OUR TEAM

  • CARLA MELLADO-ROBERTSON Director/ Teaching Staff


    From the young age of 5 years old Carla fell in love with dance. Her parents quickly enrolled her in tap dance and from there her love grew and so did the number of classes she enrolled in each year. Carla began her training in Tap but soon was involved with various competitive classes. Styles included: Tap, Acrobatics, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Ballet, Jazz, Street Jazz and Modern. During her school years Carla participated in over 35 examinations (Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Acro) including her Gold Star Acrobatics Exam which she was awarded with Distinction. She also competed / performed in many local and international competitions / performance both with groups and as a soloist. At 12 years old she jumped at the chance to student-teach alongside her instructors teaching various younger students and it wasn’t too long until Carla received her very own class of little dancers. Soon she realized that teaching was where her true passion lay. At 15 years old Carla was asked by Cirque du Soleil to audition for a possible position in one of their shows. With her mom she traveled to Spokane Washington and auditioned, something she had worked very hard to accomplish. At 18 years old Carla opened “Mellado Dance Elite”. Owning her own dance studio was Carla’s dream from the time she was a little girl. Carla has worked very hard to keep the doors to the studo open, overcoming many obstacles and keeping a positive attitude even when those around her had doubts. Once MDE was born, it has always been Carla’s “baby”, and with lots of love and nurturing by many it has grown into the fabulous place it is today. Although Carla has been recognized by numerous Choreography awards, High Score Awards etc. she finds much more fulfillment from seeing her students grow into beautiful dancers/people. She feels so fortunate to have had even a small place in her dancer’s lives. Nothing makes her beam with pride more than seeing her dancers on stage looking so beautiful and confident. Her dancers have taught her so much more than they could ever realize and she holds a special place close to her heart for every one of her dancers past and present. With over 10 years of teaching experience Carla has something to offer every dancer regardless of age or experience. Being the director of Mellado Dance Elite, it has always been her ultimate goal to offer a safe and nurturing environment to every dancer. A place where dancers can call their own and receive the encouragement to explore and be their unique self. It is her commitment to offer the very best instructors who fit the MDE vision and are willing to share their love for dance freely. She is over-the-moon excited for this upcoming dance year!

  • ASHLEIGH GEMMELL Teaching Staff


    Ashleigh has been dancing at Mellado Dance Elite for the past 13 years. She loves dancing and being part of Mellado’s dance family. For the last 5 years she has been assisting Mellado’s teachers as a member of their student teaching program. This has helped her grow as a dancer and has enabled her to find her own style of teaching. Ashleigh has trained in various styles including Ballet, Acrobatics, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Stage, Lyrical, and Contemporary. She has completed several Cecchetti exams, the last one being Senior Certificate, and she will be working on her Intermediate exam in the upcoming year. She has performed in many Community performances such as May Day and the PNE. During her time with Mellado she has had the opportunity to travel to Seattle, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, and take master classes from professional choreographers and dancers. This upcoming year she will continue her training at Mellado, and will be apart of the Sapphire company. Ashleigh is excited to be part of the Mellado staff and continue in her love of dance.

  • CELINA BOOTH Teaching Staff


    Celina was born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area. She began her dance career at the young age of 4 and her passion only grew with age. At 10 she was training in all styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, musical theatre and tap at various dance studios in the Lower Mainland. At 14 she started attending the Langley Fine Arts School as a dance major to consistently focus on her craft during the school day where she also found an interest in choreography. Upon High School graduation she felt it was important to continue her training as a dancer but realized that she had really gravitated towards hip-hop and street jazz. She then joined an Urban Vancouver company called “Kill The Lights, ” run out of Harbour Dance Centre under the direction of Ken Yung and Shauna Smith. KTL gives dancers an opportunity to expand their street dance background by introducing them to fundamental grooving techniques, opportunities to freestyle and helpful tips on how to properly audition. While every aspect of KTL played a key role in Celina’s growth as a dancer, it was the teaching component of the company that really sparked an interest in her. Each company member was given the opportunity to teach class to their peers during the year, which ultimately led her to the decision of pursuing a career in choreography and teaching. Celina has now finished her second year of KTLCo. and is looking forward to spreading her love for dance and teaching to various students all over the Lower Mainland in the next year, while still continuing to train as a dancer herself.

