Health and Safety

We make the safety and wellbeing of our students our top priority.

Everyone at CGDA is here to help you and your dancers feel safe and excited to come to dance.
At CGDA we ensure a safe dance space. Our practices are guided by Federal, Provincial and Ottawa Public Health recommendations. We will keep everyone up to date as things change so we can all stay safe and healthy.


Common Ground Dance Academy is a private, peanut-free facility and while we ask parents/guardians to refrain from providing nuts to their children, we are unable to guarantee a nut-free environment.

We ask parents to list allergies and medical conditions in writing to Common Ground Dance Academy during the registration process. We also ask parents to inform us of any potentially life-threatening allergy (anaphylaxis) prior to the first day of class and ensure their child has auto-injector on them at all times.

Safety in Our Facilities

We prioritize safety in our facilities.

We have installed brand new harlequin floors in our facilities in order to provide a safe environment for dancers. Harlequin sprung floors reduce risk of injury by offering better protection. Sprung floors reduce the risk of injury through impact, slipping or falling.

Common Ground Dance Academy’s space also features brand new ventilation which improves air quality.

Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Common Ground - Elisabet White

Elisabet White, RAD RTS

Owner & Artistic Director

Elisabet has been teaching dance for over 10 years and dancing for more than 25 years. Born and raised in Ottawa, Elisabet danced locally where she successfully completed her RAD Advanced 2 Ballet and ADAPT Advanced Jazz examinations while attending Canterbury High School - Performing Arts – Dance program. In 2012 Elisabet went on to attend the prestigious Ailey School Professional Division, NYC where she received a Certificate of Dance with Honours. After graduating she pursued a certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies through the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). She has also trained at Alonzo King LINES, San Francisco, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Summer Professional Programs. During her dance training she had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers such as: Alonzo King, Sidra Bell, Matthew Rushing, Darrell Moultrie, Amy Hall, Ray Mercer, and Carlos Dos Santos.

While studying dance at The Ailey School, Elisabet had the privilege of teaching children in The Ailey School First Steps Program, and travel to Florida as a guest teacher. These opportunities ignited her passion for teaching dance. After graduating from The Ailey School, she went on to expand her teaching skills in Halifax, NS and the surrounding area, teaching various methods of ballet, and jazz styles of dance, to children and adults, and choreograph for national competitions and local performances. While in Halifax she also volunteered at local schools to engage students in dance activities.

Over the years, Elisabet has had the opportunity to perform in the Tri-State area of New York, Canada and Mexico.

Elisabet has now returned home to Ottawa and in pursuing her passion for dance and vision to explore dance with children, she opened the doors to Common Ground Dance Academy in 2020.

Her passion for teaching children the art of dance is evident in her guidance and support for her students.

As Elisabet continues to pursue her passion for dance and to teach the art of dance, she now sees her vision to offer her love for dance to children of all ages and opened the doors to Common Ground Dance Academy to pass on her passion to the community.

“No matter where you come from or who you are, when we’re in the studio, we’re all on common ground” is the founding vision of Common Ground Dance Academy.

Hello Families of Common Ground Academy!

The Competitive Team is excited to bring to you our Fall Basket fundraiser starting Saturday, September 23rd. We will have our baskets on display in the studio beside Theory Dancewear.

Our Competitive Fundraising Committee and all of our Competitive parents have come together to make incredible baskets. You don't want to miss out!
The team has put together 6 baskets with value averaging $300 each.

All proceeds raised will go towards our Competitive Team this season.

How it will work:
Tickets will be available at the studio (beside Theory Dancewear)

Step One:
Purchase your ticket(s):
$10.00 for 1 ticket
$20.00 for 3 tickets
$40.00 for 7 tickets

Step Two:
Tell your friends and family, they would love to purchase a ticket!

Step Three:
Wait in anticipation to see if your name or someone you know has been drawn on Thursday, October 5th at 7:00pm.

A huge thank you to our Common Ground Family for your continuous support!

Please see below the list of items included in the baskets.
Ballots are available in studio CASH Only.

