KICKS Alumni

KICKS ALUMNI

KICKS was like a second home to me.  It was a place that provided me confidence, a sense of belonging as well as my true love for dance.  It also provided me with many life long memories and friendships and that is why I knew I had to send my daughter to that same special studio!
Kristen Chocorlan-Kirlin

I have a lot of fond memories of dancing with friends at KICKS. It’s been a long time but I can only remember Jo-Ann being so positive, smiling all the time and having 100% passion for what she does. She has created a very welcoming space for girls and boys to come and explore their artistic side. I love seeing how Courtney is working with the same passion and dedication that Jo-Ann has for the past 30 years! Congratulations!
Michelle Egan

Jo-Ann, I can’t begin to tell you all of the many ways that both you and Kicks have influenced my path in life.  Firstly, my love and passion for tap came directly from your love and passion for it, the most challenging thing for me as a teenager was moving out of Markham and not being close enough to continue with Kicks.  I tried and attempted to do it with other dance schools and while great, never came close to the feeling and commitment being at Kicks evoked for me.  My step into entertainment and television had everything to do with you. From competitions, to exams, to recitals – it has been one of my most treasured memories and happiest moments.  Happy 30th anniversary and I wish you continued success for at least another 30 more.
Stefany Singh

Dearest Jo-Ann, So many of my greatest memories from childhood have something to do with Kicks. It was my home away from home filled with my “other family”. You taught us the importance of hard work, friendship, tolerance, sportsmanship and appreciation for music. My love for dance is still strong today and that is directly because of you and the environment you created for us. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this reunion dance and proud to be one of the 80’s originals.  Keep up the great work. You are helping shape young lives and we will all be forever grateful for everything you did for us then, and continue to do for the dancers now. Congratulations, you and your team should be very proud. 30 years is such an amazing accomplishment! I wish you many more years of success. Love you dearly
Roxane Woods XOXO

KICKS has been like a family to me for as long as I can remember.  Not only was it a great place for me to learn how to dance as both an athlete and an artist, but it was a place where I met great friends; where I built long lasting relationships with the teachers; where I grew from a toddler, to a pre-teen, to a teen, and young adult … it really is where so much life happened.  And I really can’t thank Jo-Ann enough for the wonderful experience, which she envisioned thirty years ago!  Because of this vision, I have gone through moments of victory, love, joy, and freedom and I am forever grateful for that.  I’m glad to have been a part of Kicks, and I know that I am always welcomed back, which is pretty awesome.  Thanks Kicks family!
Miranda Dela Cruz

I couldn’t possibly condense over 10 years of memories into one message so I’ll just say that Jo-Ann, you’ve been like a second Mom to so many, and my years at KICKS were the best years of my life. The sense of family and community, and the friendships that were forged will always hold a special place in my heart. So many laughs and great times! Every costume, sequin and scrunchy holds a story! Love you Jo-Ann, you’re an inspiration! Thanks for everything!
Susannah Kiernan

Thank you Jo-Ann for being such an inspiration to me. You have guided me as an instructor, choreographer, studio owner as well as an individual. You have always left an imprint on me through your kindness, compassion and generosity. You’re just beautiful! Thank you for being a great friend and mentor to me. I am forever grateful. Christina Digiuseppe

To my second mom, who ran my home away from home.  You were the one to show me what I am meant to do in this world, and all my teachers who I will forever cherish gave me the confidence to actually go out and chase that dream.  Dance is everything I am, and I wouldn’t be able to know any of that if it wasn’t for you.  Thank you for all that you do, and all that KICKS is to me…from the bottom of my heart.
Bailey Woodman

KICKS is a dance studio like no other! It is a home away from home, where we get to spend time with our second family doing what we all love best, dancing. Jo-Ann is the amazing lady behind this dance studio; without her the dreams of thousands of dancers from all over York Region would not have come true. From my first tap class, to my last performance, I have never felt so welcome, loved and happy in one place. The friendships and memories made will last forever. Jo Ann is always the first one there, the last to leave and pours every bit of her heart and soul into the studio and the dancers that fill the walls. I can’t even imagine having danced anywhere else. KICKS really is the studio where “kids love to dance”! Thank you Jo-Ann for your passion, enthusiasm, support and love, you have helped shape me into the individual I am today and have given me more opportunities than I could ever thank you for. Congratulations on 30 amazing years and here’s to 30 more!
Brooke Brimmer

Jo-Ann, Thank you for creating a place that has always been a second home to me. You have given me so many opportunities and I am so grateful for you and for KICKS!! Happy 30th Anniversary!!
Morgan Vallee

Despite many years away from the studio, the lessons, teamwork and discipline I learned at Kicks are still an integral part of my life. The joy of dancing and competing alongside wonderful friends as a child, followed by years of teaching and helping to foster that joy in others is something I will always treasure. This place is very special. Jo-Ann and Courtney, you have built a second home for hundreds, and I am so grateful to have been a part of the Kicks family. Thank you for all you’ve done!
Lena Pestaluky

