team during the summer of 2015 as an intern where she integrated her desire to work with people with disabilities and her knowledge of website design that she acquired through her involvement in the Junior Achievement Program. Now in her second year at the University of Calgary, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, Asha looks forward to her continued work with the Dubasov community as a Website Designer and volunteer!
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