Denise Lester

Denise Lester Faculty Denise Lester Dance Academy Pickering Ontario

Denise started teaching at age fourteen when her teacher became sick and she helped out at the studio.When she was sixteen she received her first qualification as a teacher in tap and became a member of the B.A.T.D.Denise now holds a full life membership in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern.She is a founding member of BATD competition and sits on the Internal Committee Board for the Toronto district.Many dancers who Denise has trained have gone on to perform on Broadway in shows such as Crazy For You, Candide, Contact, The Look Of Love, Damn Yankees, Fosse, and Pippin.On Toronto and Stratford stages in Guys and Dolls, Hello Dolly, andThe Producers.Performed and choreographed for movies such as Death to Smoochie, the award winning “Chicago”, Blues Brothers 2000, Class of 84, The Tuxedo.Her students are Argo Cheerleaders, members of the Raptors Dance Pack, performing and choreographing for Disney, Cruise Ships and Canada’s Wonderland.“For eighteen years running Canada’s Wonderland produced a large dance show for the park.Our dancers were hired every year.A record unprecedented by any other dance studio in Ontario” proclaims Denise.Every year students of the DLDA complete their teaching qualifications and many of them have opened dance studios or teach for other studios.A large percentage of the dance teachers now teaching in Pickering/Ajax are alumni’s of Denise’s, a fact that she is very proud of.“At a recent dance competition that we attended 13 out of the 23 dance teachers there were students on mine.It was one of my proudest moments” Denise explains.

Denise teaches and choreographs every age from 3 year old and up. Rarely is there a competitive year that Denise does not receive a choreographers award.She has choreographed for La Senza, Brown’s Shoes, the CNE, Eluck Productions, Sick Kids Foundation, Diabetes Association, Carol Forest Productions and the Eaton’s Centre.“I love that these shows give my young students an opportunity to experience the professional stage” Denise says.  For the first fourteen years of the DLDA Denise was the only teacher.By this time her advanced students were now becoming qualified BATD teachers themselves.Denise chose the best and Suzie and Wendy became the first faculty members of the Denise Lester Dance Academy.