Briana Lynch BFA hons.
President, Artistic Director, Creative Movement, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Contemporary
Briana Lynch began her dance career at the age of 5 in Fergus, Ontario with The Teresa Randall School of Dance. There she focused primarily on ballet and trained extensively within the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. Briana also became versatile in Jazz (CDTA) and Modern (Graham and Limon). She began assisting and then teaching at her home studio and has not looked back since.
After high school, Briana was accepted into Ryerson University’s Dance Program under the direction of Nadia Potts. While in the Dance Program she majored in Pedagogy; the teacher training program for children’s dance instruction through the Royal Academy of Dance and Ryerson University. Throughout her 4 years at school she was able to work with some of Toronto’s most influential choreographers and instructors further developing her own skills as a teacher. Briana graduated from Ryerson with an Honours Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts Dance. Immediately after graduation, Briana began teaching and choreographing around Toronto, working with many studios and art schools in the city. She also co-founded Recoil, a modern dance company.
In 2006 Briana moved to Guelph, Ontario to launch The Guelph Academy of Dance. In 13 short years the studio has blossomed from 75 students to over 500 students with classes in Creative Movement, Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre, Tap, Contemporary, and Pointe as well as the extremely popular summer dance camp “The Dance Days of Summer”. Briana was incredibly honoured to be recognized as a Women of Distinction award in 2017 through the YMCA/YWCA of Guelph. She was thrilled and honoured to be named as “Favorite Dance Teacher 2010 and 2012” by the Guelph Mercury and her studio won both Platinum and Diamond award of “Best Dance Studio” by the Mercury Tribune’s Reader’s Choice Award 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Tap, Jazz, Creative Movement, and Musical Theatre
Ulrika began dancing at the age of 10 at her local dance studio in her hometown of Karlstad, Sweden. Originally she studied Jazz dance, but quickly advanced into Ballet, Modern, Tap, and Hip Hop. She fell in love with the art form and immersed herself completely. Ulrika auditioned and was accepted into her studio’s Dance Company and had the opportunity to perform at trade shows, festivals and special events.
In 1994 she left home, moved to Gothenburg, Sweden and entered a four year dance program at the College for professional dance studies. At the Ballet Academy of Gothenburg she received intense training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Tap, and Musical Theatre. As part of the program she also studied National Dancing, Flamenco, Pilates, Kinesiology, Dance History, Dance Repertoire, and Choreography. One of the many wonderful aspects about the program was the international faculty of teachers and choreographers such as Mr. Anthony Ferro, a dancer with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company and featured in the movie Hair from 1979.
Ulrika graduated with a Diploma in the spring of 1998 and was immediately hired as a dancer for an international cruise line. Her love for dancing and travelling combined brought her to Toronto a year later where she continued to pursue her dance career. She began teaching in the year 2000 and has taught at many of Toronto’s renowned dance schools such as The National Ballet School of Canada (Junior Division), City Dance Corps and The Martha Hicks School of Ballet. Ulrika joined the faculty at the Guelph Academy of Dance in the summer of 2007 and is since a much-loved teacher at the studio. In 2011 Ulrika and her family moved to Guelph and is now happy to call this wonderful city their home.
Ulrika feels very fortunate to be able to share her passion for dancing with her students and aspire to help them grown not only as dancers but as people. Ulrika is very excited for the new dance season to start at the Guelph Academy of dance and is looking forward to another amazing year at the studio
Megan has been studying ballet for more than 30 years and is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. Megan graduated with distinction in 2003 from Canada’s National Ballet School in their Teacher Training Program. This three year intensive program included studies in three styles of ballet, modern dance, national dances, anatomy, pedagogy, body conditioning, music, dance history, and Benesh Notation. After graduating, Megan taught at Canada’s National Ballet School in the unique role of History of Ballet Teacher until 2006.
Megan has long held an interest in education and is registered with the Ontario College of Teachers. In 2000, Megan graduated from the University of Waterloo in their Math Teaching Option program and also received her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University through their joint co-op program.
Since 2003, Megan has taught Mathematics, Computer Science, and Ballet at high schools and dance studios in both Toronto, Ottawa, and Waterloo. Megan also teaches ballet at the Contemporary School of Dance in Waterloo. This is Megan’s fifth year teaching at Guelph Academy of Dance, and she is really looking forward to teaching the ballet program!
Maddison Robinson is a graduate from The George Brown Dance program in Toronto. Maddison is well diverse in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap and Pointe. She has had the opportunity to train with renowned artist such as Hannah Keil, Ballet Jorgen, Frank Augustine, Ryan Lee, Kathleen Rea, and Nicole Pantin. She has also been training with Toronto dance Artists Danny Davalos and Chelsea Seward for the past year and will continue to dance apart of their shows around Toronto.
Maddison’s passion for dance first began in 2006, the inaugural year of The Guelph Academy of Dance. Maddison trained under the tutalage of Briana Lynch, Ulrika Englund, Jenna OShe was a part of the very first graduating class in 20opened for the very first time. She has had the privilege to return after her studies in Toronto and begin her teaching career at the studio that she calls home. Maddison is very excited to share her love of dance with her students and for another year at The Guelph Academy of Dance.
Samantha Selihar, RAD RTS, AAC2
Samantha is an accomplished competitive dancer who realized her passion for dance at a young age. After graduating from the competitive dance team, she studied human anatomy and physiology at Sheridan College in the General Arts and Science program and soon after completed the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies to become a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. Most recently, Samantha has continued to fuel her thirst for knowledge by attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education, during which she received the Iris Truscott Scholarship. She is also certified with Acrobatic Arts (AAC2), Progressing Ballet Technique, ADAPT (year 2), is a proud member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance, and is AcroDance Competition Adjudicator Certified.
Samantha’s career as a dance educator began when she taught the town’s Parks and Recreation dance program at the studio. She has since spent many Saturday mornings teaching the youngest dancers as well as many late nights coaching the most advanced level dancers. She is extremely proud of her students, some of whom have gone on to pursue professional dance careers.
Samantha’s teaching style and enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge with aspiring dancers ensures that all students receive technical training that meets the highest international standards, while enthusiastically training and coaching students to achieve their own personal goals. Samantha promotes professional etiquette, healthy attitudes, and mutual respect for everyone, setting the stage for a positive learning environment where students receive a broad dance education.
Allison began her dance training when she was two at Dance Elite in Milton, ON becoming well versed in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary & Modern, Musical Theatre, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Tap, and Acrobatics. Allison recently completed her second degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver under the distinguished faculty at the School for the Contemporary Arts. She also holds a recognized Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph with a main focus in Psychology and Child Development. At SFU, Allison overlapped her studies in dance with the reputable PDP (professional development program for aspiring teachers) where she completed teachers’ education studies in dance, creative movement, choreography, drama and theatre.
Allison is also the founder and first co-captain of the Simon Fraser University Dance team which continues to be the only team participating in the NCAA league in Canada. In 2014, Allison’s dance team was invited by the CFL to perform in the pre-game show for the 102nd Grey Cup. In December 2013, BCF casting hired Allison for a featured extra/ dance role in Universal Studios’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” (Adults Only!) She was also signed as main backup dancer to singer & songwriter “Hailey Reese” in 2011.
One of Allison’s newest projects includes dancing for “ONE Movement” – an anti-bullying inspired company created and directed by Autumn Fernandez. She is also working on attaining her Yoga Teaching License through Yoga Alliance and teaches part-time at the University of Guelph Athletics Centre. Allison could not be happier to share her passion for dance and love of education with her students every week and is so excited to be teaching at the one of a kind Guelph Academy of Dance.