Sometimes what you are most afraid of is the very thing that sets you free
— Misty Copeland

About Us

En L’air Academy of Dance is about inspiring young performing artists, helping them find their passion in dance and believing in their potential while providing them with a solid base of technique that will take them into a bright future.  We are a professional academy with classes designed to prepare children for a future in the industry of performing arts.


En L’air Academy of Dance is about inspiring young performing artists, helping them find their passion in dance and believing in their potential while providing them with a solid base of technique that will set them up for a bright, successful future.

We are a professional academy with classes designed to prepare children for a future in the industry of performing arts.


Founder Shy Kotkas began this dream as a teen transitioning from studio to professional dance. Though her education and training assisted her, she dreamt of a way to make the transition from studio to professional more comfortable for younger dancers. After retiring from the professional world she has designed an educational facility; En L’air Academy of Dance, around the belief that children are the future and they deserve a fighting chance in the performing arts industry. En L’air Academy of Dance is focused on helping children find their passion and potential in dance and circus, making dreams reality and

incorporating regular dance training with Acro and Circus to set them apart and give them a competitive advantage in the performing arts industry. We believe that every artist can progress at his or her own pace and should have access to the resources they need to pursue long, healthy, successful careers in dance and performing arts.


Our Instructors


“ I am inspired by music and movement; but mostly by my students ” - Shy Kotkas

Shy Kotkas CCPA Registered, Acrobatic Arts certified, 10 years intensive training, 5 years Professional Experience, 10 years experience instructing children, teens and adults.


Miss Shy found her passion in teaching dance and inspiring young artists after dancing and choreographing professionally for 5 years. She most recently choreographed and danced in evening shows, musicals and circus acts for all-inclusive resorts in the Mayan Riviera Mexico at Sirenis and Akumal Bay Resort. She also danced for several smaller contract based dance and circus companies.
Her extensive range of styles has taught her the importance of adaptability in the dance world and gives her a unique touch as she prepares her students for shows, competitions and the professional world of dance. Although she is born in Alberta, Miss Shy’s passion for dance, travel, and languages has given her the opportunity to train all over the world. Her career has brought her to I.A.L.S. in Rome, Studio Harmonic in Paris, Energy Dance Complex in Los Angeles, Factory Dance in Toluca and Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver. She had the opportunity to train with great instructors such as Miles Faber (SYTYCD Canada), Rock Mejia (motion pictures – Honey I shrunk the kids, I’ve Seen You Before) and Lauren Van Camp (Royal Winnipeg Ballet.)
She also majored in dance at Central Memorial's Performing and Visual Arts program; which fundamentally prepared her for her professional career in dance and choreography. Miss Shy is instructing various dance styles as well as Acro and Aerial silks with En L'air Academy of Dance


Ms Cassia

Cassia is originally from Brazil and she came to Canada in 2012. She is a very versatile and talented coach. In addition to running top notch gymnastics preschool programs in Calgary, Cassia has taught circus aerials, teeter board, tramp wall, gymnastics and trampoline. She competed internationally in trampoline on the World Cup Circuit as a member of the Brazilian National Team. She has a degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education and has been very active in promoting trampoline, gymnastics and circus. Cassia is a Level 2 Trampoline and Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics Coach. She specialized in aerial dance and has artistic directed few shows in Brazil and Canada. Before relocating to Canada, she worked as the co-ordinator of a social circus project where she helped develop several productions in Brazil. The outreach projects combined trampoline, gymnastics, circus, dance and theatre for 500 at risk youth. Outside of work Cassia is passionate about nutrition and helps to inspire healthy living around the world!


Ms Maddie

Madison English was born and raised in Calgary where she completed her dance training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and Lyrical. In 2018 Madison participated in instructor training including ADAPT Year 1 and Acrobatic Arts Module 1. She found her passion for inspiring young dancers as a teacher for 8 years at Energize Studios. She now runs a program call Her Time 2 Shine working with teenage girls to discover their inner power. While at a workshop in LA she was introduced to elemental dancing that later connected to her to the ecstatic dance community back in Calgary. She has also trained with the members of the U of C dance faculty in the annual Dance Montage Production. Madison is excited to be continuing her journey through dance and inspire other young female performers.  She is looking forward to watching the students at En L'air Academy of Dance and Circus growing and develop this upcoming season! 

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Mr Tony

A native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada Tony has had a serious passion for the arts since the age of 5. He started his first tap class in 1993, and in the following year has taken ballet and jazz to further his passion.Tony has trained with: Al Gilbert ( founder of Stepping Tones International ), Brian Foley ( founder and creator of ADAPT Syllabus ) and Antoinette Sibley ( founder of RAD). Tony studied throughout the next 10 years modern, lyrical, funk, hip-hop and African dance. He was involved in many Broadway/musical productions from Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, and Oliver where he was lead choreographer. Tony was also featured as a backup dancer for Nicki Foxx in her latest music video: "Wild and Stupid" and had the opportunity to train and attend workshops with an a-list of faculty such as Tucker Barkley, Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, and Tyce Diorio to name a few. Tony also completed TTS developed by Brian Foley and the STARS Teaching course at Dance with France studios in his community. Out of all the styles, tap is his speciality having studied it throughout the most of his life. Tony has been a member of Artists Elite International and has performed alongside many artists from around the world and had the opportunity to choreograph as well for the bi-annual shows they have put on. Tony has had some modeling training and credits include: MAC Cosmetics, and the Bay.


