Our Team

Kathryn Bisland

Vanessa Stead

Kwame Mensah

Dominique Gemmiti

Edz Gyamfi

Courtney Odelein


Kathryn

Kathryn Bisland, S.R.B. ASSOC.
President & Dance Educator: Ballet, jazz, tap, acro, Kinder Dance specialist

Dancing since 1986, Kathryn has had over 15 years teaching experience throughout studios across the GTA and in upstate New York. Educated at The State University of New York at Buffalo, 
she received her Honours Bachelor of Arts In Dance in 2002. 
Here Kathryn studied ballet, modern/contemporary, jazz and tap techniques daily and worked with industry leaders becoming educated on such relevant topics as anatomy of the dancer, dance injuries and their prevention, dance history, pedagogy (the application of teaching children how to dance), and choreography. Upon her graduation, Kathryn travelled to Italy as a member of a contemporary dance company through a study abroad program. Following her return to North America, she moved to New York City for a year and gained industry experience through auditioning for dance companies, and stage, television, and film productions.

Most recently Kathryn has booked print work for TD Bank and Canadian Tire, and national commercials for Sleep Country Canada, VH Sauces and Yo-Crunch Cereal Bowls. She is currently working under the leadership of renowned choreographer Jeff Dimitriou, as an assistant choreographer for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Closing Ceremonies.

Kathryn's quest to always increase her knowledge led her to become fully certified with the Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (A.D.A.P.T.) in jazz and tap in 2007, after completing their three year Teachers Training School. Kathryn is also an Associate Teacher with the Society of Russian Ballet (S.R.B., ASSOC.) developed by Agrippina Vaganova. She is qualified to enter eligiable students in ballet examinations via the Society of Russian Ballet. Kathryn recently became certified as an acro teacher at the junior level with Acroatique Acro/Dance and is working towards completing her intermediate level certification. Last summer, she attended the Dance Teacher Summit in New York City.

Kathryn's innovative & unique tap, jazz, contemporary, and ballet choreography has led the studio's Performance Company team to repeatedly successful competitive seasons where BDC Performance Company students most recently have received numerous judges special awards, various scholarships, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall placing's and one of her senior contemporary solos went on to win the top prize at a final dance off!

Through the Bisland Dance Centre, Kathryn plans to share her continually expanding wealth of knowledge with her students and bring out in each one of them their passion and commitment to achieve their individual best. Kathryn truly believes that every child has the potential to dance. She strives, through carefully understanding the cognitive abilities of each of her students, to achieve the proper application of dance technique within their personal ability so every student has the opportunity to really dance!


Lisa

Vanessa Stead
Dance Instructor: Jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical/contemporary and acro

Vanessa has been training in dance since the age of three and competing since the age of ten. Her hard work, versatility and style have led her to become a very accomplished competitive dancer, having won many overall awards, titles and numerous scholarships throughout North America. Vanessa also competed Internationally with the Canadian National Showdance Team, representing Canada at the IDO World Championships in Reisa, Germany. Some of Vanessa's training includes Broadway Dance Centre and Steps on Broadway in NYC as well as training with many renowned choreographers at workshops and conventions throughout North America.

Vanessa has had extensive training in ballet (R.A.D. Advanced level 2), jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and ballroom. Along with receiving top marks on her A.D.A.P.T. Tap and Jazz Exams, she is also a full member of the Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers having graduated from the A.D.A.P.T. Teacher Training program in both Tap and Jazz. Her teaching experience includes studios in Durham and across the GTA where she has provided guest/substitute and permanent teaching along with choreography for year-end shows and competitions.

Other credits include National talent winner and finalist at the 2010 Miss Teen Canada Pageant and performer and assistant choreographer in "Anne of Green Gables".

On a professional level, Vanessa had a supporting role in the YTV Movie "King of the Camp" and appeared as a tap dancer in the television series "Warehouse 13". She has also completed two contracts as a dancer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' Freedom of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas. Some other opportunities have included the Toronto Choreographer's Ball, Fever after Dark and several corporate gigs around Toronto. Vanessa has also had the opportunity of performing at the 2014 Capezio Ace Awards in NYC and the 2015 Capezio Ace Awards in Long Beach, CA.

Vanessa is very excited to join the team at Bisland Dance Centre teaching jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical/contemporary and acro and looks forward to sharing her creativity and passion for dance with her students.


Kwamw

Kwame Mensah
Street and Hip Hop

The Ghanaian culture is nothing short of a rhythmic culture. The beat of the drum and movement of the body go hand and hand.  From a young age, Kwame’s father introduces him to the beat of the African drum and the overwhelming feeling to move his body to the flow of the beat came forth. From that point the flame was lit.

Learning the rhythmic body movements of African dancing Kwame, also felt the calling of the street dancing.  Music videos and films from Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson to Boogaloo Shrimp and Shabadoo all the way to the Nicholas Brothers, gave way for Kwame to learn more.

The friendship and respect for choreographer and CEO of DoDat Entertainment Luther Brown would take his love for dance to a whole different level, turning a passion into a recognizable career which has broken down many barriers for future Canadian dancers to come.

