Welcome to Leslieville School of Dance & Music!
For decades, professional dancers have been compared to athletes because of their strength and agility; however, it has always been their artistry that sets them apart. Leslieville Dance students are taught to execute each and every movement with the precision of an athlete and the individuality of an artist. Through positive reinforcement and continuous encouragement, our students are able to reach their full potential as dancers, technicians, and performers.
Director Kristen Dennis runs the studio. Once a professional ballet dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, Kristen has had the good fortune of training with the world’s top instructors. Today, as a studio owner, she is uniquely qualified and honoured to pass on the same philosophies to her staff and students that inspired her lifelong passion for dance.
With the right balance of inspiration and qualified instruction, every child can develop into a strong and expressive dancer. Our students will receive first-class training in an inclusive and rewarding environment, where everyone is encouraged to achieve their personal bests. Skills taught at our school will provide positive and long-lasting benefits to our students, both in and out of the studio. Problem-solving, perseverance, dedication, self-discipline, and resilience are only a few.
We welcome you to our school community and look forward to being a part of your family’s arts education.

How To Reach Us

Office Hours
Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

Studio Reception Hours
Monday-Friday 3:45pm-8:15pm
Wednesday & Thursday mornings 9:30am-11:30am
Saturday & Sunday 8:45am-2:15pm

1461 Gerrard Street East


Our spaces have been designed with the needs of our students and their families in mind:

  • 4 air-conditioned dance studios, each with an air purifier
  • 4 air-conditioned music classrooms, each with an air purifier and instruments provided
  • Professionally sprung dance floors, with non-slip surfaces for injury prevention
  • Floor-to-ceiling mirrors and wall or floor-mounted ballet barres
  • Tinted parent viewing windows
  • Designated changing areas
  • Family-friendly waiting areas
  • 4 separate bathrooms
  • Accessible Green P parking lot directly behind the studio
  • Convenience to shopping, amenities, and a library, with the TTC at our front door
  • Dancewear and shoe sales conveniently available across the street at Toronto Dancewear Boutique
  • A full-time team of administrative and reception staff

Registration & Payment Details

The instructional year runs from September to June. It is anticipated that students will remain committed to their training throughout the entire school year. Although registration remains ongoing until December for level 1+ classes and until March for preschool-aged students, we do not offer separate seasonal terms over the course of the year. It is recommended that our students register as close to the beginning of the school year as possible and not wait so that they will not miss out on the important technical training that takes place during the first few months of the year.

Discounts: We offer multi-class and sibling discounts which MAY be combined.

Fee Payments: Fees are divided into 10 equal monthly payments which are charged to your credit card or debited from your bank account using autopay, our monthly pre-authorized payment system. The first payment is due upon registration to hold your dancer’s spot in the class and the nine remaining payments will automatically be charged on the 1st of each month, October through June. Please note that we divide the number of classes your child will attend over the course of the entire school year and divide the payments by 10.
Regardless of whether your child receives 2 classes in a month due to the Winter Break for example, or 5 classes during a longer month, your tuition remains the same so that you know what to expect each month.

Statements & Receipts: Your transaction history may be viewed online in your Parent Portal at your convenience.

Dance Class Refunds: If a dancer decides to switch, pause, or withdraw from a class, 30 days written notice (by email) must be provided. For camp registrations, we must receive written notice three weeks prior to the beginning of the program. If written notice is received, your payment will be refunded minus an administration fee of $50 for all week-long camp withdrawals and $15 for PA day camp withdrawals. There is no withdrawal fee for dance classes.

Dance Class Information

Class Format

Most dance classes will begin with a circle time or warm-up. Activities in each class are planned to ensure the success of every student. Part of the class will include instructional time where students take directions before dancing. Students will work on dance steps, combinations, and later in the year, a specific dance routine. All classes, with the exception of our preschool-level classes, will participate in the year-end performances taking place at the John Bassett Theatre on the weekend of June 22nd and 23rd, 2024. Preschool dancers will have their own very special presentations to be held locally at the Royal Canadian
Legion on Coxwell Ave. just south of Gerrard the weekend of June 1st and 2nd, 2024.

