Teaching Faculty

Instructors
Claire Pigott, director
Guest Artists
Accompanists

INSTRUCTORS:

Claire Pigott (school director) Associate Diploma CSC-CICB ballet, creative dance, modern

photo of Claire Pigott, director of Bravo! The Centre for Dance

Claire completed her classical ballet teacher training under Jean Geddis Zetterberg and holds her Cecchetti Associate Diploma with the Cecchetti Society of Canada and Cecchetti International Classical Ballet. She continues to attend teacher workshops and keeps current with the syllabi.

She is also a graduate of the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program in modern dance.

In her more than 25 years as a teacher, Claire has taught all ages and is known for her articulate use of voice and imagery, not to mention her unique sense of humour and ability to connect with her students.

Since opening Bravo! The Centre for Dance, she has created 15 full length children’s stories for performance.

The early years:

Claire’s earliest dance training was in both the Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance methods in suburban Montreal and Fredericton, New Brunswick.

While still a young teenager, she performed (modern) with UNB Dance Theatre and devoted her summers to training away from home in larger centres including Winnipeg at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.

While at George Brown College’s summer school in Toronto, she was invited by Lois Smith to join her cast of Coppelia and perform at Blue Mountain in Collingwood and at the CNE.

It was during that same summer that she met Donald Himes, who was the Principal of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, founded by David Earle, Peter Randazzo, and Patricia Beatty. Claire was invited to study the next summer on scholarship at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Claire continued as a scholarship student in the post secondary Professional Training Programme at STDT during which time she performed David Earle’s Angelic Visitation II, Eleanor Rigby, and Baroque Suite. Claire performed many seasons at the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto and on tour with Toronto Dance Theatre’s children’s production of Babar the Little Elephant, directed by Donald Himes. Her many years with Mr Himes had a significant influence on Claire’s work with young people.

Eventually, like many other modern dancers of the time, Claire went the independent route, taking open company classes at Toronto Dance Theatre, at Pavlychenko Studios, and Dancemakers. She danced in works by Kathryn Brown, Gail Benn, and Susan McNaughton.

She taught in the evening recreational progammes at STDT and Pavlychenko Studios.

photo of Claire Pigott, director of Bravo! The Centre for Dance

In 1982, Claire joined Charlottetown, PEI’s Montage Dance Theatre company and became the company teacher. She performed an evening of solos, including Murray Darroch’s Pilgrim and Phyllis Whyte’s Continuing Gardens; and danced in Montage’s 8 week summer season which ended with a tour to perform Don Burnett’s Atlantic Suite at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.

In 1985, she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study the work of Pina Bausch in Wuppertal, Germany. Upon her return to Canada, she created a full length dance theatre piece, Essen, which was presented in Toronto and Montreal as part of Danceworks and Tangente’s Dansechange series. While raising her children, Claire decided to focus entirely on teaching, and opened Bravo! the Centre for Dance in 1997.

Family:

With her life partner, artist John Kokkinos, and their two grown children Evelyn and Paolo, Claire resides in Richmond Hill and continues to thrive on the wonder of movement through space and the magic of theatre.

GUEST ARTISTS:

Sarah McLennan

photo of Sarah McLennan, dance teacher at Bravo! The Centre for Dance

Sarah McLennan is a graduate of the performance dance program at Ryerson University. Previously, Sarah trained at the Richmond Academy of Dance, where she had the opportunity to learn and perform various classical ballet repertoire such as: Paquita, La Bayadere, Raymonda and Serenade. Throughout her time at Ryerson University Sarah had the privilege to work with many esteemed dance artists from the Toronto community including: Alyssa Pires, James Kudelka, and Heidi Strauss. Beyond Ryerson, she has been fortunate to attend many summer programs such as Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, and the Movement Invention Project. Sarah’s interest in creation and choreography is growing, having just completed her first full length work featured in the New Voices Festival at Ryerson University. In the future, she hopes to continue to pursue a career in contemporary ballet and modern dance, as well as further develop her point of view as a creator.

Lexy Cox acro

photo of Lexy Cox, guest artist at Bravo! The Centre for Dance

Lexy Cox is a graduate of Ryerson University’s BFA program, majoring in Theatre Performance and Dance. She is also a certified acrobatics instructor with both the Canadian Dance Teachers Association and the Performing Arts Educators of Canada.

