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Turning Pointe is proud to have an extremely talented and diverse staff, working both in the classroom as well as in the office. Our staff is passionate about dance and work towards creating a positive dance experience for all of our students. We ensure that our teachers are technically trained and have the skills to create a safe learning environment.

Michael Rayson

Michael Rayson began dancing at the age of 12 in his hometown of Oshawa, Ontario. He attended the Performing Arts Dance Program at O’Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute, and later went on to refine his training at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT).

Now a recent graduate, Michael was awarded the Winchester Prize, presented for choreographic distinction of his dance film “Of Introspection”, providing the opportunity to create a new film with artistic consultation from Heidi Strauss and Jeremy Mimnagh for SummerWorks Performance Festival 2021. Previously, Michael was a nominee for the Jacque Foesier Youth Dance Award from Dance Ontario in 2019, and was awarded Bronze Medalist in Ballet at the International Dance Organization World Dance Championships in Poland, a part of Team Canada in 2017.

Michael has participated in both ADAPT Jazz and Tap examinations, and Vaganova ballet examinations under the Society of Russian Ballet. Currently, Michael is a company member with Opus Dance Collective under the direction of Ashley Schofield, as well teaches and choreographs. Michael is excited to share his creativity and passion for dance with his students.

Tracy Cairns-Sharpe
A.D.A.P.T. Jazz and Tap, Acro, Lyrical, Musical Theatre

An accomplished performer, Tracy has appeared in many Stage productions including A Day In Hollywood/ A Night In The Ukraine(Nina), A Chorus Line (Cassie), La Cage Aux Folles (Anne),  California Suite (Gert), and has performed at Canada’s Wonderland, C.N.E., and Walt Disney World’s Epcot. Tracy is former member of T.O. Tap, a professional tap company formed by renowned tap choreographer Marion Hopkins. Some of Tracy’s choreographic credits include A Day In Hollywood/A Night In The Ukraine, Anything Goes, And The Winner Is…, Sound of Music, to name a few. In 2009 Tracy was fortunate to  have the opportunity to choreograph the Toronto premier of “Hey Marilyn”, a musical based on the life and career of Marilyn Monroe at The Jane Mallet theatre in Toronto. Tracy’s choreography has been seen all over the world including, Walt Disney World, Carnival Cruise Lines, Spain and Japan. Tracy has over 20 years of teaching behind her. Her students have won many top honors at regional, national and international competitions and many have gone on to dance professionally throughout North America. She is a fully certified Dance Teacher through the ADAPT Syllabus founded by Brian and Faye Folley.  Tracy has taught at numerous studios, and Post Secondary Educational Institutions throughout Ontario.  Tracy adjudicates for many competitions across North America and enjoys teaching at Turning Pointe Academy.

Jen Carter
Hip Hop

Jen graduated from Centennial College's Dance Performance Program in 2017, where she was offered a job teaching immediately after completion of the program. Jen is a professional company member of BOSS Dance Company (under the direction of Leah Totten), was a member of Millennium Dance Complex Toronto’s incredible faculty in the short time it was open, as well as a choreographer for World Performers Canada. Currently, Jen is working with World Performers Canada and Five Star Dance Company on pieces of choreography to be performed in both Spain and Mexico while teaching and choreographing across Canada. Jen is extremely grateful to teach at TPA and work alongside such inspiring educators. Jen has found that it is very important to take inspiration from everything and everyone around her - which she has found tons of at TPA!  She looks forward to continuing her growth as a mentor ntor, teacher, choreographer and person through her hard work and dedication to her craft and students. 

Deanna Taylor
Jazz, Tap, Primary

Deanna is a long time member of the Turning Pointe family - and continues to spread her love of dance with children of all ages and levels of experience in Jazz, Tap, and Primary division classes.  She is also a Registered Early Childhood Educator (R.E.C.E.) and is passionate about creatively guiding children to grow in their best way possible.  She looks forward to an exciting fresh season of dance ahead!

Penelope Diamantopoulos
Tap, Jazz, Lyrical & Musical Theatre

As a former Turning Pointe student, Penelope is thrilled to be back at TPA to educate the next generation of dancers! When not in the studio, you can find her continuing her own training in dance, singing, and acting. 
Penelope is a proud member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, and has been fortunate to have a very successful performing career so far! Her most recent credits include the North American Premiere of Bend it Like Beckham; The Musical (Starvox), Turandot (Canadian Opera Company), and Alice in Wonderland; The Panto (Diversified Productions). 
Although she knows that not every dancer she teaches will become a professional in the field, Penelope strongly believes the lessons learned in the studio apply everywhere in life. Through her teaching, she strives to build not just great dancers, but great humans. 
Samantha Raymond
Acro, Contemporary, Yoga

Samantha Raymond is an independent dance artist from Toronto, ON.  She is a graduate of Ryerson University, obtaining her BFA in Performance Dance.  Since graduating, Samantha has performed & trained across the GTA and abroad including Greece, India, Oman, Israel, and The Netherlands, where she was fortunate enough to spend a year dancing with the company Dance in Art in Haarlem.  Samantha has danced with Toronto based companies such as Echo Dance Company (Purpose), JMP Productions (Nunsense), Blahzay Creative (Just Kept Walking Music Video), First Act Productions (Songs For A New World), Rock Bottom Movement (The Holiday Show), Point of View Dance Projects (Wireless Connection), and starred as Edith Piaf in Bronwyn Odile Production’s show, Piaf: Songs of the Nightingale.  She has also expanded her movement training by exploring Gaga technique, and vinyasa & yin yoga styles.

