Staff


Ms. Fran McKechnie

Fran McKechnie started her teaching career in 1975 and opened her first Dance Studio in 1977. For the past 35 years she has been the Artistic Director of Steps Performing Arts Centre Inc. With Fran's passion for the arts and commitment to excellence, it is no wonder that her studio has been recognized with many awards such as Hamilton's only 14 winner of the Hamilton Spectator's Readers Choice for 'Best Dance Studio'. Other awards include Best Dance Teacher, Best Children's Studio and Best Gymnastic Studio along with countless Community Service Recognition and Arts Awards. In 1998 Fran became a freelance consultant and founded the 'Success Not Stress' workshops for dance studio owners and continues to do private consultation for various Dance Studios. She has been a guest speaker for many dance associations in Canada and the United States and has served aa Dance Adjudicator for Dance Competitions throughout Canada. Fran has been a Board member for the Hamilton and Region Arts Council as well as sat on Adviser committees for The Ontario Arts Council. For many years Fran chaired the Together In Dance committee woing to promote Dance partnerships and opportunities for Dancers. 2012 brought a new honour for Fran McKechnie as she was recognized as a official nominee for The Y.W.C.A Women of Distinction Award' - Ads & Culture for the City Of Hamilton!

Awards are nothing compared to the pride Fran feels for the accomplishments of her students who have continued to realize their own Dance goals. Many dancing professionally on stage, film and Television, or running successful Dance studios of their own. Teaching positions and Choreography credits include: The Canadian Music Awards - C.B.C's Juno Awards
C.B.S. TELEVISION
Royal Caribbean, Celebrity & CArnival Cruise Lines
-Stars At Sea
Paramount Films
Canada's Wonderland
McMaster University Hamilton Board of Education
C.H. T.V. I Global Television Network
C.F.L. Half Time Shows
Children's Hospital Mother's Day Telethon
Western Figure Skating Association: Off Ice Dance Director
Hamilton Geritol Follies
Howie Mandel - Velcro of Love Tour

Western Figure Skating Association: Off Ice Dance Director Hamilton Geritol Follies
Howie Mandel • Velcro of Love Tour
Sony Records
Dick Clark Productions
Matel Toys
Shoppers Drug Mart Amazing Dance Team
Fire-fighters Theme Shows throughout Ontario
Many Fashion, Convention and Industrial Shows
Co-ordinator of various Fund-raising events for numerous charitable organisations (List available on request)

Dayna Gamelin

Growing up at Steps Performing Arts Center has shaped my life in many ways. Not only was I trained as an elite dancer, but I was also welcomed into the Step Team Program at a young age. The program is designed to take young and promising dancers and train them in a classroom setting as a teacher's assistant. From 2002-2006 I completed my assisting responsibilfties and began teaching the following season. After graduating from my own ballet and jazz classes, as well as exams, four years ago, I have continued teaching while working towards an Honorary Bachelor's Degree at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. In the classroom, I work toward teaching beyond the fundamentals of jazz and ballet, as dancing has been much more than just an activity in my life. I strive to show children the love of dance, and the Steps family, that I have been so privileged and honoured to experience and carry out as a dancer for almost twenty years.

Janette Lindley

Jenette Lindley is a life member of the Canadian Dance Teachers' Association. She is also a Cecchelti Society of Canada Associate Diploma member. She is very proud to have passed the Cecchettl Diploma Exam in 1997. (An exam which only a handful of Canadian ballet dancers have achieved.)

Janette is currently the Past President of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (Ontario Branch) has served on the Ballet Division Committee as a committee member and as Division Chair. She is also a Ballet Examiner. She has most recently been appointed the National Ballet Consultant for C.D.T.A. National.

Janette has owned her own dance studio. She currently Is a freelance ballet teacher and is director of the ballet program at Steps Performing Arts Centre. She is an innovative choreographer and passionate ballet teacher.