Required Dance Uniforms & Hair

Each dance class has a required uniform as outlined on our What to Wear page. Students will need to wear specific dance clothing and shoes for each of their classes. Students with long hair are required to wear their hair in a bun for ballet classes in Level 3 and higher. For all other classes, long hair must be tied back. No jewellery in any class, please. After the month of September, our uniform policies will be enforced, and any students in Level 1 classes or higher who show up to class without proper dance and footwear will be asked to sit and watch the class rather than participate.


Dance is an art that builds progressively each week. To ensure a dancer’s success in the class, it is important that their attendance is consistent. This is particularly important between February and June when preparations take place for the year-end performances. The dances for the performance are learned during these classes, and the last 3-4 months are spent memorizing and polishing routines. Too many missed classes lead to unprepared dancers, who are then less confident when they perform on stage. We strive to have every student feel successful in their routine, and this comes from regular attendance.

Substitutes & Make-Up Classes

If, for any reason, a teacher cannot teach a class, we will provide a substitute teacher. Please note that there may be times when classes need to be cancelled for reasons beyond our control, such as a power failure or snow day. Inclement weather cancellations will be communicated via email and on our social media pages by 12:00pm on the day of the event.
If your dancer has to miss a class due to illness or travel plans, you are welcome to have your child attend up to 2 make-up classes per year. Make-up classes are offered as a courtesy and should not be relied upon as an alternate class time for your dancer on a regular basis. Please call or email our administrator prior to bringing your dancer to a make-up class to ensure that we are able to accommodate them.
Please note that make-up classes are not possible from February to June due to year-end performance preparations.

Preschool-Aged Students

We ask that parents or caregivers of our preschool-aged students stay on the premises while their child’s class is being conducted. Should a child require a trip to the bathroom, or is struggling too much for the instructor to help, we will ask the parent or caregiver for assistance so that the class may continue without a lengthy interruption.

Separation Anxiety

Please be aware that separation anxiety is a regular part of adjusting to a new activity. Our instructors are very used to this and have tools to help your child succeed. Please try to avoid entering into the studio repeatedly during classes after the first couple of weeks unless you are invited by the instructors, as this is very distracting for the rest of the class.

Tips for Preschool-Aged Class Success

Every child will be ready at a different age to explore their new dance class independently. We consider everything from running into the studio and not looking back, to crying and needing someone in the room holding their hand for several weeks to be normal. We have found that the following will help to prepare our youngest students for the most successful experience possible:

  • Arrive a few minutes early so that they don’t feel rushed.
  • Use the bathroom right before class, even if they say they don’t have to go.
  • Be properly dressed in dancewear or clothing that is form-fitting, but will allow freedom of movement. No elaborate costumes, please.
  • Leave all toys, electronics, and stuffed animals at home or in the car.
  • Have a snack and a drink of water before class begins if needed. Water breaks are not encouraged or deemed necessary during a 30-minute class.
  • Assure them that you will stay nearby and will watch them through the viewing window.
  • If you arrive late, please wait until the music stops playing and enter the studio in between exercises to minimize disruption to the class.
  • Speak to your children and ask questions about dance class and their teacher at home.

Dance Class Descriptions

Acro – Ages 4+

Acro is a style of dance that combines classical dance techniques with acrobatics. Unlike conventional gymnastics, no apparatus is used. The tricks performed in this class are typically taught on mats and eventually move to the floor. Students in this class will focus on improving their strength and flexibility so that they are able to safely execute the moves that are demonstrated in an Acro routine. This fun and dynamic class is a favourite for kids who like to be on the move and is offered at several levels to accommodate the various degrees of expertise and strength required. Acro is well demonstrated in professional dance performances such as Cirque du Soleil. Please note that all students enrolled in an Acro 2 class or higher are also required to take a weekly jazz or ballet class as a prerequisite. This is to help our older Acro students learn to fully stretch their legs and point their toes, which will greatly improve their overall “lines” and make them stronger, lessening the chance of injury when executing Acro moves.

Ballet – Ages 4+

Ballet offers students a sense of discipline and achievement and is a great foundation for all styles of dance. Students train at the barre and in the centre, executing a series of classical ballet exercises designed to develop coordination, strength, proper posture, and musicality.

