Directors + Faculty

Madeleine Twyman, Owner and co-founder of Durham School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance



Madeleine Twyman is a Canadian Dancer, Choreographer and Educator and is the Director of The Blue Institute and co-founder of The Durham School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Madeleine has been recently commissioned by Dance Ontario to create a world premiere for Danceweekend’23 and selected by The National Ballet of Canada for a 2023 Open Space Residency. Madeleine moved to New York City in 2001 receiving her post-secondary education at The Ailey School and The Martha Graham School training under Yuriko, Pearl Lang, Denise Vale, Milton Myers, Dudley Williams, Abdel Salaam and Patricia Beatty. Madeleine has worked with many Dance Companies in New York City including The Martha Graham Ensemble, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre of Harlem and Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn. Her work has been presented throughout Ontario, New York City, Montreal and Los Angeles. Performance highlights include The Stars of the 21st Century Gala at Lincoln Center, An Award Tribute for Will Smith at Th American Black Film Festival, The Montreal Fringe Festival, NewBlue Dance Festival, Guelph Dance Festival and her original choreography and music composition opening at The ING NYC Marathon. Twyman presented a series of performances fusing World Dances, music and fashion with over 60 shows throughout Manhattan that garnered her a nomination for The NYC Underground Music Awards. Twyman has been invited by CID Unesco to perform in the 60th World Congress of Dance Research(2023) in Athens, Greece in the Acropolis’ most ancient theatre in the world. Madeleine has been the recipient of many awards most recently The YAGP Outstanding Choreography Award in Toronto. Investigating life’s nuances through the multiplex lens of the feminine narrative, Madeleine is curious about creating multi-dimensional work that floats effortlessly between social commentary and the metaphysical alike; specifically in relationship to myth, theology and collective culture.

Madeleine is passionate about using the arts to empower her audiences and students, continually working with youth groups and not for profit organizations in Canada, The United States and India to help facilitate a global growth in positive social change.

“I believe that the dedication, discipline and artistic expression one gain’s from dance training enables one to reach unlimited levels of artistic freedom that transcends entertainment and creates a pathway for success in any field.”

Rosemary Twyman HON BA, R.A.D, R.T.S, Artistic Director and co-founder of Durham School of Contemporary Dance

headshot RoseRAD

As a graduate of York University, Rosemary Twyman holds an Honours BA with a Fine Arts Major in Dance. Having over 30 years of experience as a dance educator with both studios (a successful studio owner for over 28 years) and arts focused schools, Rosemary brings a wealth of expertise to share.

Her professional performance experience encompasses various forms and genres,  in particular Ballet, Modern and Spanish Flamenco. As a choreographer and award winner for various competitions throughout Canada and the USA, Rosemary Twyman has also been a Guest Teacher and conducted Master Classes/Workshops (Ballet), for various schools and studios throughout Ontario.

As an RAD RTS,(Royal Academy of Dance, Registered Teacher Status, ) Rosemary has not only trained students of all ages for ballet exams worldwide, but as well has trained teachers to successfully pass their RAD teacher certification. Through her accomplishments, she has prepared many students for post- secondary study @ Alvin Ailey, Ryerson University, York University, Concordia University, Marymount College, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Julliard, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Rock School of Ballet to name but a few.

Her love of dance and desire to share that passion has enabled her to adjudicate throughout the US and Ontario, for the past 5 years.


Wendy Holt

Wendy trained at the Royal Ballet School in London, England. She holds the Royal Ballet School Teaching Diploma and has been both an Associate and Registered Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance since 1990. She is currently a Dual Examiner and CPD Tutor for the RAD and teaches Grade and Vocational Ballet classes in the GTA as well as adult ballet for the National Ballet of Canada’s InStudio program.

AJ Simmons

Award winning dancer, choreographer and teacher, AJ Simmons, has taken his skills across four continents across Theatre, Film, Television, commercial and studio platforms. He’s a champion Bboy/Hip Hop dancer and a UK tap dance champion title holder with his brother Benjamin. Having taught dance and choreographed alongside his performing career that has spanned to roles such as DANNY ZUKO in Grease, PEPPER in Mamma Mia! International Tour and TONY MANERO in Saturday Night Fever North American Tour, he has currently settled in Toronto where he shares his styles internationally, commercially, and privately.

Kiera Breaugh

Hailing from the urban metropolis of Toronto, Canada, Kiera Breaugh is a well versed dancer and choreographer whose style lives at the intersection between contemporary and hip hop. She has been recognized for her work as both a dancer and choreographer as she travelled across North America to train with the best dancers and learn from the best choreographers. Along the way, Kiera became a member of the Young Lions, Immabeast and Immabreathe – all LA based companies. She has assisted choreographers including Ian Eastwood, Willdabeast and Janelle Ginestra. She was head choreographer of the dance crew Kuumba Beatz. Kiera premiered her piece “Wash” at Loyola Marymount University’s student concert, which was chosen to be presented again at the American College Dance Association Gala in March of 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a minor in education from LMU in December of 2019. She has had a solo performance on Canada’s hit TV show ​The Next Step​, as well as appearing on ​Make it Pop.​ Kiera’s versatile dance vocabulary and rare combination of movement experiences has prepared her to make her mark on the dance scene with her unique approach to choreography and self expression.

Cristina Yuen

Cristina is a York University graduate, obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with honours. She has taught many workshops all over the GTA as a faculty member with FRESH Dance Intensive. With more than 15 years of intense training and performing under her belt, Cristina loves to share her love of dance and knowledge by giving back as a dance teacher. She enjoys sharing her passion for dance with her students and continues to challenge herself by attending master classes, workshops & drop-in classes as much as possible to learn from other dancers and choreographers.

Cristina joined the OIP Dance Company in 2006, training and performing with them for 2 years under the creative direction of owner, Danny Davalos. Being a part of this company gave her the pleasure of working with well-known choreographers like Luther Brown, from So You Think You Can Dance. She has done many TV and live performances including: Shawn Desman’s “Night Like This” music video, movie premier for How She Move, Disney movie Cow Belles, the Toronto Film Festival with Dodat Entertainment, World Aids Day Gala with Anthony Sherwood Productions, FIFA Under 20 World Cup Opening Ceremonies, That’s So Raven Eye on Fashion, Children’s Wish Foundation Gala.

Cristina is so excited to join the DSBCD family and get to know everyone in September.

Leave a Reply