Meet The EDGEucators

Our EDGEucation team is made up of passionate Educators, Ontario Certified Teachers, Youth Motivaters and Speakers

michelle
MICHELLE HILLIER

amy
AMY TEPPERMAN


DANI NOBREGA

libby
LIBBY AVALOS


RIA AIKAT


TYLER BOYLE

nicky
NICKY CARDWELL

jenn
JENN LITT

RIA AIKAT | MA, BPHE, BSc – Lead EDGEucator

I have been dancing for over 20 years now, but dance, for the longest time, was just a pastime passion that I only dreamed of pursuing as a career. After I completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Ottawa, I transitioned into a Master of Teaching degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. During my practicum experiences, I noticed that many teachers often felt nervous or uncomfortable executing the dance curriculum, which motivated me to focus my research on dance education in elementary classrooms. Around the same time that I was reviewing the profound results of my research, the Groove Edgeucation facilitated a workshop for my class of teachers-to-be. As soon as the workshop was over, I jumped on the opportunity to become an Edgeucator when I graduated, and here I am!

My favourite part about being an Edgeucator is that we aren’t teaching students or teachers how to dance, but instead using the beauty of dance and movement to achieve many impactful discoveries for each group and individual. We build communities, creativity, and confidence all under an hour, and you don’t have to be a natural mover to experience it. I also love having the opportunity to share our resources and methods with fellow teachers to empower them to incorporate more dance and movement in their own classroom. It makes me feel like my research has come full circle!  

Outside of Groove, I am a dancer for the non-profit Hip Hop organization, Culture Shock Toronto, and am the artistic director for our youth troupe, Future Shock Toronto. I teach adult Bollywood classes for multiple dance studios in Toronto, and am a part-time faculty member at Centennial College. I am also one half of a quirky comedy-dance duo called Giggle Queens.