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Adela Cleverley
Artistic Director

Adela Cleverley has been training in ballet and highland dance since the age of 9. She has performed in many shows with Ann Milne and the Owen Sound Academy of Performing Arts, including Dancing for Life and Dancing for Life... Because You Can. Adela is a competitive highland dancer and has been teaching competitive and recreational highland since 2008. In 2012, she became a fully qualified Member of the BATD for highland, and she is now a Member of the SDTA (Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance). Adela has also been teaching Ballet and Contemporary since 2012, and Adult Dance since 2015.  In 2019, Adela completed her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies with the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance), which qualifies the Owen Sound Dance Academy as an RAD registered school.

Adela graduated in 2016 after five years of training in the Dance program at York University in Toronto, having received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, as well as a concurrent Bachelor of Education at the Primary-Junior level. At York, Adela studied classical and contemporary ballet, improvisation and Skinner Release Technique, and a range of modern dance techniques including Graham and Limón. She was able to expand and enrich her dance background with studies in choreography, conditioning, dance history, and dance kinesiology, as well as courses in early child development

and motor learning for dance. In her time at York University, Adela also had the opportunity to perform twice in the school’s annual production of York Dances, and has been inspired by the countless professional modern dance and ballet shows she was able to attend each year.

Adela has had the pleasure of training under many notable Dance Artists, including Julia Sasso, John Ottman, Carol Anderson, Tracey Norman, and Helen Jones.

Until 2017, Adela taught Highland, Ballet and Contemporary at the Owen Sound Academy of Performing Arts, and she was honoured to become the owner and Artistic Director of the new Academy in August 2017. Since then, Adela has continued to train dancers in these styles as well as teaching Preschool, Adult Dance, and Parent & Tot. She has put 6 full dance recitals on stage, including The Nutcracker in 2018 and 2022 and the Academy's most recent production of Moonlight this past June. In 2022 Adela began further outreach and contemporary dance artistry when she founded the youth dance company, Wildflower Dance Arts. Through her years of training at the OSAPA and York, Adela discovered a real passion for teaching and creating dance and is honoured to be able to continue sharing her art with this community.

Photo Credit: Candra Schank

Michele Hopkins
Professional Instructor

Michele Hopkins is an award-winning dance artist who has been dancing, teaching, choreographing and directing for over 25 years. Michele has performed extensively throughout her career in both classical and contemporary formats across Ontario and the United States. She engages both her students and the community in dance in a variety of dance projects and performances.

Michele has had experience dancing and choreographing for numerous classical ballets including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote, as well as various contemporary dance productions throughout her career with the Niagara Ballet Company, In Company of Dance, and as an independent dance artist.


Michele completed ballet teacher training at the National Ballet School in Toronto and the American Ballet Theatre curriculum in New York City. Michele is also a certified yoga and pilates instructor and mind-body therapy practitioner. She was the Artist in Residence at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts and has been recognized with a Mayor’s Cultural Award, Bernice Adams Award and as a YWCA Woman of Distinction. She has been involved in numerous Arts and Culture organizations and committees and regularly attends workshops and training in Toronto and NYC.

Michele moved to Grey Bruce with her family in 2021 and has since taught Preschool Dance, all levels of Ballet Technique, Advanced Contemporary and Adult Ballet, as well as producing choreography for the Academy's last three major productions. We are delighted to have her continue teaching all of these programs in our 2023-24 dance season.

Rebecca Brown
Associate Highland Teacher

Rebecca Brown began dancing in Preschool Dance at the age of 3 and has trained in a variety of dance styles including highland, ballet, modern and Irish dance. She had a competitive dance career in both highland and Irish dance, competing and performing in shows in Canada and the United States. She obtained her BATD teaching certificate and became an associate teacher, teaching preschool, highland, Irish and adult dance classes. Returning to Owen Sound after completing post-secondary studies, Rebecca began teaching and studying under World Champion highland dancer Ann Milne at her studio and participated in the fundraising productions Dancing for Life and Dancing for Life…Because you can, as both a dancer and teacher.


Rebecca is now a Registered Massage Therapist and lives in Owen Sound with her husband and 2 children. She is looking forward to teaching at the Owen Sound Dance Academy in preschool, primary, beginner and novice highland classes, and sharing her love and knowledge of highland dance with a new generation of dancers.

Leila McIntyre-Hopkins
Ballet Teacher

Leila has been dancing for 14 years and has trained in several professional programs including the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Manitoba, the National Ballet School in Toronto, and with Gesley Kirkland in New York City. She has studied in many methods of ballet including Vegonova, the American Ballet Theatre curriculum, Cecchetti and RAD, as well as having experience in modern dance, contemporary, jazz and acro. Leila recently passed her RAD Intermediate exam in the spring, at a High Merit level. Leila has performed extensively and competed in national and international ballet competitions. She placed first at the Youth America Grand Prix in Toronto and attended finals in New York City. Her performance career includes leading roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Mary Poppins, and Alice in Wonderland. Most recently, you may remember her as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Academy's 2022 Nutcracker, and in Swan Lake in our June show this year. Leila has also been assisting and teaching for over five years, including at the Academy in the past two years. She is looking forward to sharing her joy of dance and unique understanding of ballet technique and artistry with dancers at the Owen Sound Dance Academy!

Lila Warrilow
Student Teacher

Lila Warrilow has been dancing since the age of 3 and has trained in many styles of dance including highland, jazz, musical theatre, ballet, and contemporary. She has had the opportunity to learn from some amazing dance artists including Carol Anderson and Mateo Galindo Torres.  Lila was a competitive highland dancer for a number of years and has received Honours through all of her highland theory examinations, which has nominated her for the SDTA North American Scholarship event twice. She is currently working towards the Highland Associates Exam to become a certified teacher with the SDTA. Lila has performed in many shows and community performances with the Owen Sound Dance Academy and had the opportunity to expand her contemporary dance artistry by participating in the spring pilot program for Wildflower Dance Arts, culminating in a performance at Earth Day Grey Bruce in the spring of 2022. In December 2022 Lila performed the title role of the Nutcracker in the Academy's production, and this past summer she had the exciting opportunity to train in ballet and contemporary at the Dance Arts Institute's summer intensive in Toronto. Lila began assisting with ballet and highland classes in 2018 and began teaching her own classes in the fall of 2022. She is looking forward to sharing her love of dance with all of our new and returning dancers!

Ava Stutzman
Student Teacher

Ava Stutzman is a champion highland dancer who has been dancing since the age of 3 and has been a competitive highland dancer since the age of 4. She also had a number of years of ballet training in the pastand over the years she has performed in many Academy shows and community performances. Through her dance career so far, Ava has had the opportunity to travel to many places including Scotland, Nashville and Pennsylvania, as well as having the opportunity to take workshops with world renowned judges Diane Krugh and Linda Armstrong and meeting multiple world champion highland dancers. A highlight in Ava's competitive career was placing top 6 overall in the USIR North American Championships in 2019.


Ava has received honours in every highland examination and has been nominated multiple times for BATD and SDTA North American Scholarship events. She began assisting with highland classes in 2022 and in April 2023, Ava passed her SDTA Highland Associates' exam which certifies her as a teacher. She is very excited to share her knowledge and experience to help our highland dancers learn and grow!


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