Kwame: Original member of Toronto’s #1 professional dance family Dodat Entertainment. Through his love for music and dance, he has taken his skills to the next level. Not just by doing the moves but through expressing the feeling behind the moves. His cool, cocky, sexy dance style separates him from the rest as he displays intense body movements that are eye catching.

Kwame  has been seen in the videos of some of Canada’s premiere artists such as Shawn Desman, Jully Black, Glenn Lewis,  and Sean Paul, just to list a few. Not only has he done videos and tours, he’s been featured in movies such as Blues Brother 2000 and Honey starring Jessica Alba and Lil’ Romeo. He has danced in award shows such as the UMAC Awards, Canadian Idol Show, the Juno Awards and the Canadian Urban Music Awards.

He is very excited to be on faculty at The Bisland Dance Centre and is looking forward to sharing his knowledge of street dancing with his students this season!


Dominique

Dominique Gemmiti, S.R.B. AFF
Jazz, tap, ballet, acro, musical theatre and lyrical/contemporary

Miss Dominique began her dance training in 1996 and was invited to begin competing in 1999. Her training encompassed all genres of dance - jazz, tap acro, ballet, musical theatre, lyrical/contemporary, hip hop and modern. She successfully participated in and completed her RAD ballet exams and won many special awards and scholarships at various dance competitions over the years. While in high school Miss Dominique was a member of her high school jazz/contemporary and hip hop dance teams and also had the opportunity to choreograph a contemporary routine for her dance team that was honoured with a choreography award at a competition. Miss Dominique's experience as a choreographer also extended to her high school's musicals productions, where she was responsible for choreographing the dance and transition components.

Miss Dominique is certified as an acro teacher with Acrbatique Acro Dance at the Junior level and is an affiliate member of The Society of Russian Ballet. She currently attends University of Toronto, where she is working towards her Bachelor of Arts. Miss Dominique is excited to be a part of the staff at The Bisland Dance Centre, teaching jazz, tap, ballet, acro, musical theatre and lyrical/contemporary.


“Edz”

Edz Gyamfi

Three-time Full Dance Scholarship recipient at OIP Dance Centre (Toronto ON) and was recently in The Motivating Excellence (IntensiveProgram) series with world renowned Choreographer Rhapsody James, Edz was exposed to dance at an early age by his two oldest brothers. He can remember the days when they would make him watch 1984's Breakin' while jamming out in the basement. His main foundations are hip hop and dancehall/ragga with traces of jazz, salsa and Afro dance foundation within his dancing belt.

Edz has over 6 years of teaching experience at various dance studios and have experience in various comps such as O.U.C.H Ontario University for (Toronto 2nd place winners 2011), Dance wars (Ottawa 2008), Jack of all Styles (Ottawa, Judge) and training (OIP Company 3 year Full Scholarship Recipient) and BDC (NYC). Dancehall KING Ottawa ( 2nd place). His teaching style is very different from studio dance teachers.

He focuses on the history/foundations/technique before hitting the choreography aspect of the dance style.

He's always looking to branch out and share his love of dance with anybody who seeks to learn and grow.

His unique style of hip hop incorporates traces of jazz, contemporary, salsa, and Afro dance.

Edz has worked with some of the most renowned hip hop choreographers and performers in the Canadian Music scene including Danny Davalos Latoya Robinson and Esie Mensah.

Credits Include: Mia Martina; Waka Flocka; Massari; We Day Commercial; Much Music Video Awards 2015; Blake McGrath; TIFF 2016.


“Courtney”

Courtney Odelein

Courtney Odelein’s love of dance began at the age of three with Quill Lake School of Dance. She has been trained under the RAD, ADAPT, CDTA, and NHDA dance syllabus. During high school, she worked with Annie Woods in the jazz/contemporary company Dare to Dance: Instincts. After graduation, Courtney travelled to Vancouver to dance with Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program. Courtney soon moved to Toronto, Ontario and trained with Scholarship Dance Program, Army of Sass, and BOSS Dance Company.

She is a faculty member for Lisa Stevens and Heidi Ford’s Broadway Bound International Dance Convention and Fayez1 Productions with Faye Rauw.

You can see her in videos for artists such as; V Sevani, Wanting Q, Diana Viselli, Ain’t No Love, and Sonder Collective: Human Diaries. She has appeared in numerous shows, events and productions all over Canada, such as, Vancity Project, Urban Alchemy, Tapistry, The GREAT Campaign, Dance Ontario, REVEALED, The Box Presents: Evoke, Julia Tynes, A Night of Sonder and many, many Army of Sass Shows. Her T.V. credits include; Canada Summer Games closing ceremonies, Extra, TSN, Coors Light, the Marilyn Denis Show and CTV.

Miss Odelein is the Co Artistic director of the Army of Sass; Heels Training and Performance Program-Toronto and the Co Artistic Director of SONDER Dance Collective. She has the pleasure of working as head choreographer and back up dancer for recording artist Julia Tynes.

Courtney is also well on her way to becoming a certified tap and jazz instructor with the ADAPT Syllabus and acrodance instructor with the Acrobatique Sylllabus.

Courtney has a genuine love of dancing, teaching and performing and is very grateful to now have the opportunity to lead part of the Army of Sass Community.