ATJ Faculty

Lisa Lester

Lisa Lester is the proud owner and director of All That Jazz Dance Co. Over the past decade she has witnessed Chatham’s dance world boom since ATJ opened it’s doors in 2003. Lisa accredits ATJ with being the pioneer of competitive dance team opportunities in Chatham-Kent and is flattered to see it flourish in the area.10814234_10155116233785314_1273733666_n

Lisa has been teaching all dance forms for nearly thirty years now. She is an accredited school teacher with an Honours degree in Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor. She also earned a spot on the Dean’s Honour Roll during her time at University. Over the years Lisa has taken a myriad of classes and workshops that have helped her become the teacher and dancer she is today. Lisa truly believes it is her students that inspire her to be the best teacher she can be and she enjoys the challenge of teaching all ages and styles of dance. Her teaching philosophies go far beyond dance steps! A mother of five children, Lisa knows the value in taking advantage of every teachable moment in the dance studio and beyond!

Lisa is thrilled to celebrate All That Jazz Dance Co.’s 12th Anniversary this upcoming year! She is so proud of her talented faculty who have worked so hard and been with her for many years! As always ATJ is looking forward to yet another amazing year!

Lisa is an active member and accredited ballet teacher under the Cechetti Council of America.

Chris Rich

Chris Rich started his competitive dance education in St. Louis, MO, at the age of ten, training on a full scholarship with one of the leading competitive dance companies in the Midwest. He was also selected to train with Ballet Midwest and the St. Louis Ballet Company, where he was featured in professional reproductions of classical ballets. Chris has trained in many dance styles including ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, acro, partnering, and hip hop.10835448_10152496665068231_4096731668246130942_o

Chris received numerous honours and recognition as both a classical and competitive dancer. In 2001 Chris received a full scholarship to Vassar College in New York where he completed world-class ballet intensive training with the American Academy of Ballet. Chris competed extensively throughout the United States and won individual titles including Mr. Showbiz, Mr. Teen Star Power and Mr. Dance Explosion.

Chris started his teaching career at the age of 14, teaching and choreographing for an all boys dance team, inspiring young men to embrace their passion for dance in various styles. By the age of 17 Chris was teaching advanced-level master classes and award winning competitive teams in Missouri and Indiana. Chris’ technical and creative choreography have earned top overall scores and recognition at international competitions.

In 2006, Chris moved to Chatham and joined the ATJ staff. Over the past eight years Chris has shared his passion for dance with young dancers and adults alike. Chris continues to teach his students strict technique while cultivating an appreciation and love for the art of dance. Chris’ accreditations include Acrobatique certification, a new acro/dance certificate endorsed by A.D.A.P.T (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) and he has also been an active member and accredited ballet teacher under the Cechetti Council of America since 2012.

Emily Kennedy

Emily Kennedy grew up in Chatham, Ontario and started her dance training at the age of three with Florence Abel, who gave her a strong foundation of ballet and tap in her early years. During high school Emily danced on the competitive team at All That Jazz Dance Co. where she received formal training and was exposed to other styles of dance including lyrical, jazz, hip hop, and modern. While on the ATJ dance team she travelled to many competitions and conventions in Canada and the U.S.A. where she was inspired by many famous teachers and choreographers.

While in high school Emily was also a big part of the CKSS Competitive Dance Team, appointed captain and choreographer for three of her five years on the team. Emily’s passion for choreography was ignited during this time and she received numerous choreography awards at a young age. She also continued to be recognized for her unique style and performance quality on stage by winning individual recognition and top honours at competitions.

Emily graduated from the dance program at York University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts, Specialty Honours Degree in Dance. During her time at York Emily had the opportunity to be choreographer and captain for the York University Competitive Dance Team helping win multiple awards. Since studying at York, Emily has continued to grow and excel as a choreographer. Emily’s versatility and “ability to think outside the box” as a choreographer has played a vital role in the success of the multiple dance teams she has worked with over the years. Emily currently lives in Toronto but comes home regularly to work with All That Jazz Dance Co.’s Competitive Teams. Her innovative and unique choreography continues to earn top awards at competitions and the ATJ family loves having her on staff at ATJ!!