Common Ground Competitve Fundraising Committee

Basket #1 - Kids Only Basket 

-- 2 $25 Marshalls gift cards
-- 2 $25 ultimate dinning card
-- $50 Theory Dancewear gift card
-- Size 4T Pink Common Ground Shirt
-- 2 Gatorades
-- Assortment of candies and chocolates
-- Tim Hortons Hot Chocolate Mix
-- Variety of kids arts and crafts

Basket #2 - Rise and Shine

-- Happy Goat Guatemala coffee beans
-- Happy Goat Brazil coffee beans
-- Happy Goat coffee travel mug
-- Happy Goat mug
-- Starbucks siren cup
-- Starbucks color changing cups with straw
-- Small assortment of chocolate
-- Starbucks pour over set
-- 2 adult movie ticket passes
-- 2 $50 gift cards to Local Public Eatery
-- $25 gift card to David's tea
-- $50 gift card to Starbucks

Basket #3 - Kens Time

-- Dark Amber & Oud scented candle
-- Cuban Rum
-- Cognac
-- Snacks
-- 2 cool towels (super cooling towel)
-- Toilet Time Game (mini golf game)
-- Brazilian Rum
-- 2 magazines
-- $25 gift card to LCBO
-- 2 $50 gift card to Crust and Crate
-- $25 gift card to Stinson gas station

Basket #4 - Wine & Dine 

-- 3 set northern woods candles
-- Chef on the Fly (personal chef service for two)
-- Lindt chocolate bar
-- 2 Cook books
-- Champagne
-- Fortified wine
-- white wine - Pinot Grigio
-- Red wine - Baco Noir

Basket #5 - Pamper Me

-- Bath salts
-- 3 set northern woods candle
-- Bath bombs
-- Sleep eye shade
-- Small wine travel cup
-- Eye, face, and foot masks
-- Lindt bar
-- Hair head band
-- Hair accessories
-- Stud earrings
-- Lush products
-- Small candle
-- Chef on the Fly(personal chef service for two )
-- 2 $25 Happy Her gift card
-- 2 $50 Joeys gift card
-- Assortment of flavored teas
-- Hair and body products
-- Teacups and saucers, teapot, creamer, sugar pot (set)
-- Champagne
-- White wine
-- Red wine

Basket #6 - Bambooozle

--2 $100 gift card to Mama Teresa restaurant
-- $50 gift card to Bambu
-- Vodka - Belvedere
-- White wine
-- Sparkling whine
-- Red wine - Blanco Noir
-- Prosecco
-- Sweet white wine
-- $50 gift card to Kimono (poke and ramen)

Term 1

Classes Start: September 11

Thanksgiving: October 7 - 9

Halloween: October 31

Winter Break: December 23 -January 7

Term 1 Ends: January 28

Term 2

Term 2 Starts: January 29

Family Day: Feburary 19

March Break: March 11 - 15

Easter: March 30 - Aril 1

May Long weekend: May 18 - 20

Recital Dress Rehearsal: June 5

Classes End: June 9

Recital: June 10 & 12

Common Ground - Anissia Nasr

Saffi Petersen Ndiaye


As a graduate of Common Ground, Saffi is excited to continue her dance journey as a teacher and create a positive environment for her students, whether that be in class, at competitions, or onstage. 

Saffi began dancing with a focus on ballet and modern, but was introduced to other styles such as jazz, contemporary, and lyrical early on in her dance education. She has completed many A.D.A.P.T and R.A.D exams, notably her Advanced 2, where she received distinction this past year and will now begin preparing for the R.A.D Solo Seal award. Saffi received additional professional training at Ballet Jorgen's Summer Intensive, where she was taught by a wide variety of artists and applied the knowledge she learned to her students. Saffi was previously a gymnastics coach and has also taught ballet, jazz, and contemporary classes in Ottawa. She recently graduated from Canterbury High School in the visual arts program.

Saffi will work on artistry and technique with her students, focusing on each dancer's abilities, while understanding and appreciating the fact that everybody is different. In her classes, it's a judgment free zone and what's most important is enjoyment and improvement.

Common Ground - Anissia Nasr

Lisa Alli


Lisa began dancing at the age of 5 in the Niagara region at the Dunnville Dance Centre. She has always had a passion for dance, teaching dance, and creating choreography. Lisa has received all of her tap exam certificates with the C.D.T.A., receiving Honours at the Advanced level. Lisa has trained in tap dance in Niagara, Toronto and Montreal and is thrilled to share her passion of tap and rhythm with the team at CGDA.

