Sharing Passion, Cultivating Discipline, and Building Confidence
Poise Dance Academy was established as a culmination of a long, passionate journey and labor of love from our Artistic Director, Ms. Linda J. Leowinata, over the past 35 years. Poise’s teaching staff share Linda’s love of dance and passion in believing that every person can become more than the best they themselves imagine.
At Poise, we believe that natural talents alone lead to little reward without hard work and dedication. We instill a strong sense of responsibility and discipline in each student to nurture the development of their full potentials through our classes, to support their journey to success beyond dance.
We gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which we overcome fear. Poise teaching staff are committed to supporting each student in developing their competence and self- confidence in their ability to overcome adversities with a positive attitude and succeed in achieving the goals they set for themselves.
Experience More Than Just Another Dance Class
The main objective of Poise Dance Academy is to get every student to fall in love with dance, and to get every student to believe that they are each special and a great dancer, with unique and wonderful qualities. Poise Dance Academy pushes every individual to strive for more than the best they can be.
High Quality Training
Poise Dance Academy aims at the best possible learning outcomes for every student. All our teachers are highly committed to imparting their knowledge, skills, and experience to every student. With patience and thorough attention to details we ensure that our students have a complete understanding of what they need to do to learn and succeed. Poise Dance Academy continually motivates each student to progress and improve on a daily basis.
Poise Dance Academy believes that the experience of performing on a stage enhances and completes the dance education experience. Showcasing the progress each student makes is rewarding after all the hard work and time the students and parents invest in training. To make this moment as magical as possible, Poise Dance Academy creates a full-length dance production annually, on a stage with full lighting/set and costumes, with professional standards. This recital gives dancers the opportunity to perform in front of a large and welcoming audience.
Poise Dance Academy firmly believes that every child is special, and we do our utmost to ensure that every single student reaches their full potential. Every student receives personalized attention in a nurturing - albeit also challenging - environment that encourages them to grow and develop through the most rewarding way possible.
I have said this before but it is an absolute pleasure for my daughter to be part of such an amazing Dance Academy. The Knowledge, Positivity, Discipline, and Caring environment is outstanding. It is amazing how much these Girls learn and want for more. I couldn't be more impressed with how hard all of you work!!
I love you Miss Linda!!
"During my years of professional dance training and a 10 year career with the National Ballet of Canada, I have rarely come across a teacher as talented as Poise Dance Artistic Director, Linda Leowinata. She shares her passion for classical dance in a warm and encouraging environment while still maintaining the discipline integral to a professional environment. Linda's staff have all been hand picked and further developed by her to also promote this environment. I would highly recommend Poise Dance School to anyone wishing to give their child the best dance education possible."
Loved every second of the show, and would have watched more. My daughter loved each and every day of her lessons. We loved how she got to be trained in different genres and then partake in each of the dances, regardless of skill. She was in another 2-week dance session the weeks prior, and the show was not even close to being as interesting and professional as the Poise one.
We had a wonderful year at Poise Dance. Linda is a warm and experienced teacher. She cares about each child and is mindful of their unique needs. Her love of dance is infectious and my girls looked forward to every class. The dance training is serious and disciplined, yet still fun for the kids. Poise is a studio that is beneficial for all levels of dancers. Children learn to move their bodies and train their minds in a healthy environment. The annual recital is one highlight of the Poise experience. It is professionally produced with imaginative choreography, making it a special show for dancers and audience alike. I highly recommend Poise.
My daughters, aged 8 and 12, have been attending Poise Dance Academy for the past year. Our experience with Linda Leowinata has been nothing but positive from the very start. It is clear on meeting Linda that she is “the real deal” when it comes to ballet and she is passionate about sharing her deep understanding and love for ballet with her students.
Linda and her team are consistently respectful towards the students and work with them patiently, attentively and with great dedication. My daughters are always happy to go to their lessons. The classes are stimulating but still fun and light-hearted; and the end of year recital at a downtown theatre was a very rich experience for all of us.
