The UUC Philosophy

Why UUC? Because we believe in the importance of a strong foundation – right from the start!

The UUC philosophy/programs have a very strong vision geared toward the training of your dancer. The first and foremost key is the setting in of a solid foundation right from the start with qualified instructors. The program is based around The Paula Morgan Technique which is brilliant and exceptional to the training of any dancer (an asset).

This unique vision and training table is unparalleled to any other program on the market. It focuses on safe and healthy training in a fun environment at all levels, in all programs.

Your dancer will be continually presented with, encouraged and inspired to meet new challenges. In doing so he or she will gain a true sense of outstanding accomplishment and constant progress. The program inspires dancers to motivate themselves and create real change. Boys and girls from 6 yrs and up will love it and they will never stop learning.

Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 15 students to provide the best possible learning environment and individual monitoring & attention.

This is Different. See for Yourself.

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Message from the Director

It has been through my own observations, that all too often, teenage dancers are what I call “spinning their wheels”. In other words, making slow progress, if any at all. They are the same dancer they were at 14 years of age, with the same skill level, gradually losing interest, learning yet another piece of competition choreography but never really advancing to their full potential.

I have witnessed dance competitions becoming the main focus for one’s dance training. While I do realize that competitions have their place and purpose, I believe that exposing students to all aspects of the art form and it’s history enriches their overall dance education.

At this point in my career I feel the need to take my knowledge and passion to a broader spectrum. It has become very obvious to me that the demands on todays’ dancers are continually growing, therefore it only makes sense that a solid foundation should be a priority. A strong technical base will keep the dancer’s injuries to a minimum and create longevity of the body. The dancer must thoroughly learn to understand his or her own body and how it works.

Since 2004 I have had the privilege to study closely with master teacher Miss Paula Morgan. Through my studies I have not only upgraded my own teaching abilities but I have seen amazing results in my students applying this technique. The Paula Morgan Technique requires consistency, layering layers upon layers to gain results, and has been by far the most rewarding years of my teaching career thus far.

I believe very strongly in The Paula Morgan Technique on so many different levels. It instills focus, motivation, self-discipline and a true sense of appreciation for hard work.

In closing, I believe that it is time to share all that I trust and know to provide our future dancers with the most effective, efficient and solid education possible. It is time to revisit and nurture “the safety and development of the dancer”. It is my belief that it is up to the teacher to provide this education to their students. This allows the dancer to take full advantage of reaching their greatest potential. It provides them with the much needed skills and foundation to make the transition not only easier, but more successful should they choose dance as a profession.
Donna Bender


  • Jen B.

    (on the Summer Intensive) When we pick her (our daughter) up at the end of the day she is energized and can't say enough about the day. I love the performance at the end as it helps to showcase her love of dance and the bond she has with her friends and teachers.

  • Summer Intensive Love

    Always love seeing the growth that happens over the week and the opportunity to explore new ideas.

  • Summer Intensive

    It's our daughter's 3rd year and we love it! Wish it was located closer to us but we come cause it's an opportunity to learn PMT which we can't get anywhere. The kids get to learn other teacher's choreography & some styles which are not offered within their studios such as Broadway Jazz. It gives us the chance to see friends we have made through the years. Also it gives our child a place to grow away from their studios and feel a bit less pressure. The teachers are awesome! Loved the addition of tap as well.

  • Danielle H.

    In selecting UUC I anticipated high standards. We definitely made the right choice. UUC not only provides solid technical training and knowledge, but also constantly brings out the best in my daughter by challenging her to not only meet, but exceed her own limitations and expectations.

    It was important for us to find a new studio where my daughter could grow as a dancer while also feeling like she was learning rather than repeating the same choreography over and over in a large class with no room for individual growth. UUC is that studio!

    Not enough can be said for the dedication of Miss Donna and the crew that comprise her studio. You can't find a better atmosphere to tap the potential that is in every child in order to gain confidence and strength to succeed. The lessons learned have served my daughter well and will continue to provide her with a strong foundation for the rest of her life.

  • Erin K.

    UUC is a great studio! Everyone is so friendly and has made us feel welcome right from our first registration. Being new to the world of dance leaves me with a lot of questions. Lynn, Miss Donna and Miss Michelle always know where to find what we need and give great advice. Miss Donna and Miss Michelle really seem to connect with their students and make them feel important both on and off the stage. Since my girls have started dancing at UUC, I have seen such a difference in their confidence and focus. They have made many new friends and have had many great experiences. Thank you for teaching the girls the steps, the routines and so much more.

