Bios

Emily Cainen is excited to be joining the ladies of thirtySomething again this season! Emily began dancing at the age of three at Halifax Dance and is an alumnus of its Intensive Training Program, YOung COmpany, and Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker. While completing her Bachelor of Music Degree, Emily was a member of the Varsity Dance Team at Mount Allison University. As a member of the team, Emily got to experience the competitive side of dance with the highlight team moment being competing at Dance Worlds in Walt Disney World Florida as the Team Canada Hip Hop representatives. Now happily home in Nova Scotia, Emily is a high school school band and drama teacher, who squeezes in some Zumba, yoga, and surfing on the side. Emily would like to thank the TSDC ladies for being amazing, her mom, sister and friends for always supporting her dance dreams, and her boyfriend for putting up with her singing show tunes at top volume all the time. Big love, enjoy the show!

Christine Christian has been dancing with TSDC since 2008. A mother of one, former science nerd and RN by day, she is a musical diva by night… or afternoon on the weekends. Christine has also performed at the Pond Playhouse with the Theatre Arts Guild in Beauty and the Beast. Christine just cannot get enough of singing and dancing, mostly at the same time. Raised on the small island of Gozo, Malta, Christine was part of several theatre groups as a teenager. She has been training in jazz and modern dance since then and at Halifax Dance and Maritime Dance Academy here in Nova Scotia. Christine moved to Halifax in 2001 to attend Dalhousie and hasn’t left since, being attracted to the arts scene of the city. Christine also plays the piano, guitar and harmonica and enjoys having jam sessions with her friends and hosting or performing in open mics, especially when a fundraiser and writing her own songs are concerned. Since graduating from university for the third time and becoming a pediatric registered nurse, she has  a fresh outlook on life and has been diving back into her favorite activities to make wonderful memories with her daughter, family and friends.

Stephanie Craig started dancing when she was five and quit when she was six. Somewhere around the age of nine she was inspired by a classmate’s dance recital and gave it a second chance. She started training at Maritime Dance Academy in a Teen Jazz class and quickly found herself studying jazz, tap, ballet and eventually modern for 13 years and performing with the Maritime Dance Performance Group for five seasons. Stephanie shared her love of dance through five years of teaching for HRM Recreation in Sackville. Stephanie is thrilled to be hitting the stage for the fifth year with the amazing TSDC dancers. Love to family, friends and hubby, John – thank you for your support.

Laurianne Desrosiers’s first attempt at dancing wasn’t conclusive; walking around the stage being a garbage bag while others were being the “homeless people” wasn’t fun at all. Her mom registered her at another studio the next year and she fell in love! She danced jazz and tap until the age of 18 at École de danse Maureen MacDonald in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, participating in many competitions in Ontario and Quebec. She then had to stop due to CEGEP and University. She started teaching jazz to an adult group when she was 21, which was a blast! But she had to stop when her boyfriend, who is in the military, was posted to Halifax. It took a year after moving before she heard that TSDC existed – thanks Stacey! When she asked her to join the group for the summer class, she was so happy! Working full time, studying part time and taking care of her two fur baby girls wasn’t enough – she had to start dancing again!

Melanie Dumaresq started dancing at the ripe old age of 13 in the basement of Studley Gym. The dancing bug took hold and since then she’s broadened her repertoire to jazz, musical theatre and contemporary. Melanie has her Massage Therapy diploma, which does come in handy once in a while dancing at this age… although these days Melanie is a stay-at-home mom to William two-and-a-half years, and Finn, one year. Lately Melanie has been doing a lot of choreography and is pretty sure her boys will only know how to count to eight, but will be well versed in ball changes and jazz hands.  Melanie has choreographed for PushPull Dance (Toronto), Theatre Arts Guild, JL Ilsley High School and of course TSDC. Many, many thanks to the ladies for taking me back and letting me lumber around the stage post baby.

Melissa Geddes is thrilled to join the ladies of TSDC and to be dancing again. Melissa started dancing at the age of five and her passion for dance only continued to grow. Melissa danced in the Intensive Training Program and performed with the Maritime Dance Performance Group. As the former Assistant Director at Maritime Dance Academy, Melissa taught in both the Children’s Program and the Intensive Training Programs. She continued to dance, as well teach, while achieving her Bachelor of Commerce and HR Certificate from Saint Mary’s University. She left the dance world to join the family real estate business where she is the Managing Associate Broker at Keller Williams Select Realty and part of the top group in the office. Melissa is a proud member of the Agent Leadership Counsel and the chairperson of the Kindness Works Charity Committee.

Growing up in Halifax, dance has always been a big part of Corinne Hartlen’s life. She started training in ballet, tap, jazz and modern at Maritime Dance Academy at age three. With organizational and time management skills most can only dream of, it’s no surprise that she was able to balance her love of dance with the many other extra-curricular activities in which she took part. Her passion, talent and involvement in dance continued, and after many hours in the studio, eventually led her to New York City, where she had the opportunity to take classes at the Broadway Dance Centre. She recalls “the best moment of her life” as when she saw her hip hop idol, Usher, on stage in Montreal – both proof that hip hop and dance remain a big part of her soul today! TSDC has rekindled her love for dancing and given her the opportunity to perform with new and old friends she’s met along her dance journey.

