Serving Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill  area, ages 3-17.

We specialize in  Ballet and Pointe (Cecchetti Method),  Hip Hop,  Jazz,  Musical Theatre,  Lyrical,  Tap,  Acro and Contemporary.

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Fun, Positive, At Your Own

``We decided to join the TDI program because
it was a very friendly and family oriented
school. Our kids have always been encouraged and supported during their time at the institute``

Missed our last registration? GREAT NEWS!

Recreational Dance 2022 Registrations NOW OPEN – Act Fast!

TDI has re-opened registrations for “In-Person” Recreational Dance for the 2021/2022 season.

We have had a large influx of applicants for this upcoming season.

We recommend that you contact us early if you are interested in the TDI experience. 

For more information;

       Call us at      (416) 434-4443   


      Email us at

What to Expect
at The Dance Institute

Most young dancers come to TDI for fun, friendship and to experiment with dance. They love the attention and inviting attitude of the staff. What you’ll experience at TDI is:

  • A hands-on director who knows the name of every student.
  • Outstanding teachers that nurture the joy of dance
  • A warm and inviting atmosphere yet structured and very well organized.
  • A place where shyness fades to comfort and confidence
  • A year end performance displaying accomplishment and pride.

Along the way your child develops poise, self-confidence, respect and an appreciation for teamwork.

See their joy and pride for yourself in a brief video showing highlights from a dance recital at Markham Theatre TDI dance recital.


What does it cost?

45 mins class $16.50+tax per class

1 hour class $ 18.70+tax per class

Term I    (Sept-Dec)    14 wks

Term II  (Jan-Mar)     10 wks

Term III (Apr-June)   11 wks

Total of 35 wks

What class times and dance styles are available?

Take a look at TDI’s recreational dance class schedule to see what may interest your child.



Bring your child to one of our classes to see how she/he likes the lessons and the TDI school. Our school director, Sharon Mehaffey, will personally assess your child ‘in action’ and can help you determine where they will benefit most in our program. Simply fill out our pre-registration form so Sharon can advise you of recommended classes and arrange to be there to help you .

Need more Information?

Help us help you by indicating the dance styles of interest and your child’s dance history on our Query Form. This is not an obligation, simply your request for information and we will respond with recommended classes as soon as possible.


I am excited to take part in the teaching recreational dance classes and looking forward to work with each one of you.

Matthew Morales is an emerging dancer and choreographer in the Toronto and Ontario university urban dance scenes.

Coming from Markham, he began dancing with VYbE Dance Company and trained in styles including hip hop, popping, locking, whaacking, house, and urban choreography.

Since then, he has worked with groups including Vie Division (McMaster University), K9 Collective (Toronto), the ARTillery (Hamilton), The Male Initiative (Toronto), The Toronto Raptors Dance Team, The Industry (Toronto), the Kindred Culture teaching faculty (Mississauga), and the VYbE Dance Studio teaching faculty (Markham).

Matthew strives to inspire others to discover more about themselves, to grind towards their own individual passions, and to serve others through dance.

As a quick reference, here is a brief description of dance styles:

  • CLASSICAL BALLET Ballet is the foundation for all dance disciplines. We practice the Cecchetti method. This method refines dancers’ essential skills, specifically elasticity and strength. Bringing a holistic approach to dance, the Cecchetti technique combines different steps to evenly work every part of the body. Dancers are taught graceful arm movements that flow between different positions. Besides this, seamless transitions, crisp lines and fast footwork are inculcated into routines. We shine a spotlight on exploring the natural range of motion rather than forcing the dancer’s foot turnout.
  • JAZZ Has sharp, strong movements such as kicks, jumps and turns and some complicated footwork. Our classes do involve moderately intense stretching in order to limber up so that injuries are avoided. With this technique, centre control is very important. Dancers require the right posture to pull off the stylistic as well as the performance aspects of this dance. We encourage dancers to channel movement from their focal point, enabling them to maintain balance and execute powerful moves. 
  • TAP Rhythm and sounds of the feet are combined to create this dance form. Tap dance encompasses a wide range of aesthetics and styles. It may even combine other dance forms to create a unique style. Classical tap juxtaposes European music and American footwork while using a variety of full body expressions. Contemporary tap incorporates abstract expression and thematic narratives.
  • HIP HOP Combines funk and street style moves in these fast-paced and fun classes. Being one of the most widely commercialized dances, hip-hop is punctuated by improvisational or freestyle movements. These high-energy dance experiences are entertaining as they are fluid. It combines various techniques like housing, breaking, popping, locking and funk. Perfect for all ages, these routines work well with a wide range of music.
  • LYRICAL Combines the grace and technique of Ballet, along with the style and strength of Classical Jazz. As the name suggests, lyrical dancers perform to music with lyrics and channel strong emotions through their routines. Common musical genres include blues, hip-hop, pop and rock. Movements are fluid and graceful and the dancer is encouraged to flow seamlessly from one pose to another. Soaring leaps may also be a part of the routines.
  • ACRO Combines gymnastic fundamentals and dance elements. Athleticism is the focal point for each routine where dancers seamlessly blend dance and acrobatics. Because of the demanding nature of this technique, dancers are required to be in peak physical condition. Transitions are graceful and smooth. Acro has its roots in lyrical, modern, jazz and ballet dance styles.



Questions? Concerns? Interested in a free trial class? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us for more information.


I just wanted to take the time to send you off this short note regarding The Dance Institute and our experiences thus far. We have been a part of the TDI family for the past six years. Both of our daughters, Taylor and Chloe started in the recreational program and over the years have now moved into the competitive dance program. We decided to join the TDI program because it was a very friendly and family oriented dance school. Our kids have always been encouraged and supported during their time at the institute. Dancing has brought discipline, strength and confidence to both our children. The staff of teachers/instructors at The Dance Institute has been extremely talented and knowledgeable in the latest dance techniques. We look forward to another successful 2009-2010 dance season. Thank you.



My daughters have been a part of the TDI family for almost 10 years now. We call it the “TDI family” because this wonderful dance school has indeed become a second home for my daughters. While TDI offers all the benefits of the larger professional dance schools, with highly qualified and skilled dance instructors offering a wide array dance techniques, we especially love the school because it allows us the scheduling flexibility as well as the opportunity for the girls to learn in the intimacy of a smaller dance school environment.



My daughter is beginning her 9th year at TDI and my son is beginning his 3rd. The TDI staff is extremely qualified and professional, always making sure the kids are learning, growing, and most important...having fun. Being a part of TDI means more than just belonging to a dance studio...we're a part of a dance family.


Award winning programs

TDI ‘s faculty boasts an enviable list of professional dancers
and choreographers that not only provide the latest in technical instruction
but also inspire our young students to a new level
of dance. Beyond developing a strong technical base, we teach our competitive dancers how to tell a story through expressive dance movement. This is the ultimate in dance performance, engaging the audience in an emotive response to your work.

Experienced instructors

Talented teachers improve technique but we understand that amazing choreography
wins awards. TDI invites some of Toronto’s finest choreographers to augment
our own talented team. The sophistication, intricacy and emotive expression
of our competitive dance numbers is highly recognized and awarded accordingly.



For 25 years, The Dance Institute (TDI) has proudly provided a school for dancing that maintains a friendly, family atmosphere while still being passionate about the quality of instruction in our dance classes and the overall dance experience for our patrons.

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Interested in the following classes:

BalletJazzHip HopAcroModernLyricalTap

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Recreational DanceCompetitive Dance