Our Team

Dance with France

Our Instructors

Our professional instructors are fully qualified and believe in building self-confidence in each student in a positive learning environment.

Rochelle Gartner

Rochelle Gartner (B.A. Dance, S.T.A.R.S) – Artistic Director

Rochelle is an international performer that has been dancing continuously for over 40 years with more than 25 years of professional teaching experience. She has completed RAD Ballet, Al Gilbert Tap, ADAPT Jazz syllabus examinations and has received numerous choreography awards.

Experience highlights and performance credits:

  • Dancer in the 1988 Winter Olympics
  • Founder, director, choreographer, producer and dancer of Artists Elite International Performance Co. 1995-present
  • Principal dancer of the Rio Las Vegas show in Atami, Japan 1995-1996
  • Choreographer for CBS Movie of the Week Papa’s Angels 2000
  • Poland & Finland contemporary dance tour 1997
  • Artistic Director & Choreographer for Calgary Dance Express 2008-2009
  • Graduate with a BA Dance from University of Calgary 1997
  • Dancer with Princess Cruises 1998-2004
  • The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede Alumni senior dancer 1989-1992
  • National level dance competitions 1984-1989
  • Choreographer and alumni dancer with The Calgary Stampeder Outriders 1992-1993
  • Dancer on Disney’s Honey I Shrunk the Kids 1997-2000
  • Dancer and lead role Dance instructor for AMC’s Hell on Wheels 2013-2016
  • Princess Cruises dance instructor 1998-2004
  • Artistic Director of Dance with France 2004-present

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz (B.F.A and B.Ed, S.T.A.R.S) – Instructor

Sarah has been teaching dance and swimming for 10 years. She has bachelor degrees in Education and Fine Arts, and has been active in dancing, swimming, drama and gymnastics for over 20 years. With her positive personality, Sarah is extremely excited to have been teaching at Dance with France for over 7 years, and choreographing for Artists Elite International. She is looking forward to another great year of dancing.

Jillian Ung

Jillian Ung

Jillian is a Calgary based dancer studying at the University of Calgary as a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance Major. She has been dancing since the age of 4 innumerous styles such as; Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Acro, Contemporary and Modern. She is currently dancing and teaching with studios around Calgary as well as training and competing around the world witha Hip-Hop company, Illfx Education. Her main performance opportunities consist of World Of Dance (Edmonton/Vancouver), Dancers Paradise (Mexico) and Monsters (California). She has also participated in Montage and Mainstage with the University of Calgary and Dance the of Calgary and Dance the World Florida at Disney World Resort Florida. Her training also includes intensive training with diverse choreographers in Calgary, Vancouverand Toronto. Plus the opportunity to train in London England in an extensive Modern program. She loves teaching especially when training and inspiring the next generation of dancers as well as sharing her passion every opportunity she gets. She is a hardworking, optimistic individual who believes in self growth in all experiences.

Angela Rak

Angela Rak

Trained in Ontario, Angela Rak has over 25 years of teaching experience in a variety of styles holding R.A.D and C.D.T.A certificates in ballet, jazz, tap contemporary, musical theater and hiphop. Over the past 15 years in Calgary, she has been teaching at a highly competitive level producing an average 15-20 competition routines in a year. Her passion is creating new unique choreography, and sharing her passion for dance with her students.

Rebecca Leong

Rebecca Leong (BA Child Services) – Instructor

Rebecca has been dancing since the age of six, focusing on Jazz and Tap technique. She has been teaching at various studios including preliminary dance classes in Germany and adult Jazz in New Zealand. She has over five years of professional dance group experience including various performances in Calgary and area, and intense training. Rebecca has finished all her “Canadian Dance Teachers Association” exams in both Jazz and Tap, and has completed performance exams for Jazz and Tap from the “British Association for Teachers of Dance”. Rebecca has a passion for performance and teaching performance routines and technique. She enjoys working with children and helping them to discover themselves through the expression of dance.