Lexy recently returned from New York City where she was working as a dance captain to Broadway’s leading choreographers and dancers from shows such as Wicked, Book of Mormon, In The Heights, and Mamma Mia.

photo of Lexy Cox, guest artist at Bravo! The Centre for Dance

Lexy has performed in Bound For Broadway (NYC - Choreography by Tony Gonzalez), A Chorus Line (Rose Theatre), Cory Lee’s Cruel Intentions Music Video, ET Canada, Much Music’s Best Dance Crew Commercial (New Music Live), Madonna Bazaar (Opera House), High School Musical 2 live on Stage (Jonathan Randall Productions), Peter Pan (Royal City Musical Theatre Vancouver), as Velma Kelly in Chicago (Treehouse Theatre), and as Bombalurina in Cats (Stanley Theatre Vancouver).

Lexy is currently performing with LR Productions Commercial Jazz Company, adjudicating, and instructing dance in Toronto.

Katherine Mascarin

photo of Katherine Mascarin, guest artist at Bravo! The Centre for Dance

Katherine began dancing at the age of three at the Woodbridge School of Ballet. September of 1991 she transferred to Jaymor School of Dancing where she trained for 15 years. While at Jaymor she successfully completed student exams in Jazz, Ballet and Acro with excellent results. Starting at the age of 9 Katherine became a member of the Jaymor competitive team. She won numerous awards and scholarships. Katherine has taught dance classes for about 8 years in Acro, Jazz, Ballet to students ages 3 to adults ( Cecchetti method) Jumps and Turns. She has coached competitive teams for 8 years . In 2009 she joined the Bradford School of Dance teaching facility.

Katherine continues to increase her knowledge and skills of dance by regularly attending workshops, seminars and classes. The Dance Project for 5 yrs, Wow Factor, Dance Masters America workshop in Acrobatics and tumbling. P.A.E.C yearly workshops in Acro, Jazz and Lifts.

She is an Associate member of Performing Arts Educators of Canada for both Acro and Jazz. She also has a Full membership of Acrobatic Arts Canada.

Katherine’s second love next to dance is health and fitness. She is a graduate of George Brown College in the Fitness and Lifestyle Management Course. She has taught Cardio Kickboxing and has also worked as a Fitness Assessor. As well Katherine has choreographed for Fitness athletes and two years in row the routines made top 15 at Miss Fitness Worlds in Vegas.

Katherine 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.

Kiyoko Makimura Licentiate CSC-CICB, AISTD (National) ballet, national dance

photo of Kiyoko Makimura, guest artist at Bravo! The Centre for Dance, with some of her students

Kiyoko started her classical ballet training in Osaka, Japan, and continued in Canada. She has studied Russian, RAD, and Cecchetti methods of ballet. She is a graduate of the full-time three year Teacher Training Program in the Professional Division of Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and also studied in the part-time Teacher Training Program at the National Ballet School in Toronto.

Miss Kiyoko has completed R.A.D. examinations in Advanced 1, Cecchetti Advanced 2, and National Dance Advanced 2 syllabi. She holds her Associate Diploma teaching credentials through the Cecchetti Cecchetti Society of Canada (CSC), and Cecchetti International Classical Ballet (CICB) and is also a certified Associate in National Dance with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).

Miss Kiyoko jumps in and helps where she can with student exam prep, stage assistance and occasional workshops as permitted by her busy schedule.

PAST GUEST ARTISTS:

Katherine Ye hip hop

Christina J. Cowx classical performance

Denver Hilland contemporary performer

Raphael Roter contemporary and live music performance

Meagan O’Shea improv

Kim Puil guest choreographer

Mary Ross Fellow CSC-CICB workshop

Jane Wooding Fellow CSC-CICB workshop

Lopa Sarkar Bollywood workshop

Julia Vokhmina ballroom for adults

Meredith Wrede modern

Carolyn Noorhoff ballet and junior modern

Veronica Fargas Laxamana hip hop, jazz

Carmela Tuccitto Jazz and hip hop

Geoff Reyes hiphop/breaking

ACCOMPANISTS:

During the school year, guest accompanists are brought in to assist the development of students’ musicality. All of these are distinguished full time musicians, either composing or playing full time in universities or the National Ballet School.

Tanya Gordon

Marsha Coffey

Patricia Mearns

Valentina Gurovsky