Christine Cloutier, a member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance, began dancing at the age of 5 years old with Helen Syjut Dance Studio in Sault Ste. Marie. At the age of 10, she auditioned for the National Ballet School of Canada and was accepted to the 4 week summer program. The NBS then awarded Christine a full year scholarship in 1976. After her year with the NBS, she was accepted to the prestigious Quinte Ballet School.
Her extensive dance training in the demanding Cecchetti style of ballet allowed her to train with professionals such as Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn and Mary Jago.
After 6 years with Quinte, Christine graduated in 1984, and was accepted as a company apprentice at the Toronto Dance Theatre. The physical rigours of her training started to show when an injury forced Christine to take time off, allowing her to pursue other artistic endeavours. During that time, she was booked by an agent and began a career in modeling and acting. Her credits include appearances in movies with stars such as Sophia Lauren, Tony Danza and Kris Christofferson, to name a few. She also performed in television series, such as Street Legal and The Edison Twins.
In 1990, Christine was offered the position as Ballet Mistress for Kim Greco of Kiana School of Dance Arts, in Sault Ste. Marie. After being away for 15 years, Christine embraced the idea of returning to her home town once again.
Following 2 years with Kiana and the experience of touring in Russia, Copenhagen and Las Vegas, she was offered an opportunity to instruct with Shelley Peters. After one year she was invited to take over the studio.
In 1993, Christine bought out Shelley Peters, and in 1994, Soo Dance Unlimited was born.
Christine is not only sole owner and director, but is still very active as a teacher and choreographer. She loves working with her youngest dancers each Saturday morning, as well as creating a challenging and nurturing environment for her technique and ballet classes.
Christine is proud to say Soo Dance Unlimited is celebrating over 25 years of dance excellence in Sault Ste. Marie. SDU has numerous credits for award-winning choreography, top-studio achievements, Dance Off placements, as well as acknowledgments for costuming, concept and staging awards from dance competitions from all over Canada and the USA.
Lucas Beaver is happy to be returning home to Soo Dance Unlimited, where he first started as an educator in dance.
He attended the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and served as the Program Director of the Triple Threat College Program for 8 years. He has also worked at Canada’s National Ballet School of Canada, and was WorldPride Coordinator when Toronto hosted the international event WorldPride 2014.
Select credits include: The Music Man (ABC/Disney), Time to Remember – John McDermott (PBS), Helix Dance Project, Mary Poppins (Bert) and many industrials and product launches for Bell Mobility, Rogers, Royal Bank, MAC Cosmetics and The Bay. As a performer Lucas has worked with Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Kristine W (Recording Artist) and as a producer / coordinator the list of artists is quite extensive.
At a young age, Chrissy Hiddleston started dancing with Judy Ross, but her competitive nature lead to the competitive dance scene at Trixie Hardy. Chrissy became a part of the SDU family 10 yrs ago when she enrolled her daughter at barely 2 yrs old. Her involvement in the studio, as well as her energetic nature quickly gained her the title of DMX (Dance Mom Xtreme) at SDU.
In 2013, Chrissy was quick to join any and all adult programs, regaining her niche in tap. Chrissy has been a wonderful addition to the SDU staff, and “Chrissy’s Rockstars” will attest that she was meant to teach. Chrissy’s energy has kept the tappers coming – whether you are a beginner or more advanced, she is happy to offer various levels of tap to our community.
Chrissy admits that teaching was something she didn’t know was missing from her life and has loved every second of it. She has fun helping others find the joy of not only tap but dance in general and loves seeing the growth and achievements of her students and all the other dancers in the studio.
Miss Sandra started dancing at the age of 8 with Trixie Hardy. In 1988-89, Sandra received her BATD teaching certificates in Jazz and Ballet. She has also trained at other studios during her studies in London and St. John’s, including training in ballroom, tap and belly dance. Sandra has volunteered at the YMCA as a gymnastics coach, aiding the SPARKS Cheer Team, and running the “Cheernastics” program. Most recently, Sandra has recieved her ADTA certification for Junior Level Acro, and continues to expand her training in that field.
Sandra and her children have been a part of the SDU family for 10 years, all participating in one dance form or another. SDU welcomed Sandra as our first Acro teacher, and has directed the Adult Competitive Team the last few years.
Sandra creates a tough yet nurturing environment and pushes her students with encouraging energy. “I am a full time mum of 3 amazing children who are always being asked to try out crazy moves at home with me. I am passionate that children develop a growth mindset. My students quickly learn that there is no ‘can not do’ only a ‘can not do YET’. It is my joy to help them achieve that possibility.”
Since the age of three Emma has been apart of the SDU family, where she instantly found her love for dance and second home. She joined the Competitive Team at the age of 7, and at age nine began as a teachers assistant – from this moment, she knew one day she would teach a class of her own.
Emma has won multiple awards and distinctions alongside her talented group, such as Dance Off Championships, Top Scoring routines, and Judges Choice awards. In 2016, Emma recieved SDU’s Most Dedicated Dancer Award. She has also attended dance conventions under the direction of well known dance educators such as Linda Garneau, JT Shramek, Jordan Clark and Rebecca Zizek.
In highschool, Emma earned placement as Choreographer for the award winning SMC Dance Team, then was awarded the position of Dance Captain. Emma is currently studies Biochemistry Pre-Pharmacy at Lake Superior State University. Staying home ensured she will still be able to be involved with the studio – now as an official staff member, Emma can’t wait to use her love for dance to help others find the same passion!
Katlyn has been dancing since 3 years old with involvment in competitive gymnastics and musical theatre. At the age of 13 she found her love of competitive dance and was awarded the most technical dancer and most dedicated student teacher. She won multiple awards in competitive hip hop and was invited to perform in national competitions in Florida. She has completed her BATD teachers in tap, jazz and ballet, along with studying other styles such as pointe, lyrical, contemporary, modern and hip hop.
She was accepted into YorkU modern dance program and upon graduation was invited to audition for the BATD company. She has done many musical theatre productions, dancing and acting in “Singing in the Rain”, “Annie”, “White Christmas” and performing with the Canadian national ballet in the “Nutcracker”. While at Laurentian University, she choreographed and performed with the cheer and dance teams. In Sudbury she worked at a physio center teaching adult barre and dance fitness classes. Later she moved to Toronto to train in other styles of dance, such as: jazz funk, heels, contemporary, and reggaeton. During her time there, she worked for the Toronto Blue Jays as a Jforce member, doing performances and special appearances.
Her passion and knowledge for dance has only grown throughout the years. She prides herself on keeping up to date with the dance culture. Please give a warm welcome home to Katlyn as one of our new instructors at SDU.