Elescia Chelsea

Elescia Chelsea

Elescia Chelsea, is a dancer and choreographer, born and raised in Calgary. With a dance journey beginning at a very young age, she was first introduced to technical styles, training in ballet, jazz and contemporary. She began integrating hip hop and various street styles into her training, and soon grew a heavy passion for these genres. Elescia began training and performing with illFX Education and Company four years ago and has since trained with many acclaimed choreographers in the industry such as, Luther Brown, Scott Forsyth, and King Guttah. She has performed and competed in competitions across Canada and Internationally including Toronto, Los Angeles and Mexico. Elescia’s goal is to share the knowledge that she acquires on her journey to help continue to build the Calgary dance community and ultimately help others find their passion and personal expression through dance.

Jomari Samiley

Jennifer Fridfinnson – B.A. Dance

Jennifer Fridfinnson was born in Calgary Alberta. She began dancing at the age of 3 at the Starchevski School of Ballet. Jennifer primarily focused on studying Ballet but also explore other dance styles such as Lyrical, Contemporary and Jazz. After she began dancing at McDonald Wilson Dance Academy she began her Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Examinations. Jennifer is a graduate from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Arts, with a degree in Dance. Jennifer has also studied Carnival traditions and dance in Trinidad as a part of a travel study under the direction of Professor Michele Moss.

Payton Glagau

Payton Glagau

Payton has been dancing for 16 years training in various disciplines including Irish dance, jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, modern, contemporary, aerial hoop, pole, acrobatics, and silks. The majority of her training has been through Dance With France and Artists Elite, she also teaches and trains at Strut Fitness, and instructs and performs dance through Global Fest. Payton loves the communities that she has found through dance and is excited to be part of the teaching team at Dance With France!

Micheline Rae (S.T.A.R.S) – Instructor

Micheline has many years of training and performing in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop. Following a career as an international model with numerous professional modelling agencies, she became the dance/modelling consultant and casting agent for a variety of entertainment companies. During that time, she designed the Personal Development and Modelling Training Program for High Schools and The Bay’s Teen Council.

Some of her dance credits include performingfor the BMG Country Music Awards, Legends Alive Tour, DWF Pro Troupe for 9 years, The World Police & Fire Games, and Dance Productions at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (Arizona).

Micheline is the owner and Director of Dance with France’s sister company, MAG Models, and has choreographed many dance fashion shows for The Bridal Fair & Expo.

France Johnson (S.T.A.R.S, ADAPT, RAD, GILBERT)

France is the past owner and founder of Dance with France Studios, Calgary’s number one dance studio for 30 years and running.

France started dancing at the age of 5, and is a Graduate of the University of Calgary Dance Degree Program.

She has an extensive career in the dance industry, and has choreographed and performed in many TV/movie productions: appearing with Billy Ray Cyrus, “Dirty Dancing” the movie, was 1st place winner at the competition in Los Angeles Greek Theatre, Legends Alive Tours, BMG Country Music Awards, World Police & Fire Games, 1988 Winter Olympics, Choreographer and sponsor of the Calgary Stampeder OutriderCheerleaders, Radz Roller Hockey, Entertainment for Calgary Flames Play Off Games, and Disney’s “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” the series.

France has won First Place Awards from The Calgary Stampede Board for The Calgary Stampede Parade, and has been an Adjudicator for many dance and fitness competitions.

Many of France’s students have gone on to professional careers in the dance and entertainment industry.

Matt Mozil – Breakdance Instructor

After returning from Europe’s breakdance scene, this fantastic B-BOY is heading up our breakdance program. Matt trains intensively in his craft, constantly creating new exciting tricks, and is very passionate about this very popular athletic artform. Our talented and enthusiastic Break Dance Instructor is 100% committed to our award winning DWF Guys Floor Team… whotook home 1st Place High Gold Award again at competition this year.