In Lisa’s classes, students will be given a safe, inclusive, and positive environment where they are free to express themselves. It will be a space to learn and grow for new or returning dancers (of all ages!). The classes will emphasize technique, musicality and expression while also including an introduction to improvisation and highlighting tap history.

Common Ground - Nicole Binnington

Alison Van Kessel


Alison began dancing at the age of 3. She has trained and competed in various dance styles including; Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Acro, and Musical Theatre. Alison has trained up to Advanced 1 in RAD Ballet and Intermediate 3 in ADAPT Jazz. She has had the pleasure of dancing in Walt Disney World and performing at the NAC with the Royal Winning Ballet.

Alison has graduated from the ADAPT Teacher’s Training School with a gold seal. She is now certified in teaching all levels of the ADAPT Jazz and Tap syllabus. Alison is currently studying Early Childhood Education at Algonquin College. She is passionate about combining her knowledge of dance and education to lead exciting and inclusive dance classes.

Common Ground - Anissia Nasr

Kiana Lawrence


It's clear that dance is a significant part of Kiana Lawrence's life and passion. Starting at a young age and progressing through various styles, Kiana's dedication to dance is evident. From beginning with recreational ballet and transitioning to competitive dance, her journey showcases a commitment to honing her skills and pushing her boundaries.Kiana's experience isn't just limited to being a dancer; she has also taken on the role of a dance teacher. Teaching jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and musical theatre highlights her diverse expertise and ability to communicate her knowledge to others. This experience likely helped her grow as a dancer and instructor, as teaching requires a deep understanding of the art form and the ability to convey its nuances effectively.

Notably, Kiana was a part of Carleton University's competitive dance team during her first year of university. This involvement demonstrates her desire to continue her dance journey even while pursuing higher education. Being a part of a competitive team adds a layer of discipline and teamwork to her skill set, which can be valuable both in dance and other aspects of life.Her teaching experience also extends across different regions, having taught in both the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ottawa. This suggests that Kiana's influence as a dance teacher has been felt in multiple communities, and she likely brings a unique blend of styles and approaches to her teaching methods.

Overall, Kiana Lawrence's journey in dance, from a young age to her university years, and her role as both a dancer and teacher, showcases her dedication, versatility, and passion for the art form. With her background and experience, she is well-prepared to continue making a positive impact as a dance instructor, sharing her love for dance with others and contributing to the dance community.

Common Ground - Anissia Nasr

Kateri Jacobs


Kateri grew up in the National Capital region where she has completed most of her dance training in ballet, jazz and contemporary. After many years in the competitive dance world, she trained at The School of Dance in their post-secondary Contemporary Dance Program. After completing her bachelor's degree at STFX university, she returned to The School of Dance to complete their ballet teacher training programme and obtained her certification as an Associate of the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Kateri has a passion for teaching all ages, from 2yr olds to adult beginner classes, and believes everyone deserves a spot on the dance floor. 

Kateri is also a mother of two and a Chartered Professional Accountant. In her spare time she volunteers as the Treasurer for the Ottawa Dance Directive, a local professional contemporary dance company and centre for professional dance. 

Common Ground - Anissia Nasr

Christine Macmillan


Christine received her dance training at the Halton Hills School of Dance, where she discovered a lifelong passion for the art of movement. She trained extensively in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and modern, and successfully completed graded and vocational examinations with the Royal Academy of Dance. She received additional professional training at the Quinte Ballet School's summer intensive program and is a graduate of Mayfield Secondary School's Regional Arts Dance Program. 

Christine has enjoyed the opportunity to teach and choreograph at studios across Orangeville, Halton and London, Ontario. Her gifts lie in her natural musicality and musical interpretation, which are integral to who she is as both a teacher and choreographer. Outside of dance, Christine is a licensed Physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, and her specialized knowledge of the human body is central in her teaching methods. She helps her students develop an understanding of the mechanics of movement from an early age, so that they can explore the art of movement on a more profound level. Christine believes that above all else, dance is about artistry and self-expression, and she strives to help her students find their own voices through the art of dance.