Grand River Academy Of Dance

Grand River Academy of Dance is home to a team of talented and dedicated teachers who are thrilled to pass their love of dance on to our students.

See below to learn more about each of our teachers.

Miss Laura

Laura Ramsay is the proud Owner and Artistic Director of Grand River Academy of Dance.

Miss  Laura began her dance training an early age with Alda Heniss and Heather Taylor studying Ballet, Tap and Jazz. She holds a Bachelor of Education from Brock University, a Diploma in Communications from Conestoga College and is a member of the Executive Board for the Performing Arts Educators of Canada, through which she continues her dance training in all forms of dance.  She is also the Chair of the committee for Studio Owners and Administrators, bringing people together to share best practices and ideas.

Miss Laura is also a Mentor for the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies for the Royal Academy of Dance.

Miss Laura is an adjudicator and has judged at various Dance Competitions throughout Ontario and Quebec.  Miss Laura has been a guest teacher at various Secondary Schools in Cambridge teaching Hip Hop and Jazz for Grade 9 and 10 Phys Ed.

Miss Laura has a vision for a fun and open learning environment and works hard to maintain that atmosphere focusing on Equality, Honesty, Respect, Trust and Kindness.  Miss Laura has been a part of the GRAD Family as a teacher and office manager since 2004 and took over as the Owner in 2014.  She is very excited to pass along her passion for dance to her students and their families.

Emily Sutton has been dancing since she was 4 years old, and has been with Grand River Academy of Dance ever since it opened in 2001.

Emily has trained in the styles of ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, tap and musical theatre. She has completed her Intermediate Ballet Exam with the Royal Academy of Dance.

She has also shared her love for teaching, and for dance by guest teaching for the YMCA, the City of Cambridge, Galt Collegiate Institute and at various child care centres across the region.

Emily is passionate about working with children, and has a strong understanding of children’s development. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Child, Youth and Family studies. She is also a registered Early Childhood Educator.

Emily has loved being a part of the GRAD family for so long, and is excited to continue to share her passion for dance with all of her students.

Kritsten Bowen

Kristen Bowen is a dynamic dance instructor and creative choreographer. She has been a part of the dance industry for the last 20 years, starting out as a competitive dancer from Brampton, ON at Deborah Thomson’s School of Dance. There, she trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, Lyrical and Contemporary. While with Deborah Thomson she had the opportunity to work with many outstanding choreographers and teachers such as Carolyn Keefer, Starsha Dalmer, Faye Rauw and Tiffany McLachlan.

Kristen also had the opportunity to attend Mayfield Secondary School in their Regional Arts Program, majoring in Dance. At Mayfield she studied Ballet, Jazz and Modern. After high school, Kristen started teaching and choreographing right away; first, at Deborah Thomson’s School of Dance and then, in 2014, joined the team at Grand River Academy of Dance.

Continuing her education, Kristen became a certified A.D.A.P.T. teacher in 2016 and has completed her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance.

Kristen is continuing to develop by working towards her Acro certification with Acrobatique. Kristen has also become a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance and Dance Educators International. Kristen is excited to continue to share her passion with the students at GRAD.

Payton Carvalho has been dancing since the age of four with consistent training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Pointe, Hip-Hop, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. She credits her training as both a dancer & teacher to the AnnaMarie Oliver School of Dance, mentored by Mrs. Oliver.

As a dancer, Payton has received top marks in all CDTA Tap & Jazz examinations along with all RAD Ballet Examinations.

After high school, Payton moved to New York City to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, on scholarship. While in school, Payton had the opportunity to train with top professionals in the industry at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and various master classes & workshops.

She is also a certified barre fitness instructor, working for barre3 in Toronto.

Payton’s passion for dance translates into her classes and choreography. She is excited to continue to work with the students at GRAD!

Stephanie has been dancing for more than twenty years and has studied many styles. Stephanie graduated from the dance program at York University in 2014 and now holds a BFA with honours. She is also a certified teacher with the Society of Russian Ballet and with Acrobatic Arts.

During her training, Stephanie achieved great success in dance competitions, most notably becoming the World Champion in the Ballet Duo category in 2007 and 2009. Stephanie has danced professionally in shows around the GTA, including Panamania in 2015 for Emmy Award winning choreographer Debra Brown. Stephanie is the co-founder/director of Forma Contemporary Dance, an online-based dance project.

She has been teaching for more than ten years and her students have won numerous overall and special awards at dance competitions throughout Ontario.

Stephanie is excited to sharing her love of dance with her students at Grand River Academy of Dance!

Miss Carrie has had a passion for dance and teaching for as long as she can remember. From her days at McCarthey School of Dance she was trained in many different styles of dance since she was 3 years old.

As she got older she began to get amazing opportunities in her community choreographing with many different ages of students. From the strict knowledge of her training she believes in the value of going deep into basic technique to later master big and brighter dance moves.

She is so excited to continue her journey at Grand River Academy of Dance and can’t wait to welcome new students to her dance family! She is up for any challenge this year brings us. With smile and some positivity we will make this year amazing.

Julia Renner started dancing at Grand River Academy of Dance when she was three years old, and has continued ever since.

She has trained in the styles of ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, acro, hip hop and musical theatre, and has danced on GRAD’s competitive team since 2011. Julia has completed seven levels of ballet examinations with the Royal Academy of Dance, including the Intermediate Exams.

Julia has participated in both local and touring casts of Ballet Jörgen’s The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition. She has choreographed for projects outside of the studio as well, including high school productions of Rock of Ages, Beauty and The Beast and most recently Annie. Julia is so excited to be on the team at Grand River Academy of Dance, and to share her love of dance with the community.