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

    Master Instructor / Office Manager

    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.

    Lisa thoroughly enjoys working in Acrobatique's Head Office, communicating with teachers across Canada and abroad about all things AcroDance. She also loves teaching Acro, Jazz, and Contemporary to her local students in Alberta, Canada.

  • Heather

    Heather Idt

    Membership Manager

    Heather is the co-director and owner of Dance Stars Academy in Stratford, PE. She studied dance from the age of three in Calgary, AB where she was born and raised.

    Heather stayed involved in the competitive dance world as a dancer, parent and co-founder of a not-for- profit in Central Alberta until moving to Prince Edward Island with her family in 2007.

    Her background consists of arts administration, events manager and social media manager as a virtual assistant for artists, personal coaches, authors, musicians, web designers and non-profit organizations.

    Heather is excited to combine her knowledge from the administration and dance world and is delighted to be working in a supporting role for the Acrobatique AcroDance family!

  • Andy

    Andy Williams

    Social Media and Graphic Design

    Andy Williams was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and now currently resides in Australia. She began training as a competitive gymnast at a young age, under the direction of 1980 Russian Olympic gold medal winner, Yelena Davydova. Her love for gymnastics soon led down the path of coaching during the later years of her training.

    After excelling in gymnastic and acrobatics coaching for over ten years in Canada and Australia, Andy went on to pursue teacher’s accreditation in dance, and holds memberships to Acrobatique, the Adjudicator’s Alliance, NCCP Gymnastics Coaching, certifications in flexibility/contortion, and Member Protection.

    For the past 16 years, Andy has been teaching professionally, sharing her passion for technique, flexibility, and strength with students all over the globe. She is committed to instilling strong foundations in all students while assisting them on their journeys to becoming incredible artists and people. Andy has proven her skillset with numerous awards and recognition received by students she has worked with at all levels of competition. Most recently, four of her students were selected amongst the Canadian Team to represent Canada at the Dance World Cup in Spain, with her student taking home the gold medal in AcroDance. Through continually challenging and developing each dancer in her care, Andy’s professional goal is to become a premiere acro teacher in the dance industry.

  • Michelle

    Michelle Godin

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    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

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    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.

  • Beth

    Beth Gleeson

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    Beth has extensive training in both gymnastics and dancing. She competed in gymnastics at both provincial and national level competitions and coached gymnastics for many years. She has her level 1 gymnastics coaching certification.

    Beth grew up training and competing in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, musical theatre and acro and obtained her teacher's certification under the British Association of Teachers of Dance ("BATD") in ballet, jazz and tap. Beth started the acro program at the studio where she trained and successfully prepared students for acro examinations under the BATD syllabus. Beth competed in dance for many years, with her acro solos winning numerous awards in Canada and the United States. Beth danced professionally for years, performing in various shows including fashion shows, industrial shows and commercials.

    In university, Beth was a member of the University of Western Ontario 27-time national champion cheerleading team, coached a high school cheerleading team and worked as the head dance instructor for Power Cheerleading Athletics, traveling across Canada teaching cheerleading stunts, dance and tumbling. Beth obtained a business degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at UWO and a law degree from the University of Toronto.

    After practicing law for several years, Beth was thrilled to return to her passion of teaching dance. Beth is the owner and artistic director of Toronto Dance Company. She is very proud of the popularity of the recreational program and the great successes the competitive program has seen, consistently winning both overall and special awards at competitions across Ontario. Beth has attended all levels of Acrobatique Certification, and is very proficient with the Acrobatique syllabus.

  • Wendy

    Wendy Laidlaw

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    Wendy Laidlaw is a Director, Choreographer, Instructor and Adjudicator who shares and celebrates her love and knowledge of dance! She is currently in her 18th season as the Owner/Artistic Director of Just 4 Kicks Academy of Dance in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

    Wendy has been a full stage (Jazz, Acro, Tap) and Ballet member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (C.D.T.A) for 22 years. She also holds her A.D.A.P.T. certification in Jazz and Tap as well as her Advanced certification with Acrobatique AcroDance. Miss Wendy is also a certified Dance Adjudicator holding memberships with the International Dance Adjudicators (I.A.D.A) as well as P.A.A. (Professional Adjudicators Alliance).

