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 Brittany

Originally from Ontario, Brittany is energetic & has a talent for teaching. She is always smiling and creates a positive atmosphere wherever she goes. She has always had a strong desire to learn aerial silks after seeing her first aerial performance years ago. When a beginners aerial class came up, Brittany leapt at the opportunity to take it. From that first class she knew she had found her passion. Her obsession for silks continues to grow as she has moved through more advanced levels of aerial classes. She is dedicated to working on her strength as well as flexibility and is looking forward to choreographing her own sequences. Practicing 3 times a week with different instructors around Calgary to increase her abilities, she is very excited to start teaching and sharing her love of aerials with others.


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!


Mr Jared

Jared has been training in all styles of Hip Hop for more than 10 years, the past 5 were at pound it Hip Hop studio. His current focus is centered around breaking and house. He has competed in many competitions for both Choreography and Freestyle, and hopes to one day make it into the Red Bull BC one breaking battle. In the summers of 2016 and 2018 he traveled to New York to train with the pioneers of Hip Hip. Crazy Legs, Buddha Stretch, Link, Poppin Pete, and Caleaf were some of the instructors. Jared has also attended many workshops with bboys such as Storm, Neguin, Ynot, Ken Swift, and Lilou. Currently Jared is attending University of Calgary studying to become an engineer.  


Ms Jo

Jo loves children and all things acrobatic! She took gymnastics lessons as a child and has her NCCP Level One Coaching Certificate. She took coach training through Kimberley Gymnastics in BC, Flip Factory, Breathe Parkour, Spectacle Blue Circus Studio, and the awesome En L’Air Academy.

Jo taught gymnastics at Kimberley Gymnastics, and at Flip Factory here in Calgary, she coached gymnastics, trampoline, parkour, lyra, trapeze, and silks.

In addition to working and playing at En L’Air, Jo currently owns and operates Gym Jam, a gymnastics and physical literacy mobile business.

Jo is a very proud and lucky mom to Kristin (9 years) and Leo (5 years).


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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Ms Sarah

Miss Sarah has been studying the art of dance for little over fifteen years now. While she started her journey in jazz as a child, she quickly grew to love all styles that became available to her. Sarah was a member of Ember Dance Company, a contemporary company based here in Calgary, for six years. She has also taken her training to locations such as New York, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Sarah’s had the pleasure to perform for a number of local organizations, including Ignite!, Mpact, and most recently collaborating with People Are Pearls for a showcase at Market Collective. In the past year Sarah’s had the privilege to participate in the Ember Dance Company performance and short film, Ethos. Sarah is currently attending school for Massage Therapy in order to expand her knowledge of the body and support herself and others in a healthy dance lifestyle.

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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. He hopes to complete his dance training and will hopefully open up his own studio one day.

Our Studio


En L'air Academy of Dance

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