Instructor Listings

Maggie Koabel<Maggie Koabel

Maggie Koabel is a dancer, choreographer and dance historian. She is a graduate of York University where she completed an Honours Double Major with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Religious Studies. Prior to attending York University, Maggie liked to think of herself as a ballerina, achieving her Advanced One in Cecchetti examinations and spending five seasons with the Greater Niagara Ballet Company in Niagara Falls, New York. Here she performed both as a soloist and a member of the company’s corps de ballet, expanding her repertoire to include a wide variety of both classical and contemporary ballets. In more recent years Maggie has become interested in interdisciplinary and collaborative art performances. As a student she took every opportunity to choreograph and perform in extracurricular creations including All You Can Eat which premiered at the Winchester Street Theatre in collaboration with rock ’n’ roll band Our History of Cowboys. Maggie believes in pushing the boundaries of dance and making movement more accessible to wider audiences and participants. Maggie is very excited to be an active part of the Explore It! community!

Millie Chen<Millie Chen

Hello! I'm Millie, a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with a HBS degree in psychology and cognitive science. Currently, I am pursuing my master's degree in education, focusing on language teaching. I have a huge passion for teaching, especially when it involves working with children. With a background as an ESL instructor and active volunteer in various non-profit organizations, I bring years of valuable teaching experience. I am thrilled to leverage my past experiences and make meaningful contributions to the team!

Brandon Paul<Brandon Paul

Brandon is an undergraduate student attending York University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Children, Childhood & Youth Studies. Brandon is an active member of the YorkU community, specifically within his college affiliation Vanier College and the Department of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LAPS). Brandon aspires to receive a Bachelor’s in Education (BEd) in the near future and teach elementary-age students. He has always been very enthusiastic and passionate about leadership and making positive impacts in any environment he finds himself in. Getting involved and inspiring others is always the goal for Brandon and he hopes to create safe and enriching learning opportunities for the students participating in Explore It! programming. He was born and raised in Scarborough, ON and attended Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts specializing in the Performing Arts with extensive experience in Performance Dance, Musical Theatre, Drama Focus, and Vocals. With these skills at hand, Brandon aspires to help boost curiosity, exploration and overall confidence of students in any program he is instructing or supporting! In his free time, Brandon enjoys listening to music, watching movies, hanging with his friends and improving on his newfound obsession with cooking!

July Hu<July Hu

July is a professional listener and secret writer who is exceptionally interested in creating children’s stories and poetry (while employing natural imagery generously). She is studying English and Sociology at the University of Toronto full-time, and relearning “how to learn with passion” from children in language-acquisition, STEM Lab, and cooking programs part-time. She aspires to become a children’s book writer and language teacher who teaches English as a secondary language to children who constantly experience code-switching and cultural shock just like herself. She is more than happy to start her teaching journey as a part of the Explore it! team <3

Makenzie Hay<Makenzie Hay

Makenzie (she/her) is a performer, writer, costume designer and arts educator from Toronto. She recently graduated from the Second City Conservatory program where she was part of an ensemble that wrote, produced, and performed the original sketch show End of an Error. She attended Etobicoke School of the Arts where she majored in Drama, and Musical Theatre, all the while taking dance at her mom’s studio. This dance studio was where her passion for teaching sparked, and her very first job was assisting dance classes with kids ages 2+. Makenzie is an avid crafter, aspiring cat lady, and passionate movie watcher. She is thrilled to be working with the amazing Explore It team!

Akane Shimazu<Akane Shimazu

Akane is a dancer, choreographer, and musician. Her versatile dance styles include ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, and musical theatre. After graduating with a bachelor's in Education in Japan, she moved to Kingston, where she studied various integrated arts, such as sound-visual design, composition, and installation arts in the Music and Digital Media program at St. Lawrence College. Her major instruments are piano and drum; she loves playing classical, blues, and jazz and enjoys exploring unique rhythms and beats. She also belonged to the musical theatre ‘Youth Theatre Japan', and recently choreographed the musicals Footloose, Sponge Bob, and more in Kingston. She is passionate about expressing herself and communicating with others through modern abstract body movements, sounds, and rhythms! Let's explore it together!!

Dana Bernick<Dana Bernick

Dana is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a focus on child development. Dana is passionate about an extensive amount of crafts, including sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, and jewelry making. They have experience working as a swimming and skating instructor for many years and aspire to continue their education for a career in accessibility and disability accommodation. Dana loves all things outdoors and exploratory, and during their spare time enjoys rock climbing, bike riding, playing music, and watching films.