  • CHELSEA HENDERSON Teaching Staff


    From a very young age, Chelsea has always found great joy in dancing and performing. She joined Mellado Dance Elite in 2011, and quickly became very serious about pursuing dance as a career, training in styles such as ballet, pointe, contemporary, acrobatics, hip hop, stage, jazz, and lyrical. She has received recognition at many local competitions and examinations for excellence in technique and performance quality. She has participated in a number of community performances, such as the May Day and Teddy Bear Picnic parades, PNE Showcase, and Royal City Youth Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Chelsea will continue her dance training as a member of The Dance Initiative’s pre-professional program, under the direction of Geneen Georgiev. She looks forward to taking her training to the next level in hopes of pursuing a professional career in dance. As a member of Mellado’s Mentorship Program for the past two years, Chelsea has been able to learn so much from assisting alongside the studio’s wonderful staff members. Being one of Mellado’s student teachers has really allowed her to discover her passion for teaching, and understand and develop the skills required to be a great teacher. She is thrilled to begin her teaching career, and is looking forward to all the new experiences this year will bring!

  • JAMIE LYNNE-VARNEY Teaching Staff


    From a young age, Jamie found a passion for music and dance. When she joined Mellado Dance Elite at age 5, her love for creative movement was encouraged to grow. Trained in jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, tap, modern, acrobatics and stage, Jamie learned to appreciate all techniques and styles. This allowed her to absorb knowledge from many unique teachers on the choreography of different styles, and projecting her love of performance. Traveling with Mellado, she has performed and competed locally and internationally at such places as Teddy Bear Picnic, May Day, the PNE Showcase, Thunderstruck Las Vegas, and other competitions as well. As a member of Mellado Dance Elite’s family for over 10 years and a member of the teacher training program for 5, Jamie has developed a love for sharing her knowledge and passion for dance. Assisting alongside many of Mellado’s great teachers has taught her different styles and techniques to teach children of all ages and how to foster growth and development of the physical and social skills needed for dance. Jamie is thrilled about beginning her career as a teacher and joining the fantastic staff at Mellado. She is very excited to find what new experiences this year will hold for her!

  • LORRAINE CHONG Teaching Staff


    Lorraine Chong began her ballet training at the Pacific Ballet Theatre School in Vancouver, under the direction of Maria Lewis. Wanting to expand her knowledge of teaching technique, she attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division’s Teacher Training Program. She currently holds her Associate Diploma qualification through the Cecchetti Society of Canada and is a certified ballet teacher of the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association. Lorraine regularly pursues opportunities to challenge herself and expand upon her knowledge of the ballet art form, attending numerous ballet workshops and summer schools throughout Canada and the USA. She recently traveled to New York and participated in the American Ballet Theater’s teacher certification program. By completing this program, Lorraine is now an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through LevelThree of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She also has held positions of Secretary and Treasurer as a former Executive member of the Cecchetti Society of 8.C. Lorraine brings over 15 years of teaching experience, and aspires to provide a stimulating and encouraging learning environment for students. She takes great pleasure in the enjoyment dance brings and the invaluable life lessons it affords.

  • MARY PETERSON Teaching Staff


    Mary Peterson takes great joy in sharing her love of dance through her teaching; and her fondness of children shines through to each student she teaches. Raised in the Tri-Cities, Mary is well trained in ballet, tap and jazz, and has been teaching for an outstanding 20 years! Her dance training includes RAD ballet & CDTA tap examinations, workshops in New York and Seattle, and she has received numerous awards from festivals and competitions for both performance and choreography. Mary’s experience as a mother of two enables her to run a dance class that is not only well organized, but very enjoyable! Her respectful and nurturing manner helps to instill confidence in her dancers, giving them a positive learning experience and helping them strive to be the best they can be. Mary returns for her 9th year at Mellado Dance Elite, and her skills and passion are great assets to our dancers!

  • NICOLE FABBI Teaching Staff


    Nichole Fabbi’s dancing and singing career began at the age of 3 when her mom enrolled her in a musical theatre and tap class and diamonds in the rough musical theatre studio in Port Coquitlam. It soon became very apparent that this was Nicole’s passion. By the age of 5 she was registered in tap, jazz, ballet, musical theatre and voice lessons. She began singing in competitions at the age of 6 that year Nicole also found herself making it through to the semi-finals in the PNE “reach for the stars” talent show. At the age of 9 Nicole was invited to sing at the honors performance for the Coquitlam Dance and Singing Festival. Nicole sang competitively in the categories of sacred, contemporary Broadway, and Broadway solo song and dance until she graduated from high school. Without a doubt, throughout her singing career, Broadway song and dance are her favorites. Nicole’s competitive dancing career was also launched at the age of 6 where Nicole was member of a group that danced in competitions until at the age of 12 when diamonds in the rough closed their doors. Two months later Mellado Dance Elite was born and Nicole was one of the first in line to register. Nicole has enjoyed 11 years of competition in jazz, lyrical, ballet, modern, tap and stage with Mellado Dance Elite. In September 2012 she began dancing with the endangered dance company out of harbor dance center in Vancouver.
    Nicole began teaching at Mellado Dance Elite in September 2010. She enjoys sharing her passion by teaching dance to students ages 3 to 16 in various genres such as musical theatre, ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical. In August 2011 Nicole completed her bachelor of arts in psychology and human counseling and development at SFU. In September of 2011 she began her training to become a school teacher. In October 2012, she graduated with her bachelor of education from SFU and is now a teacher in the Coquitlam school district.
    Sharing her love of singing and dancing with young people is one of the Nicole’s greatest passions and she is looking forward to doing just that for another year at Mellado Dance Elite!

