Portia Wade

Portia Wade
Founder & Artistic Director

Portia Sophia Wade has spent the past twenty years focused on classical ballet training, from attending Canada’s National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Programme to receiving her Royal Academy of Dance [RAD] teaching certificate. Ms. Wade is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the National Training Curriculum. Currently teaching at the University of Toronto, her training has also previously taken her to Nairobi, Kenya, where she taught at the Chance to Dance studio. Time spent there had an undeniable impact on the inception of urban ballerina – a life-altering experience in how a ballet syllabus can cross boundaries of expression and art, allowing dance instruction to transcend borders and bind people from all cultures and beliefs.

Having lived the majority of her life in the bustling downtown core of Toronto, Ms. Wade has a unique ability to apply extensive knowledge of classical ballet to the growing changes in the contemporary landscape of dance. A sheer love and passion for the industry keeps her on the cutting edge of trends and new directions in the dance world. Her unconventional approach to classical ballet resonates with a reverence for the traditions of the past, as she adopts new and innovative techniques that bring a modern flair to her classes.

A passion for dance, travel, theatre and food all intertwine to infuse urban ballerina with a general love of the good things in life, which Ms. Wade hopes to pass on to her students.

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 Anna McCowan Johnson

Anna McCowan Johnson
Artistic Advisor

Anna McCowan Johnson was born in Brantford, Ontario and attended Havergal College in Toronto. Anna studied ballet with Gweneth Lloyd, co-founder of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. She spent her summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts. At age 16 she auditioned with over 500 dancers at the CBC for a place in the well known “Alan Lund Trio” and was selected as one of three dancers. She performed at the CBC in many variety shows including Wayne and Shuster, Bob Goulet, Shirley Harmer, and The Big Revue. Anna was a member of the Toronto Festival Dancers under the direction of Gweneth Lloyd and danced in many Canadian Operas. She was ‘The Girl from Boston’ in the musical Evelyn with Tom Kneebone and was invited by the famous New York choreographer Lee Theodore Becker to dance in Song of Norway.

She served as a 20 year member and entered children into exams at The Royal Academy of Dance and is a former board member of The Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre and The Desrosiers Dance Company. She taught at Brian Foley School of Dance before opening her very successful school Interplay in 1983. More than 100 students from Interplay have been accepted with The National Ballet School, The Royal Winnipeg, and Quinte School of Dance. She also taught at The Bishop Strachan School and Branksome Hall.