Samantha has developed a love of teaching throughout her performance training, and has received teacher training from the Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers, the Performing Arts Educators of Canada, and Acro Alliance.  Samantha is also a certified Yoga teacher (RYT 200) through the Ruh Yoga School located in Goa, India.  She strives to bring a sense of mindfulness to the classroom, and continues pushing her students to discover new ways of moving their bodies through improvisation, imagery, and meditation.  Samantha is thrilled to be part of the TPA team for the 2021-22 season!

Naomi Costain
Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Theatre

Naomi is a Toronto based teacher, choreographer and director, as well as a theatre performer and voice over artist.  She joined the ballet faculty at TPA last September, but has subbed at this amazing school for over a decade. 

As a teacher Naomi has been on faculty at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy and the Canadian College of Performing Arts.  She has taught in dance studios across Southern Ontario for 20 years, and adjudicates dance competitions across Canada.  Naomi holds her Advanced RAD Ballet, studied Solo Seal in the UK, and holds her Advanced in ISTD Modern.  She spent 3 summers in the Banff Centre ballet program and graduated from Laine theatre Arts in London, England. 

As a performer, she has played leads across Canada from Sally Bowls and Kost in “Cabaret” (Segal Centre/ Mayfield Theatre), Roxie in “Chicago,” Brooke in “Legally Blonde” (Neptune Theatre), to Janet in the “Drowsy Chaperone” (MTC, TC). Right before the lockdown, Naomi played Mrs. Warrack in “The Louder We Get” at Theatre Calgary led by Broadway director Lonny Price.  She has also appeared in 7 seasons at the Stratford Festival. 

Selected creative team credits include “Urinetown” (CCPA), “The Wedding Singer” (Dir/ Chor- St. Lawrence College), “The Hobbit” (The Capitol Theatre), “Sister Act” (L.O.T.), as well as premiers of “For Life” (STC) and Mike Doherty and Caleb Marshall’s stunning musical adaptation “A Christmas Carol” (TNB/ STC).

“One of the driving forces in my life is sharing my joy and enthusiasm for both theatre and dance, and for passing on the knowledge and craft that my teachers gifted me. I can’t wait to see dancers in the studio this fall!” 

Josh Nitkin
Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz

Josh Nitkin is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and holds certification with PAA (Professional Adjudicators Alliance), BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) and PAEC (Performing Arts Educators of Canada) in Tap, Jazz and Urban (Hip Hop) with which he helped create the syllabus. Josh has 30 years of training and performance in Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Modern, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and more! With almost 20 years of teaching, Josh's students have gone on to win numerous overall awards and have garnered choreography awards as well. Josh is a sought after Adjudicator across Canada and the United States. He has judged for such companies as Dance Masters of America (several chapters), American Dance Awards, Terpsichore Dance Celebration/Dance Starz, AmeriCup, Dance Xtreme Nationals, Millennium Productions Nationals, Peak Invitational and many others. Josh is also a former dancer with Celebrity Cruise Lines and Corpus Dance Projects, having performed in Alaska, France, the UK, Belgium, Japan and all over Central and South America.
Josh is so excited to be a part of the Turning Pointe family once again and to be able to share his knowledge and love of dance with the all of the students!


Bronwyn Hull
R.A.D. Ballet & Choreography

Bronwyn started training in ballet at the age of 4, and later added modern, lyrical, jazz and contemporary. She has trained at such schools as Cristina Pora Balaceanu School of Classical Ballet, School of Classical and Contemporary Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Quinte Ballet School and L‘Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec. Bronwyn attended Cawthra Park Secondary School for the Arts as a dance major and later went on the complete her Royal Academy of Dancing Teachers Certificate through George Brown College. Bronwyn holds her Advanced 1 Ballet in RAD and her Intermediate Ballet in CDTA.

Bronwyn has performed and toured with various dance companies including; The Toronto Youth Dance Ensemble, Ballet Jorgen, Corpus, DLNW and Artists’ Play Collective, as well as performing as an independent dancer at Ffida and various Toronto venues. She has also performed for numerous bands throughout the GTA.

Bronwyn has been teaching for 18 years and enjoys passing on her knowledge and experience to her students. She has successfully entered many students in their RAD ballet exams in both graded and vocational levels as well as receiving awards for her choreography at regional competitions. 

Anna Cruz de Sousa

Anna is a registered Ballet teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) through the Certificate in Teacher Training Studies at the National Ballet of Canada (NBS). She holds a BA and Post Grad in Physical Therapy and is a Registered Early Childhood Educator (R.E.C.E.). Anna uses her wealth of experience to support her students in achieving their full potencial in dance class!

Julia Narvali

Julia has been a competitive dancer since the age of 10. Julia trained in contemporary, acro, ballet, jazz, and hip hop. She is a first year George Brown College student in the Dance Performance Prep program. Julia is certified through Acrobatic Arts and has been trained in acrobatics since she was 9. Growing up a competitive dancer, Julia has grown a passion for fitness. She is recently a graduate from Humber College from the Fitness and Health Promotion Program. Throughout her Humber studies, she received certification through Ontario Fitness Council (OFC) as a Group Fitness Instructor, Resistance Training Instructor, and a Personal Trainer. Julia is so excited to be a part of the Turning Pointe team, and cannot wait to start the new season.

Jenn Buckton
General Manager

Jenn has formal dance training since the age of 5, starting with R.A.D. Ballet exams and eventually branching out to Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Singing and Piano training - and by the age of 18 was a certified Ballet Teacher with the CDTA and PAEC associations.  She is a classically trained actor, with an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from York University's Acting Conservatory Program - and was a professional theatre & TV actor and dancer for over 5 years in Toronto.  In addition to her dance teaching experience over the last 15 years, she also has extensive experience in administrative management at dance studios in Ontario and British Columbia, as well as private schools and various small businesses.  She loves being a part of the Turning Pointe team, and can't wait for the bright season ahead!