The Gold Standard for AcroDance Education in Canada & Abroad

Our mission is to set the standard for Acrobatic Dance through certification programmes; strong, effective, and innovative curriculum; and ongoing educational opportunities which support teachers and students. At Acrobatique, we pride ourselves on safe, efficient, and progressive teaching methods. Each Acrobatique certified instructor is highly qualified to teach and spot acrobatics safely and effectively. Access to quality AcroDance Education is important for every teacher; qualified AcroDance instructors are vital to the success of your students and your studio!

For stronger dancers, for superior technique, for incredible results; Choose Acrobatique!

  • Melissa

    Melissa Klassen

    Founder & Director

    As creator and director of the Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus, Melissa Klassen is the “go to” expert in the field of AcroDance in Canada and abroad. Her modern techniques and fresh approach to Acrobatics have become a game changer in the dance industry. Strong AcroDance training is the competitive edge that dancers are looking for; and is the future of dance studios everywhere

    For over 20 years, Melissa has mentored under several of the industry’s top players to build her career as an expert in AcroDance, safe spotting practices, injury prevention, gymnastics, adjudication, and instructor mentorship. Melissa has extensive experience creating new AcroDance programs from the ground up, for dance studios around the world, and has helped Studio Owners and Instructors from Canada, the U.S, Mexico, China, Indonesia, the Bahamas, the U.K, and Australia. Several studios she has consulted and developed programs for, have had students go on to have exciting and fulfilling professional careers.

    Before creating the Acrobatique Syllabus Melissa served as the Director of AcroDance at Canada's most prestigious performing arts school “The Young Canadians” in Calgary, Alberta, where she created and facilitated the AcroDance program, and mentored young professionals for over 10 years.

    In addition to facilitating the worldwide Acrobatique Syllabus, Melissa created, and is currently the Director for, the department of AcroDance at the renowned athletic sports school Tanbridge Academy, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    Melissa is certified with the Canadian A.D.A.P.T (Jazz/Tap) Syllabus, is Level 3 certified with the N.C.C.P – Gymnastics division, Level 2 N.C.C.P Judging/Adjudicating Certification, Tumbling and Trampoline Level 2, Canadian Child Safety Certification, and has a diploma in Sport Management/Administration with Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.

    With an eye for precision, sharp technical skills, and a passion for mentorship and inspiring others, Melissa Klassen leads the way in the AcroDance industry in Canada and abroad.

  • Lisa

    Lisa Claydon

    Office Manager

    As Acrobatique's Office Manager, Lisa loves working with teachers from around the world; helping them create safe, progressive, and positive Acro Programs in their studios!

    Lisa graduated from the University of Calgary in 2015, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with Distinction, and the Faculty of Arts Silver Medallion in Dance (signifying the highest distinction in scholarship within the Dance Department). Lisa is also a fully qualified and certified ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) Teacher of Dance, and a fully qualified and certified Acrobatique AcroDance Teacher.

    Lisa enjoys exploring multiple outlets within the dance industry. Her recent performance credits include Gravity Dance Company's "4(N)ONE", Sage Theatre's Ignite! Festival, and En Corps Dance Collective's "Lost Kin-ection." She also spent five seasons working with Calaway Park's Entertainment Department in Alberta (Canada), as a performer, leader, and mentor.

    When she's not in the office, Lisa loves teaching Acro, Jazz, and Contemporary to her local students in Alberta, Canada.

  • Michelle

    Michelle Godin

    Course Conductor & Examiner

    Michelle is originally from Ontario, Canada, where she studied various disciplines of dance. Michelle’s AcroDance training began at the age of 8, under the tutelage of Ida Sauve (CDTA Acrobatic examiner and life member). She performed and competed in AcroDance at an International level and was also a member of her high school gymnastics team. In 2007 she passed the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association (Ontario branch) Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced acrobatic exams with honours. This led to completing her teacher’s exam in 2008 and allowed her the opportunity to contribute to the revisions made to the syllabus at that time. She also holds Acrobatic certification through Dance Masters of America and is a fully certified Acrobatique AcroDance Teacher and Examiner.

