Shannon Casorso

RAD-RTS, PBT, B.A.

Head Ballet Coach of TBA

Teaching Bio

With over a decade of experience as a classical ballet instructor, Shannon Casorso has an inimitable combination of experience, expertise, and passion, and has trained dancers from beginner to pre-professional in classical ballet, pointe work, variations, strength & conditioning, character dance, and contemporary ballet. Her students have been accepted into prestigious ballet programs and summer intensives across the globe, including The Royal Ballet School, Kirov Ballet Academy, Canada’s National Ballet School, Miami City Ballet School, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and have taken home top prizes at a variety of dance competitions throughout North America. A certified teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD-RTS) for more than six years, she has successfully prepared students for RAD exams ranging from Pre-Primary to Advanced 2, and proudly boasts a 100% exam success rate.

Shannon’s pursuit of teaching excellence has led her to train under some of the greatest ballet pedagogues in the world, including Evelyn Hart (former prima ballerina of Royal Winnipeg Ballet), Mercedes Bernardez (master teacher for Canada’s National Ballet and past ballet mistress of Alberta Ballet), Yvonne Oldaker (tutor & examiner with the Royal Academy of Dance), and Umran Sumen (artistic director of Jeunesse Classique Ballet). She has recently begun intensive training in Vaganova pedagogy under master Russian teachers Marina Osipova, Ekaterina Shchelkanova, Anton Boytsov, and Maria Vladimirovna-Chugai, and is preparing to continue her teacher training directly at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia as soon as the pandemic clears up.

In addition to her extensive pedagogical training, Shannon is continually undergoing training and research in the areas of functional anatomy, biomechanics, psychology, neuroscience, and motor learning & development as it relates to ballet and dance technique. She has received teacher training from world-renowned dance physiotherapist Lisa Howell, and has taken dance science & anatomy courses with Eric Franklin, Andrea Downie, Jennifer Milner, Katy Chambers, Erika Mayall, and Kim Gardner. Her expertise in sound ballet conditioning, stretch, and strengthening techniques is further validated by her five years of certified teacher status with the revolutionary Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) ballet conditioning program.

Early Training & Performing Credits

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Shannon began dancing at the age of three, where she trained and competed in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, musical theatre, and acrobatics. Ballet became her core focus by the age of 11, leading her to train intensively at the School of Alberta Ballet (Professional Division), Miami City Ballet School, and International School of Ballet. Her pursuit of technical mastery in ballet led to training under world-class instructors in the methods of Balanchine, Cecchetti, and the Royal Academy of Dance. Some of her teachers included Murray & Nancy Kilgour, Edmund Stripe, Aram Manukyan, Janet Tait, Ashley McNeil, Alexandra Koltun, Umran Sumen, Lynette Kelly, Sarah Lane, and Galien Johnston-Hattori. 

Shannon has danced soloist roles with Alberta Ballet and Jeunesse Classique Ballet, the most memorable being the role of Fritz in Alberta Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker”. In addition to her ballet performing credits, Shannon has performed professionally in Australia, Greece, Turkey, the USA, and Canada for cruise ships, theme parks, and television, as well as locally at the Calgary Stampede. Film credits include the lead dancer for a video series filmed in Sendai, Japan, and an ice skater in a Samsung commercial for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

Certs

Qualifications & Certifications

2015 – Present

Registered Teacher Status (RAD-RTS) – Royal Academy of Dance

2016 – Present

Certified Instructor – Progressing Ballet Technique

2020

Dance Teacher & Practitioner Training – Lisa Howell / Perfect Form Physiotherapy

2020

Dance Teacher Training: Flexibility – Lisa Howell / Perfect Form Physiotherapy

2020 – 2021

Vaganova Teacher Training – Ekaterina Shchelkanova & Anton Boytsov / Open World Dance Foundation

2020

Kirov Academy’s Teacher Training Program – Runqiao Du / Kirov Academy of Ballet

2021

Dance Teacher Training: Pointe Intensive – Lisa Howell / Perfect Form Physiotherapy

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2019

Understanding Anatomical & Biomechanical Principles of Dance: Teachers Workshop – Andrea Downie / Healthy Dancer Canada

2020

Healthy Hips Workshop for Dance Teachers & Practitioners – Kim Gardner & Katrina Lee

2020

Preparing for Pointe: Workshop for Dance Teachers – Katy Chambers / Performance Pro Dynamic Physiotherapy

2020

Focus on Flexibility: Workshop for Dance Teachers – Katy Chambers / Performance Pro Dynamic Physiotherapy

2020

Active Mobility: Teacher Training Workshop – Erika Mayall / Allegro Performance & Wellness

2020

Free Hips, Balanced Psoas Workshop – Eric Franklin / Franklin Method Institute

2021

Pointe Shoe Fitter Training Program – Josephine Lee / The Pointe Shop

My Teaching Values & Beliefs

A deep, thorough understanding of classical ballet technique

It should go without saying that your ballet teacher should know every minute detail regarding ballet technique. Shannon’s teaching takes every student through a careful analysis of ballet technique from the ground up, fostering deep understanding and appreciation.

Anatomically-sound teaching principles

Cues and corrections that are based on our actual physical anatomy & biomechanics is pivotal in improving technique, as they work WITH our body rather than against it. It also greatly reduces risk of injury.

You can't improve without a strong foundation

You wouldn’t expect a pianist to be able to flawlessly play Chopin without first having mastered their scales, would you? It’s the exact same with ballet: the best dancers are masters of the basics.

My Approach

As a teacher, I am determined to get to the bottom of all issues, no matter how subtle,  surrounding the technical mechanics and execution of ballet. I do this by working closely with each individual student, helping them to better understand ballet steps and technique from the inside out. Understanding fosters not only appreciation, but confidence, and this is what truly ignites the drive within a student to push beyond their limitations and excel. I unlock the potential within each of my students by showing them how to properly use their body, so that the technique becomes effortless rather than a never-ending struggle. We dissect, analyze, and comprehend ballet on a microscopic level, building an unshakeable foundation for personal growth and improvement.

Customer Testimonials

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Would recommend TBA to a friend

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Gave our programs a rating of 5 stars

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Gave our head ballet coach a rating of 5 stars

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Gave their overall experience a rating of 10/10

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Posture Analysis

Is your posture holding you back from achieving better flexibility, turns, jumps, and overall technqiue?

Master Pirouettes

Conquer the dreaded “pirouette” by getting to the bottom of precisely what’s stopping you from turning.

Increase Flexibility

Achieve the flexibility of your dreams – be that higher extensions, a deeper cambré, or a gorgeous arabesque. 

Technique Troubleshooting

Having trouble with a certain step? Can’t fix a correction you received? We can help you solve the puzzle.

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