Alumni Updates

Our students and alumni have been accepted into programs at The School of Alberta Ballet, The National Ballet School of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Quinte Ballet School of Canada, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Ryerson University, York University and more!


Holly LaRoche

Holly LaRoche started her training at age 3 at the Vanessa Plettell School of Dance, and benefitted from the support and aid of the staff for 11 years. At age 14 she moved to Calgary, Alberta to train with the School of Alberta Ballet, before joining the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group in New York City at age 18. She has toured internationally and performed ballet, contemporary and modern pieces by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Robert Joffrey, Desmond Richardson, Robert Battle, and Crystal Pite. She is currently working towards a degree in NYU Tisch’s undergraduate dance program and exploring all the art both NYU and NYC have to offer.

“I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the foundation and love of dance that you taught me. Thank you Vanessa!”

Kerrie Hartmann


Kerrie began dancing at the age of three in Ottawa Ontario, where she studied various forms of dance including ballet, jazz and tap. Pursuing her great passion for ballet, she continued her training at The School of Dance and Vanessa Plettell Dance, as well as at Canada’s National Ballet School in their Professional Program. Kerrie is a graduate of the National Ballet School’s elite Teacher Training Program and holds accreditations with the Royal Academy of Dance and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. During her career, Kerrie has performed at many local events, and has also had the opportunity to perform with the National Ballet of Canada, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Russia’s Kirov Ballet.


68c7e0e61f426c87729900aa92c8d869Aimee Cook

Aimee danced with the Vanessa Plettell School of Dance for 11 years. In her last three years with the school, Aimee was a member of the Le Jazz Hot Dance Company and performed in many shows across Ottawa.

From there, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in the performing arts and studied musical theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. After graduation, she performed at the Gateway Playhouse in the Ensemble of Sugar (u/s lead – Elizabeth Stanley, Broadway‟s Company, Cry Baby, Million Dollar Quartet) and Gentleman Prefer Blondes (u/s Mrs. Spoffard), played Mrs. Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and was a featured dancer in Ensemble of their Christmas Spectacular for two productions. Aimee continued her studies at The New School University and graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre.


Joanna Hughes

Joanna Hughes began her dance training at the age of 4, and by the time she was 9 years, she appeared on one of the most prestigious stages in Canada, The National Arts Center performing with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in the Nutcracker. Joanna completed her advanced ballet exams at the age of 17 with distinction. Although ballet was her foundation, Joanna also studied Jazz dance at Le Jazz Hot (now Vanessa Plettell Dance) as well as Jazz, Modern and Hip Hop at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Broadway Dance Center and Steps in New York City. Joanna now is continuing to dance and choreograph with her own dance company in New York City, which she started in 2007. She also has her own television show known as Beauty On A Budget NYC currently running on Time Warner Cable in NY on the Fashion News Network, channel 180.