Sara Hodgins, A.B.A.T.D., Acrobatic Arts Certified Instructor & Certified Aerial Yoga Instructor, Director
Sara has been dancing into the spotlight since 1990. After achieving recognition for her performances in Canada, the United States and Europe, she is now earning a reputation for striking choreography. As a certified teacher (A.B.A.T.D.) and choreographer she has had the pleasure of watching her own students carry on her success, winning scholarships and overall high mark trophies in modern, hip hop, jazz, tap, lyrical, acro and musical theatre. A dedicated teacher, Sara thoroughly enjoys working with children of all ages and levels of experience. She is also proud of the accomplishments of her recreational dancers.
Sara trained at studios in Southern Ontario and New York state and is well versed in all forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, pointe, modern, musical theatre and song and dance. She has also studied singing for a number of years. During her competitive career, Sara was named overall Senior Performer four times and was also awarded Outstanding Professional Dancer. She is the recipient of many scholarships and high mark trophies. In 1999/2000 she was the B.A.T.D. Senior Tap Champion and tapping out a rhythm is certainly in her blood. She is a three-time member of the Canadian National Tap Team, traveling to Germany to go toe to toe with the world’s top tappers. In her last year on the team she was dance captain. Training with dance greats Mathew Clark and Kevin Pugh and participating in workshops at the National Ballet School and George Brown College (in association with Ballet Jorgen) are just some highlights of her dance career.
In 2001 Sara went on to study at Toronto’s prestigious Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, enhancing her dancing, singing and dramatic skills. While at Randolph, she had the opportunity to participate in workshops with the Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson dancers, as well as dancers from the Broadway Tour of Fosse. She honed her choreographic skills with artists such as Mark Cassius of the Nylons. Sara has demonstrated her triple threat techniques in community theatre productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Kiss Me Kate, The Wizard of Oz and Crazy for You. On top of a gruelling dance and performance schedule, Sara also found time to provide dance instruction for public school programs as well as teach dance to special needs children in the community. During summer 2002, Sara taught dance for the City of Toronto’s Arts Discovery Summer Camp. Sara is a native of Durham Region and the Kawartha Lakes district and is proud to call Bowmanville her home.
Ami Johnson, Level Three Coach, A.B.A.T.D. & Acrobatic Arts Certified Instructor,
In the summer of 2013 Ami completed her associate acro teacher certificate. Ami has competed as a gymnast at the provincial level for six years. She has coached provincial and national level gymnastics for twelve years. Ami’s certification qualifies her as a level three gymnastics coach. Another one of Ami’s accomplishments was performing in Cirque Sublime.
She has been choreographing floor routines since 1998 and enjoys working with kids of all ages and skill levels. Last year Ami developed and launched our aerial straps program. With such great success last year we are looking forward to her growing this program in the years to come. We are excited to welcome Ami back to the Spotlight teaching team this year.
Jacalyn Cook, A.B.A.T.D., Instructor
Jackie was the 2006 dancer of the year at Spotlight and has now been an instructor with Spotlight since 2007. She has completed her teaching certificates in Ballet, Jazz & Tap with excellent scores on all exams. Her students have won many overall and special awards at competitions all over Ontario.
She is balancing a career in teaching at Spotlight with her completion of legal administration and mortgage agent diplomas. Although corporate life now occupies a large part of her life, Dance will always be Jackie’s true passion.
Kelly Brown Monson, F.B.A.T.D, Instructor
Kelly has been involved in highland dancing since the age of 3. She has enjoyed a successful competitive career in dance taking her across Canada, the United States and Scotland. She is a professional member of the Durham Region Highland Dancer’s Association and the Past President of Scotdance Ontario. She has served on the executive of Scotdance Ontario for the past 8 years.
Kelly is a Fellow member of the B.A.T.D. in the Highland and National Branches of Dance. She is also a member of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dance (SOBHD) Judge’s Panel.
Ally Hopps, A.B.A.T.D., Instructor
Ally has been part of Spotlight since 2007. She has won many awards and scholarships. Ally recently attended Dance America along with her fellow teammates, where she placed overall for their self-choreographed Duet with Grace as well as participated in the Dancer of the Year Finalist Program – an extremely huge honour.
Ally received honours on her teaching certificates and is now a fully certified teacher through the British Association of Teachers of Dancing. She was recently featured in a music video for one of our local music stars. She is very excited to continue to work with both of our recreational and competitive teams.
Ashley Wood, Instructor
Ashley has as well, been a member of Spotlight since its inception in 2003. She is in fact Spotlight’s very first student! She has been an assistant teacher in all forms of dance under Sara, Ami, Jackie and many other teachers. She is honoured to begin her teaching career at Spotlight. She will be taking her full teaching exam this year through the British Association of Teachers of Dancing. Ashley was an active member of her high school dance team, as well as our competitive team where she has been recognized with many scholarships and awards that she is truly grateful for.
Alaura McLeod, Instructor
Alaura began her training in the gymnastics world and has since moved onto dance. She has had such a successful transition. She now trains in many styles of dance at our studio and actively participates in her high school dance program as well. This past season Alaura placed in the top 10 for every competition we attended in not only Canada but the United States as well. On top of her dancing, Alaura is trained in emergency and standard first aid, as well she is a Water Safety Instructor and a National Lifeguard. We are very lucky to have Alaura join our teaching staff.
Kayla MacNaughton, Instructor
Kayla joined our teaching staff last year to help head up our Hip Hop program on Friday evenings. She has been assisting with classes at the studio for many years. As well as her training in many styles of dance at our studio, she actively participates in her high school dance program as well. Kayla spends her summers as a camp counsellor at an overnight camp.
Cassie Naylor, Instructor
Cassie is a graduate of Spotlight DanceWorks Inc. She is currently studying to achieve an Honours Bachelors of Science with a double major in Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Toronto. She has been dancing with Spotlight for over eight years, participating in our competitive team and attending numerous dance competitions in Canada and the U.S. Cassie is a volunteer with the Toronto District School Board and this past year one of the groups she works with was selected to perform a dance at the TDSB Creates Show. We are honoured to have her help this year!