Jade started dancing, teaching and choreographing all at the same time at the mere age of 14. After unsuccessfully auditioning for her high school dance team for two years she Recognized a need for an additional opportunity for students within her school to dance, so she created a second non audition based high school dance team where any student with the love of dance and commitment could join. She created the team without much thought to leadership and choreography but decided to try and quickly discovered creating routines was something loved and had a knack for. Working with dancers of all ability levels, mostly untrained like herself, in a room without mirrors and only a boom box quickly taught young Jade how the skills to break down her vision for all ability levels and styles of learning. An experience she credits to her success today. Her high school team became a successful extracurricular dance program and she led the teams to Dance competitions throughout the GTA.
With the success of her high school team, in 2002 she also began volunteering and working as a dance teacher for the YMCA of Peterborough, teaching children and adults of all ages. In 2005 she moved to Brampton and became theLead dance instructor of the Brampton YMCA Open Concept Dance Program. Under her leadership the program was noted as one of the most successful YMCA dance programs in the GTA. In 2005 at her high school graduation Jade was awarded the Youth Break through Award by the Canadian Association of Advancement of Women in Sport Association (CAAWS) for her work.
In 2006, after her 1st year at Humber College and teaching YMCA drop in program in Brampton, Jade decided that she would really like to have a more permanent space/program where dancers could come and learn and grow and return year after year. Driven by the stories of parents from her YMCA students that the costs of their child pursuing competitive dance at studios was too expensive and that it was difficult to find a quality program that provided authentic hip hop she set out to find a space. In July 2006 at the age of 17 she negotiated an agreement with a local dance studio to rent out a room twice a week and run a competitive program that she made sure was affordable and accessible to the community. In September at the age of 18 she opened Jade’s Hip Hop Academy (JHHA) with 18 competitive students, teaching 4 hours a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays while finishing her second year of College as a full time student.
After Competing as an independent entry in the Canadian National Dance Championships in spring of 2006, Jade was selected to be a part of Canadian National Hip Hop Team. In September 2006 Jade also represented Canada at the World Hip Hop Championships, held in Bremen, Germany as a soloist and team competitor. In October 2006 Jade received the 2006 Arts Acclaim Award from the City of Brampton for her hard work and dedication in dance and for representing Canada in the World Hip Hop Championships.
The first Season of JHHA was a success and parents began to request recreational classes, adult classes etc. and that is when Jade began who never thought she would grow up to own a dance studio, dedicated her full time energy into her hobby, now a business. In 2007 she leased her own building.
The season 2007/2008 became a very successful year for Jade’s Hip Hop Academy dancers. Despite the fact that many dancers only in their first or second year of dance training, they came home from most competition with first place finishes, high rankings and several dancers qualified to represent Canada at The World Hip Hop Championships in Germany. Jade also received 2 awards at The Canadian National Dance Championships for Teaching Authentic Hip Hop and one for Education in Hip Hop. Jade has become well known as a choreographer due to her authentic and intricate choreography. Her student count rose to 70 by the end of the year. Despite the success of the fledgling dance studio and young owner, who often got asked where her teacher was when she showed up to sign in as the studio director, there was something wrong.
Jade came to discover that Unfortunately Hip Hop Dance is a genre of dance that is still widely misunderstood and misrepresented at many studio competitions and by the general public. Instead of studying the technique and history of Hip Hop and street styles such as popping, locking, breaking, house and krump, studios copied music video style dancing from rap music videos. Meaning that JHHA’s competitors wore very little in way of costumes and hair flipped, booty popped, gyrated, posed and walked around the stage with some attitude for a “hip hop” routine. Worst yet judges didn’t seem to know the difference or much understand what JHHA’s dancers were doing, they to thought since Hip Hop came from the “streets” that there was nothing worth studying and that the commercialized dancing in the music videos was correct.
Tired of seeing music video inspired Hip Hop routines, that would score high marks, win and leave her students feeling disappointed after working so hard to master technique, Jade set out on a mission. Before entering competitions she boldly spoke to competition directors about the knowledge their judges had on Hip Hop and Street Dance and she began writing articles for Dance Magazines.