Jo-Ann, Wow – I can’t believe it’s been 30 years! I would like to let you know how thankful I am for everything you have done to make Kicks the dance studio it is today. Kicks is where I grew up for thirteen years of my life; I met friends I will keep with me forever, and was able to grow both as a dancer and as a person. You facilitated this, and continue to give dancers the same experience. At the time, I treated dance like any other extracurricular, but looking back now, it was so much more than just an activity – it was a learning experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to dance growing up, and am the utmost thankful to you for providing me with such a positive and welcoming environment like Kicks. Congratulations on this milestone, and I hope for many, many more years to come.
Heather DuMaresq

I remember just shortly after you opened KICKS, Stefany, Crystal, Bianca, followed by me, all became involved in dancing. I am so proud of Kicks today to see Courtney following your lead and keeping the tradition going. You hold a special place in our lives, we have never forgotten you. The dance pictures with the kids and myself sit on my wall as a constant reminder of our life in Markham and the good times we shared. I too am very proud of Courtney…she represents everything about you. Love always..
Elizabeth Singh and Family.

I’ve learned so much from KICKS, and I cherish every minute of my experience at this studio. Jo-Ann truly makes Kicks the welcoming place that it is, and thus making it the best studio. Jo-Ann and the rest of the teachers are all amazing, and my experience at Kicks will always be apart of me. Thanks for some great years!
Stephanie Alexopulos

Jo-Ann, thank you for teaching me how to express myself through dance.  30 years later I can still be found dancing around my house 😉
Lindsay Grubbe

From “Cabbage Patch Dolls” to “Hey Pachuco,” you were there every step of the way. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for 12 amazing years and a lifetime of memories!
Jen Lusk

‘DO-Anne’! It has been an amazing journey throughout the years. You and KICKS have been a part of my family since the age of 2 and you have helped shape who I am today many years later. I am so happy Kicks is still part of my family and always will be. Congratulations, and to many more years! Xo Love,
Caryn Culley

I think the wise Fred Penner (aka “Carly the bus driver”) said it best when he sang : “Weary blues can’t get into my shoes; Because my shoes refuse to ever grow weary; I keep cheerful on an earful of music, sweet; ‘Cause I’ve got hap, hap, happy feet..” Thanks for teaching me how to have happy feet, Jo-Ann! I don’t know where I’d be today without them!
Carly Donaldson

Dear Mom, putting together the ‘Surprise Alumni Performance’ for you was an eye-opening and gratifying experience. Seeing everyone after years past, and hearing their memories and stories about you and KICKS literally brought me to tears. I realized just how much of a strong, positive impact KICKS has had on so many students’ childhoods, and how it has helped shape the adults they are today. KICKS is so much more than a dance studio, KICKS is a “home away from home”, and you are a “second mom” to hundreds of young people. For myself, I can easily say that my fondest childhood memories were my years dancing at KICKS, and I know there are hundreds of others that feel the same way. Having my mom as my tap teacher was also a big plus! I learned from the BEST 🙂 You are an inspiration and role model, and the students of KICKS are very fortunate to have you in their lives. KICKS is a very special place, the gifts you are giving to so many children is an extraordinary thing. You should be very proud. Love Courtney Drake

Dear JoAnn, We wanted to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for believing in us. You were always the one who saw tons of potential in us and with that, you pushed us to be the best we could be. Thank you for the countless opportunities and the infinite amount of compliments. We also want to thank you for being the first person to see something in us that we never would’ve been able to see ourselves. Without you, our drive to dance would not be as strong. Congratulations on 30 years of amazing work! Love,
Cassandra and Kayla Perez

It feels just like yesterday when I walked into KICKS Dance Studio for the very first time at age 5. Jo-Ann was my first teacher and I was so excited to take my very first tap class. There are so many wonderful, precious and valuable memories I have from my years at Kicks!! I want to thank you Jo-Ann for all you have done for me over the years. All of the highlights I got from Kicks will never be forgotten, rather, they will be with me everywhere I go!! The knowledge and learning experiences I gained through the years at Kicks have served me well throughout my life and are part of who I am today! Thank you so much Jo-Ann for the memories and for making Kicks my second home away from home!! Caley Kaiman

Jo-Ann, Thank you for giving us a place to grow, laugh and have fun! Kicks will forever hold a place in our hearts and I will cherish the memories from my 10 years at Kicks forever. Lot’s of Love
Becky Hodge

So many wonderful childhood memories of growing up at the studio with great friends and teachers! Congratulations on 30 years of inspiring kids to learn and perform! To the next 30…!”
Jennifer D

I would like to start by saying Happy 30th Anniversary to KICKS Dance Studio!!!! I worked for KICKS for 4 years and I loved every minute of it. Jo-Ann and Courtney do such an amazing job running the studio. The teachers are all so friendly and you can see that all the students at KICKS really enjoy being there. Although I no longer teach at the studio, I left with a lot of memories to take home. I made great friends, I was able to see growth in a lot of my students and I was able to work for the most awesome boss ever!!!! 
Thank you so much KICKS for all you’ve done and congratulations on 30 great years of hard work and dedication!
Bianca Jones