OUR TEACHERS

At CDS Inc, our Teachers are patient, caring and kind. We will strive to develop a positive relationship with your child while both encouraging and elevating their self-esteem. Focusing on the foundations of hard work and discipline, we will engage each dancer by sharing our knowledge and passion.

Catherine Simmons, AISTD-ACDTA

Owner & Principal Teacher

Catherine is a highly qualified professional dancer and instructor. She attended a 3 year Post-Secondary Dance Teacher Training Program which she fast tracked and completed in just 2 years. Catherine holds her Associate status with The Imperial Society for Teachers of Dancing in London, England (ISTD), and is Head of the Examinations Program at the studio. 

Believing strongly in continuing her education and training, Catherine regularly participates in classes & workshops to provide her students with new techniques and styles , and has had the opportunity to study under some of North America’s most renowned Master Teachers and Choreographers including: Brian Friedman, Shane Sparks, Peggy Baker, Sorella Englund, Finis Jhung, Cris Judd, Bob Rizzo and many more.

When not in the studio, Miss Catherine can be found playing the role of Mother to her 2 beautiful Children, Claire & Grayson.

When time allows, she is involved in local charities and spends much of her time fundraising for such charities including but not limited to; Local School Breakfast Programs, Ascension Collegiate Auction, The Angel Fund, BTSPCA, The Children’s Wish Foundation & The Janeway Children’s Hospital.

Qualifications include:

  • ISTD Associate Modern Theatre

  • ISTD Associate Tap

  • CDTA Associate Ballroom, Latin American

  • ISTD Advanced 2 Tap

  • ISTD Advanced 1 Modern

  • Module One Acrobatic Arts Certification

  • Virtual Teacher Intensive with Broadway Dance Centre, 2020

  • Virtual ISTD Summer School from Chichester, UK, 2020

  • CDTA Silver Dancing Standard in Ballroom & Latin American.

  • ISTD Advanced Level training Cecchetti Ballet, including Associate work.

  • Dance Teacher Magazine Summer Conference, NYC.

  • The PULSE Advanced Level Intensive

  • Certificate from The National Ballet School of Canada Teacher Training Seminar, Toronto

  • Certificate from Broadway Dance Centre International Dance Teachers Seminar at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, NYC

  • ISTD course for New Grades Syllabus {Primary Class, Grades 5&6} in Modern & Tap

  • Broadway Dance Center International Dance Conference, NYC 

  • Professional Study at Broadway Dance Centre, NYC 

Other Performance & Choreographic Credits

Catherine’s performance credits are among the best in Newfoundland over the last 15 years. She has had the opportunity to be apart of many prestigious dance and performance troupes, along side the best dancers and performers that Newfoundland has to offer.

  • Catherine was a featured dancer for the Matthew Celebrations in Bonavista in 1997, for which Queen Elizabeth was present.

  • In 1999, she was a member of a 50 dancer crew for Soiree ’99, celebrating 50 years of confederation. For the Soiree ’99 kick off, Catherine was one of 3 dancers selected to perform at a private party for the Prime Minister.

  • In the same Year, Catherine was cast in the dance troupe for the Millennium Celebrations on New Year’s Eve on the St.John‘s Water Front. She performed onstage with Newfoundland’s best in front of 200,000 people!

  • Catherine was cast as a Principal Dancer for the original Our Diva’s Do Broadway show at Mile One in 2004, and since has been continuously cast as a Lead Dancer in 3 productions of Our Diva’s Do Christmas, being given solo work during each show. Catherine’s talent was recognized by the show’s Director and Producer, and in 2007 she was asked to lend her hand to some of the choreography. She choreographed a beautiful Viennese Waltz and a Lyrical solo piece.

  • Catherine also gave her expertise to the Cupids 400 celebrations. She was hired as Lead Choreographer, and worked with Ged Blackmore, Brian Way and the Cupids 400 committee in preparation for the performance of “Seeds of Settlement”, an original Musical written by Ged Blackmore. The production was performed in Cupids, and guests included the Prime Minister and visiting Royals.