So far she has written three articles published in Dance Canada Quarterly Magazine discussing what makes a good hip hop routine and the different elements that teachers and judges should be aware of. Jade hopes that her continuing work on this project will lead to every competition being able to recognize authentic Hip Hop and different street dance styles and award dancers for skills in popping, locking, breakin’, house and krump. She has worked with Dance Educators of Canada giving seminars to other teachers and studio owners on Hip Hop dance, educating them about the history, development of styles, progressions for rec classes, expectations for competitive Hip Hop dancers, appropriateness in music and costume selections, choreography and more.
Jade received an award of Honourable Mention from Zonta’s Women of Achievement Award 2008 in the category Business/Professions and Trades in November 2008. Jade was honoured to be nominated with 9 other women including former Mayor of Caledon, former Director of Big Brother Big Sisters and Director of Brampton Arts Council for the prestigious award. As Part of Jade’s goal is not only to run a successful business but to ensure that everyone who loves to dance gets the chance. Not only did she continue to keep costs to a minimum and making sure everyone in the community has access to her classes she also rewarded hard work and dedication of students in financial need with full or partial scholarships. 2008/2009 Season was also the year Jade decided she would stop Dancing and competing for her self and focus 100% on her students.
2009 is the year that Jade received recognition throughout the dance community as an exceptional Hip Hop dance Choreographer. Her intricate and precise choreography has developed into a signature style instantly recognizable on performance and competing stages. Jade now also happily took part in judging hip hop divisions at competitions and Talent Show Cases. As the Academy and recognition grew Jade’s Hip Hop Academy teams are increasingly performing at more events throughout the city and participating in more and more projects such as artist’s videos and shows. In December 2009 at the age of 21 she was elected to the Board of Directors of Dance Ontario, the largest service organization for dance in province that works with and builds a community across the dance sector with all dancers, teachers, choreographers, companies, groups, studios and schools and ensures that their needs are met and assists in communication, funding, publicity and networking and promotes and supports the advancement of all forms of dance in Canada. Jade still serves as the representative of Urban dance and competitive studios continually ensuring the larger dance community understands and appreciates Hip Hop Dance. In 2010 she also became the Chair of the Dance Ontario Youth Board (DOYB), responsible for youth board development and organization of the annual IDD (International Dance Day) celebrations at Toronto Pearson International Airport, a position she holds till this day.
In 2009 with the help of a grant from the O.A.C (Ontario Arts Council) she launched what is today known as the JHHA Performance Company. A team of JHHA’s fastest learner and consistent performers that take on JHHA’s many Performance Requests. Jade thought the opportunity for professional development for a possible career in dance was important for her ever increasing number of students so she began to take on a multitude of requests that would give her students the chance to gain valuable performance experience. To this day she volunteers her spare time to train and prepare dancers for free (and often buys the costumes out of pocket) so that they can shine on stage in the community. 2009 was also the first year where the majority of her routines began to win Overall awards at studio dance compeititons, which at that time was rarely achieved by hip hop Routines. (Overalls Awards are awards given to the routine with the highest score in the age division regardless of genre, so our hip hop score is compared to of ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap ect. routines – and we won!) Proving that the work Jade put in to educate and make a difference was paying off. Still attempting to complete her University studies part time online, Jade was a finalist in a student entrepreneur competition! When flown out for the semi final rounds in Alberta she was told by the jury panel that she would likely never succeed by running a studio only based on one style of dance and that one style of dance being Hip Hop. Saddened by the feedback, Jade did not give up and was ever more determined to succeed!
In 2010 Jade continued to receive various recognition for her work and especially her choreography. She was the Dance Director of YOUTH DAY the largest Festival of it Kind celebrating Youth Talent in the Arts. On July 25th she oversaw 45 of her own students who wowed the audience if 15, 000 at Yonge-Dundas Square performing 16 times, including 5 special choreographed Flash Mobs and 11 routines. She was also responsible for Managing the dance stage and coordinating 9 other dance groups from Toronto and the GTA to perform at YOUTH DAY. The studio received special recognition from CTV’s Ken Shaw who called out the studio and called Jade to the stage to compliment her on her work. Overall it was a phenomenal success and it was truly a day for JHHA. She also developed a successful student teacher program, giving senior students a chance to train alongside Jade as an assistant and later be employed at the studio to teach their own class. Junior students have the opportunity to assist. (To date Jade has 8 staff who’s she trained and mentored, teaching the future generations.)