Emily is an accredited ballet teacher under the Cechetti Council of America.

Brianna Cernanec

At a young age, Brianna developed a passion for life, music, humour, and theatre arts. Her formal studies include dance, piano, voice, choral, drama, and musical theatre, but it was dance that ultimately became her most-loved method of artistic expression. Since the age of 4, she has studied under many dance instructors across Canada and the U.S., ranging in styles from Highland and Ballet to Jazz and Contemporary. Her versatility as a performer flourished during her 6 years on All That Jazz Dance Co.’s Senior Competitive team.

As she matured as a dancer, Brianna found herself with both the desire and natural ability to express herself through original and imaginative choreography. As captain of the Ursuline College dance team, her choreography took first place in a provincial competition. A valedictorian and honour student, her high school bestowed upon her the “Excellence Award in Dance”. Always ready for new dance challenges, she became an increasingly sought after choreographer for numerous theatre productions, secondary school musicals, and church and charity events. Brianna started teaching recreational classes 5 years ago, and continues as an enthusiastic and dedicated ATJ coach to the Performance teams.

Brianna’s devotion to her students is apparent in her caring and supportive teaching style. She takes great pride in her choice of age-appropriate music and themes. Brianna is currently working towards becoming an accredited ballet teacher under the Cecchetti Council of America and is always eager to take advantage of every opportunity that allows her to broaden her knowledge and abilities in all styles of dance. She is eager to share her creativity and love of dance with all aspiring dancers in the ATJ family!

Brianna is an active member and accredited ballet teacher under the Cechetti Council of America.

Karlee Cockburn

Karlee’s love of dance started with a tiny pair of shiny black tap shoes. Her first love was tap dancing but she quickly grew to love other styles of dance as well including jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern and lyrical. Her passion for dance has grown over the last 15 years. The last 7 years she has flourished as a dancer under the All That Jazz Dance Co. competitive team program. Karlee has helped her team win multiple awards at competition and is recognized individually for her strength as a dancer and leaping abilities.

Karlee has also been a vital part of the U.C.C. Dance Team and U.C.C. Cheer Team for the last four years. Karlee’s versatility and passion for dance lead her to start assisting classes at ATJ in 2008. She has since taken on some of her own recreational classes and helped Miss Lisa with some of the younger ATJ teams. Karlee has an amazing ability to inspire young dancers. She enjoys watching a student’s love for dance flourish into a passion they can share together.


Dance is Life for Paige.

Paige’s love for dance began as a ballerina with Gloria Bondy’s Studio in Chatham. At five Paige was awarded a scholarship recognizing her talent and passion as a dancer. Since then, her achievements have mounted as she has continued to follow her passion as a competitive dancer. Paige has been recognized in competitions and conventions throughout Canada and the United States for her talent and unique choreography. She has been awarded numerous scholarships and opportunities to study under the tutelage of many world class choreographers and dancers such as; Blake McGrath, Mia Micheals, Twitch, Tabitha & Napoleon, Mandy Moore and Melissa Williams to name a few.10291868_789414467771770_4785549988899802633_n

In 2010, she was awarded the opportunity to travel with Extreme Dance Competition across Canada as an apprentice to So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Melissa Williams. Through her experience working with Melissa she was given the opportunity to travel to Toronto and assist her in teaching the 2011 top 14 SYTYCD routine to the dancers. Paige also received the opportunity to perform with the Jorgen Ballet Dance Company in the 2012 performance of “The Nutcracker”, along with numerous other scholarship awards recognizing her passion, energy, and style.

Studying Drama in Education and Community at the University of Windsor, Paige is the Head Choreographer for the University of Windsor’s Lancer Dance Pak. Paige is also currently a competitive dance coach here at “All That Jazz Dance Company” in Chatham and has been recognized as an “up and coming, young choreographer” at various competitions. She has previously danced, competed and taught at Pure Dance Academy, but she always finds her way back home to “All That Jazz”. She is looking forward to meeting dancers and teachers of all ages and continuing her education. She enjoys learning and teaching, but what excites her most is sharing her knowledge and passion for the arts with others.