Welcome to our Faculty page.

We are pleased to have Miss Melissa, Miss Jessica, Miss Ruth and Miss Katarina returning for another year season, and we welcome our newest member Miss Emma. 


Miss Cathy

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Cathy Pacheco            


—Life is a dance, from one stage to the next—

Miss Cathy is a Strathroy native and has been   pursuing her love of dance since the age of 4.  As the Artistic Director of Dance Factor Studios, Miss Cathy is very excited about the year ahead and welcomes everyone to the studio.

 In 1997, Cathy received her British Association Teachers of Dance certificate in Stage. She also completed her Grade 8 Practical Piano and Grade 2 Theory examinations with the Royal Conservatory of Music.  In her many years of dancing, she has gained much experience in the competitive scene, both competing and as a choreographer. Cathy furthered her studies in dance at York and Western University, which included courses in dance history, theory, and composition.  Dancing doesn’t always happen at the studio. Every year Miss Cathy has the privilege of leading workshop classes and choreographing routines for Dancefests at elementary schools, both in the Thames Valley and Catholic School Boards.

Keeping current and inspired is important and Cathy enjoys attending different Dance Teacher workshops throughout the year...learning from top notch dance educators by traveling to areas such as Toronto, Scottsdale and New York City.

Cathy strives to make dancing a fun experience, while pushing her students to reach their potential. It is very rewarding to see how the dancers have improved over the years in “leaps” and bounds. Here’s to SEASON #16!

Miss Melissa

IMG 0017Melissa Simpson


Miss Melissa grew up dancing recreationally and competitively and has been teaching/choreographing for the past 16 years. Her formal dance training includes ballet, lyrical, jazz, acro-gymnastics, tap and hip hop. Since receiving her stage   associate with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing in 2001 Melissa continues to further her knowledge by attending workshops, dance teacher conferences and seminars. A hi-light in her teaching career was when several of her students along with one of her pieces of choreography were chosen to represent Canada at the International Dance Organization’s World Show Dance Competition in Riesa, Germany.

Along with her passion for dance, Melissa has always had a love for theatre. She took classes at the Huron County Playhouse for several years and eventually joined the London Theatre Schools performance Team/Funbuskers (Yes the rumour is true…she even made balloon animals!).

In 2006 Melissa graduated with a Child and Youth Work Diploma from Fanshawe College and worked for the Thames Valley School Board for a few years before taking some time off to be at home with her son Luke. This summer, their family grew again, welcoming baby Allison to the family.

After a couple of months at home, Miss Melissa is very excited to be returning for her 12th season and looks forward to working with the dancers to reach their full potential


Miss Jessica

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Jessica Avery


A.B.A.T.D.(Stage) BSc. M.Sc.


Miss Jessica has been dancing since the age of 6, competitively until the end of high school, and recreationally throughout her university career with UWO Dance Force. Jessica completed her Associate Stage exam with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing in 2005. Her passion and joy for dance lead her into teaching and supplying at various studios for the past 8 years.Throughout her dancing career, Jessica has performed at numerous competitions, community events and shows. One of her most prized experiences in dance was representing Team Canada at the National Showdance Competition in Riesa, Germany in 2003, earning a bronze medal with the Canadian Adult jazz group.Jessica has completed her Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario and is currently working in the “Quality Control Department” at Accucaps in Strathroy.Jessica is excited to be returning to the staff at Dance Factor and is anticipating another amazing year of dance!

Miss Ruth

IMG 0004Ruth Barrett


Fellow Member Cecchetti Council of America R.A.D. Registered Teacher Member B.A.T.D. (Ballet, Highland and Scottish Nationals Branches) Vice President of B.A.T.D. Western Ontario Vice President of Celtic Dance Company of Western Ontario


Miss Ruth began her training in the Cecchetti Method as a dance student under Mary Ellen Cooper in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, at the age of five. She completed her Cecchetti Advanced Teacher's Exam in 1995, and later became a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and the British Association of Teachers of Dancing after moving to Canada. She has been teaching ballet in London and the surrounding area since 1997. Always looking to further develop her teaching repertoire, Miss Ruth attended the Dance Teacher Summit in New York City on three occasions in recent years. As a dancer and a teacher, she spent many summers at the Cecchetti Council of America International Summer School in conjunction with Michigan State University, Hope College and the Cleveland-San Jose Ballet. Although ballet is Miss Ruth’s passion, musical theatre, tap, modern & highland come a close second. Miss Ruth is the proud mother of two, and she and her husband love watching their son fence and swim and their daughter sing and dance. She is looking forward to an exciting and fulfilling year of dance (filled with lots of jumps!) with Dance Factor.


Miss Emma

Emma 200X300

Emma Timm

A.B.A.T.D. (Stage)

Miss Emma has been dancing at Dance Factor Studios for 14 years, and competed on our competition team for 9 years. Throughout this period of time, she participated in several styles of dance including ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, musical theatre, and her forever favourite… tap. In June of 2016, Emma successfully completed her Stage Associate with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing. 

This year Emma is completing Grade 12 at Strathroy District Collegiate Institute, with plans to attend university next year in pursuit of a career as a lawyer. In her free time, Emma enjoys travelling, specifically on road trips with her family all over North America, as well as spending time with her friends. After assisting for 4 years in various classes at the studio, and substitute teaching for a year, Miss Emma is extremely excited to be joining the staff at Dance Factor for her 15th season at the studio. She looks forward to working with her students and sharing her love of dance with all of them this year.



Miss Kyra

Kyra Head ShotKyra Carey- (Guest Teacher)

A.B.A.T.D. (Stage) 

Miss Kyra put on her first pair of dancing shoes at the age of three and hasn’t taken them off since. Her training at Dance Factor Studios began 14 years ago and inspired her to dance competitively for the past nine seasons. During this time, Kyra has enjoyed learning many styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and her personal favourite...musical theatre. This past June, Kyra successfully completed her Stage Associate with the British Association of Teacher’s of Dancing.

Kyra graduated with honours from Strathroy District Collegiate Institute in June 2016 with her diploma in French Immersion. In between her studies, Kyra enjoys spending time with her family, travelling the world and laughing with friends. After 4 years assisting various classes, Miss Kyra is very excited to be joining the staff at Dance Factor for her 15th season at the studio. She looks forward to working with her students and sharing her love of dance.


Miss Katarina

Miss KatarinaKatarina Sabo

In Europe, Katarina began competitive ball room dancing at the age of 17. At 23, she began to teach and brought her talents and knowledge overseas when she moved to Canada in 1990. Hired at Fred Astaire’s in London, Katarina instructed ballroom, country western and line dancing, as well as completing her “Bronze” level” for the North American style of ball room dancing. This proud mom of two, also works full-time as a cosmetician for Shoppers Drug Mart in Hyde Park. In November, Katarina will be an honoured guest at the Cosmetics Outstanding Service Awards (COSA) in Toronto. Out of 1300 nominees for 17 categories nation-wide, Katarina was chosen as a finalist and evaluated by mystery shoppers. Judges voted Katarina as the winner for the “Outstanding Customer Service in a Drug Store” Award. Katarina is thrilled to be returning for her twelfth season and encourages all couples, any age, any level, to come on out and give the Ballroom Blitz a try!

Teaching Assistants

Our roster of excited teaching assistants includes

(back row left to right) Miss Jessie, Miss Mariya, Miss Olivia, Miss Katelynn, Miss Mary, Miss Erin..

(front row left to right) Miss Chantelle, Miss Montanna, Miss Nicole, Miss Kylie, Miss Alexis, Miss Anabella.

STAR Assistants 2017 website


Download studio handouts here.


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