I am sure that the quality of tuition and care that our girls receive at Poise will be of great value to them in whatever they choose to do with their lives.
“I love the personalized attention that Ms. Linda and the team of instructors have for the students! Also that it doesn't feel like a dance "factory" - the children learn proper technique with attention paid to their individual development and needs. It is clear Ms. Linda is passionate about her métier and her love for it passes onto the students. We love Poise!!!” “Great instruction with small class size.”
"Great instruction with small class size.”
“Great programs. Very positive, but disciplined approach to teaching. Love the passion!”
“Kids enjoy the program. Address issues promptly. Open to feedback.”
“Miss Linda inspires children to achieve their potential - the mark of an excellent instructor.”
“Ms. Linda and her team did a great job learning about our daughter and teaching her. The teachers are patient and throughout the season gave us great tips for helping us practice with our daughter at home. Our daughter has loved ballet so far and loves her teachers. Thanks for a great start to our time with Poise! We are really happy with Poise. Thank you!”
“POISE keeps a really good balance of discipline and fun. The kids are taught to focus in class and learn the technique without being too serious. We are very impressed with the direction, teaching, and professionalism at POISE - very excited for next year! Well done!!!”
“For my child who is not a great "dancer" you have made her feel special and encouraged her to do better - she has LOVED the program and the performance was a highlight for us all - your team did a great job coaching them and working for the performance last night - a huge job very well done. Thank you so much.”
“I loved the fact that you created one recital that encompassed all the genres of dance - brilliant. Keep doing what you are doing as it is excellent. Small enough that your child does not get lost in the shuffle. Ms. Linda is always available for questions.”
“Excellent recital production! Far better than the previous dance school my child attended. Linda and her instructors are very serious about dance and instill a desire in the kids. Well done!”
“Organization. I felt like everything was taken care of. I felt like everyone knew what was going on. I felt like all details were accounted for and we were in good hands. Thank you for a positive first experience that hopefully laid the foundation for a lifetime.”
“Make dancing fun, show kindness to our young children, and communicate with parents. The show itself was wonderful. Congratulations!“
Ballet is a classical dance form which uses a set of precise and graceful movements. It emphasizes a sense of musicality and dynamics to manifest its artistry, and channels the expression of emotions through those movements. The dance steps form ever more intricate patterns and compositions as the levels advance.
Ballet is very detail-oriented and technical. It creates long elegant lines, clean footwork and positions, sense of balance, effortless-looking coordination, and above all, poise. Ballet in itself is a disciplined and challenging art form but the resulting beauty and joy is timeless.
Poise Dance Academy follows the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus and also incorporates elements of the Vaganova training method.
Acro, or Acrobatic Dance, combines the techniques of classic dance forms with the precision and athleticism of acrobatics. Acro requires mastery of the blend of musicality, emotional expression, and line extension, just like ballet. But this dance form emphasizes energetic lyricism largely from acrobatic movements such as balancing, limbering, tumbling, and partnering, all of which can usually be seen in its choreography.
Acro is detail-oriented and challenging. In order to perform the acrobatics successfully, dancers must master their flexibility, contortions and strength; in addition to mastering their dance techniques.
Poise Dance Academy follows the Acrobatic Arts Syllabus but also adds enhancements according to the physical abilities of each child.
Hip Hop is a modern dance form inspired by pop culture which includes a wide range of styles like breaking, locking, and popping. This art form requires excellent timing to the beat of the music and the mastering of the muscles’ isolation, contraction, release, fluidity (liquid dancing), and quick, sharp, and exact movements of the arms and legs. It plays with many levels of movements; sometimes standing, sometimes close to the floor, and sometimes directly on the floor. Freeze poses and acrobatics may also be involved.
Hip Hop is generally less structured and more improvisational, requiring dancers to find their own inner groove and unique dance style. The dancers may add their own flavors and self-expression to each piece of choreography.
