MEET THE TEAM

Fiona Nash Champagne
Director

Fiona has won numerous competitions and hold several champion titles, including World Junior Champion, Canadian Champion and British Open Champion. She also placed 1st Runner Up in the World Juvenile Championship, and 3rd and 4th Runner Up in the World Adult Championships. She has represented Ontario at the Canadian Championships four times. Fiona has performed in various shows all over Canada and the U.S. One of her most beloved memories was performing the Tribute to James L. Mackenzie for him personally during a performance in Nevada. 

Fiona has a strong passion for Highland dancing, and aims to teach the next generation of all the wonderful things it has to offer. She encourages dancers to focus on strength, technique and precision, while reminding them to always dance from the Heart. In addition to being the Director for the Champagne School of Dance, she serves at the Games Chair for the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association (OHDA), and as the co-chair for the 2025 ScotDance Canada Championship Series, set to be held in Ottawa. Fiona is an adjudicator with with Royal Scottish Board of Highland Dancing (RSOBHD), a Member of the Scottish Dance Teacher Alliance (SDTA), and Professional Member of both ScotDance Canada and ScotDance Ontario. 

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Highland dancing holds a special place in Fiona's life for many reasons, one of which being her close connection to Scotland. Fiona's parents Fiona Sr. and Ronald immigrated to Canada from Dundee, Scotland a few years before she was born. Highland dancing has allowed her to keep the Scottish culture alive throughout her life. Many of these traditions have been passed down through future generations. Her daughter Chelsea is a competitive dancer and instructor with the Champagne School of dance, and as well as her niece Jessica. 2021 marked the beginning of a new era of dancing in Fiona's family, as her three grandchildren Nash, A.J. and Colt all began their dancing careers. 

Chelsea began her Highland dancing career at the age of 3, under the instruction of her mom Fiona. Over the course of her competitive career, she has won numerous events, including the 2004 New England Champion title. Some of her notable achievements include performing for Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral Castle in 2018, and performing in the Belfast Military Tattoo in Belfast, Ireland in 2019. 

Chelsea is a co-founder and co-director of the Reel Ottawa Dance Company, a large scale performance group that consists of Premier level dancers from the Ottawa area. She is also a co-founder of 4 Dance Sakes, a virtual 'pop-up' dance group that choreographs numbers for dancers across the globe, and the dance lead for the Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF) Pipes and Drums Band.

Chelsea knows first hand all of the amazing things that come with being a Highland dancer. It has allowed her to travel the world dancing, and have given her some of the greatest friendships in her life. She loves being able to work with dancers on their competitive careers, and helping establish a strong love of dancing in them.

Chelsea is known for her unique choreography style, and enjoys any opportunity she gets to flex her choreography muscles. She has created numbers that have placed top 3 in Canada, and have been featured on stages throughout Canada, the United States and Scotland. 

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In 2021, alongside fellow Ottawa area dancer Kayleigh Armstrong, Chelsea co-led Canada's first virtual dance series called 'Ottawa Online 2021'. This event saw participation from dancers from around the world, featured 40+ choreography submissions, and hosted numerous online workshops and seminars. 

Chelsea is a Member of the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance (SDTA), and a professional member of both ScotDance Canada and ScotDance Ontario.

In her spare time, Chelsea can be found chasing after her two young sons, Nash and Colt. She is fond of chocolate, getting her hands on a good pair of shoes, and finding ways to give back to the Highland dancing community. 

Chelsea Champagne Laplante
Highland Instructor/Choreographer

Ainsley Waldorf
Highland Instructor/Choreographer

Ainsley followed in her mom's footsteps, and began Highland dancing lessons at the age of 7 under the instruction of Fiona and Chelsea at the Champagne School of Dance. Since that first lesson, Ainsley has competed at the championship level throughout Canada, and the United States. She has also placed top 6 in the choreography event at Canada's championship series.

Ainsley is a big supporter of the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association, and volunteers her time to assist with running their competitions. She is looking forward to helping coach the next generation of dancers, and can't wait to begin teaching at our new Carleton Place location!

When she's not dancing, Ainsley spends her days as a 2D animator at a studio in Ottawa.

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Matt Champagne
Yoga Instructor/
Country Line Dancing Instructor

Matt is our a mixed bag teacher bringing country line dancing as well as yoga and movement classes to our program.

 

Matt grew up in the world of highland but he has a wide range of dance experience under his belt. Matt attended Canterbury High School for the performing arts as a theatre student where he fell in love with big Broadway style choreography and dance through musical theatre. 

 

Matt has been teaching country line dancing for 5 years offering options for all levels from those scooting their first boot to more advanced stylings. His country line dance classes are offered in sessions throughout the year as well as one-night workshops/socials. Private bookings are also available for corporate events, parties, weddings etc. 

 

Matt is also a competitive amateur Ballroom Dancer training at Slava Talent Ballroom dancer in Ottawa under the tutelage of Veycheslav Tudorovski and Mila Kremer. Competing in a Dance Sport competition was something on Matt’s bucket list and in the wake of the pandemic he set out to cross it off. Since starting his training in August of 2021 Matt has already competed three times with no plans of slowing down. Matt is bringing something unique to the world of Dance Sport in that he is a double threat dancer competing as both a leader and follower in his category. Matt is learning both sides of each routine and competing with each of his instructors in the Pro-Am division. Now do it backwards in heels you say? No problem!

 

Matt is known for bringing tons of energy to his classes, but he’s also the master of zen here at The Champagne School of Dance. Matt is a registered yoga teacher and has been teaching for close to 7 years now. Matt’s portfolio of yoga classes is suitable for people hitting the mat for the very first time, dancers looking to give back to their body after a hard day of training, or for anyone looking to work up a sweat with a power practice. Matt also offers private classes and programs designed for your specific needs.

Matt is known for bringing tons of energy to his classes, but he’s also the master of zen here at The Champagne School of Dance. Matt is a registered yoga teacher and has been teaching for close to 7 years now. Matt’s portfolio of yoga classes is suitable for people hitting the mat for the very first time, dancers looking to give back to their body after a hard day of training, or for anyone looking to work up a sweat with a power practice. Matt also offers private classes and programs designed for your specific needs.

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