Lisa DiMaurizio- Paroyan

Director, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical & Ballet Instructor

Lisa is a certified dance teacher under the Dance Masters Association, and a trained model. She has won numerous awards across Canada and the United States including World Champion, Best Choreography, the Presidential Fitness Award and Outstanding Achievement in the field of Dance Award 3 years in a row. She was a feature dancer and choreographer in the 1998 Ontario Summer Games in Guelph, Ontario. Lisa has choreographed school musicals, gymnastics routines and was a private dance instructor for “Mr. North America”. She has choreographed routines for the “Golden Curl Awards” and has co-produced, directed and choreographed musical productions of “OZ” and “Wonderland” raising $20,000 for Breast Cancer Research and Education. Lisa has obtained a Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Studies from Brock University, a diploma in Fitness and Nutrition, National Coaching Certificate Level I and a certificate in Sports Injury and Prevention. She belongs to Dance Masters of America Chapter #8, Dance Ontario and the International Tap Association. She has adjudicated Dance Festivals locally & in Buffalo and Rochester, New York and is a certified adjudicator under the International Dance Organization and the International Academy of Dance Adjudicators. Lisa has co-ordinated and organized a dance festival in conjunction with the Niagara Falls Parks and Rec Department and was former co-director of the “Dance Niagara Competition”. She has worked with the Thorold Precision Skating Team “Ice Excellence” and has taught dance at various Elementary and Secondary Schools as well as the Parks and Rec Department.

Karen Wallis

Ballet, Ballroom & Yoga Instructor

Karen is a qualified instructor in all dance disciplines under the Dance masters Association and the Cecchetti Council of America. Accredited as a dance educator and dance therapist by the National Association Schools of Dance, she has specialized in theatre dance, partnering, ballet technique and body conditioning, which has given her advanced level instruction by the International Dance and Exercise Association and Gold Standard classification from the Association of International Ballroom Teachers.

She is accredited with successfully completing her studies in Dance Pedagogy, Studio Operations and Arts Administration from S.U.N.Y in Buffalo, as well as securing her B.A. in English from Brock University. Karen has taught thousands of children and adults throughout her many years as a dance instructor, aerobics and exercise instructor, Ballroom teacher and Yoga instructor. She has worked for and with numerous organizations such as Brock University, Niagara College, Niagara Catholic District School Board, District School Board of Niagara, the Lung Association, Aerio Gymnastics Club. Y.M.C.A. and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Karen has organized and run fashion shows and dance marathons to help raise awareness and financial assistance for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Karen’s love of dance was nurtured by her mentor and teacher Valerie L. Wilson, who inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a dance teacher and choreographer. Karen has adjudicated competitions locally, in Ontario as well as in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Karen has been with Fascination Dance Studio as a ballet instructor since 1988 and has been teaching dance since 1972.

Cristina Grossi

Jazz, Lyrical & Modern Instructor

Cristina began dancing at the age of three and performed on television’s “Tiny Talent Time” at the age of nine. Four years later at the age of thirteen, she made her professional debut performing with a well known illusionist. Cristina has been a competitive dancer for many years and won numerous awards including Grand Champion and a number of scholarships for her jazz & lyrical performances in Canada and the United States. Cristina has performed with the Toronto based “Danny Grossman Dance Company” for two years, and was a feature dancer in the opening ceremonies for the Ontario Summer Games held in Guelph, Ontario. Cristina has graduated from the University of Buffalo with a bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Theatre and Dance, and holds a diploma in Dental Hygiene from the Canadian Institute of Dental Hygiene.

Tia Knock-Thibault

Acro, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern & Musical Theatre Instructor

Tia began dancing and gymnastics at the age of 5, by age 7, she was competing and loved every aspect of dance. She has travelled extensively, competing nationally and internationally winning numerous trophies and scholarships, including a $1000.00 scholarship at age 8 in New York City for the highest overall mark. At 10, Tia was chosen as a Junior Sweet Heart at the I Love Dance competition in Lake Tahoe to train and perform in a dance competition and pageant. Tia was accepted into the summer program to study at the prestigious Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC. Tia was named Most Promising Canadian Dancer and won the Modern category at the International Dance Organizations World Competition in Orlando Florida and again in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 2009. Tia travels to New York City annually to extend her dance education and was invited to audition for the Broadway Dance Centre Professional Program. Tia is also an accomplished figure skater & choreographer. She was the youngest skater to pass her gold dances in the Niagara Region at the age of 10. Tia currently assists with the choreography and off-ice practices with the reigning Canadian National Synchronized skating team NEXXICE. Tia was a company member with the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre in Toronto. Tia has also trained with the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. In 2012 Tia graduated with a diploma in the Educational Assistant/Special Needs Support Worker Program from Niagara College. Tia is currently employed with the Niagara Catholic District School Board.

Jennifer Bender

Vocal and Acting Coach

At an early age Jen’s parents noticed her natural vocal talent and passion for performing. She began performing for her family at home and then in her elementary school choir. Shortly thereafter she was enrolled in private singing lessons as well as gymnastics and dance. In ninth grade Jen was admitted into the “Regional Arts program” at Mayfield Secondary School in Brampton where she studied singing for four years. During this time Jen had leading roles in the school’s main stage musicals and performed in many community theatre projects with “Birdcage Productions” and “Brampton Music Theatre.”

Following high school, Jen took her passion for performing to the next level when she was admitted to Brock University’s Theatre Program where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in theatre. In her graduating year Jen was selected to perform the part of Bella in the department’s Spring Main Stage” Big Love.” Jen has received classical vocal training and can sing in many languages. She has varied experience in the theatre also including directorial, technical and academic and has participated in workshops at both Brock University and The Shaw Festival. Jen is thrilled to be working at Fascination and is looking forward to the upcoming season!

Breanna Ianiero

Ballet & Lyrical

Breanna began dancing at the age of 3, and by age 9 began competing. Her passion for ballet began immediately after her first ballet class at the age of 5. In 2006, she qualified to represent Canada at the World Modern and Ballet Championships in Boston, MA, receiving the bronze medal in the children’s division, and later in 2009 in Niagara Falls, Canada, placing 5th in the junior division. In 2007, she performed in the Nutcracker with the Canadian Youth Ballet Ensemble and the National Ballet of Cuba. Breanna has completed numerous Cecchetti ballet exams including Advanced Level 1. She has also attended multiple ballet summer programs such as Canada’s National Ballet School, Ballet Jorgen, and Neglia Ballet. Breanna has performed in Neglia Ballet’s “Baba Yaga” and “Nutcracker” shows and has studied at Neglia’s Pre-Professional Program in Buffalo, NY. Breanna is currently enrolled in the dance program at George Brown College and rehearses with the Ballet Jorgen Company.

Brooklynne Smith

Hip Hop, Acro, Ballet, Jazz, Tap

Brooklynne began training in dance and gymnastics as a tot. She made her dance debut at age two in Fascination’s own dance recital. As a competitor, Brooke was selected for the U.S.A performance team and has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards. She performed at the Harlem Globetrotters half time show in Cleveland and the Detroit Piston pregame show as well as Downtown Disney in Orlando Florida. As a tumbler she was ranked 8th overall in Ontario in Level 1. Brooklynne has attended many dance workshops and has taught and choreographed both recreational and competitive classes. She has completed her Grade 5 level Cecchetti ballet exam and currently attends Brock University on a partial scholarship. Brooklynne intends on obtaining her PHD in psychology as well as her professional certification in performance at George Brown College.