Deanna’s dance education started in 1989 when she took her first ballet class. Since then, she has pursued training opportunities to achieve mastery in dance and in 2003 made the decision to share her passion and expertise with others. She is a highly experienced and creative dance educator, adjudicator, and choreographer with years of experience working with dancers of all abilities. For 12 years she was a professor of dance with the Musical Theatre department at St. Lawrence College.
Deanna choreographed for the movie "Christmas Stray", released December 2021 on the Oprah Network. She also choreographed the music video for the song "Broken By You", by Jessica Pearson and the East Wind Band. Deanna was a member of the Ottawa Renegades Dance Team and performed with the Black Eyed Peas during the Grey Cup.
In 2019 Deanna started working with the nonprofit organization, MindLeaps – which works in developing countries to improve school performance and create positive livelihoods for at-risk youth. In December 2019, Deanna travelled to Guinea (West Africa) to teach dance to vulnerable youth. She feels it was by far the most inspiring and empowering experience of her life and is privileged to continue the outreach program both here at home and in Africa.
Deanna teaches students of all ages and abilities at local dance studios and academies. She has completed certification through the Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT) Teachers Training School in Jazz and Tap and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). She is a mentor for teachers completing the RAD CBTS program and the Acro Dance Teachers Association (ADTA) program. Deanna has also received her ADTA Acro certification, Benesh Movement Notation certification (RAD), Silver Swans certification (RAD), Progressive Ballet Technique certification and Acro Dance Adjudication certification.
Deanna has a Master of Education degree from the University of Prince Edward Island with a focus on 21st Century teaching and learning. Most recently she completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training. She looks forward to adjudicating with the Prince George Dance Festival this year!
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Melissa Panetta is a professional dancer trained in all disciplines of dance. She is currently free lancing throughout Canada.
This past year, she danced with Theater Plauen-Zwickau in Germany, under the direction of Annett Göhre. Prior to dancing with Theater Plauen-Zwickau, she was dancing with Tanzlin.z (Landestheater Linz) in Austria, under the direction of Mei Hong Lin. Prior to joining Tanzlin.z, Melissa danced with Thodos Dance Chicago in Chicago, USA as well as DezzaDance in Vancouver, Canada. She has also performed with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in multiple of their performances while training at the Hubbard Street Professional Program under Alexandra Wells. In addition, in May 2016 she graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours with Distinction) majoring in dance and minoring in kinesiology.
Throughout her career Melissa has worked with a variety of choreographers including Peter Chu, Crystal Pite, Young Soon Hue, Ihsan Rustem, Guillaume Hulot, Philip Taylor and many more. Furthermore, she is an accomplished choreographer, instructor, and adjudicator throughout Canada. Outside of her passion for dance, she is a PN1 Nutrition Coach, and a Barre Fitness Instructor.