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Meet Our Teachers

Jessica Harrison

Owner/Director

Through her years teaching Jazz, Tap, Acro, Contemporary, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre, Jessica has always maintained that hard work and dedication should be accompanied by one thing – Fun! 

Jessica trained competitively growing up and has since spent the last 16 years spreading her love of dance with studios in KW, Stratford, and most recently The Listowel School of Dance. She majored in dance at Eastwood Collegiate in their Integrated Arts Program and was requested to teach Jazz to the dance major program as a para-professional. 

She continues her dance education by attending various workshops throughout Canada and the United States, including classes at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City, and most recently became certified through Acrobatic Arts and Alixa Flexibility.

Her passion for teaching shows both through the smiling faces of students coming out of class and the numerous overall high score and choreography awards she has received over the past 16+ years. Jessica’s mutually respectful and inviting classroom environment promotes strong relationships both on and off the stage. Jessica firmly believes that every day is a learning experience. With determination and a smile you can achieve anything!

Debra Jones

Ballet Instructor

Debra has been dancing, singing and acting since the age of three.

Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ms. Jones trained at, among

other studios, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and successfully completed

many jazz, tap and ballet exams in RAD, Al Gilbert Syllabus, CDTA,

and ADAPT. She won numerous awards at competitions and went

on to study at York University, finally obtaining a BA from University

of Manitoba. She is also a certified gymnastics coach through NCCP,

an Examiner, Mentor and Registered Teacher of the Royal Academy

of Dance, and a licensed ‘Silver Swans’ instructor. Debra has also

studied both Cecchetti and Vaganova ballet syllabi and has entered

candidates in Russian and RAD ballet exams with excellent results.

Debra has been a triple threat professional in theatre, television and

film with credits that include ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Showboat’, ‘Pajama

Game’, ‘Kismet’, ‘Funny Girl’, ‘Kiss Me Kate’, ‘Amadeus’, as well as

many commercials and variety specials on CBC.

Working as a choreographer of many semi-professional and

professional theatres, Ms. Jones has helped direct shows for

Winnipeg Light Opera Society, Regina Lyric Light Opera, Theatre

Regina, and Brantford Theatre Company.

She now teaches at various studios in southern Ontario, and also

free-lances as a competition adjudicator, theatrical choreographer

and workshop leader.

Many of Ms. Jones’ former students have won national and

international recognition in ballet and other dance forms, and many

have gone on to professional careers, both in dance and dance-

related fields.

Debra hopes to continue to pass on her knowledge and experience to

many more talented young people for years to come!

Amanda Damaren

Instructor

Amanda is a passionate actor/dancer/singer rooted in Kitchener Waterloo. As a

resident, she was actively involved in community theatre by sharing her expertise

and energy with young people in schools and non-profit organizations. Amanda

Damaren is a graduate of the Eastwood Collegiate Integrated Arts Program under

the direction of Janis Price. She graduated with an Arts diploma majoring in Dance

as well as an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Eastwood Collegiate provided

Amanda with a foundation for dance, theatre and vocal training as well as

opportunities to perform lead roles such as Jan in the musical Grease, as well as

dance along side professional modern companies including Ballet Jorgen, Toronto

Dance Theatre and David Earl.

As a resident of Kitchener-Waterloo Amanda trained with Confidance Studio,

Kitchener, Quinte Ballet School, Belleville, O.I.P, Toronto and Metro Movement,

Toronto. As a competitive dancer, Amanda achieved several awards including Top

Soloist, Overall Highest Score and Dance Odyssey’s Favourite Dancer. Furthermore,

Amanda has received recognition for her choreography and creativity from several

dance competitions.

Amanda recently lived in Vancouver BC where she graduated with her Bachelor of

Fine Arts Degree at Simon Fraser University. Amanda is highly trained and has

worked with numerous choreographers such as: Rob Kitsos, Judith Garay, Chengxin

Wei, Megan Walker-Straight and Leslie Telford. Amanda also spent time training

under TwoFourSeven hip-hop company where she worked under Carlo Atienza,

Roberta Bierman and Jerome Esplana. She has competed at various hip-hop

competitions around the world such as: World of Dance, Vegas, Body Rock, San

diego and Artists Emerge, Seattle. Amanda has an extraordinary vision for

improvisation, collaboration and creation in dance and is excited to continue and

share her work outside of University.

Amanda’s credits include Suicide Squad, Mr. Young, Canada’s Got Talent, The LA

Complex, Hellcats, Baxter, Being Erica, Camp Rock 2, High School Musical, Canadian

Idol and The Stratford Festival. She is proud to have worked with Romina D’Ugo and

and David Ayer in Suicide Squad, Luther Brown in his stage production On My Way

Home, Leon Rubin in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Measure for

Measure and Amy Wright on the set of Being Erica and Get Up ‘N Move.

Amanda’s goal is to continue collaborating with as many aspiring and innovative

artists as possible and looks forward to extending her passion for dancing, singing

and acting in many further artistic endeavors.

Sammy Damaren

Instructor

Sammy has been dancing since the age of 3 at ConfiDance Studio and became a competitive dancer at the age of 5. Sammy is trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro, Modern and Musical Theatre. She has been teaching and sharing her passion for Dance at ConfiDance and throughout KW for the past 10 years. Sammy Damaren is a graduate of the Eastwood Collegiate Integrated Arts Program where she studied under the direction of Janis Price while pursuing her passion and expanding her knowledge of the Performing Arts.

She then attended the University of Waterloo, graduating with an honours degree in Peace & Conflict Studies and a minor in Business. At the University of Waterloo, Sammy continued to dance on the competitive dance team and was a part of the leadership team, choreographing and teaching her fellow team members. Through Sammy’s studies she was able to travel to places such as the UK, Cambodia & India where she further expanded her knowledge and continued to build her passion for the arts internationally learning from different cultures around the world.

Sammy believes that Dance is a universal language and that we all have a story to share! Her goal is to create an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable in expressing who they are in a safe space, at Confidance, to continue to build and tell their story!

Bailey Smythe

Instructor

 Since the age of six, Bailey has been a competitive dancer at ConfiDance. They have been assisting and teaching dance classes for seven years now, in many styles of dance. Bailey is trained in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Acro, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Contemporary. Bailey has won many awards in dance, many for their Musical Theatre skills and ability to emote on stage. They have a huge love for teaching and helping others learn to move and have fun! Now as a graduate of ConfiDance, Bailey will maintain their connection with this studio by becoming a regular teacher at ConfiDance. Bailey believes that dance isn’t just about technique, but also having fun and trying your best! 

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