Accelerated Ballet A, B & C

By invitation only, these ballet classes are for students who show the potential to train at a higher level, are focused and self-disciplined, and are interested in working hard to improve at an accelerated pace. The Accelerated Ballet program gives students who are ready to be challenged the opportunity to train in a more professional environment, alongside other dancers with a similar work ethic. All Accelerated Ballet students must take at least two ballet classes at our school each week in order to be a part of this program.


Each year, select ballet students are chosen to take their training to the next level (quite literally). Pointe students are required to take more than one ballet class per week and must first complete the proper “pre-pointe” training period, which includes extensive strengthening of the feet, ankles, lower legs and core. In this class, exercises emphasize the use of turnout, pointing of the toes, and maintaining general ballet technique while on pointe. Each fall, new pointe students should make an appointment at the Shoe Room at Canada’s National Ballet School to be properly fitted for their first pair of pointe shoes. This is a huge step and a very memorable occasion in a ballet dancer’s life!

Adult Ballet – Ages 18+

This class is geared towards adult students who already have some previous ballet training. Perhaps they took dance as a child, are retired professionals, or simply use ballet classes rather than going to a gym as their form of a workout. All adult ballet participants train at the barre and in the centre, executing a series of classical ballet exercises designed to develop coordination, strength, proper posture, and musicality. These classes are a fun and creative way to stay in shape, move to music, and build long, lean muscle definition.

Creative Movement (Pre-Ballet) – Age 3

Creative Movement pre-ballet classes are filled with songs and images that will guide young children toward understanding and enjoying the fundamentals of early ballet technique. These classes are a wonderful introduction to structured dance training.

Contemporary – Ages 8+

Contemporary holds an expressive style that fuses elements of several dance genres including modern, jazz, lyrical, and classical ballet. This style allows our students a more mature artistic freedom. Contemporary dancers strive to connect the mind and the body through movement. These classes often include floor work, improvisation, and versatility of body lines and dynamic movements. Contemporary dance is the exploration of the total movement potential of the body. Unlike other forms of dance, it is not bound by set standards or defined styles. Please note that all students attending Contemporary Level 2 or higher are also required to take a weekly jazz or ballet class as a prerequisite. This is to ensure proper technique and to prevent injury when working on Contemporary choreography.

Hip Hop – Ages 4+

Hip Hop is a high-energy class that infuses the latest styles of street dancing, breaking, popping, and locking. Classes will encourage students to step outside the box by bringing their own individual style and personality to the movements. The class includes upper and lower body conditioning, as well as a rigorous warm-up to help prepare the students for more intense movements.

Mighty Movers (Pre-Hip Hop) – Age 3

If your little one just loves to move and shake it up, this class is for them! Age-appropriate music and fun, athletic-style dance steps will be taught during this class. Watch your child develop strength and coordination and improve large motor skills, rhythm, and musicality, all while enjoying the songs and beats that high-energy kids love most.

Jazz – Ages 4+

Jazz is a lively and expressive dance form that combines contemporary moves with ballet technique. This is a high-energy class, loaded with fun that encourages rhythm, coordination, strength, and flexibility. A jazz class is typically divided into three parts – warm-up, across the floor, and choreography. The pace of a jazz class is much quicker than a ballet class and is conducive to high-energy dancers who like to jump and move. The music for this class ranges from the current top 40 tunes on the radio to classic rock, pop, and jazz songs with an upbeat tempo. Many of the entertaining moves taught in jazz classes are commonly seen in Broadway shows and musicals.

Senior Lyrical/Jazz Combo – Ages 11+

This Lyrical/Jazz combo class combines elements of ballet, modern, and jazz techniques. Routines learned in class are often set to music with vocals and the choreography tells a story to imitate the lyrics using gestures, emotions, and drama. The technique in a lyrical/jazz combo class is more contemporary than conventional and is very expressive. Since this class focuses primarily on choreography, it is highly recommended that dancers enrolled in this class also take a second weekly ballet or jazz class.

Modern – Ages 8+

Modern is an expressive form of dance that explores the movement of the body and the expression of emotion through dance and the elements that surround us. These classes will focus on contractions, spirals, basic floor work, and elemental concepts of space, time, and force to develop technical proficiency, musicality, and rhythmic accuracy. By not teaching one specific modern technique, we aim to educate our students on multiple professional techniques and also encourage them to express their own creativity and grow their movement vocabulary through the use of improvisation.