Kitchen-dancing with her dad, an unhealthy obsession with the movie ‘Stayin’ Alive’, and performing in high-school musicals were formative experiences for Kate Hayter, a self-confessed dance-junkie. Now her kitchen dancing involves her husband and salsa partner for life, Christopher and their twin babies. Dance took a back seat to real life while she got her M.A. at Dalhousie University and then graduated top of her class from the photography/digital imaging program at NSCC. Kate is a full-time wedding photographer and mother. Kate would like to thank all the TSDC members for their continued fab-tacularness, and for making the creation process as much fun as the performances.

Sue Healy began dancing at the old age of 14. Shortly after starting with one teen jazz class, she became fully immersed in ballet and tap. She has also trained in modern, hip-hop, African, Irish step dance, belly dance and salsa. Starting salsa classes resulted in Sue finding her husband, Jeff. When she is not concocting chaotic creations in the kitchen, Sue spends her time dancing and choreographing with TSDC, of which she is a founding member. Her choreographic strength is modern interpretive, where nobody really notices her lack of rhythm. Outside of dance, she enjoys camping, eating and making a fool of herself. Four years ago, Sue performed on stage at eight months pregnant and followed suit two years after that… and two years after that! Her stage babies are five-year-old Liam, three-year-old Olivia and 11-month-old Nestor.

Mary-Ann Hudec has been dancing since age eight, beginning with ballet. When she returned to dance after taking a break for undergraduate university, Medical School and Residency, she expanded her styles of dance to include jazz, modern, and tap. As anyone who knows her can attest, she loves performing and has appeared in many Jazz Bliss shows as part of the adult recreational programme at Halifax Dance before cofounding TSDC in 2004. She is encouraged by the great group of ladies around her and her very supportive friends. A special thanks to her wonderful husband, Rob, and fabulous children Ian and Olivia, who have all participated in some way with TSDC productions over the years. They put up with the crazy schedules and her craziness around show time. She also wants to give a big shout out to Adrian Veinot, the best personal trainer in Halifax who, for nine years now, has kept her strong enough to do all this dancing!

Maya Kovacs is delighted to be joining the wonderful ladies of thirtySomething this season. She is a graduate of the Halifax Dance Intensive Training Program, and alumni of the YOung COmpany and Symphony Nova Scotia’s Nutcracker. Maya is now wrapping up her fourth and final year of her Bachelors of Science degree and is very excited to be graduating this year. Maya has been twirling around since the age of 3 and calling it “dancing”, and she is thrilled to be back at it after a hiatus due to her studies. Maya would like to thank all of the TSDC gals, family, and friends for their support and encouragement as well as a special thank you to Andrea for the introduction to the group. Enjoy the show!

Having monopolized the family record player from the age of four, Jennifer McDonald‘s parents suggested dance lessons in her preteen years. She focused primarily on jazz and was a member of a dance school performance group in Miramichi, N.B. for several years. After a seven-year hiatus from dance to pursue both a mathematics and mechanical engineering degree from Dalhousie University, Jennifer settled in Halifax full-time and began classes at Halifax Dance. She has performed with and choreographed for thirtySomething since its conception in 2004, and with the support of her husband Glenn, has been able to find the time to continue dancing after the birth of her sons Sean in November 2008 and Owen in December 2010.

Kathryn (Appleton) O’Neill was inspired to dance at an early age, but it wasn’t until joining the ladies of TSDC that she truly began to appreciate the love of dance. Beginning with many years in ballet, she was a founding member of Coastal Dance Theatre in Dartmouth. Later, she discovered the flirty styles and infectious rhythms of Salsa dance and Latin ballroom competitions. After more than two decades of dance, Kathryn joined TSDC in 2009. She knew the group for their unique style and energy, but she found so much more. It has been seven seasons with TSDC and Kathryn continues to be inspired and humbled by their grace, intelligence and determination; both on stage and off. Thank you for coming to our show and for supporting us in doing what we love. Most of all, thanks to her amazing husband Jeff, and their “big boy” Miles for just being awesome.

Stacey Robichaud’s dancing days began at the age of three with her mother’s desperate attempt for her to burn off some energy and help improve her coordination. At age 12 she discovered jazz and realized that she loved performing – costumes, make-up, an audience – what could be better? Today, she is still dancing and loving every minute of it. Stacey performed in Halifax Dance’s Jazz Bliss for several years before taking a break to become a Mom. Stacey officially joined TSDC on stage in 2005 (but was given honorary membership into the founding crew due to being nine months pregnant at TSDC’s inaugural show). Stacey is grateful for having all of the fabtacular TSDC ladies in her life (both past and present). Stacey is very proud to be a Dance Mom to her kids Chloe and Ben. She couldn’t be happier that they are carrying on with her love of dance – congrats to both on a great dance season!

Andrea Smillie started dancing at age eight, after her younger and braver sister had tried it out first. Her love of ballet was immediate and kept her busy and out of trouble… more or less. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from York University many moons ago. After a long break to raise three children, and go back to school, she rekindled her love affair with dance when she joined TSDC. She feels very fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful group of passionate dancers and wants to thank all the ladies of TSDC for their bravery and dedication. She also thanks her family who have been her biggest supporters. Enjoy the show. I hope the joy is infectious.