Laura Pascolo-McRury is a dance teacher in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the founder of International Dance Academy.
Dancer, teacher, and choreographer for over 45 years [since at least 1975], Laura started her teaching career with Thunder Bay’s renowned instructors Sylvia Horn and Betty Goodings. Laura is a certified instructor with the Canadian Dance Teachers Association, Full Membership, Stage Division, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, Licentiate, Cecchetti Canada, BA Dance Educators of America and the Council of Dance Education and Training, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, Theatre Faculty, United Kingdom, Module One Acrobatic Arts, Progressing Ballet Technique and a Full Member of the Professional Adjudicator’s Alliance.
Laura has been a guest instructor in Canada and the United States and was the founder and artistic director of Le Stelle Alpine Italian Dancers for 15 years. Laura has also worked with the Promyk Polish Dance Troupe, the Vesnyanka Ukrainian Dancers and the Thunder Bay Folklore Festival. Laura was the first ever to stage a cross-cultural dance production for the closing ceremonies of Folklore Festival.
Former students have been accepted at the National Ballet School of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Quinte Ballet, Ryerson University, University of Waterloo, York University Dance Department, the Alberta Ballet and the Randolph Academy of Dance, to name a few. Former students have gone on to professional dance careers with: British Columbia Ballet, Broadway musicals (including “Godspell” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”), have toured Japan, have been National Dance Champions with Danceamerica Dance Olympus competitions, as well as title of Mr Dance Masquerade for both 2014 and 2015, and also holds the honour of having the first solo student from Northwestern Ontario selected to perform at Disney World (Orlando, Florida) in the Galaxy Theatre, Magical Kingdom. Laura is proud of former students Abigail Sheppard, soloist for Estonian National Ballet 2013-15 and has been named Principal Soloist with The Finnish National Ballet Company, and Jordan Wyllie is presently dancing with Tokyo Disney.
Laura was invited by the Separate School Board and the Public School Board, as well as the French Separate School Board as a guest instructor to cover dance curriculum and set choreography at the elementary and high school level. A further highlight was choreographing a production dance piece – “Blue Danube” – to perform together with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra at the “Stars of the Future” annual concert, and highlights from the “Carnival of the Animals”. For Christmas seasons 2003 and 2004, former student Abigail Sheppard starred in the leading role as “Marie” (Clara) in “The Nutcracker” with The National Ballet of Canada. In the fall of 2008 she was invited by the Moscow Ballet to audition and rehearse dancers for the local full production of “Sleeping Beauty”. Laura has trained with numerous renowned instructors and choreographers including, the late Glen Gilmour & Jean Spear, as well as Shirley Tetreau, Sheila Kennedy, Nancy Kilgour, Diane Van Schoor, Kate Simmons, Richard Glasstone, Raymond Lukens, to name a few.