  • Lou N.

    It's a rare thing to find a dance school that can offer not only superior technical training, but also a positive and welcoming learning space for its students. UUC does just that. The students are all made to feel like part of the team - a part of the family. The atmosphere at UUC is warm and inclusive.

  • T. Bates

    Centre Stage Dance Studio/Unlock Unleash Control has provided my child with encouragement and support. Miss Donna and the staff at Unlock Unleash Control are amazing! My daughter loves going to dance, it gives her something to look forward to. I find that since she started dancing here she has a lot more confidence and self-esteem. She loves to dance and I couldn't be happier with our choice to enrol her in this studio. The training is excellent and the fees are great.

  • Isabel

    I can’t recommend the Pilates classes at Centre Stage Dance Studio enough. Each class is different and the activity is quietly vigorous: you get a full body workout but you leave the class feeling like you’ve had a massage. It builds muscle definition, strength and balance. Great for anyone at any level.

  • Martha C.

    I take the adult Hip Hop Bootcamp class and love it! Since starting the class I have seen my flexibility improve and my confidence in doing activities outside of my comfort zone shift and it's safe to say I can learn a routine and perform it. I look forward to the class every week - it's a good workout, while being fun at the same time and it's also good 'me' time. I love that it shows my girls that you are never too old to do something and that it involves me in their dance in a new way.

  • Heather M.

    Hip Hop Bootcamp is lots of fun, laughs and a good workout too!

  • Lisa D.

    When my kids got a little older I decided it was time to do something for myself again, so I've been attending Pilates classes with Miss Donna for the last 5 years and I love it! I would describe yoga as mostly relaxation, whereas Pilates can be a really good workout (although you can go at your own pace).  Maybe you've got an ache or pain or maybe you're not good at certain types of exercises but you don't have to feel like you're being judged 🙂 Miss Donna never does the same class twice, so I'm never bored and I'm amazed that she's still teaching us new moves after all these years! In addition to the physical benefits, I also feel that it helps me de-stress after a long day at the office. There are a number of "regulars", so it has also provided an opportunity for social connections. I came as a walk-in guest one Tuesday evening and I've never looked back! I definitely feel like I've gained a number of benefits and intend to continue doing Pilates for many years to come.

  • Brenda H.

    I love love love the Pilates classes at Centre Stage. I have been taking them for over a decade and Donna is by far the absolute BEST instructor I have ever encountered. I have had the chance to experience a number of different classes and instructors over many years but I have stayed with Donna because she truly cares about your class experience and needs. She is amazing at coaching you through each move and talking you through correct form and posture as well as teaching you how to breathe properly and for the greatest benefit. She is knowledgeable and knows first hand what it's like to have physical issues, problems or recoveries. The care and direction you receive from Centre Stage Pilates classes is by far the best I have ever experienced. Thanks for years of helping me to improve!

  • Isabel K.

    I can't recommend the Pilates classes at Centre Stage Dance Studio enough. Each class is different and the activity is quietly vigorous: you get a full body workout but you leave the class feeling like you've had a massage. It builds muscle definition, strength and balance. Great for anyone at any level.

     

  • Sandi S.

    My daughter auditioned for the Integrated Arts Program at Eastwood last week and we found out tonight that she was accepted. I fully believe that it is due to the technique and guidance she has received from you and the UUC dance program. While she has danced for 8 years I think her skills and technique have improved greatly since joining your studio. She has many opportunities with your studio and truely enjoys going to dance. Her ballet skills were tested at her audition and she felt rather comfortable with doing what she has learned from you. Being the only one in the large group to know all the steps they were asked to perform.
    We appreciate all that you have and continue to do for my daughter.
  • Marylou M.

    In the past two years of private pilates classes with Donna I have seen great relief from the mobility issues I was experiencing related to my Lupus. I now can go for longer walks with greater stability and far less pain. I appreciate Donna's support and encouragement toward achieving my goals.

     

  • Stacey M.

    When I brought my daughter to dance at UUC I had no idea that the studio would also have positive effects on me. I have attended the Ballet Bootcamp and it has brought a lot of joy in my life. It has helped a great deal with my posture and shoulder soreness. The class makes me feel energized and inspired. My favourite part of the class is the barre work. I also enjoy the choreography.

  • Lynn H.

    I thoroughly enjoy taking class at UUC and CSDS.

