Elyse Hutchinson Hammond has served as the Director of the Lois Laxton Dance Studio since 1994, when the baton was passed from Miss Laxton to a new generation. Elyse’s dancer career, however, started long before that date as, from an early age, she was immersed in the world of dance and irresistibly attracted to the performing arts. From her fledgling beginnings as an assistant dance teacher at LLDS, her abilities, dedication and passion for dance propelled her to the forefront of the profession, and Elyse quickly became recognized by the dance community for her outstanding contributions as a teacher, choreographer and adjudicator.
Elyse appeared in many stage productions before assuming her role as Director at LLDS and served as the director of the Canadian Ambassadors of Song and Dance who have been invited to perform throughout Europe with the LLDS dancers and the Ontario Youth Concert Band since 1985.
Also active in the administration and regulation of dance instruction, Elyse Hutchinson is a Life Member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (CDTA), serving for many years on its Executive Board. In addition, she has acted as an Examiner in the Ballet, Jazz and Tap disciplines, traveling across Canada to examine and instruct aspiring dance instructors and to teach the CDTA syllabus. Elyse is also a full member of the Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PAEC) and examines Ballet, Jazz and Tap on its behalf throughout Ontario. Elyse enjoys a well deserved reputation throughout the Canadian dance community for her perseverance, organization and lively enthusiasm in promoting and developing the profile and enjoyment of dance at every level.
Elyse continues to successfully combine her love of teaching dance to children with her appreciation and enthusiasm for the performing arts. She has choreographed many musicals for both middle and senior schools, including Annie, Mulan, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Beauty and the Beast, 42nd Street, and Guys and Dolls, to the immense delight of both performers and audiences.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Elyse continues to advance her dance and business education in both Canada and the United States, both giving and attending seminars and workshops for her colleagues. Instrumental in creating and implementing the LLDS philosophy of “dancing the dream,” Elyse is the living embodiment of its possibilities and rewards.