Cassandra Ford is the proud new owner of Grand River Dance Academy. She began dancing at GRDA at the young age of four under the direction of Monica Hildabrand. Her dancing career brought her to Eastwood Collegiate Institute where she studied dance and vocal in an elite arts program.
As a competitive dancer with In Motion School of Performing Arts, she took her roll as Front Desk Manager, Directors Assistant, and Instructor in her later teens. At the age of 18 Cassandra was accepted into a two year Ballet teaching program under the mentor ship of Felicity Jones at the Royal Academy of Dance.
Cassandra has completed all of her Ballet exams with the Royal Academy of Dance. She is now a certified and registered Ballet instructor with the Royal Academy of Dance. Her professional career connected her with some of the most talented and passionate dancers and choreographers.
She was a loyal company dancer with the ONE Movement Dance Company for four years. Together the team travelled to elementary and high schools to educate, empower, and inspire students through the art of dance to make their move to stop bullying. They used dance, motivational speaking, and entire audience participation to send the message that our youth can be strong, powerful, confident, and stop bullying.
Cassandra has performed in many gigs such as opening for WE Day Kitchener three years in a row, travelled to Germany to represent Team Canada in World Tap Championships, and has even trained in Los Angles.
The act of giving back is important to Cassandra. She has participated in a mission trip to Africa, has lead multiple fundraising events in the community, and has helped encourage her students to do the same.
Cassandra is excited for this next chapter in her career and is beyond fortunate to be back at GRDA where her love of dance all started.
Milwaukee Baker (GRDA’s Mr. Mik) has been dancing for sixteen years, in many different medias. Trained in jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and tap, he danced competitively for twelve years. He has also received his Advanced 1 Ballet Certificate with the Royal Academy of Dance with Distinction. In 2015, he graduated from Brantford Collegiate Institute’s SHSM Stage and Screen Program, with the goal of turning his love of dance into a career in musical theatre.
Milwaukee has danced on stage (The Little Mermaid, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, preparing for RCMPI’s Mamma Mia in Nov 2019), on television (Hulu’s 11/22/63), and at many special events. He was a company member of the ONE Movement Bully Prevention Program for three seasons, and in the years since has continued to dance with ONE Movement at the Cambridge Art Galleries’ annual Arts Gala Fundraiser (2017-2019). Since starting his professional career, he has choreographed for competitions, church services, and a production of The Wiz at Assumption College School in Brantford, ON. Mr. Mik is so excited to be returning for his third year of teaching at GRDA and hopes he can inspire a new generation of performers to be the best versions of themselves, inside and outside the studio.
Lindsay has had dance in her blood since she was born and is thrilled to be able to use her skills and her creativity to challenge all of her students. She has studied competitively in all areas of dance and was a very successful dancer.
Lindsay holds her Acrobatic Arts M2 certification as well as her Associate Teaching certificates in both Stage and Acro from the B.A.T.D. She is also a member of the R.A.D. She danced with the Toronto Rock Dance Team for 3 consecutive seasons and also danced with the Toronto Nationals’ Dance Team in the Toronto Nationals inaugural season. Lindsay also had a dance roll in the Jassi Sidhu music video for Margay Margay and has appeared in a Euphoria Smoothies commercial.
With over 12 years of teaching experience, Lindsay is thrilled to be a part of the GRDA family!
Abby began dancing at the age of four and began to compete at six. She danced at and competed with Encore Dance Studio in Elmira and Stage Presence School of Dance in Fergus. Here, she quickly found a passion for dance and began training in Tap, Jazz, Ballet (RAD), Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and Acro.
Throughout her 15 years of competing she won many awards and scholarships and has also attended workshops, conventions, and auditions. Abby has trained with artists such as Everett Smith, Jay T Schramek, Mindy Conto, Mike Glenney, Matthew Clark and more.
In 2018 Abby gained a spot on the Canadian Tap Team and travelled to Germany for the World Championships and was awarded a bronze medal for the formation routine and a silver medal with the production. She has also preformed in multiple live theatre plays with the Royal City Musical Productions Inc where she developed and strengthened her stage performance.
As her dancing and performing developed, her love for teaching and choreographing took over. Abby began teaching as a recreational and competitive Tap and Hip Hop teacher at GRDA in September 2018. She has always been thankful for the opportunity to be able to challenge her students and show them their true potential through dance.