    With over 20 years of dance experience, she brings to her work a passion and enthusiasm that enlightens all students she comes across. She began teaching at an early age and eventually became the Assistant Director of her hometown studio, where she gained experience teaching all age groups and was challenged to create choreography for all levels. After taking part in several local art projects and co-directing a studio, she has made the move west to Calgary where she is enjoying everything the dance community has to offer. Michelle has been a performing member of ‘O2 The Dance Company’ since Fall 2011 and has been involved in all performances and events since. She also performs with the entertainment company ‘IllFX’ and travels regularly to teach workshops, choreograph and adjudicate dance competitions throughout North America.

    Michelle loves sharing her passion and is a very important member of the progressive team at Acrobatique AcroDance.

  • Dana

    Dana Throop

    Marker & Examiner

    Dana Throop has been teaching recreational and competitive dance programs for several years, in all genres, across South Western Ontario, Canada. She teaches mathematics and Healthy Active Living (Phys.Ed) by day, and recreational and competitive acrobatic dance, jazz, tap and musical theatre by night. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying sports, soccer, horseback riding, and curling up with a good book.

    Dana has an honours degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario, a diploma in Developmental Service Work with a specialist in Education/Educational Assistance, and a Bachelors of Education from Queen’s University. She has participated in many different workshops pertaining to different genres of education and coaching, and varying approaches to learning styles and learning disabilities.

    As a former dancer, Dana participated in several shows, demonstrations, and competitions throughout South Western Ontario with the Burford Dancers, Waterloo Academy of Dance, Dance Stop, and the University of Western Ontario, and was also invited to try-out for the first Raptors Dance Pak.

    Once Dana discovered Acrobatique, she has been “all-in”, and has never looked back. The training provided by the Acrobatique curriculum has allowed Dana’s local students grow tremendously as acro dancers, improving in all areas, and genres of dance, especially in strength and control. Dana’s students thoroughly enjoy the Acrobatique program as much as she does.

    Dana’s extensive experience in the art of AcroDance, her passion for the arts in all forms, and her enjoyment of passing on her love and knowledge to students and teachers, makes her an excellent team-member with the Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus.

  • Amanda

    Amanda Hillman


    Amanda is thrilled to be a part of the Acrobatique Team and can’t wait to share her passion for AcroDance.

    She is from Calgary, Alberta and has trained since a young age in styles such as ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and AcroDance. Her main focus is teaching AcroDance but she also enjoys teaching other styles. Her students range from junior to advanced acro dancers and have continued to receive top marks at competitions across Canada.

    Amanda is not only an advanced level Acrobatique instructor but is also fully certified with A.D.A.P.T (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers). Amanda is currently attending Mount Royal University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education majoring in Athletic Therapy. She is excited to be able to apply her knowledge of injury prevention and care, healthy habits for athletes, and proper kinematics of movement to her AcroDance classes. Once she finishes her degree she hopes to become a Certified Athletic Therapist through CATA and also wishes to continue sharing her passion and love of AcroDance.

    She is a strong supporter of the Acrobatique syllabus because the tricks build upon each other throughout the levels much like building blocks. This provides a safe and effective way to progress. Amanda focuses on proper technique and safe training which is noticeable in her students.

  • Shannon

    Shannon Charland


    Shannon was a recreational and competitive teacher in jazz, tap, acrobatics, and hip-hop for over 10 years. As a child she danced competitively and has always had a love for acrobatics, so could not be more excited to share this passion with others.

    Shannon is also an elementary school teacher and has her Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University, as well as her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Waterloo. She is ADAPT certified in both tap and jazz, and is a fully certified Junior, Intermediate, and Advanced Acrobatique Teacher.

    Shannon has traveled to Germany on the Canadian National Tap Team, and has also toured as a V.I.P. For Dance Olympus/ Art Stone as a teen. She is the Assistant Artistic Director of at Just 4 Kicks Academy of Dance, and shares her passion for learning and teaching with all of her students.

  • Darby

    Darby Niemi


    Darby is very excited to pursue her passion and join the Acrobatique team as a Master Instructor and Examiner.

