Allison Darling – Director

Allison Darling is a Fellow Member of The British Association of Teachers of Dancing.  Allison began her dance career at the age of 4.  She studied Ballet for three years before branching out into Jazz, Tap and Highland.  Her love for dance flourished over the years and she extended her study to other dance disciplines such as: Musical Theatre, Contemporary, Pointe and Hip Hop.  She danced competitively across Ontario for many years.


Allison has been a dance educator with the BATD since 1983.  She holds many teachers certifications  with the Association. Allison holds her members and Fellowship in Hip Hop. She is also a member of Acrobatic Arts and the Professional Adjudicators Alliance. Allison opened her own studio in 1985.  She acquired her Fellowship in Highland in 1990 along with her adjudicators credentials with the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing.  She continues to take professional classes and exams to extend her dance knowledge.  Allison obtained her Zumba and Zumba Kids license in 2011 and enjoys sharing her passion for fitness with her studio family.

Allison teaches both recreation and competitive students.  She has prepared many students for Exams with the BATD both at the amateur and professional levels.  Many of her students have been nominated for scholarships with the BATD in the Ballet, Highland and Jazz divisions.  Many of her competitive students have also won scholarships to various workshops in North America.  Most of her students begin teaching careers of their own.

Drop by for a visit & sign-up to try a class for FREE

We have a dance class for everyone!

Our Faculty

Deanna Salib

Deanna has been perusing her passion for dance since the age of 6, when she started in Pickering. Deanna participated in competitive dance for over 10 years including ADA and CDMA. Deanna has studied tap (ADAPT), jazz (ADAPT), ballet (RAD), pointe (RAD), lyrical, musical theatre, acro and hip-hop. Throughout her competitive years, Deanna had the opportunity to travel throughout North America and bring home many overall awards together with her team mates. She also completed her ballet exams (RAD).

Deanna has appeared and performed on TV shows like Degrassi: TNG in 2010. Ever since the beginning, Deanna always knew that performing, acting and dancing was her main passion that she had always wanted to share with other members of the community. Now as a teacher and choreographer, Deanna’s students have made tremendous technical improvements and have won overall competitive awards.

Deanna furthered her knowledge by completing her judging license with the International Academy of Dance Adjudicators (IADA). Deanna continues to broaden her education as she continuously takes classes and attends conventions regularly. Deanna attended the University of Toronto for Psychology Mental Health and Sociology earning her Honours Bachelor of Science degree, she then went on to pursue her Masters of Applied Disabilities (M.A.D.S) She also is working in behaviour therapy with children who have both low and high functioning autism.

Shauna Bartley

Shauna began grooming her passion for dance at the age of 3. For over 15 years she studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet (RAD, Cecchetti and Russian), Pointe, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, and Acrobatics. She has competed throughout Canada and the United States including the American Dance Awards National finals in Las Vegas and Boston.

Her passion for instructing young dancers started at the age of 14 when she began assisting classes. She was later hired as a full-time teacher at the age of 18 in the disciplines of Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, and Acrobatics. To gain more knowledge and experience, she attended and successfully completed the 3-year A.D.A.P.T (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) certification program, 2 year Performance Dance program at George Brown College, and received her Level 1 and Level 2 in acrobatics through the Dance Educators of Canada Forum for Acrobatic Dance.

Shauna is constantly attending workshops and courses to update her education in dance. In the last eight years as a teacher and choreographer, students that she has had the honor of working with have won numerous awards including; Young dancer of the year, choreography awards and many overalls in groups, duets, trios, and solos.

Shauna takes great pride in creating a positive and motivating learning experience. She is very enthusiastic towards sharing her passion for dance with all the young dancers she has the privilege of working with and strongly encourages them to set goals and dream big.

Melissa Tolkunow

Melissa is in her second year of teaching at Allison Darling Dancers and she is currently teaching contemporary/lyrical and tap. Melissa has received her Associate Stage certification in B.A.T.D. She is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts- Dance and Concurrent Education programs at York University where she has performed in the York Dances choreography shows.

Melissa has been a member of the Bringing Tap Back Company directed by Everett Smith for 3 years and has been a part of the annual stage productions including: Lights and Sound, Tap Love Connection, Tap Water (2013), A Day Through Rhythm and Sound (2012), Creating Monsters (2011).

Melissa enjoys teaching at Allison Darling Dancers and working with the amazing dancers.

Robin Calder

Robin is a Member of The BATD in the Highland Division and also the Scottish National Division. She started dancing at the age of 3and has studied Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Highland. Her real love is Highland.

She competed all over Ontario during her dancing career. She has been with the studio since 2002. She continues to study Highland and Tap. Robin enjoys teaching beginning dancers. It is amazing to see their development and enjoyment of dance grow throughout the year.


Jessica Faust

Jessica Faust has been dancing since the age of 6. She has danced competitively with Denise Lester Dance Academy, and the Pine Ridge Secondary School competitive team.

As a university student she has danced with and choreographed for post-secondary competitive team Rise Dance Company for two years. Jessica has also taught children’s dance classes with the City of Pickering and has been a supply teacher with Allison Darling Dancers since 2016.

Jessica is joining our faculty this fall and is looking forward to working with our dancers.

Want to join our team?

Send your resume to allison@allisondarlingdancers.ca

Scroll to Top