Shauna Ryan

Shauna began dancing at CDS when she was 3 years old. Once she started, it didn’t take long for her to fall in love with class and the studio. CDS quickly became her second home.

Shauna has spent her years studying many dance styles at CDS including; Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern and Hip Hop. Prior to joining the teaching faculty, she was a teaching assistant and substitute instructor for many years.

Shauna is in her 8th season as a full time teacher at CDS In. She leads with kindness and understanding while still pushing our dancers to work hard and push themselves to their best ability. We can’t imagine our studio without her.

Her Qualifications include:

  • 18 Years of Training through CDS Inc

  • Module One Certification with Acrobatic Arts

  • Dance Teachers Expo, Toronto, 2019

  • Virtual Teacher Intensive with Broadway Dance Centre, 2020

  • DiscoverDance Foundations Certification, 2022

  • Certified Personal Trainer, 2023

  • Dance Teachers Expo, Toronto, 2024

Caitlyn Mercer

Caitlyn began dancing with Catherine at CDS Inc when she was just 3 years old. As the years went by, Cailtyn discovered her true love and passion for dance and continually added more and more genres to her classes. She has studied many dance styles including Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical and Jazz.

In 2016, Caitlyn joined on as a Teacher’s Assistant in the studio Preschool Program, and it was there she discovered her love for working with young children. During her time as an assistant she also was a substitute when needed.


Caitlyn recently graduated from Memorial University and continues to run her own Aesthetics Business; Luxury Lashes by Caitlyn, in Shearstown. She has been accepted into the Education Faculty at Memorial University, and this September will start her journey towards Primary Education.

Students attending Cailtyn’s classes adore her. We are delighted to have her with us again this season.

  • 18 Years of Training through CDS Inc

  • DiscoverDance Foundations Certification, 2022

  • Dance Teachers Expo, Toronto, 2024

    Clare Hiscock

    Clare started dancing at CDS Inc when she was just 3 years old. She has grown up within the walls of the studio and has become a familiar face to all students and parents. Having been a teacher’s assistant for 2 years prior to starting as an Instructor in 2022, she has gained a passion for teaching young children.

    Clare studies all styles of dance including Ballet, Pointwork, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Modern and has been a part of the CDS ISTD Exam Program for 8 years. She has completed her Primary, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5 Modern Theatre Examinations as well as her Professional Level Intermediate Exam. She has also completed her Grade 4 and Grade 5 Tap Examinations. This year will find her working towards her Intermediate Tap and Advanced One Modern Theatre Exams.

    Clare is an active member of the CDS Inc Performance Team, and will compete in multiple styles and routines herself while also assisting and helping some of our younger team members. We are so excited to watch the magic she will bring to our little dancers this season!

    Further Training:

      • 15 Years of Training through CDS Inc

      • Intermediate ISTD Modern Exam

      • Dance Teachers Expo, Toronto, 2024

    Halle Stagg

    Halle has spent her whole life dancing. She began at a very young age and after a few years of dancing she found her home at CDS Inc. As a dancer dedicated to her growth and training, she has always worked hard to be the best she can be, both inside and out.

    Halle has trained in many different styles of dance including, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Pointwork, Contemporary and the ISTD Modern Exam Program. She can not imagine her life without Dance and so in the fall, Halle will be attending CONA as she pursues her Advanced One Modern Exam certification and continues to train and work towards her goals as a dancer, teacher and choreographer.

    Having been in the competitive dance world for many years, she brings with her a knowledge of what is expected and required of dancers. She will bring that knowledge along with her, while being mentored by the senior staff at CDS Inc, and along with non competitive classes she will create some exciting numbers for our Performance Teams this season.