Ms Morgan

Miss Morgan is originally from Saskatchewan and she loves to both dance and instruct. She is a registered instructor with the Royal Academy of Dance, has completed Module 1 and 2 in Acrobatic Arts, as well as is certified NCCP Trampoline and Tumbling as well as Artistic Gymnastics Foundations. She has taken many workshops to further her learning including TADA Handbalancing, Progressing Ballet Technique, and AcroYoga AcroSuperheroes. In her free time she enjoys climbing, doing acrobatics, cycling, and being outdoors. She is very excited to see you in her class and wants to remind you to trust the timing of your life!


Ms Melissa

Melissa has recently graduated from the University of Calgary where she received her BFA in Dance. Prior to her University studies she received most of her training in creative dance from the Alberta Dance Theatre and was exposed to her family’s interest in the circus arts. During her undergraduate studies she performed in Mainstage pieces by professional choreographers Wojciech Mochniej, Tania Alvarado, Gerry Trentham, and Michelle Moss, as well as in an independent dance film by Zahra Shahab. In 2015 and 2016, Melissa was ranked top three creative artist in Canada by Nightswimming 5x25. In 2017, she was a company member of Surge Co. By W&M. Some of her work includes “Platypus”, “Sick Artery and Red Blood Vessels”, “Coalesce”, and “Claws” showcased in Dance@Noon, Dance@Night, Alchemy Festival, and “I AM” Fashion Show. She has recently traveled to Bali to study the art of Yoga and will be training with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks starting in the fall. Melissa is very excited to be teaching at En L’Air Academy this year.  


Ms Amy

A student of dance and musical theatre most of her life, it was only a matter of time until Miss Amy decided to fly! Miss Amy has always been a creative goofball, sharing her enthusiasm and outgoing nature through theatre and dance, excelling in the Visual and Performing Arts program at Keyano College. After discovering and falling in love with aerial silks and lyra, it was only a matter of time until she transitioned to teaching; sharing her passion with those hoping to follow in her footsteps. Miss Amy hopes to inspire her students to work hard, and push themselves to excel. We are never done learning or growing as performers; and Miss Amy can't wait to help guide her students along on their journeys.



Ms Rachael

Miss Rachael is Calgary born and raised.  She quickly discovered a passion for dance at the early age of 3 and trained competitively at local studios in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop and musical theatre.  At age 14 she started vocal training completing RCM exams and competing in musical theatre festivals. From there, she earned a spot as a senior singer for the Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. She spent 3 years with the Young Canadians and enjoyed training extensively under a multitude of established professionals.   This past summer Rachael was employed at Calaway Park as part of their Calaway Live production, where she performed 4 shows daily to a younger audience. She has also worked as an assistant ballet and zumba instructor at Dance Through Life adult dance studio and currently continues to volunteer at Dubsov Dance and Wellness Studio serving as an assistant for children with disabilities and special needs.  Miss Rachael is a true Triple Threat with training in voice, dance and acting and she is excited to share her experience and knowledge with her students. 


Ms Valerie

Valérie Tétrault has been passionate about dance since she first stepped on a dance floor. Since then, she’s taken a large variety of dance classes such as Salsa, Merengue, African, Jazz and Hip Hop. It had been one of her childhood dreams to teach dance classes to kids one day and that day came. Since April 2019, she has started teaching the Baby Steps Program here at En L’air Academy of Dance and Circus. And she loves teaching the younger kids as she enjoys making a difference and being a part of their important years of growth and development.


Ms Shelby

Shelby has 10 years of competitive artistic gymnastics experience and 3 years of aerial arts including silks, aerial hoop and hammock and she is excited to instruct here.


Ms Kate

Miss Kate is a 4th year student at the University of Calgary, pursuing her passion of becoming an elementary teacher through a BEd and BA in English as a Second Language. Being an aspiring elementary teacher, Miss Kate’s passions lie in education, literacy, and the importance of developing young minds and bodies from an early age. When not in school or teaching, she can be found baking sweet treats for her friends and family, cuddling her rescue dog, exploring nature (rain or shine) or trying something new each and every day. Miss Kate began teaching physical literacy programs in a summer camp environment, and then has continued teaching an after-school physical literacy program for kindergarteners and elementary students in a recreational facility, which has included swimming, skating, rock-climbing, gymnastics and of course, dance! She has also worked with toddlers and preschoolers in a beginner gymnastics class. Teaching young children and watching them grow into healthy individuals is Miss Kate’s favourite part of her career, and she is excited to watch that growth in her students in our Baby Steps Program!


Our Studio


En L'air Academy of Dance

12221 44th Street SE Suite 10 upstairs Calgary, AB T2Z 4H3 Canada