The CHDC Team

Leslie MacDougall

BATD - Life Member, SDO - Member, SDO - Board of Director, WOHDA - President, BATD Western Ontario - Treasurer, SDCCS 2015 - Co-Chair, BATD Western ON Festival Organizer.

Leslie MacDougall is a Certified Teacher for the British Association of Teachers of Dancing, Member of ScotDance Ontario and is Treasurer for the BATD of Western Ontario, President of WOHDA and the Past Co-Chair of SDCCS 2015 in London, Ontario. Leslie recently accepted the position of ScotDance Ontario Board of Director. A challenging and fulfilling new role. She has been the Director of Cambridge Highland Dancers for 30 years.

A former student of Gladys Forrester in Toronto, she has is also trained in Classical Ballet, Jazz and was a competitive gymnast. Leslie began dancing with Gladys at the age of seven and entered her first competition a year later at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. She competed consistently until the age of nineteen throughout Canada, the U.S.A. and Scotland winning numerous trophies. Under Gladys, she performed as part of a troupe of singers and dancers that performed at the Royal Alexandria Theatre in a British pantomime of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, alongside Lionel Blair, and at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Leslie received her teaching certificate when she was eighteen and has been teaching ever since, except for a short break when she was raising three children. She also now enjoys special time with her two grandchildren. Leslie loves to share her passion for the Art and Sport of Highland Dance to younger dancers to promote and continue the future of Highland Dance.

Sharon Millen-Schmidt

R.A.D, R.T.S, E.C.E

Miss. Millen has been dancing since the age of 4 and has never stopped! She began her training of ballet under the direction of Miss Josephine Both of Cambridge Ontario. She then went onto study under the direction of Miss. Dianne Long, ARAD AISTD, and continued on to work for her at the Cambridge Theatre Dance School until June of 2011. Miss. Millen had the pleasure of being the Head of The Ballet Department at the Cambridge Theatre Dance School between the years of 2006-2011.

Throughout her training Miss. Millen also had the pleasure to be trained by Barbra Jacobs of Les Grands Ballet Canadien and Elaine Ottis of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. During her younger years Miss Millen performed and studied with the Black Walnut Ballet Company of Waterloo Ontario and graduated from the Integrated Arts Program at Eastwood Collegiate of Kitchener, Ontario. She holds her Elementary Executant Ballet Certificate and her Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies with Registered Teaching Status with the Royal Academy of Dance, both her Advanced Modern Certificate and the Gold Jazz Award with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance along with her Registered Early Childhood Educator status with the College of Early Childhood Educators.

Miss Millen is married and has three beautiful daughters. Miss. Millen holds a great passion for the art of dance and enjoys the many rewards that come with introducing the world of dance to children of all ages. She is very much looking forward to meeting both the students and families here at Cambridge Highland Dance and Company.

Stefanie Berdan

B.A., B.Ed., O.C.T., A.I.S.T.D.
Modern Theatre Dance

Stefanie Berdan is a certified teacher for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, as well as an Ontario Certified Teacher, with qualifications in the Primary and Junior levels (kindergarten to 6). In 2018, Stefanie got a permanent position with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and is going into her third-year teaching Kindergarten.

Stefanie started her dance career at the age of 5 when she began dancing at Cambridge Theatre Dance Studio where she trained in Ballet and Modern dance. She graduated with her Advanced 2 Modern Theatre Dance Certificate and the Gold Jazz Award with the I.S.T.D. She also holds her Grade 8 Ballet Award with the R.A.D. Stefanie became a teaching assistant at the age of 13 and started teaching her own classes at 18.

Stefanie is looking forward to another year with Cambridge Highland Dance and Company!

Evenlyn Mage

Canadian Step Dance

Evelyn Rae Mage has been a step dancer for 5 years. She also studies Scottish Highland Dance under the direction of Leslie MacDougall. Her dance journey doesn’t end there, Evelyn is also a Ballet Dancer under the direction of Sharon Millen.

Outside of dance Evelyn is a student at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. Her other hobbies are reading, traveling, French and other forms of physical activities.

Avneet Dhaliwal


Avneet Dhaliwal is an instructor and partner with Nachdi Jawani, the world's largest Bhangra academy. He found his passion for Bhangra at the age of 12 years old and has passionately devoted his efforts to expanding Bhangra's spotlight in North America ever since. He embodies Nachdi Jawani's motto of 'Keeping Culture Alive"! With 10+ years of coaching experience under his belt he has achieved numerous accolades with his teams at Nachdi Jawani.

He has coached 30+ inter-academy teams as well as three professional championship teams at Nachdi Jawani's 'Brampton West' location. After many personal championships as a dancer he moved his focus to coaching in efforts of motivating today's youth to embrace their culture and perform at an international level. In 2018, Avneet aided in the organization of Nachdi Jawani's successful attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest choreographed Bhangra performance.

