Great Lakes Dance Academy

We, at Great Lakes Dance Academy, are committed to providing you with the very best Performing Arts education. We want each experience at our academy to be positive and inspiring. Our capable teachers and staff are passionate about dance education and the performing arts. We look forward to sharing our passion with each student, and helping each dancer, singer, and actor reach their goals.

Our Staff

Tia Colborne

Artistic Director

Tia began her dance studies in Sarnia. As a student she was a competed in dance competitions and was a dancer with the International Ballet Theatre Company performing in several productions of The Nutcracker.

She is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, in Toronto, ON and has trained in Canada and New York, NY. Tia has worked professionally as a contemporary dancer and as a performer in musical productions around the world. She has taught for professional training programs at Sheridan College, Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and choreographed for the University of Toronto at Hart House Theatre.

She has adjudicated dance competitions and taught master classes across Canada. Tia is a certified member of the Cecchetti Council of America, and Canadian Dance Masters. She is dedicated to continuing her own dance education to offer students at Great Lakes Dance Academy the most current and relevant training possible.

Andrew Colborne

General Manager, Co-Artisitic Director

Graduate of Music Theatre Performance at Sheridan College in Oakville, ON Andrew has been singing for as long as he can remember. He began his journey into musical theatre at a very early age, doing miscellaneous children's roles in the high school musicals where his father was a teacher. It was during this time that he began taking classical voice lessons as well as learning various instruments and playing in numerous bands.

After high school he left Saskatchewan for Oakville, ON where he was accepted for the Musical Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College, where he graduated with honors. Since this time he has been in many musicals across Canada and has played in several bands one of which took him to Calgary and Vancouver on a large- scale concert tour as a supporting act. Andrew is very passionate about music and voice and is very exited to bring his love and knowledge of singing and performing to the Great Lakes Dance Academy.

Eleonore Prokop

Ballet, Triple Threat Program

Eleonore Prokop has three decades of professional experience as a theatre/dance artist with companies in Toronto and New York City She was co-founder and director of GENERIC THEATRE COMPANY with whom she performed, directed, and choreographed for fourteen years, and was nominated for a DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARD for OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE for her work in her own play "Before Eve".

As a dancer she has studied at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, and in NYC, at the Finis Jung Studio and with Don Farnsworth and Loyd Williamson. Also in NYC, she was an ensemble member in Masque Ensemble, and Force 13. She is a specialist in physical/ensemble theatre and has led youth workshops with Soulpepper Theatre Company, the Canadian Opera Company, and the University of Toronto's Outreach Programs for Youth. She was physical theatre instructor/director with the Globe Theatre Actor's Conservatory in Regina 2008 and 2010, and is a director with First Light Theatre Company in Guelph.

Michelle Schouten

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary

Michelle Schouten has been dancing for 30+ years. She has been teaching for 14 years and has been on staff at Great Lakes Dance Academy from the very first season. Michelle teaches Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary. She is also a choreographer for the Dance Company, she has won several special awards for her routines and received diamond awards as well. In the class Michelle is know for her high standards and her ability to bring great things out of even the youngest dancers. At home Michelle is a busy mother of three. (Two dancers and a hockey player!)

Leanne Bradshaw

Leanne has come to us from Dundas, Ontario where she grew up dancing since the tender age of 3. She has been trained in all styles of dance; ballet, tap, jazz, acro, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, breakdancing and ballroom. She has competed across Canada and United States with high level of achievement, winning many national titles. After High School Leanne studied at George Brown College in Commercial Dance Studies, a triple threat program. After Graduating she worked with and choreographed for many dance companies including Honeykatz, N.V.US, and The Toronto Marlies Dance Team plus many more all over the Greater Toronto Area. Leanne also auditioned for the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance - Canada” and where she advanced to the top 50! 

Leanne has been training students of all ages and styles since her early years as a studio student.  Leanne is now certified in the “Acrobatic Arts” Curriculum. This in addition to years of experience in acro and gymnastics makes her an excellent Acro teacher.  We are pleased Leanne has moved to Sarnia to grow her family and join our faculty. 

Hala Miller

Hala was born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario. She has been dancing since the age of 5 and has been trained jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, and ballet. In fact she is a Great Lakes Dance Academy alumni and is thrilled to be back teaching alongside her former instructors. 

Along with dance and teaching Hala has a passion for musical theatre and choreography. She has been involved in local productions of 42nd street, Crazy for You, and Faces of Broadway. She has also choreographed for rebounds productions of Fame, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin.  She hopes to continue teaching and choreographing for as long as possible.

Renee Coutu

Renee Coutu has had a passion for dance since the age of seven. Born in Toronto and raised in Montreal, she has trained at a number of dance studios throughout her childhood and adolescence. The styles of dance she studied include ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, salsa, afro Cuban and breakdance. For the past 30 plus years, Renee has been choreographing plays, dance competitions, charity shows, private functions and teaching students of all ages. She has travelled across Canada and the United States competing and performing in plays, television shows and music videos. She has also worked with Canadian artists, such as Jully Black & Ricky J. In 2005 Renee moved to Sarnia and in 2010 she joined Great Lakes Dance Academy where she currently teaches and continues to mentor young dancers and pursue her passion for dance.

Anaiya Willems

Anaiya began taking HipHop and Jazz at the age of 8 under the instruction of Renee Coutu, here in Sarnia. Realizing this is what she loved, she stepped up to the barre (hehe dance pun) and took almost every style of dance that was available to her at Great Lakes when they opened in 2010. She has trained in a handful of styles such as Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, HipHop, and Acro. Throughout her senior years as a student, Anaiya has choreographed and assisted with choreography in multiple shows for Theatre Sarnia, and Rebound. Anaiya gained confidence in her show choreography thanks to her great friend and fellow staff member, Hala Miller, who guided her along the way. After graduating from high school, Anaiya went off to Windsor, ON to study Musical Theatre at St. Clair College. Just as she started her second year, the Ontario colleges went on strike, and Anaiya moved back home to Sarnia. She took on multiple classes for maternity leave, and assisted our teachers for the rest of the season, before joining the GLDA staff full time. Anaiya is now teaching a large range of styles to dancers of all ages, creating choreography for the company team, and choreographing/performing with our local theatre. Fun fact, Anaiya recently played the role of Sofie in Theatre Sarnia’s production of Mamma Mia, directed by Andrew and choreographed by Tia. Anaiya is a certified Module One acrobatics teacher through Acrobatic Arts. She has completed grades 1 through 5 of the Cecchetti Ballet student exams and is currently working towards her grade 1 teacher exam. Thanks to the teachers at GLDA, Anaiya has a heart for the arts. Now, she is so grateful to have the opportunity to pass her passion down to the next generation of our dancers here at GLDA.

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