Known for her lyrical musicality as a dancer, choreographer and dance educator, Linda imbues her students with her love of dance and her life-long motto of “dancing with heart”.
Using her strong ballet foundation Linda has choreographed several major ballets and experimental pieces in collaboration with other dancers and musicians of traditional and modern genres from Canada, USA, China, Japan, Singapore and her native Indonesia. Her full-length ballet choreographies include The Doll Shop; Lileo si Burung Kutilang (Lileo the Kutilang Bird); Fusion I and II; Peace in the New Century; Dancing Under the Stars; Ariel, Save the Sea; No Place Like Home; The Butterfly Friends; The Jewels. Linda’s work has won numerous awards at dance festivals and competitions.
Since starting Poise Dance in September 2013, Linda has created two successful ballet/dance productions: The Flower Garden (2014) and The Ugly Duckling (2015), featuring dozens of Poise student dancers aged 2.5 years and up.
Linda holds ballet-teaching certificates from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), London, England. Her students have consistently achieved high grades and honours in their RAD exams, and received prestigious recognitions for their dancing quality in performances and competitions since 1987. Many of them now dance and teach across Canada as well as in Australia, Indonesia, China, and the USA.
Linda maintains her lifelong passion for dance by continuously honing her skills with new developments. In July 2015 Linda added to her resume by becoming an Acrobatic Arts Certified teacher,
It wasn't until high school that Raffaele Brereton also known as Raffaele GETMAD B. discovered and embraced his talent and love for dance. Self taught, Raffaele mimicked iconic figures and groups of the 1990's and early 2000's as well as trained with peers to expand his knowledge, understanding, and skill set of dance and continues to do so.
Training and continuous practice has allowed Raffaele to perform on small and large scale stages such as the International Indian Film Festival (IFFA) for international group RDB in 2011, America's Next Top Model Toronto Showcase with Canadian artist Trish in 2012, dancing out of the Air Canada Centre for the Toronto Raptors and taking his talents to film as one of the featured male dancers in the LifeTime BioPic of the late RnB phenomenon Aaliyah Dana Haughton titled - Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.
Raffaele has also made appearances in multiple music videos with artists such as Jully Black, Divine Brown, General, Cascada, and Machel Montano to men-tion a few; selected as 1 of 240 across Canada for So You Think You Can Dance Canada Sea-son 4 finals week; a founding member of the Toronto based all male dance crew The Original Gentlemen (The O.G. Crew) and the urban hybrid group, Miscellum Dance Collective (MDC).
Raffaele's commitment to self-improvement and passion for dance continues to motivate and push him to strive for more.
Madelyn Alexander started dancing at the age of four at which time she was only focusing mainly on ballet and tap. She fell madly in love with dancing because she could express herself without the use of words. At that moment, she knew that her love for working with children and her passion for dance could propel her into becoming an amazing dance teacher with the main goal being, to let others experience the wonder of dance.
As the years went on she studied many various types of dance including contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre, hip hop, and jazz; although she enjoyed all types of dance Madelyn’s main focus continued to be ballet. She studied the R.A.D. method and completed her grade 1 up to her advanced exams. She is now at Canada’s National Ballet School completing her studies to become a fully certified R.A.D. ballet teacher in the Teacher Training Program offered at the school.
Madelyn believes that all children should have the opportunity to experience dance and truly be able to express themselves. To become an amazing dancer, you need to first be able to show great artistry and have the proper classical technique. In Madelyn’s class you will see a strong presence of technical work to achieve ballet in its purest form but also sessions of creative work where we can see the students expressing who they are and their personal interpretation of dance.
Madelyn loves working with people of all ages teaching dance. She has taught classes with dancers who are as young as two years old. Madelyn believes that it is never too late to learn and hopes more adults learn as well and they too get to experience dance for themselves. Madelyn wants the classroom to be a diverse, fun experience for everyone.
O'Shani is a strong dancer and performer born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. She began her journey at Joanne Chapman's School of Dance studying jazz, ballet, and hip-hop and soon realized that her love of dance would surpass itself as just a recreational hobby.