    Darby has been very successful as a dancer and gymnast from a very young age. She was selected to represent Canada as a dancer at the World Dance Symposium, shining as a performer and Acrobat. She later began her journey as a Instructor and Choreographer. Darby excels as a teacher in all genres especially AcroDance, and has won several awards for her choreography, with students receiving top marks for their AcroDance at competitions and events throughout Northern Alberta. She is extremely dedicated to the art of AcroDance as well as providing a strong technical foundation for her students. Darby is fully certified in the ADAPT syllabus for Jazz and Tap, and is an Advanced level Acrobatique Instructor. Darby’s love and passion for teaching and choreographing is reflected through her students; she focuses on strong technique and safe training practices for her students and has produced several skilled Acro dancers because of it.

  • Kate

    Kate Matti


    Kate Matti is an Acrobatic and Dance Instructor, with a flair for bringing out the best in her students, through her unique training style, and her choreography brilliance. As a student, Kate trained in Sports Aerobics, under the FIG gymnastics banner; competing at state, national and international level cheerleading; while completing coaching courses, and teaching various levels of students in both of these genres. She commenced her tuition of sports aerobics as a senior student, where she won the Australian national gold medal for her division, and gold in international level cheerleading. A highlight of her career was training and performing with the Sydney Aerial Theatre Association, performing on the silks and hoops. Miss Kate gained her strong passion for dance once she commenced training at a prestigious dance academy on the Sunshine Coast, eventually teaching at the studio, as well as training for every competition she could. After completing high school, she went on to pursue Musical Theatre at the Australian Dance Performance Institute, achieving outstanding results in singing and performance composition, and performing in the Sydney Opera House finals.

    Kate’s passion for teaching was always with her through her journey as a young performer, and from there she began using her broad knowledge of all things performance, and focused on teaching and creating acrobatic-dance pieces, which has been an uncommon thing in Australia. She loves the idea of blending the technique and fluidity of ballet and dance, with the gravity defying stunts involved in acrobatic works.

    Miss Kate’s students and work speak for itself, and she has become a pioneer of the new acrobatic-dance movement sweeping Australia.

    Miss Kate is so thrilled to continue creating and inspiring correct acrobatic-dance technique through the Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus, Teacher’s Certification, and Student Examinations, and looks forward to seeing more and more technically sound AcroDance grace Australia’s studios and stages.

  • Lexy

    Lexy Cox

    Lexy is a diverse performer, choreographer and instructor specializing in a variety of dance styles. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s BFA program, majoring in Theatre Performance and Dance. Her additional dance certifications include, the Canadian Dance Teachers' Association, the Performing Arts Educators of Canada, Alixa Flexibility, and Acrobatic Arts Canada. Lexy is also a qualified dance adjudicator with the Professional Adjudicators Alliance.

    As a choreographer Lexy has worked across Canada and the US on projects such as Mini Pop Kids, Mirvish’s Matilda (Travelling Stage Artist Educator), Mirvish Musical Theatre Summer Intensive, Shrek The Musical (Rainbow Stage), Dance Attack, One Night Only Musical (Dora Award Winner- Now Audience Choice), Port Hope Capitol Theatre Company, New York City's Theatre Arts Centre, City Dance Corps, CNE Rising Star Talent Competition, Illuminite Toronto, Bravo Academy, The Players Company, and Google Learning Mini Series.

    Her performance credits include; Bound For Broadway (NYC Theatre Arts Center), A Chorus Line (Rose Theatre), Cory Lee’s Cruel Intentions Music Video, ET Canada, Much Music’s Best Dance Crew Commercial (New Music Live), Madonna Bazaar (Opera House), High School Musical 2 live on Stage (Jonathan Randall Productions), Peter Pan (Royal City Musical Theatre Vancouver), as Velma Kelly in Chicago (Treehouse Theatre), and as Bombalurina in Cats (Stanley Theatre Vancouver).

    Currently Lexy is the Artistic Director of Full Out Dance, the Acro Coordinator for Dance Attack Acro Workshops, Coordinating World Performers Canada National Dance Team, working in association with Acrobatique, and adjudicating competitions/ guest teaching for dance companies across Canada.

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