Faculty

Leslie Kuny   she/her

Leslie Kuny she/her

Owner / Director

Jazz Faculty Head, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Production

Growing up in small town Saskatchewan, Leslie found her passion for dance while studying at Juliette’s Dance Center in Saskatoon. After successful years of studio training in essentially every genre, Leslie expanded her dance education and training by attending Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan College Dance Program.

Upon completing her diploma in Edmonton, Leslie continued her post-secondary dance training at Simon Fraser University, graduating as a Dance Major with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. While training in university Leslie had the privilege to work alongside some of Canada’s dance leaders including Wen Wei Wang (Wen Wei Dance Vancouver), Barbara Bourget (kokoro dance Vancouver), David LeHay (Ballet Kelowna), Gerry Morita (Mile Zero Edmonton), Brian Webb (Brian Webb Dance Company Edmonton), Judith Garay (Dancer’s Dancing Vancouver), and Day Helesic (MovEnt Vancouver). Working with these contemporary dance industry leaders shaped her both as a dancer and a teacher, and she uses this unique perspective with her students.

In addition to her dance training, Leslie is a talented singer and uses her voice to help dancers find theirs. She was formerly the National Anthem Singer for the Saskatoon Blades Western Junior Hockey Team, as well as the Saskatoon International Air Show. Leslie has played the lead in several musicals including Radio Gals, Sarah Plain and Tall, and The Sound of Music.

Over the past 20 years, Leslie has devoted herself to training dancers in a supportive empowering environment, and choreographing for competitive and recreational studios, schools, and pre-professional training programs. Her dancers and choreography have been awarded for use of space, balanced approach of technical excellence and performance, as well as humour. Outside of teaching and choreographing Leslie has worked for several Vancouver-based dance non-profits organizations, which gave her the opportunity to work side by side with industry professionals on a day-to-day basis.

Leslie’s passion for dance and love for performing shines through in her teaching style. She believes every student deserves quality training in a professional environment while motivating students to work to their full potential. Her outgoing attitude and fun-loving nature makes her a natural with students of all ages.

Rosanna Punzo  she/her

Rosanna Punzo she/her

Owner / Director

Tap Faculty Head, Jazz,

Rosie found her passion for dance at the age of 5.  She trained under the supportive guidance of Dawn Govier and Valerie Eastwood and competed in numerous dance styles for over 10 years.

Rosie has been teaching for 11 years including 10 at the White Rock School of Music and Dance.  Her teaching repertoire includes Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Stage with her forte being Tap.  Throughout her teaching career she has won choreography awards and her competitive students have attained many awards at a variety of competitions.

She has an amazing ability to connect with students and parents as she understands the challenges and triumphs that they have, having been a student and now a dance mom herself of 14 and 11 year old girls.

In addition to her passion for dancing, Rosie has a good understanding of business as a child of an entrepreneur and her experience as a Realtor over the past 7 years.

It is a true gift in life to be able to “do what you love” and Rosie is very exited to be able to share her love for dance with families in the Fraser Valley

Zoe Gilbert    she/her

Zoe Gilbert she/her

Acro Faculty Head, Contemporary, Tap, Jazz

Zoë has been dancing since the young age of 4, when she immediately discovered her passion and gift for it. During her first solo at the age of 5 she was recognized for her stunning technical skills that continued to develop through her training for the following 15 years in ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, modern, tap, hip-hop, acrobatics, and theatre. During her younger years Zoë completed her Cecchetti ballet exams from grades one to four and grade six to intermediate in RAD, as well as her ADTA jazz exams from steppingstones to level five. She continued competing through her training and consistently placed high in competitions across BC, winning scholarships for Circus Lab, Push in Progress to train under Calen J. Kurka in New York City, and the BC provincial modern/contemporary representative position. After graduation Zoë continued her training under Moe Brody, Joanna Pesusich, Lisa Metz, and Tessa Tamera, among many other talented teachers, and danced and performed for The Source and ITP companies at Harbour Dance Centre. Throughout her training her talent for acrobatics has always shone through, she continued to train in an incredibly competitive company at Circus Lab called Artist Preparatory Program and has since graduated from the program. Zoë has been teaching for close to 10 years, she specializes in Acro, Contortion, Contemporary as well as Jazz, Tap. She loves to share her talents with students as a kind and motivational instructor at several studios around the lower mainland.

Keeli Duncan  she/her

Keeli Duncan she/her

Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz

Miss Keeli has been dancing since she was three years old and has trained at Flora Pigeau Dance Academy, Dance Xpressions, and The Edge Performing Arts Center.  Miss Keeli trained in a variety of styles including jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, stage and ballet, but ballet is the style she is most paassionate about.  As a teacher Miss Keeli’s goal is to instill discipline, technique, and stregnth in all her dancers while keeping an upbeat and positive space for them to learn and grow; not only as dancers but as people as well.  Her organizational superpowers are well utilized in her capacity as Ignite’s Administrative Assistant.  In addition to her work at Ignite, Keeli is the Head Choreographer of the Vancouver Giants Dance Teams.  Miss Keeli is very excited to be a part of the Ignite Family and is looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with everyone who comes through the studio door!

 

 

Cailin Costa    she/her

Cailin Costa she/her

Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Preschool Ballet Instructor

Miss Cailin has been dancing since she was 3 years old and shines in contemporary, jazz, and stage classes using her passion to drive her performance. She is an outstanding performer having received multiple awards and accoldaes from numerous competitions. Miss Cailin is a natural in working with younger students especially those under the age of 7. Her compassion, patience, and natural love of children assists her in these preschool classes.  She is able to instill gentle discipline balanced with a true love for dance in the youngest dancers.

Mario Matias he/they

Mario Matias he/they

Hip-Hop

Based in the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and TsleilWaututh Nations (Vancouver, Canada), Mario Matias is a Queer, FilipinoIndigenous (Igorot)choreographer, movement artist, and dance educator. Mario has trained in a wide array of styles such as HipHop, Punking, Afro and Commercial Choreography. He started his formal dance journey with Praise TEAM Studio in 2008. In 2015, Mario travelled and lived in Auckland, New Zealand, where he trained with street dance street dance companies and studios. Later moving to Auckland in 2017, he was mentored by Sunny Sun, a former member of The Royal Family Dance Crew. He also lived in Melbourne, Australia, where he trained under Gina Micheal, one of Australia’s leading choreographers. In 2021, he joined Afrobeats Van, under Isaac (Izo) Gasangwa where he trained heavily in Afro dance styles. In 2023, Mario returned to New Zealand to continue learning from notable choreographers and instructors from the Auckland dance community.

Ignite Dance Center is a safe, inclusive space for all people.