  • CAITLIN WRIGHT Teaching Staff

    Caitlin has been dancing since the age of four and has had extensive training in many different styles like jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip-hop and musical theatre. Caitlin was born and trained in Maple Ridge and has taken classes and competed in various competitions and workshops throughout Las Vegas and L.A. where her dance team won numerous awards. Her love and enthusiasm for teaching came at the age of 13 years old when one of her dance instructors gave her the opportunity to assist in her class. Caitlin has performed in many high profile events including, dancing for her Majesty the Queen during her Royal visit, was part of the junior dance team for the Vancouver Grizzlies Basketball team and performed in the opening ceremonies for the Para-Olympics in 2010. Her performances also include dancing for eight years in daytime and night shows at The Fair at The PNE, including Zydeco Jam, City Rhythm, Rolling Thunder, ToontasticParade and Celebration Parade. She has also performed in many community shows and Grey Cup Events. Caitlin is currently working on her Bachelors of Arts to get her teaching degree at the University of the Fraser Valley. Caitlin can’t wait until the 2015-2016 dance season to begin and is looking forward to meeting all the students and the families!

  • ANDREW HAYDOCK Teaching Staff


    Andrew Haydock is a familiar face in the dance industry, most recently having performed in the “Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Celebration” which will air the 24th of June. Andrew once was a student at Mellado Dance Elite where he discovered his passion for dance, and from there Andrew started his professional dance training at Danzmode Productions with artist/director Rachael Poirier. He is well versed in all genres of dance: Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Modern, Tap, and Ballet. He is currently a graduate from Danzmode and is immersed in the world of The Source dance company. He is really excited to start teaching more next dance year at Mellado Dance Elite. His goal is to help create true artists and show them how to make it in the dance industry.

  • Lauren O’Kell Teaching Staff


    Lauren has studied many styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern and contemporary dance. In her hometown of St. Albert, Alberta, she began dance classes at the Art of Dance where she completed ballet, tap and modern examinations through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). In 2003, Lauren attended the Edmonton Dance Centre to focus on the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) training with Deborah Morgan. While at the Edmonton Dance Centre, Lauren has achieved RAD graded and vocational examinations, as well as receiving her R.A.D Solo Seal Award. In 2011, Lauren competed in the Genée International Ballet Competition hosted in Cape Town, South Africa, where she advanced to the final round as the only dancer representing Canada.

    Throughout her training, Lauren has also travelled for summer intensives at Canada’s National Ballet School, Boston Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre. In the summer of 2012, Lauren had the opportunity to take the Boston Ballet Choreographic Dance Intensive with world renowned choreographers Jorma Elo and Helen Pickett. During the intensive, Lauren had the opportunity to learn William Forsythe’s Improvisation technologies.

    During 2012-2013, Lauren attended Miami City Ballet School where she continued her training through the style of George Balanchine from renowned teachers in the dance industry. While at MCBS, Lauren has performed and learned roles in Carnival of the Animals, Paquita, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante.

    From 2013 to 2015, Lauren returned to Edmonton to perform professionally with Citie Ballet. While at Citie Ballet, Lauren has had works choreographed on her by acclaimed and emerging choreographers such as Francois Chevennement, Heather Meyers, Alysa Pires, Solveig Desilets, Waldemar Bartowski, and Jorden Morris. Lauren has performed soloist roles in classical repertoire such as Paquita, Les Sylphides, and Swan Lake Pas de Trois.

    In Lauren’s teaching practice, she strives to bring out the best in each student in their personal confidence and improvement, and to achieve their goals in and outside the studio. Along with her experience and knowledge, she aims to inspire and share her passion for the art of dance to students and aspiring dancers around her. Lauren looks forward to joining the Mellado Dance Elite team for the 2017/2018 season.

  • SAMANTHA ARMSTRONG Office Staff


    Samantha has been apart of MDE for the past 5 years. She has taken a variety of Adult Classes over the years. Her favorites are Jazz and Lyrical. Samantha joined the Mellado Team in 2013 as the Studio Event Coordinator. She is looking forward to continuing her role as Costume Manager She enjoys watching dancers and the studio grow!

  • Sarah Seinen Office Staff


    Sarah has been Mellado Dance Elite’s office manager for the past 4 years. She is committed to offering the very best customer service to every dance family.

    Sarah herself grew up taking various dance classes and now enjoys getting involved in MDE’s adult programs. She is looking forward to sharing a fabulous dance year with you.