Founded in 1976 Les Petits Ballets is a ballet school and performing company offering high quality, affordable dance education for all ages, abilities and interests in a positive and encouraging environment.
Ballet training is based on the Vaganova style.
We recognize the importance of performing as a vital part of training for aspiring dance students and provide a unique opportunity for students to perform on stage with Les Petits Ballets' performing company.
Classes are offered at the bright, spacious studios of the newly renovated Nepean Creative Arts Centre.
Les Petits Ballets is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors. We are a non-competitive ballet school and do not participate in competitions.
Les Petits Ballets is dedicated to providing high quality ballet instruction to children and adults. Our teaching method builds a strong dance foundation by focusing on correct posture, placement, discipline, coordination, strength, flexibility and musicality.
The Child Program provides an opportunity for young students to experience the joy of movement and music in a positive and encouraging environment. We offer Creative Dance and Ballet classes for students, ages three and up.
The Pre-professional program offers progressive ballet training for aspiring young dancers based on the Vaganova style. The program is designed to prepare students for annual examinations and to participate in our full-length story ballet productions. Acceptance into the Pre-professional program is by audition.
The Adult program is designed for individuals who want to experience the joy of movement through dance. We offer classes in the afternoons, evenings and on weekends for adults of all fitness levels and dance experience.
Victoria Ward SCBVM Assoc. - Artistic Director is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (RWB), an Associate member of the Society of Classical Ballet and a former Les Petits Ballets student.
Victoria trained in the Professional Ballet Academic Program at the RWB with the intention of transitioning to a career in professional dance. After sustaining an injury that led to a change of direction, she completed their Teacher Training Program, studying the Vaganova style, as well as the Cecchetti Method. During her time in the Teacher Training Program, she taught in both the professional and recreational programs at the RWB.
Victoria has been teaching dance for a decade and has taught for the pre-professional and adult programs at Les Petits Ballets since 2017.
Eva Zielinski SCBVM Adv. - Former Director of Dance, Ballet Teacher is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Poland. She earned her Master’s Degree in Ballet Pedagogy from the F. Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and holds her Advanced Teacher’s Certificate with the Society of Classical Ballet. Eva is also a former examiner of the Society.
Eva danced professionally with Baltic State Opera and Ballet Company in Gdansk, Grand Theatre in Lodz, and Polish Folk Dance Ensemble 'Mazowsze'. She also taught classical ballet at the National Ballet School in Gdansk before moving to Canada in 1982.
Eva has been teaching for Les Petits Ballets since 1986. She retired from the position of Director of Dance in 2020 and is excited to continue sharing her passion for ballet with adult dancers.
Emily Rüdenberg - Choreographer is a former professional ballet dancer and has been teaching classical ballet for 11 years.
Emily trained in Ottawa, completing both her Intermediate and Advanced Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exams. Post graduation, Emily danced and toured with Ballet 5:8 in Chicago, performing Balanchine ballets as well as original neoclassical works. While in Chicago, she taught in Ballet 5:8’s pre-professional children’s program in the Vaganova style. Since her return to Ottawa, she has taught in RAD schools and in 2019, Emily pursued teacher training in the Cecchetti Method with Suzanne Plante and Mary Ross, examiners with the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Emily also runs a rural ballet school for children in her hometown, Wakefield Quebec.
Emily has worked with Les Petits Ballets as choreographer since 2018, including the creation of The Nutcracker in 2019.
Judy Burns - Ballet Teacher trained at the Royal Ballet School in London, England, completing all of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exams including the Advanced level.
Judy has been a valued teacher at Les Petits Ballets for our children’s program since 1985.
Nancy Cowan - Ballet Teacher is a member of the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association. She also holds her ballroom dance licentiate membership with the Canadian DanceSport Federation and has competed professionally in ballroom dance. Furthermore, she has completed Level 2 National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) for rhythmic gymnastics.
Nancy has been a valued teacher at Les Petits Ballets for our adult and children’s program since 1994.
Janie Lacelle SCBVM Assoc. - Ballet Teacher is an Associate member with the Society of Classical Ballet, worked as Director of a well known dance studio in Carleton Place and a former Les Petits Ballets student.
Janie is a seasoned technician in the Vaganova style, presenting dancers for exams each year. She has recently become Ottawa’s only fully certified Paula Morgan Technique Teacher and has been an Acrobatic Arts certified instructor since 2016. She is currently pursuing her Master Teacher Certification with Paula Morgan. With a degree in Child and Youth Work, Janie has valuable knowledge of child development and her programming reflects that and tailors teaching approaches to various learning needs. Janie has also had the pleasure of working with Ballet Jörgen as Rehearsal Master for ‘The Nutcracker’.
Janie has trained many dancers towards a career in dance either as dancers or educators and looks forward to working with the next generation. She has taught for the pre-professional program at Les Petits Ballets since 2021.
Megan Tolmie - Ballet Teacher is a current student in the pre-professional program at Les Petits Ballets. For over 15 years, Megan has been dedicated to taking class and participating as a member of Les Petits Ballets’ performing company. She has also attended summer intensives at Ryerson University and Ballet Jörgen.
Megan has been teaching for the children’s and pre-professional program at Les Petits Ballets since 2020.
Board of Directors
- Chair: Jennifer DiFruscio
- Registrar: Genevieve George
- Secretary: Jasmine vanSchouwen
- Treasurer: Beverley Duff
- Director: Virginia Grant
- Director: Joni Woo
- Director: Elissa Burrows
- Director: Megan Tolmie
- Director: Darren Hodder