Thomas Sayers<Thomas Sayers

Meet Thomas! He's a maker of neat things like audio walks, podcasts, zines, buttons, and lots more. He's studied at Western and York University in media and performance studies, and usually has an ever-growing stack of books on the go. Community musical theatre is his jam - he got his start performing with Original Kids Theatre Company and has since performed in companies across London, ON. He has worked and volunteered for the London Fringe Festival, contributed articles and videos to LondonFuse, and has written walking tours for London's Woodland Cemetery.

Kaela From<Kaela From

Kaela is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with a HBSc in Neuroscience and Psychology. While they have always had a passion for studying the sciences, particularly biology, they absolutely love the arts and have plenty of experience in visual art and theatre. In their spare time, they delight in working on photography and textiles projects, dabbling in digital drawing, and exercising their creative muscles in a multitude of ways. While in school, they specialized in the topics of human biology, especially relating to the brain, mental health, and intersectionality in science. You can find their published scientific work in UofT’s Arbor Journal of Undergraduate Research and their artwork displayed in their parents’ dining room.

Almira  Joyce Dungo<Almira Joyce Dungo

A child at heart, Almira is an undergraduate student at Toronto Metropolitan University pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and a double minor in Child and Youth Care as well as Disability Studies. She aspires to continue pursuing studies in programs relating to child and youth care and education after completing her undergraduate degree. Almira has a large passion for working with children, with extensive work and volunteer experience stemming all the way back from her early high school days. She hopes to advance her knowledge in the sectors of children and youth in education through the qualified position as an Explore It! Instructor.

Kelly Wu<Kelly Wu

Kelly is an experienced elementary school teacher with a Bachelor’s in Primary Education (Bed) from The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia. She grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to Toronto one year ago. Kelly is beginning her teaching journey here by combining her passions for cooking, baking and yoga along with education through joining the Explore It! team. She strongly believes in the philosophy of learning through play and hand-on experiences, as it allows children to continue becoming curious learners. Her positive and bubbly personality will ensure that students feel safe and supported in the classroom! 

Katie Crompton<Katie Crompton

Katie (she/they) is an actor, singer, dancer, and educator originally from Coquitlam, BC. They are a graduate of Sheridan College with an Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance and have performed on stages across the Greater Vancouver area and the GTA. She has a passion for sharing her love of theatre and the arts with young people and has been a part of the Teaching Artist team at Bard on the Beach in Vancouver for almost three years. Aside from their love of all things performing arts, Katie is a hobby collector with a love of crafting. She loves crocheting, embroidery, clay jewelry making, and countless other creative projects. Katie is thrilled for the opportunity to share their love of creating with so many lovely young people through Explore It!

Riney Rodas<Riney Rodas

Riney Rodas is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with double majors in Sociology and Socio-Cultural Anthropology. Riney aspires to go to teacher's college to receive a Bachelor's in Education (BEd) and become an elementary school teacher in the future. He has experience working with children as a Leading to Reader Leader with an ESL student at the Toronto Public Library, a volunteer teaching assistant at Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School, and as a Downtown Summer Strings Music Camp Assistant with the Toronto District School Board. He is passionate, enthusiastic, and has a curious mind for learning, and is motivated to positively inspire others through teaching and increase self-esteem. During his spare time, Riney is an avid bookworm, video gamer, anime watcher, and practices meditation, yoga, and health/fitness. Riney is excited to join and work with the Explore It! team and hopes to make learning intellectually stimulating and put a smile on children's faces with his bubbly and fun personality!

Aaron Alviano<Aaron Alviano

Aaron is a visual artist with a B.A.,Hons. in Studio Arts from the University of Guelph. He currently resides in Toronto, where he produces art and teaches fine art (and many other) programs with Explore It! to children of all ages at schools throughout the GTA. Aaron is a veteran member of the Explore It! team and is highly appreciated for his positive attitude and ability to teach most any program. He's also a valuable asset in mentoring new instructors as they join the Explore It! team.

Bianca Heuvelmans<Bianca Heuvelmans

So this is Bianca- She's a passionate bilingual musical theatre performer and thrilled to be an instructor with the Explore It! team. She is a Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts graduate and has many years of experience in education/working with kids both in french and in english, which she hopes to continue for many years to come. Bianca believes in focus, discipline, learning from each other, having a laugh, and as Mrs. Frizzle would say; taking chances, making mistakes, and gettin' messy!