In 2012 her passion for the art form, specifically hip-hop, grew quickly into a career in the industry and she is currently a member of the street dance crew Footnotes, led by Mariano and Andrew “Pyro” Chung.
O'Shani has also had the opportunity to work with choreographers Shavar Blackwood, Hollywood Jade, Tamina Paris-Pollock, Chase Constantino, Esie Mensah, and Leon Blackwood and has been fortunate enough to travel internationally to attend various industry workshops.
She has recently completed her first world tour, dancing for YouTube sensation Lilly Singh and now aspires to further her training and personal growth, all while sharing her love of dance.
Mallory Dunlop is a 22-year old Toronto-based dancer and instructor with over ten years of experience in acrobatics, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, ballet and tap. She is a graduate of the Commercial Dance Program at George Brown College and is a certified Acrobatic Arts curriculum instructor.
Mallory began her training at Vince Parrell’s Dance Centre where she studied and completed her senior level RAD exams. She has trained with some of Toronto’s most influential teachers and choreographers as a member of the O.I.P. Dance Company and Scholarship Dance Toronto. Mallory has had the privilege of working with many well-known artists including Hedley, Kardinal Official, Karl Wolf, Meastro Fresh Wes, Nicole Arbour, Manj Musik, and Andrew Hyatt.
She has also performed on worldwide stages, including performing at the month-long Dubai Shopping Festival in 2013. Mallory represented the Toronto Argonauts as a cheerleader for the 2013 season.
Mallory is an award winning dancer and scholarship recipient from various competitions across Ontario. She loves working with kids and helping them grow as they explore new movement. She has experience teaching children aged 2-18 as well as adults. Mallory cannot wait for another fabulous year with Poise Dance Academy!
Tianna started dance at the age of 3 and has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theater and contemporary. She has completed her Advanced II Royal Academy of Dancing ballet exam as well as her Grade 8.
Tianna has won numerous awards and scholarships at the many competitions and festivals she attended throughout her dance career. She was privileged to be in pieces choreographed by Blake McGrath, Stacey Tookey and Sarah Dolan, just to name a few.
She attended the world dance competition in Los Angeles in 2011 and 2014 where her troupe won top awards in ballet, contemporary and jazz.
Tianna has been an assistant teacher for the past 6 years and has been fortunate to have learned from some of the best teachers in Canada.
Tianna attend a fine arts high school where she completed her International Baccalaureate Advanced dance program. There she choreographed an original piece for the Leaps and Bounds Showcase as well as set solos and duets on the fine arts students. She received the Bob Maskell scholarship for excellence in dance in her final year.
Tianna is currently attending the National Ballet School of Canada in the Teacher Training Program as she knows the importance of proper training and is excited to be teaching for Poise Dance Academy this year.
Stella Leowinata started dancing as a bouncy 3-year old and her growing passion – nurtured by her ballet teacher mother – led her to the professional ballet program at Canada's National Ballet School at the age of 11.
In her first and second year at the NBS she was selected to dance the lead child role of Marie in the National Ballet of Canada's production of The Nutcracker. Her Opening Night performance in 2008 was broadcasted live at 27 AMC movie theatres across Canada. Stella also performed in the NBS productions of Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, the Annual Spring Showcases, and Stephen Godfrey’s Choreographic Workshop. In her final year at NBS, Stella led and directed a collaborative project of dance, music, and visual arts, as a part of the school’s Creative Challenge - an initiative to bring dance to public spaces. The project resulted in Bittersweet, which she and her group performed in June 2014 at the Distillery District in Toronto.
Stella participated in summer exchanges with L'Ecole Superieure de Danse de Cannes in Cannes, France, and with the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Denmark during 2012 and 2013. She danced with the junior company of Ballet Jörgen Canada in the summer of 2014.