In November 2010 Jade was asked to speak on behalf of young entreprenuers and share the success story of the Studio at the Inaugural National Black Business Convention at the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Centre in Toronto. In her speech she shared the many obstacles and challenges she faced and still faces today owning her own business and emphasized the importance of giving young professionals more opportunities and support to pursue their goals and invest more into the Youth as they are the next generation.
On November 18th, 2010 Jade was again nominated for a Zonta Women of Achievement Award and this time she won the prestigious award and was named Young Woman of Achievement 2010. She was nominated among 3 other young women in this category in addition to 13 other well established and esteemed women in the Brampton Caledon Community. The young Woman of Achievement Award recognizes a young woman between the ages of 18 to 25 who volunteers her time, inspires other women and girls, gives back to the community and is a role model to her peers. The Spring of 2011 included another successful competition season, a successful International Dance Day coordinated by Jade for the Dance Ontario Youth Board at Pearson Airport and another Award for Jade. This time she was the recipient of the 2011 BBPA Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award. The Annual awards Gala awards 16 outstanding African Canadians from across Canada in various categories. Jade was honoured to receive the award in a class that included Chancellor G. Raymond Chang, Bromley Armstrong and John Tory (diversity award). John Tory is now the current Mayor of the City of Toronto.
The Young Entrepreneur is given to an individual between the ages of 18-23 that have demonstrated: Entrepreneurial spirit and success in owning and managing a business; proven ability to turn a business vision into reality; personal integrity, good communication skills and ability to influence others and has demonstrated perseverance in the face of adversity. Jade is deeply honored to receive an award in Harry Jerome’s name. Harry Jerome represented Canada and won several gold silver and bronze medals in the Olympics, Common Wealth Games, Pan Am Games in track in the 1960’s. He overcame major obstacles and adversities, went on to become a social activist and received an Order of Canada. Harry Jerome died suddenly at age 42.
In 2011, after having to prove themselves time and time again that young dancers have what it takes to provide the same quality performances and entertainment of people twice to three times their age and that Hip Hop is a respectable dance form JHHA Performance Company was finally expected in the Dance Weekend’11 Festival, a professional showcase of Toronto’s top dance companies across all genres. Other major charitable and corporate performance requests soon followed suit and Jade had finally broken down barriers and overcome adversities as a young entrepreneur with a young company.
In 2012 Jade received the “Brampton Outstanding Business Achievement Award” in the category: Emerging Business from the City of Brampton Economic Development Office and the Brampton Board of Trade.
In 2012 Jade took on a new role as a competition director with Street Dance Canada Inc. In partnership with UDO she presented the first ever UDO Canadian Street Dance Championships in April 2012. In doing so Jade accomplished a long awaited goal of being able to give her students and the many young hip hop and street dancers within Canada the opportunity to not only compete in battle and crew competitions against dancers their own age, but to be able to present all forms of street dance competition under one roof bringing the community and multiple generations together. The event was a huge success with 200 competitors and 500 spectator.s In her role she coordinated all Canadian qualifying dancers included 20 of her own JHHA students to the UDO World Street Dance Championships in Blackpool England in August 2012. It was the first time that Canada was represented at a UDO Championship and JHHA dancers came home with several top 7 podium finishes and 6 of Canada’s 7 World titles.
In September 2012 Jade was named “ARTS PERSON OF THE YEAR” and received the award from the Brampton Arts Council. At 24 Jade is the youngest recipient ever to receive this award.She was also recognized by the Province, Peel region, the Mayor of Brampton Susan Fennell and the House of Commence. Jade was deeply honoured to receive this prestigous award and all the recognitions.