    There are so many benefits to the classes here; body awareness, acceptance and transformation - it all happens in every class.
    Donna is so good at focusing is on each of us through the whole class without making you feel like you are pointed out and because of that, I push myself to work hard and build on each move/exercise - and when you actually work, you feel the burn for days!
    The classes are offered on different days and at varied times so that there is definitely something for every schedule. You just lose yourself in it and you leave feeling emotionally capable and physically empowered.
  • Mike Z.

    I really enjoy the Adult ballet class. I had taken a previous class at another place and was not satisfied with it at all. This class has given me what I was looking for. I like the fact  it is a challenging class, fifteen min in your breaking a sweat.  ‎I'm taking this class as a way to break out of my comfort zone. Also as a base to starting a healthier lifestyle. I chose the ballet class as a way to improve my flexibility which I can already tell is working.  My ultimate goal is to lose twenty to thirty pounds over time while increasing flexibility through stretching and movement.  I'm not very confident doing the centre work and in my mind I feel a little awkward while doing it, but Miss Donna makes it welcoming and friendly. Also everyone I've met in class has been wonderful. I enjoy the class immensely I think everything is great. Keep up the good work.

  • Bev M.

    What is Ballet Boot Camp with Miss Donna?

    Grunt work: Solid core exercises intermixed with fundamental barre work push my muscles to unexplored extremes, leaving me feeling both exhausted yet so much stronger…so satisfying!

    Centre work: New steps and matching arms often challenge these weary old limbs, to say nothing of my balance. Yet somehow I always come away feeling that, even for a moment or two, I have DANCED!

    My favourite thing:  To watch (and respond to) a superb teacher in action, unfailingly upbeat and supportive when we are at our most ungainly…I always float home full of warmth and good humour.

  • Carole L.

    As a little girl I had always dreamed to take ballet classes but my family did not have the financial ability to support this dream.
    And now at the age of 39 I'm learning ballet, who would have thought?
    The first few classes were extremely difficult, muscles I never knew I had were sore. What I love about this class is that it doesn't get easier because Miss Donna keeps challenging us.
    I feel really energized and proud of what I am able to accomplish after each class.  Miss Donna really cares about each of her students. She doesn't just show us the movements and expect us to copy it, she actually helps and explains each movement and how it is done properly and where we should feel it, so as to avoid any injuries.
    I am extremely grateful to Miss Donna and the classes she offers.
  • Katherine B.

    I have been taking pilates at Centre Stage for over 12 years now and am still going strong. Miss Donna keeps me fit and flexible and centred. The studio provides a lovely and relaxing atmosphere as Miss Donna expertly guides and encourages the class as we move and breathe through the poses and stretches. I always feel 10 feet tall at the end of every class.

  • Joy C.

    UUC is a wonderful family friendly dance studio! Our daughter has been dancing at UUC for 5 years and we couldn't imagine her dancing anywhere else. The dance program at UUC is fantastic! Miss Donna provides an energetic and positive environment for her dancers reach their goals. Miss Donna is a great role model and genuinely assists each dancer in reaching their full potential. Our daughter has made friends that will last a lifetime!

  • Victoria C.

    This is my daughter’s second year with UUC and I continue to be amazed at the progress she has made since starting there. She would lose interest quickly after enrolled in classes, but that changed with UUC. Since starting at UUC, I’ve not only seen improvements in my daughter’s dancing abilities, stamina, strength, poise and elegance but have also seen her self-confidence sky rocket and her interest in dance change into a true love of dance. I can’t say enough about the PMT class, she loves it and it has given her the flexibility, posture and strength she needs to perform her ballet so beautifully.

About the Director, Donna Bender

donna


The Founder and Director of Centre Stage Dance Studio since 1986. This year the studio enters its 32nd season, celebrating the enrichment and education that Centre Stage has instilled in many aspiring young dancers, many of which have gone on to pursue professional careers in the arts.

Donna is a Full Stage Member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association, an Advanced Member as well as an examiner for the Society of Russian Ballet and a fully certified Pilates Instructor in Matwork and Equipment, through the Physicalmind Institute. Since 2004 Donna has continued her studies with master teacher Paula Morgan, one of L.A.’s most sought after technical and foundational teachers. Presently the development of The Paula Morgan Technique and syllabus is being implemented world wide. This unique and exceptional training is brilliant and creates a dancer with a solid foundation, an artistic freedom and longevity of the body ~ the complete dancer.

Now more than ever, Donna is not only satisfied with training the dancer, but is focusing on creating an exquisite dancer with an edge!

Over 30 years of integrity and excellence.

Meet the UUC team