Stella is a recipient of the Governor General's Academic Medal awarded to her upon graduating from the National Ballet School in 2014. Stella spent 2014-2015 pursuing dance education at the Central School of Ballet, London, England, and danced as a company member in their annual UK tour, working with choreographers Christopher Bruce, Kit Holder, Mikaela Polley, and Christopher Marney in creating new pieces. She also participated in outreach workshops where dancers taught and created movement with primary school students as well as in backstage work as member of the stage crew. Within a year of graduating from high school, Stella earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Professional Dance and Performance from the University of Kent, England.
Stella accepted a full scholarship from the University of Toronto and is now in her first-year of studying Life Sciences at Victoria College. She is very excited to begin this year’s new endeavors as a part of Poise Dance, and is looking forward to meeting all the dancers!
Katherine is a graduate of George Brown College in the Fitness and Lifestyle Management Course. She is also a graduate of the Humber College Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist Assistant Program. During her internship she has worked at several facilities: Bodymed Clinic as a Physiotherapist Assistant, Southlake Regional Health Care as an Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant, Maple Health Care & Rehab as a Physiotherapist Assistant and at St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital as an Occupational Therapist Assistant.
Katherine’s passion for dance led her to teaching dance classes, which she has been doing for the past 11 years in Acro, Jazz, Ballet to students ages 3 to adults and coaching competitive teams at multiple studios for the past 10 years. Her students have won many awards at dance competitions and overall standings in dance offs.
Katherine continues to increase her knowledge and skills of dance by regularly attending workshops, seminars and classes. She is an Associate member of Performing Arts Educators of Canada for both Acro and Jazz. She has her Full Membership with Acrobatic Arts Canada.
Katherine began her intensive dance training in Panama, Central America where she studied at the Maruja Herrera Academia de la Danza. It was here that Katherine developed a deep love for ballet and the classical arts. In June of 2016, Katherine graduated with distinction from the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School where she received the Sylvia McPhee Award for outstanding achievement and citizenship. She is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and is an associate with the ISTD in National folk dance.
Katherine enjoys working with dancers of all ages and abilities. In her teaching, she stresses the foundations of classical technique, but also believes that artistry and individuality are key in the development of a well rounded dancer. Therefore, she seeks to plan structured, yet creative classes that build technical strength while fostering a love of music, movement, and imagination. As an educator, it is her belief that she should not only be a strong role model, but also learn and grow from her students. Katherine is determined to create an atmosphere of discipline, yet open-mindedness and joy: a place where movement is governed, yet liberated by the human spirit.
In addition, Katherine is devoted to sharing dance with the wider community through initiatives such as Dancing for PD for populations with Parkinson’s. Most recently, Katherine attended Boston Ballet's Adaptive Dance Program where she learnt how to offer classes and better guide dancers with special needs. Furthermore, Katherine is devoted to continuing her professional development to better serve her students by taking courses both in dance physiotherapy and pedagogy, and early childhood development.
Kristine initially performed for her church at nine years old, falling in love with movement and performance. She enrolled in ballet classes to commence her training, and later attended the National Ballet School Summer Camp in 2004. Kristine began to develop her choreographic and teaching skills at a local dance studio.
She received a scholarship to attend York University’s Dance Program in 2007 where she was first introduced to Toronto Dance Theatre. She enrolled in The School of Toronto Dance Theatre Summer School of 2008, and decided to pursue her growing love for contemporary, modern, and Graham technique full time. Kristine graduated The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program in 2012.
Upon graduation, she performed as a soloist in Christopher House’s work ‘Vena Cava’ at the 2012 Canada Dance Festival. Additionally, she performed as a soloist in David Earle’s work ‘Sacra Conversazione’. She has performed for church related events and pursued various teaching and choreographic opportunities; including choreographing for Unionville High School and teaching for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s recreational adult classes.
She is passionate about ballet and contemporary dance and truly loves sharing her passion and love of dance with students of all ages. She loves to help students push themselves, further than they think possible, to the next level of technique, artistry, and physicality. Kristine is very excited to teach for Poise Dance Academy once again this year!