2012 Continued with major Flash Mob Performances. In May 2012 the video of her flash mob for the Square One Mall Marriage proposal which she did for 100 dancers ended up on World Star Hip Hop and was tweeted about by Chris Brown. In July JHHA performed a flash mob for Microsoft for their Worldwide Partner Conference Down Town Toronto. Jade Choreographed the Opening Ceremonies of WE DAY Toronto and Waterloo and her choreography was duplicated in cities all over the WE DAY Tour!! She choreographed a massive community Flash Mob for the Scarborough Hospital Foundation which included training Doctors, nurses, teachers and regional police. Check our “NEWS 2012″ for more details.
2012 was also the year JHHA Students finally had the funding together to compete at the World Street Dance Championships after qualifying for several years but never having enough funds to go. students returned with several U.D.O World Championship Titles and top 7 podium place finishes. A big Fan of the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jade’s Dance Dare was featured on the show. Jade’s Dance Weekend Festival production “Tragedies in of the World” which addressed world and social issues through dance was a huge success and her anti-bullying routine to Katy Perry’s Firework was used by teachers all around southern Ontario in classrooms to teach kids about the effects of bullying. Check our “NEWS 2012″ for more details
In 2013 Jade achieved the epitome of her fight to raise the profile of hip hop dance. The Premier of Ontario (Dalton McGuinty) who had seen JHHA at the Harry Jerome Awards requested Jade and her students to the one of only 2 acts at his retirement during the Liberal Leadership Convention. 75 JHHA dancers ages 6-18 performed to room full of hundreds of politicians and…… received a standing ovation. She ran another successful U.D.O Canadian Street Dance Championships and her students came home with even more World Championship Titles from Glasgow Scotland!! Check our “NEWS 2013″ for more details. September 2013, Jade’s Mom (who quit her job in 2008 to work for her daughter handling the administration for the studio ) affectionately known as Ms. Inge had a heart attack. Not only was this very scary but also a wake up call to find more balance as Jade often prioritized any and everything for her students, which often meant helping them with homework, transporting them, mentoring them through personal issues, training them and continually finding opportunities for them to perform above herself and her own well being and health.
2014 Continued as another exciting year, dancers being asked to perform at the YTV Beach Bash hosted by Nick Cannon. A partnership with the Brampton A’s Basketball Team which led to two teams of students performing half time and quarter game entertainment throughout the Season. Television Features on TVO kids and Tree House. Lack of funds again mean students would have to skip a year of attending World Championships.
2015 saw JHHA performing at 5 Gold Medal Games during the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games. A return to the YTV Beach Bash with Jade hosting JHHA’s own segment and if that wasn’t enough after a crazy summer of performances JHHA handled one of their highest profile events yet, TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)! New Zealand native Parris Goebel who we now know as Justin Bieber’s “SORRY” Dance Video Choreographer and Director of Purpose: The Movement Series, choreographed a film called BORN TO DANCE. JHHA had the honour of helping promote the film in Canada in the beginning of September, performing alongside Australian Idol winner and recording artist Stan Walker as he performed the feature song from the sound track on CTV Canada AM and staging a street battle for Parris, Stan (who is also one of the main characters in the film) and star of the movie Tia Miapi. Dancers were treated with tickets to the 3 Premiers, one of which was also attended by Janet Jackson!! Jade also took on a roll as Dance Programmer/event coordinator with Manifesto Festival. So in late September she was also responsible for organizing crew and street battles for Toronto’s Hip Hop and Street Dance Community (which were a big success).
Seeing that her students were on the rise and well on her way, Jade decided to start performing again in 2014. In Nov 2015 she released a Dance Video for Missy Elliott’s Brand New song WTF (Where They From), which was tweeted by Missy Elliott and landed JHHA in an online article in USA TODAY. Jade and students are elated to receive recognition and praise!
2015/2016 is JHHA’S 10th Season. Looking back Jade is Proud of all the accomplishments as a young entrepreneur, dancer, choreographer and teacher, the adversities overcome, barriers and stereotypes broken but most of all she is proudest of the achievements of her students. After all JHHA was established to give kids the opportunity to pursue quality training in hip hop and street dance and be accessible to the community. Jade started with 18 students in 2006/2007 and now has over 300 who she gets to watch grow everyday.
My Dancers are my Inspiration
Teaching is my Dedication
Dance is my Passion and
Success is my Ambition
We provide dancers and teams for performances such as:
Jade's Hip Hop Academy also provides: