2019 Summer Dance Intensive Faculty

Kate Kernaghan
Director, In Studio

Senior Level Ballet Technique

A graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program, Kate Kernaghan received her Royal Academy of Dance Teacher’s Certificate, as well as her Associate from the Imperial Society of Teacher’s of Dancing. She is also a Fletcher Pilates Licensed provider as well as a CanFit Pro Personal Trainer. Having had former students go onto Canada's National Ballet School, The Ailey School, the School of Alberta Ballet and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Ms. Kernaghan’s dedication to teaching and to her students never goes unnoticed. Ms. Kernaghan’s wealth of teaching experience in both the dance and fitness community lend to her confident, dynamic yet caring teaching style.

Shavar Blackwood
Junior and Senior Level Hip Hop

Shavar BlackwoodShavar "Caution" Blackwood has had the opportunity to work with choreographers and performers such as Allen Kaeja, Luther Brown, Sean Cheeseman, Siona Jackson, Mandy Moore and Bill T. Jones.

His passion for dance lets him take his ideas of the Hip Hop culture to the next level by fusing it with different forms of dance such as Contemporary, House, Vogue, Popping and Krump. These principles led Mr. Blackwood to achieve a Top 14 spot on Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada and to perform in the Lifetime movie Aaliyah The Princess of R&B, Family Channel’s Naturally Sadie and with artists such as Cascada, Mcfly, George Nozuka, Divine Brown and Jacksoul.

Mr. Blackwood has taught for many institutions such as Canada’s National Ballet School, City Dance Corps, OIP Dance Centre, among others. He has choreographed for events with SickKids Canada, Toronto’s Choreographers’ Ball, Bazaar, Fever, TDSB Martin Luther King Remembrance Day celebration at Roy Thompson Hall and was the winner of Manifesto Dance Competition.

Kahlil Calder

Kahlil CalderKahil Calder Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Kahil Calder finished his dance studies at Canada’s National Ballet School under the tutelage of Glenn Gilmour and Sergiu Stefanschi. Upon graduating, Mr. Calder went on to dance with The National Ballet of Canada, The Alberta Ballet and with the International Dance Theatre in the Netherlands. In 2010, he was accepted as Associate Professor in the dance department for the University of Stavanger in Norway where he taught, performed and produced works. Mr. Calder is a sought-after guest teacher and coach both nationally and internationally.

Sarah Koekkoek
Senior Level Floor Barre

Sarah Koekkoek is an independent dance artist, educator and choreographer. She was born in Burlington, Ontario and trained in the Professional Division at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. She has danced with The Washington Ballet, Canada’s Ballet Jorgen, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet and The Chimera Project as well as participating in several dance residencies at The Banff Centre for the Arts. Sarah is also a Licensed Provider of the Fletchers Pilates Method.

Megan Nadain
Junior and Senior Level Contemporary

Megan NadainMegan Nadain, a native of North Vancouver, British Columbia, is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer and dance educator. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, for which she received scholarships from the school, the Hnatyshyn Foundation and the BC Arts Council. Ms. Nadain is a company member with Dancetheatre David Earle and has worked independently with Darryl Tracy, inDANCE, Toronto Heritage Dance and Event Horizon Dance. In the summer of 2014, she performed with Dancetheatre David Earle in Dusseldorf, Germany at the tanzmesse dance festival. Ms. Nadain is a faculty member at the School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and she directs the Core Apprentices for the CCDT Company. She also teaches and rehearsal directs at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and teaches in several high schools in Toronto.

Alejandra Perez-Gomez
Junior and Senior Level Ballet Technique

Alejandra Perez-Gomez was born in Toronto, Ontario and trained at L'École Supérieure de ballet du Québec in Montréal, the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco and San Francisco Ballet School in California. Ms. Perez-Gomez joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1998, became a Second Soloist in 2006 and was promoted to Principal Character Artist in 2013.

Ms. Perez-Gomez’s repertoire includes Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, Stepmother and Stepsister in Cinderella, Baba in The Nutcracker and Gertrude in Hamlet. Her repertoire also includes Swan Lake, Onegin, Don Quixote, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, An Italian Straw Hat, The Seagull, The Four Temperaments, Désir, Opus 19/The Dreamer, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Jewels, The Four Seasons, …black night’s bright day …, There, below and Emergence.

Alejandra Valiente
Junior and Senior Level Ballet Technique and Classical Repertoire

Alejandra ValienteAlejandra Valiente is a professional performer, instructor, adjudicator and choreographer who specializes in Ballet, Floor Barre and Competitive Ballet Choreography. With 35 years of extensive experience performing and teaching, Ms. Valiente graduated from The National Ballet School in Mexico City and went on to receive her teaching certificates from The Royal Academy of Dance, Vaganova, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) Associated, Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) and Cecchetti. She has worked as a performer in classical and neo-classical ballet, folklore European and musical theatre and as a choreographer for TV shows as Sesame Street. She worked as Creative Director for Conexion en Movimiento in Mexico and worked on events such as the Para Pan Games Guadalajara 2011 and the presentation of the mascot at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Ms. Valiente is committed to sharing her knowledge to help all generations of dancers to understand the value of ballet technique through their dance journey.

For more information, please call us at 416 345 9595 or email us at

Top image credit: Artists of the Ballet. Photo by Karolina Kuras.