Brian Shaw

When Mr. Brian is not selling Real Estate, or travelling across Canada as an adjudicator for the largest Dance Competition circuit In the country - Terpsichore Dance Celebration' - he is working to instill a passion and appreciation for the performing arts through his teaching and choreography at Steps Performing Arts, and his membership's in the Professional Adjudicator's Alliance and ACTRA. He will stop at nothing to top each previous years successes with new inspiration, energy, and ideas. He plans to bring to his classes this year the life lessons necessary to not only achieve one's potential in dance technique and showmanship, but also fun, respect, discipline, and care for each other's well-being In the studio! Brian is a graduate of McMaster University in Business Management and a former National Champion at Showstoppers International Competition. He is also a former Mister Dance of Canada (Dance Masters of America) who received the Director's High Class Score Award for Leadership and Humanitarianism in addition to the Scholarship for Teachers Training School in New York. Brian's professional performance credits include: The Canadian Music Awards — CBC's JUNO awards; back-up dancer for Canadian recording artist Lorraine Lawson;and several fashion, convention and industrial shows. Film and Television credits include: Massacre Up North, Relic Hunter, Alanis Monissette Music Video, CH Mothers Day Telethon, and commercials including Kellogg's Apple Jacks and The Building Box. Mr. Brian lives with his beautiful wife Debrah and their incredible little daughter Kendall!

Michelle B.

I began my tap dancing career at the age of 4 with a small studio in Burlington, Ontario. Later came an interest in all dance disciplines, so I studied and was examined in BA.T.D. and C.D.T.A. syllabi. As I continued studying in Burlington, I was training to become a teacher and began freelance choreography in School musicals and fashion shows.

I obtained my first teaching certificate at the age of 19 and continued to study for future exams. I then received my next teaching certificate at the age of 21 and continue to be an active member in tap and jazz with a few associations.

I owned my own successful studio in Burlington for many years but decided that having a family was more important to me. I hope to own a studio again in the future when the time is right. I truly believe that students following a strong syllabus through their years of dancing will become strong dancers and that is what I hope to bring my students at Steps:

Over the years I have done many competitions, performances, workshops and many hours of private lessons. I've even had the greatest pleasure of studying with Gregory Hines.

Presently, I am a Cofounder to a new Performing Arts Association; Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PA.E.C). I am the Tap Chairperson on the Executive and our committee has put countless hours on constructing a solid, updated syllabus.

I continue to teach tap and jazz to students ages 3 - 60 plus and LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

Michelle Daniel

Michelle Daniel is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and performer. Michelle has over 25 years of dance experience and 15 years of teaching experience.

Her passion for dance is expressed when teaching, as she goes the extra mile, to make her students enjoy dance & express their own creative talents freely. Creating work that is an eclectic mix of styles of dance forms drawing on her acobatic,hip hop , African , jazz, Caribbean modern & video - jazz backgrounds.

Currently she is working with her own dance troupe of 6 years Universoul Dancers, Michelle's choreography skills are also in great demand for up - and - coming artist in the music industry.

Michelle Rodgers

Of all Steps' many accomplishments, Michelle Rodgers success as the Queenston Rd studio's Director says it all, From a young age it has always been Michelle's dream to be a dance teacher - through Steps her dream came true.

As a veteran of Steps dance company program Michelle first realized her performing potential in may community, industrial and stage productions. Some of her favourites include C.F.L halt time shows and the Canadian music awards, The Junos.

Michelle has studied dance for over 25 years with many of the industries top choreographers, performers and dance teachers. Over and above her Canadian training Michelle has spent many a summer training with New York City's top professionals.

Niki Lungaro

Niki Lungaro has have been dancing since the age of three. She has trained in many forms of dance primarily focusing in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary / lyrical and Acro.

Miss Niki has danced both Competitively and Professionally. Her Competitive Skills have earned her tales such as' Most Talented Finalist and many special awards for her technical skills as a Dancer. These days Miss Niki focuses on instructing her many students at Steps in Recreational and Competitive levels and the results are AMAZING! Many awards for 'Over All Dancer, Special Titles and Canadian Finals. Miss Nikl has also received special awards for her Choreography. Most of all Miss Niki truly and completely thrives on watching her Dancers grow and achieve their own dance goals!

Tania Pitoscia

My name is Tania Pitoscia and I have been dancing at Steps Performing Arts Centre since 1987. I am trained in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip-hop, and Modem Dance. I became a member of the Dance Company program in 1992 and a member of the S.T.EP. (Student Teacher Education Program) in 1995.

Through Steps I started performing at various community events and even became a member of The Shoppers Drug Mart - Amazing Dance Team and toured throughout Ontario.

In 1996 I auditioned and was excepted as a cast member of The Nutcracker with the Moscow State Ballet. I continued my theatre training and appeared in several productions at the Tivoli Theatre.

My career highlights to date are dancing on the 1998 Juno's - Canadian Music Award Television Show and performing on Royal Caribbean cruise line in 1999 and on Carnival Cruise Lines 2001.

Having completed my Ballet exams, my training goals include successfully passing my CDTA Advanced Jazz and Tap exams and my Associate Teaching Certification.