Musical Theatre – Ages 4+

Musical Theatre is a comprehensive triple-threat program combining the art of singing, acting, and dancing. Drama games and exercises are used to promote improvisation and trust, ensuring that all of the dancers develop greater self-confidence when performing. Emphasis will be placed on learning performance skills such as connecting with the audience and telling a story through dance and facial expressions. Skills including theatre dance, partnering, acting, character development, and chorus singing will be an additional focus. This entertaining class is fun for everyone but might be best suited for performers with big personalities!

Tap – Ages 4+

Tap classes are designed to develop rhythm, style, and sound. Students will learn a variety of tap styles from Broadway to Rhythm tap. Exercises focus on building flexibility of the knee and ankles, coordination, and speed of movement. The class emphasis is on developing proper tap technique, producing clear tap sounds, and having fun. As students progress through each level, the curriculum will become increasingly more complex and intricate.

Tiny Tappers – Ages 3-4

These introductory tap classes are designed to give children the opportunity to develop rhythm and the sounds of basic tap progressions.

Competitive Dance Teams – Ages 6+

LSDM offers novice, full- and part-time competitive dance training programs in both commercial and classical dance streams. Competitive students earn their place on a team by attending annual auditions held each June. Competitive dancers endure a more rigorous training schedule, attending anywhere from 3-10+ classes per week and then attend 3-4 competitions each spring representing our school. If you have a dancer who is interested in learning more about our competitive program, please contact us for more details. Please note that all competitive teams are finalized by the end of August. Any inquiries received after August will need to be for the following season.

Dance Assistant Training Opportunities – Have an energetic tween or teen who loves dance and working with children? LSDM has an assistant training program that offers hands-on, in-person opportunities (both volunteer and paid) for students throughout the school year. Please contact us to learn more.

Camp Monarch

Leslieville School of Dance & Music is home to the one-of-a-kind Camp Monarch program. Since 2003, these art camps have been offering engaging and inspiring programming, featuring daily classes in music, art, dance, and yoga, and plenty of free-play time outdoors. Camp Monarch is a place where fast friendships form and imaginations soar. All children ages 4-10 are welcome! Please check our Camp Monarch page for dates.

Leader-in-Training Opportunities – Have an energetic tween or teen who loves the arts and working with children? Camp Monarch has an integrated leader-in-training program that offers hands-on, in-person opportunities (both volunteer and paid) for students during spring, summer, and winter programming dates. Please contact us to learn more.

Respect, Responsibility, & Growth!

Dancers show respect for themselves by:

  1. Being on time for class; and,
  2. Wearing required dancewear and footwear, without jewellery, with hair tied back properly.

Dancers show respect for others by:

  1. Waiting patiently for their turn during instruction and demonstration;
  2. Waiting until the music is finished before entering the classroom (if late to class);
  3. Refraining from talking except during active discussion; and,
  4. Appreciating other students’ efforts.

Dancers show respect for their teacher and art form by:

  1. Being properly dressed and ready for class on time;
  2. Listening carefully to the teacher giving combinations or corrections;
  3. Being prepared for their turn;
  4. Asking for permission before leaving the room (for any reason), and upon returning, entering quietly; and,
  5. Trying their best to finish each exercise despite any frustration as they learn.

Dancers show respect for the studio by:

  1. Leaving gum, food, and drinks outside;
  2. Never hanging from or leaning on the ballet barres or mirrors;
  3. Never running or doing gymnastics in the studios or waiting areas;
  4. Putting trash in its proper place; and,
  5. Silencing cell phones.

Parents show respect for the dance class, teachers, and studio by:

  1. Promptly dropping off and picking up students;
  2. Reporting an absence as soon as possible;
  3. Not entering the studio repeatedly during classes after the first couple of weeks unless you are invited by the instructors, as this is very distracting for the rest of the class;
  4. Clearly marking all items with their child’s name; and,
  5. Not allowing toys or electronics from home to be brought into the studio.
Together we can continue to keep our outstanding community strong!

Important Dates

Please visit our Important Dates page for a detailed list of school events and closures.