Meet our Faculty

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Holly Ankucza

Director  & Owner

A.R.A.D., R.A.D.R.T.S., B.A. History ​

Holly's training started at the early age of 3 at Waterloo Dance Centre, where she found her love for the art of dance. She is trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and contemporary, and by the age of 8 she was dancing competitively while traveling across the U.S.A. and Canada. Her teaching career started at 16, when she started fulfilling her real dream of sharing her love of dance with her students. 

 

Holly decided to pursue ballet beyond any other discipline in dance. She is a member of the Royal Academy of Dance and completed her Advanced 2 RAD exam as well as the Certificate for Teaching Ballet Studies with the RAD. She continues to develop her own ballet syllabus for Premier Dance Academy to challenge the growth of her students. 

 

Holly also spent 5 years bodybuilding, and has a passion for health, weightlifting, and nutrition. She enjoys helping her students prolong their overall longevity in dance, by complementing their dance skills with strength training, and healthy habits to go alongside their technique and artistry. 

Holly opened Premier Dance Academy in 2009. She loves sharing her knowledge and passion of ballet and training, and is dedicated to providing a caring and nurturing environment for her students. She has received many outstanding awards for her innovative and inspiring choreography, and is excited for a new season with an amazing team and family!

 

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Emily Kieswetter

Director & Owner

PBT

Emily started dancing at the age of 3 at The Academy of Dance and competitively at the age of 10. She has studied many disciplines such as ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop. She also trained in Highland Dance for 10 years, travelling across Canada to attend the ScotDance Canada Championships. Emily started training under Holly Ankucza at the age of 11, and has been a teacher at PDA since it opened in 2009. Emily then evolved into the position of Co-Owner/Director in 2017.

Emily has travelled all throughout Canada winning several scholarships and overall awards as a dancer. Her performance credits include "The Nutcracker" with Ballet Jorgen, and "Sleeping Beauty with the Moscow Ballet. During her youth she performed in many theatrical shows put on by local theatre companies, including her favourite as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz".



Through her studies Emily has taken class with professionals such as Frank Augustyn, Mia Michaels, Blake McGrath and Benji Schwimmer among others. She has also travelled to California to study with Paula Morgen.



Emily is a certified PBT instructor and is passionate about teaching and instilling strong technique and foundations to all her dancers. Emily continues to learn and grow as a teacher by attending workshops and conferences to enhance her dance knowledge. Emily loves being able to teach and dedicate her time to all the Premier Dance Academy dancers.



 

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Sarah Hoekstra

Assistant Director & Social Media Coordinator

Sarah has been immersed in the dance industry since the age of 5. Sarah trained in Kitchener, Ontario in various dance forms including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro and Hip Hop. As a child, Sarah competed all over North America for over 13 years winning numerous overall awards, scholarships and recognition for her dancing. 

 

Sarah began teaching and choreographing at the ripe age of 15, and has never looked back.  Sarah is now recognized for her innovative and thought provoking choreography at dance competitions winning numerous awards for her choreography year after year.  Most recently, Sarah’s choreography has been chosen to be showcased at a charity event called “Let The Elephants Dance” - a fundraiser for mental health awareness. Sarah has been teaching at Premier Dance Academy since 2012 and has since grown her love for dance and teaching dance immensely.  

 

Sarah spends her summers guest teaching at dance studios throughout the summers, and is frequently sought after by studio directors as a guest instructor.  Sarah is as a faculty member of Dance Attack competitions and workshops and frequently guest teaches at workshops and in studios with Dance Attack. Sarah is also a roster member of Quick Ball Change Dance Agency and The Traveling Stage for dance instructors and choreographers.  

Sarah’s powerful love and passion for dance and choreography continues to grow every year and bring her new and exciting opportunities, but Premier Dance Academy has always been home.  Sarah owes much of her success to her students and co-owners Holly and Emily who over the years have allowed and encouraged her to grow and evolve into the teacher and choreographer she is today.  

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Abbey John

Recreational & Competitive Instructor / Choreographer

Bio Coming Soon

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Rikki Ciminsky

Recreational & Competitive Instructor / Choreographer

B. Ed., OCT

Rikki is a school teacher by day, and a dance teacher by night! 

 

Rikki is an OCT-certified teacher and works for the public school board during the day before heading to the dance studio at night. She has completed an additional qualification dance course through York University which gives her the ability to teach dance in both an elementary and high school setting. This course gave her a deeper understanding on dance theory and foundations, teaching pedagogy, and dance curriculum development that supports all different learners (whether at a school or a dance studio). 

 

Rikki teaches both recreational and competitive dancers at PDA, and loves being a part of both those “worlds”.  When Rikki was younger, she tested out competitive gymnastics and dance, and quickly realized her true passion was in dance. She has trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, acro, lyrical, musical theatre, and even song and dance. Rikki has always been artsy; she went to an arts-integrated elementary school, spent summers at an arts sleepover camp, participated in community musical theatre, took part in music-related extracurriculars, all on top of her competitive dance schedule. After her competitive dance days, Rikki transitioned into a dance teacher role and has now been teaching dance for almost fifteen years. 

 

Rikki is so grateful she found PDA when moving to the KW area several years ago. It’s going to be a great season!

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Marcela Leon

Recreational & Competitive Instructor / Choreographer

Bio Coming Soon

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Jordan Douglas

Recreational Instructor 

Born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario, Jordan started her dance journey at the age of two and began dancing competitively when she was seven. Over the years she has danced in all genres but her focus shifted towards ballet, jazz, and lyrical as she got older. Jordan has completed RAD ballet exams (Royal Academy of Dance) from Grade 1 to Intermediate. At the young age of 10 she began assisting dance classes, dedicating hundreds of hours to helping younger dancers. In 2021, Jordan started teaching dance classes at Victoria Hills Community Centre, she also teaches at multiple studios in the area. She worked for The Travelling Stage company this past summer, as well as been teaching summer camps and substitutes at various locations within the Waterloo Region. Jordan was a part of One Movements “Make your Move” Junior team. She has participated in multiple choreography contests placing in the top three everytime. She danced for Ballet Jorgen’s production of the Nutcracker for three years. Jordan’s commitment to dance awarded her the “Dedicated to Dance'' award in 2016. She is currently enrolled at Conestoga College, studying for her Early Childhood Education. Jordan loves to inspire younger dancers through her love and passion for dance.

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Mya Weiss

Office Administrator 

Hi I’m Mya! I am the front desk receptionist here at Premier Dance Academy, and my favourite thing to do other than working here is to take care of my dogs! I have three bulldogs’ named Honey, Stella, and Georgia and they are my very best friends! I am very creative, and I show this through my artist skills by drawing and painting. If you see me, please tell me your favourite joke!