Meet our Faculty
B.HK., B.Ed. – Director, Owner, Instructor & Coach
Lisa Lester is the proud owner and director of All That Jazz Dance Co. Since ATJ opened its doors in 2003 she has witnessed Chatham’s dance world boom! 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. Lisa has been teaching all dance styles for over thirty years. 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. Miss Lisa is an active member and accredited teacher with the Cecchetti Council of America and the British Association Teachers of Dancing (B.A.T.D.). Accreditation in any field is important but it is her students that inspire her to be the best teacher she can be — a teacher who loves nurturing a passion for dance in every student she has the privilege to teach! 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! Miss Lisa knows she couldn’t do it on her own – she is very proud of her loyal and hard-working staff who have been with her for many years! We are all looking forward to the amazing years of dance to come!
Instructor and Competitive Team Coach
Brittany began Highland Dance at the age of seven under the direction of AnnaJayne Hawley MacNeil and began attending and excelling in competitions throughout Southwestern Ontario. She has earned numerous certificates for dance exams with the Scottish Dance Teachers’ Association (SDTA). It wasn’t long before she added many other styles to her studies once she found her passion for dance!
Brittany has 10 years of experience teaching both recreational and competitive level classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary. She has a special interest in Tap and has extensive experience teaching the Al Gilbert Tap Syllabus. She strives to create a safe, positive and rewarding environment in all of her classes so that every student feels successful in their dance experience! Brittany is thrilled to return to teaching dance after having her daughter, Aria, and looks forward to using her new role as a mother to enhance her classes with students of all ages. Being a new mom, she is especially excited to share her enthusiasm with the littlest dancers at ATJ!
Brittany has used her teaching experience to take on several projects within the community. She has taught in elementary schools and has hosted field trip workshops at the Cultural Centre in the past. She has been involved in many high school theatre and community theatre productions as a choreographer and is eager to bring her dramatic style to the studio. Brittany has earned overall top scores with her dance teams for many consecutive years and has received countless awards for her innovative choreography in all styles at competitions. She has a reputation for clean and polished numbers with an emphasis on age appropriate material that creates a depth of character in her pieces. She is especially well-known for her entertaining, professional quality Production numbers, which earn plenty of praise and recognition from judges and audience members alike.
Brittany is so thrilled to share her knowledge and passion with all the dancers at ATJ! She has a special way of connecting with every dancer and looks forward to being a part of their journey. Her encouraging and nurturing teaching style is what she is most proud of – she enters each class with genuine care and concern for each dancer and wants her students to leave class feeling valued and appreciated each week. Her goal is not only to create capable, strong dancers, but also to create confident, kind and resilient human beings! Brittany began her teaching career at All That Jazz and she is so honoured to rejoin the ATJ team and to be surrounded by others who have the same heart and passion toward the beautiful art of dance! It feels so good to come back home!
Professional Advanced Certified Fellow of the CCA, DMA
Andrea grew up in Windsor where she had a stellar professional career. A former member of the Detroit West Ballet, Andrea now dedicates her time to the development of new and enthusiastic ballet students and teachers. Andrea holds an Advanced Certified Fellowship with the Cecchetti Council of America and is one of only two teachers in Canada to hold this distinction. She is also a teaching member of the Dance Masters of America. Her choreography has won many awards in competition and performance and her students have gone on to train and dance with the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Andrea will be teaching Ballet and Pointe at ATJ on Tuesday evenings over the 2016-17 dance year. We are very excited to have her join the ATJ faculty!
Instructor & Competitive Team Coach
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.
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 years spent in Canada, 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 is a certified and active member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has attended Cecchetti Summer School multiple times – a two week ballet summer school for accredited ballet teachers. Chris has also earned his beginner and intermediate levels of Acrobatique certification, a certificate endorsed by A.D.A.P.T (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) and all levels of the Acrobatic Arts Certification. Chris also is trained in Aerial Acro Technique. Chris looks forward to inspiring all of his students to be all that they can be.
Dance is Life for Paige. She began as a ballerina with Gloria Bondy’s Studio in Chatham. At five Paige was awarded a scholarship and recognized as the most promising dancer for the entire studio. Her achievements have mounted as she has continued to follow her passion. Paige has been recognized in competitions and conventions throughout Canada and the United States. At 15, She has been 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 top 10 SYTYCD routine to the dancers. Paige lives to study the art of dance and her attitude and energy fill the room when she is present. She has been blessed to study under the tutelage of many world class choreographers and dancers like Blake McGrath, Mia Micheals, Twitch, Tabitha & Napoleon, Mandy Moore and Melissa Williams to name a few. Among other scholarships and accomplishments, Paige auditioned and won the opportunity to dance on stage with the Jorgen Ballet Dance Company from Toronto in their production of “The Nutcracker”. Joining the ATJ competitive dance staff in 2012, Paige’s choreography has since been recognized as original, emotional and entertaining. She has been awarded the “Young choreographers award” at various competitions, and a multitude of overall choreography awards for her pieces. Paige has previously danced, competed and taught at Pure Dance Academy, but she always finds her way back home to “All That Jazz” and wishes nothing more than to spread joy through dance for the rest of her life. She believes it’s never too early or too late to learn dance. Paige has graduated with a BAH in Drama in Education in Community, a BA in Child Psychology, and is now pursuing a BSW in Social Work at the University of Windsor. She is the founder, captain, and main choreographer for the University’s Lancer Competitive Dance Company. 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.
Instructor & Competitive Team Coach
At a young age, Brianna developed a passion for life, music, humour, and theatre arts. Her formal studies include dance, piano, voice, 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., in many diverse styles, and for 6 years danced as a member ofATJ’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 an honour student and captain of the Ursuline College dance team, she was presented the school’s “Excellence Award in Dance”. Always ready for new dance challenges, she became an increasingly sought after choreographer for numerous theatre productions, musicals, and church and charity events.
Brianna is an active member and accredited ballet teacher under the Cechetti Council of America, and currently has the certification of Teacher Professional Elementary Grade 5. She is continuing her ballet studies with Andrea Stafford, working towards her Grade 6 Teacher’s Certification.
Brianna is currently in her ninth year as a dance instructor, the past five years being full-time. Her dance students range in age from toddlers to adults, teaching Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop. She continues to be an enthusiastic and dedicated ATJ coach to the Competitive and Performance teams. She takes great pride in her choice of age-appropriate music and themes. At competitions, her dances have earned Overall High Score awards, Judges’ Choice awards, as well 4 Young Choreographer awards in the past year alone.
Brianna’s outgoing personality influences her caring and supportive teaching style. She would like to thank Lisa, Chris and Andrea for their love and inspiration in helping her to become the best teacher she can be. Brianna enthusiastically shares her creativity and love of dance with all students in the ATJ family!
Instructor & Competitive Team Coach
Braydn began his dance training at the age of 8 and has received intensive training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary,hip-hop, musical theatre and breakdancing for the past twelve years. Braydn has gained valuable knowledge working as a teacher assistant for the past 8 years and has also gained experience as a dance team coach and choreographer. Braydn has had the opportunity to train under many world famous choreographers like NappyTabs, Chaz Buchan, Shannon Mather and Black McGrath, to name a few. His passion for dance has earned him multiple awards both as a dancer and choreographer. Braydn became part of the ATJ staff in 2015. His creativity, enthusiasm, and outgoing personality make him a vital part of our ATJ faculty and it is evident in his classes that he is passionate about sharing his love of the dance arts with his students. He also knows the importance of technique and how to achieve it through hard work and dedication. Thanks to dance, he aspires to be different.