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Meet Our
Dance Instructors

Erin Madsen, ARAD, RAD RTS

Ms. Madsen’s personal dance journey began humbly in a very small town in northern British Columbia.  To her good fortune, her mother had trained in Ballet when she was younger and decided that her children needed an outlet. At the age of 7, she took her very first ballet class. From that moment it was love. Although, she later trained in Jazz, Tap and Modern, there was nothing that felt the same and Ballet became her passion. She later moved to Edmonton and trained with some very talented people. Florence Skinner, Deborah Morgan, Pierre Hardy, Barbara Lysik, Lambros Lambrou and David Adams, to name just a few. At the age of 15 she achieved her Advanced RAD, making her one of the youngest in Canada to accomplish this,  and was accepted into Ecole Superieur de Danse du Quebec on scholarship. Unfortunately, family changes and life made the dream of dancing stop there.

However, the love of dance did not end with this. Ms Madsen decided to pursue a teaching career. She became a Registered Teacher with the RAD in 1997.  Many of her students have gone on to professional careers or have become teachers themselves, but many more have also become Engineers, Doctors, Nurses, and experts in many other fields.

She has had hundreds, if not into the 1000s of students enter their RAD exams, with at least 100 at advanced 1 and advanced 2. In the past 10 years, Ms Madsen has been the coach for 5 out of 6 Solo Seal candidates from Edmonton. She has also had the unique pleasure of having students compete in international ballet competitions like YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) and Fonteyn International Ballet Competition (RAD flagship competition).

Her passion for building strong dancers and athletes, training for injury prevention and creating a safe space for young students to explore and grow is what sets her apart on the dance scene.

  • Advanced Royal Academy of Dance, ARAD
  • Registered teacher, RAD
  • Certified PBT Instructor, Level 3
  • Certified PCT Instructor
  • Certificate of Higher Education, Dance Education
  • Honours with Distinction, Arts and Cultural Management Program, MacEwan University
  • Rehearsal Co-ordinator, Jeunesse Classique Ballet’s Nutcracker, Two Seasons, Edmonton

Ms Madsen is committed to building a strong arts community in Edmonton and helping many young students achieve their goals. Her biggest joy comes from her students achieving more than they believed they could and all they dreamed!

With a focus on balancing syllabus training, non syllabus training, conditioning and nutrition and safety, every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential. They just need the right guide.

Sarisa Figueroa de Toledo

Sarisa began her formal dance training in classical ballet at the age of seven and graduated from the Edmonton School of Ballet’s Professional Program in 1993. She joined Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) of Calgary, a professional jazz dance company with the mandate to preserve and promote the rich history of jazz dance in 1994. She subsequently performed with the company for 15 seasons, performing in over 30 of their productions between 1994 and 2012. Her passion for jazz dance and music has taken her around the world, studying jazz and many of its root forms.

Apart from dancing with DJD, she performed with various choreographers, companies and directors including Theatre of the Living Statue, Sage Theatre and One Yellow Rabbit as well as in two independent Bravo! FACT films.

She has taught and choreographed extensively for schools and companies including DJD, Sugar Swing, Victoria School of the Arts, Theatre Calgary, the University of Calgary, Orchesis, J’Adore and La Bella Vita Arts (Vada, Italy). Sarisa was Artistic Assistant for DJD from 2007-2013, Artistic Director for several of DJD’s dancer-choreographed evenings and its main stage production, Tinge and Tone, and was Artistic Associate for DJD from 2013-2016.

She has recently relocated to Edmonton with her family and is excited to share her love of jazz with the Edmonton dance community.