Amanda Birtch

Highland Dance
BATD - Member, WOHDA Vice President

Amanda has been dancing since the age of 7, and began competing shortly after. She has competed throughout Canada, USA and Scotland winning multiple trophies. Her dance career began at Ceilidh Highland Dancers in Kitchener ON with Stacy Dye Williamson, with who she danced with for 13 years. Amanda got her BATD members in 2014 and began teaching classes at her studio. In 2015 Amanda’s dance career continued at Cambridge Highland Dance and Company with Leslie Macdougall, when Stacy moved her family to Scotland. Amanda has continued to assist in teaching classes and loves sharing her passion for dance with other young dancers.

Amanda has been working at expanding her dance career as a professional in the highland world, and is the WOHDA Vice President.

Outside of the studio Amanda and her partner Tyler have a handsome little boy named Kaiden who was born in Aug 2020.

Nicole Cochrane (Frankland)

Highland Dance (Guest Instructor / Online)
BATD - Fellow

Nicole started dancing at the age of 7 and began competing at the age of 9 as one of Leslie’s first competitive students. Nicole quickly proved herself by being the first to win many special awards for the Cambridge Highland Dancers and as the first student to compete at the Championship level. Her very successful competitive career has taken her all over Canada, the United States and Scotland.

Over the years there have been many memories in addition to competitions. Nicole was nominated and attended three B.A.T.D. North American Sadie Simpson Highland Scholarship weekends placing as high as 1st runner up. She was also the recipient of the Sadie Simpson Memorial Scholarship in 2010.

Other special highlights of her career include performing at Walt Disney World, Florida, as well as dancing alongside Juno award winning performers, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and being featured on Rogers TV, CTV, CBC and BBC News. Nicole was also selected for the 2016 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Highland Dance team that performed on the esplanade of Edinburgh castle for the month of August as one of eight Canadians to make the cut on a team of 50 dancers. The 25 show run paid tribute to celebrate H.M. the Queen's 90th birthday to an audience of approximately 9000 people a night, totaling over 220,000 people for the month.

Nicole currently lives in Scotland and remains passionate about the future of highland dance. She one day hopes to become an adjudicator with the Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (RSOBHD) and inspire the next generation of dancers.

Giesela Goetz (Lukow)

Highland Dance
BATD - Member

Giesela has been dancing since the age of 6 with the Hart School of Highland Dance in Windsor, under the direction of Marjorie and Moira Hart. Giesela competed regularly until her late teens throughout Canada, U.S.A. and Scotland; collecting trophies along the way.

In 2000, Giesela received her teaching diploma with the BATD and has been a Professional Member since. In July 2011 Giesela, her husband and children moved to Fergus. Passing on her love for highland to her daughter, they have been a part of CHDC since moving to Fergus. She loves to share her knowledge and love for highland dancing to the students at CHDC.

Daniel Carr

Guest Instructor

Daniel began dancing at the age of 3 with the Sheila Milne School of Dance in Owen Sound, Ont. Daniel received world class training in highland dance from Mrs. Milne as well as Ballet, Modern and Musical Theatre from many other great instructors that came from all over the world to teach at Sheila's dance studio. Aside from dancing, Daniel has also studied bagpipes under Ed Neigh of Waterloo, Ontario. Some highlights of his highland dancing career have included becoming an Ontario, Canadian and World Champion.

Mike Reid

Professional Bag Piper

Mike began piping with the 296 Air Cadet Squadron in Cambridge when he was 13 years old. One of the highlights of that time was being a member of the National Cadet contingent pipe band that performed at the Santa Rosa highland games in California.

He joined the Highland Fusiliers of Canada Reserve Army Unit at age 17. Through them he had opportunities to perform at Exhibition Stadium for the Queen's visit in 1984. In the summer of 1986 while on course in Ottawa he was invited to play with the C.F.B. Rockcliffe Pipes and Drums under the direction of Pipe Major William Gilmour. The band traveled to Colorado Springs and played several engagements for the U.S. Military. The band also performed with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra for the July 4th celebration held in Colorado. While a member of the military he also was a member of a civilian pipe band known as the Cambridge and District Pipes and Drums. The band was successful and won the status of Champion Supreme Grade 3, in 1986.

He joined the Hamilton Police Pipe Band in 1997 and remained with them until 2009 competing at the Grade 4 – Grade 2 levels. The Band travelled to Scotland where it competed in the World Championships in 2005, 2007, and 2009.

He currently holds the position as the Pipe Major since 2009 with the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada Pipes and Drums.

Mike has piped for CHDC in their year-end recitals for the past nine years and on most studio dance outs. He pipes regularly for dance classes which gives the girls great practise and wonderful exposure to dancing with a live piper. Michael is highly involved in the dance community both as a dance father and as a dance piper within the Cambridge Highland Dance & Company Studio and in 2013 is on the pipers list with ScotDance Ontario. Mike recently performed in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Band for the month of August 2023

Mike is often hired to play at special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and other special events. Inquiries can be emailed to:

Curtis Dunat

Audio Specialist

Curtis Dunat has been an audio specialist for over 25 years.

He runs a local business, Media Loading, that provides all sorts of professional audio editing services. helps us out on a regular basis with music edits, and other creative elements.

Curtis also has a wealth of broadcast experience having hosted/produced shows for radio stations in the region for over two decades.

He is always happy to provide a voiceover or two when needed. Curtis, and his family, are delighted to be a part of the CHDC family.