Courtney Hartleib – Owner/Director/Instructor Born in Windsor, Ontario, Courtney is a Dancer, Instructor and Performer as well as the Owner and Director of The Dance Academy in Windsor, Ontario. She began her journey of dance at age five when she enrolled in her first ballet dance class. Courtney has since studied such disciplines as Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Theatre, Hip Hop, and Modern dance. She began to further her training by attending dance conventions across North America first as a student and now as an instructor. At the age of fifteen Courtney entered the teaching world as an assistant dance instructor. By age sixteen she had her own classroom teaching students from ages two and up in all disciplines of dance, in recreational dance as well as competitive dance programs. Courtney attended Wayne State University where she studied Psychology and Dance. As a student at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Courtney had the opportunity to study dance with the highest calibre of professional dance faculty members from around the world including the Czech Republic and the United States. Since the age of nineteen, Courtney has been training throughout the state of Michigan, attending workshops at Oakland University, Cecchetti Ballet Seminars, and at the Detroit Dance Studio. In her many years of training, Courtney has studied the Al Gilbert Jazz and Tap syllabus, as well as the Cecchetti Ballet Syllabus, reaching the professional level. Courtney has been honoured to be in classes with such esteemed choreographers and teachers such as Al Gilbert, Enid Ricardeau, Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Desiree Robbins, Brian Friedman, Nick Drago, Cory Finn, Cris Judd, Laurieann Gibson, and many other amazing talents. Courtney has also trained with the Broadway Dance Centre Faculty at Teacher Workshops and the Radio City Rockettes in New York City. Performing has always played a major role in Courtney’s life. Always performing in recitals and local shows, Courtney played a business woman and tap dancer in The Afters’ Never Going Back to OK music video. She is a proud member of Dance Educators of America, having just completed her Level 1 in the summer of 2016. She is also an affiliate member of the American Academy of Ballet. Courtney is very excited to be able to share the gift of dance and believes strongly in the importance the role of arts plays in one’s life. She believes everyone should have the opportunity to experience the arts on some level. Dance has taught Courtney many life lessons that she has been able to apply to her everyday life. Without dance, Courtney could not imagine what her life would be like. She wants to pass her love of dance along to other aspiring dancers.
Doug Hartleib, B.A. – Associate Executive Director
Nicolette LeBlanc – Dance Instructor Nico has always had a passion for dance. Ever since she watched Savion Glover tap dance his way down Sesame Street, dance was all she wanted to do. She has been learning various styles of dance since she was five years old. Starting with Jazz, Tap and Ballet then quickly moving into Hip Hop, Hawaiian, Swing, Salsa and more. She started teaching at her high school Ecole Secondaire l’Essor, when she was 16 years old to start the school’s very first dance program. She has performed in many cities around the world including Toronto, Calgary and Cancun. She has been working as a professional dancer for over 10 years and hopes to help others who love dance, to do the same.
Jillian Parent, B.A., B.Ed., RECE – Dance Instructor Jillian Parent, a 25 year old Windsor native, has always had a passion for dance. She started dancing when she was 7 years old with her first tap class. Year after year she fell in love with the art and wanted to do more. As she got older Jillian explored more areas of dance and just couldn’t seem to get enough. By the time she was 20 she had training in all areas of dance including tap, ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, and pointe. Tap will always be her most favourite! In high school Jillian was a choreographer for her dance classes, recitals, as well as the competitive dance team for 3 years! After being professionally trained, Jillian turned to beauty pageants to continue this drive through and even after university. After being involved in the pageant for several years, Jillian was crowned Miss Tecumseh in the summer of 2014, where she shared her love of tap with the Town of Tecumseh audience as her chosen talent. Soon after that she was crowned Miss Canada Galaxy 2016. Jillian was given the opportunity to represent Canada at the International Galaxy Pageant in Orlando, Florida. Today Jillian is the Director of the Miss Tecumseh Pageant and is eager to continue her legacy by training young girls on how to have confidence in themselves, become community role models by volunteering for local charities, and how to never give up on their dreams. Jillian graduated from the University of Windsor as a Concurrent ECE student in 2014 with a Bachelors of Education degree, Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Psychology, and an Early Childhood Education diploma. Jillian is an official Ontario Certified Teacher and Registered Early Childhood Educator. Another passion of Jillian’s is teaching. She loves inspiring children of all ages to fulfill their upmost potential. She currently works at Lakeview Montessori in Lakeshore as an assistant teacher, and hopes to one day have her own classroom within her hometown as well. Jillian is excited to combine both of her passions as part of The Dance Academy team and cannot wait to see what this year has to offer! It’s going to be awesome!
Josie Richards, M.A. – Administrative Assistant Originally from the Greater Toronto Area, Josie Richards is a 24 year old, graduate student who recently rediscovered her love for the performance arts. She has received her Master of Arts in Philosophy in 2017 as well as an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with Thesis and Philosophy in 2015 all from the University of Windsor.Josie’s family has strong roots in the performance arts, with all of her immediate family being highly involved in aspects such as dance, theater, acting and singing. When she was eight, Josie hopped on the family bandwagon and started dancing. She initially started out with jazz and tap before turning to more unconventional avenues like cheer-leading and figure skating. It wouldn’t be until she was a young adult, that Josie would revisit dance in a new way. In 2014, after moving to Windsor for University, Josie joined The Dance Academy as an adult student to learn the art of ballet. This form of dance was not new to Josie, as her mother had danced en pointe for many years prior, however, this was the first time she had taken an interest to it. The progress she has made so far, has been inspiring. In only three short years, Josie has been able to traverse the strict barriers of age and get her very first pair of pointe shoes. She hopes, that her story will be an inspiration for any adult who wants to give dance a try but believes themselves to be too old to begin.