    • 15 Years of Training through CDS Inc

    • Intermediate ISTD Modern Exam

    Julia Dawson

    Julia began dancing at CDS Inc at the young age of 3. Her love for dance and the studio has continued to grow throughout the years, and it has become a second home to her. She began teaching in 2022, and has grown greatly as a teacher and choreographer since.

    Julia studies all styles of dance at CDS including Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop and Pointework. Julia adores working with children and has been a pivotal part in the growth of our Musical Theater programming.

    Julia’s Performing Arts achievements extend outside of the studio as well! This year, she recorded a Christmas song that will be produced by Greg Wells in L.A for the Trinity Hall Christmas Album in support of the Janeway Children’s Hospital. In 2023, she won Ascension Idol people’s choice and the Junior Rose Bowl at the Carbonear Kiwanis Music Festival. She was then recommended to sing at the Provincial level which was followed by a recommendation to the National level. Julia studies voice under Sonya Gosse and is currently working on her Level 8 RCM in voice.

    Julia is an active member of the CDS Inc Performance Team and will compete in multiple competitions throughout the season. We are thrilled to welcome her back this season.

    • 15 Years of Training through CDS Inc

    • Dance Teachers Expo, Toronto, 2024

    • Carbonear Kiwanis Music Festival Jr Rosebowl Winner, 2024

    • St John’s Kiwanis Music Festival Jr Rosebowl Runner Up, 2024

      Bridget Franey

      Bridget began dancing at CDS Inc when she was just 3 years old, and took her stage debut as a little Butterfly with giant pink wings! Since then, her love of dance has taken flight and she loves to pass that passion onto the dancers at our studio.

      Bridget studies all styles of dance at CDS Inc including Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Tap. Growing up she was a part of our ISTD Exam Program, having studied for and taken numerous ISTD Modern Exams. Outside of the studio, Bridget is Captain of the Ascension Astros Cheerleading Team.

      Bridget is an active member of the CDS Inc Performance Team and will compete in multiple competitions throughout the season. We are thrilled to welcome her back this season.

      ● 15 Years of Training through CDS Inc

      Abigail Hussey-Slaney

      Abigail is so excited to be teaching at CDS Inc this season. Her passion for dance and attention to detail shines through in every class.

      Abigail has studied all styles of dance at CDS Inc including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Hip Hop as well as being a student in our ISTD Exam Program in both Modern Theatre and Tap. She has completed her Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5 and Intermediate Modern Theatre Examinations as well as her Grade 4 & Grade 5 Tap.

      We are thrilled to have her and can’t wait to see the fun and excitement she will bring to our little dancers this season!

      ● 15 Years Training through CDS Inc

      Korey Jernagin

      Guest Choreographer

      Korey is an established Cheer Choreographer with over 20 years of experience in the Industry. He became a Gymnast at just 4 years old, and began cheerleading at 12. Once he turned 14, he began doing choreography and is still doing what he loves at the age of 37.

      Korey stepped out of the gym and into the dance studio last fall as a guest choreographer for our Teen Competitive Team with a fresh and sassy Jazz number. He enjoyed the experience at CDS Inc so much that he is ready to explore how his experience in the gym can combine with Dance choreography. Miss Catherine and Korey will work together to create amazing fresh and new routines for the students at CDS Inc.

      Korey is a native of Pensacola, Florida and moved to the area with his husband, Craig Sharpe. Together, they produced their first show in April 2024 “Craig Sharpe Presents: Friends with Benefits” and co-own a brand new Salon/Gym in Bay Roberts called “The Venue”.

      Korey works exclusively with the dancers at CDS Inc and the Cheerleaders at Coastal Wave Elite, while traveling throughout the USA and Canada to work with various Cheer Gyms and Teams. We adore his energy and collaboration, and are thrilled to have him join our list of Choreographers!

      Start Dancing Today!

      Want to learn even more about our classes or want to reach out with further questions about our studio? We’d love to hear from you!