    Many of Wendy’s students have had continued success in the dance industry, such as George Brown College, O.I.P., Conteur Dance Company, Music Videos, Disney Cruise Lines, Toronto Blue Jays- J. Crew, Dance Olympus V.I.P., Toronto Rock, Canadian National Jr. Showdance Team 2010/2011 and Jr./Sr. Tap teams 2010/2011/2012 (Germany, and the Canadian National Sr. Ballet, Modern and Jazz teams 2010, 2011, 2013 (Poland).

    Wendy continues to educate herself through several workshops and summer classes travelling to New York City (Broadway Dance Center), Orlando, Las Vegas (Dance Olympus), O.I.P. (Toronto) and attends Triple Threat, Move, and The Dance Project Conventions. She is a firm believer of continued education to provide the best dance instruction possible for her students.

  • Cassiah

    Cassiah Pryor

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    Cassiah is no stranger to the dance community. She has been a very successful performer/ dancer since the age of 2, where she quickly learned that she had a passion for the performing arts. At the age of 13, Cassiah underwent a teaching apprenticeship training program and began teaching dance. She has excelled as a competitive dancer, choreographer and teacher, with her strengths highlighted in Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Musical Theatre and Acro.

    Cassiah has had the privilege of working with National and Provincial level gymnasts across the country choreographing floor routines, beam routines, and creating poise in their overall presentations. She is also the very proud sister of Olympic Gymnasts, Dominique Pegg who competed for team Canada at the 2012 London Olympics.

    Cassiah has obtained her BA Honors in Drama & Communications, Media and Film, as well as her Bachelor of Education teaching diploma. Cassiah has graduated with a gold seal from the ADAPT syllabus teachers training program, as well as the Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus. She is also a touring member of the Dance Attack Workshops staff and faculty and has had the privilege to dance and work with dancers such as; tWitch, Stacey Tookey, Tara Jean Popowich, Cyrus, Jordan Clark and Denise Wall. She has also been very honoured to dance and choreography for multiple special events, short films, fashion shows, and musicals like Cabaret, Legally Blonde, and West Side Story.

    Cassiah has an extensive background in all areas of the performing arts, and over 20 years of experience. She is known for her knowledge of dance, and has won countless awards for her unique and creative choreography. In 2015 she successfully started her own dance company, where she is now able to pass on her knowledge and passion for dance.

  • Darby

    Darby Niemi

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    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.

  • Amanda

    Amanda Hillman

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    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

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Canadian Division

    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.

  • Rachel

    Rachel Maybury

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Australian Division

    Rachel began gymnastics at age 4 & began competing at 6 representing her school at Zone, Regional and State level, winning State Champion at age 11. She studied at Newtown Performing Arts and classes at Brent St. Studios. Rachel gained her Gymnastics and Sports Acrobatics, Acro/Dance Coaching accreditations, as well a Sports Medicine and Advanced First Aid Certificate and has done cheerleading for Canterbury Bulldogs and West Sydney Razorbacks.

    Rachel has toured throughout Australia with Nickelodeon appearing as Dora the Explorer and other characters and has frequently appeared on the NRL Footy Show. She has been teaching and coaching since 2004 and teachers around 200 students a week and brings to an abundance of experience and knowledge to her dance schools.

    To her credit her students have not only placed at Nationals but have also taken out National Champion and National Champions in Elite sections.

    Rachel is not only an Acrobatics teacher she is also a Fire Fighter for Fire and Rescue NSW and a Patient Transport Officer for NSW Heath.

    Rachel's passion for teaching acrobatics strives from the students excitement of achieving their goals, whether it be a forward roll or their first back handspring!

  • Kate

    Kate Matti

    Master Instructor / Examiner / Australian Division

    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.

Vision Behind Acrobatique