Past Event: Dancing with the Stars 2019

Past Event: Dancing with the Stars 2019

October 5th, 2019

Membertou Trade & Convention Centre


Tickets can be purchased at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre Box Office 902-539-2300

19+ Event


Dancing with the Stars is a fun, fresh fund-raising event that promises to be a night to remember! Local community leaders, our stars, have been paired with professional dancers to show us their very best dance moves. Every type of dance is represented—from ball room to tap, from the tango to hip hop! The dances are as diverse as the personalities who will be performing. The pair with the most number of votes takes home the trophy—and the bragging rights that go with it—all with the knowledge they have helped to raise much needed funds for the creation of a Hospice Residence.

Each $1 Donation = 1 Vote for your favourite dance pair for the People’s Choice Award!




STAR: LeeAnne MacLeod-Archer

with DANCE PRO: Gurjinder Singh


LeeAnne will be dancing the Bhangra, a traditional Punjabi dance, with her dance partner, Gurjinder Singh, taught by Neha Aurora. Having grown up in Coxheath, Leanne now lives in Mira with hubby Simon Archer, a retired Coast Guard College instructor, and her two cats. LeeAnne was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 2014. She also practised law in Sydney for 22 years with good friend (and dance competitor) Guy LaFosse, QC.

LeeAnne is raising funds in honour of her late sister Maureen Carroll, who lost her brief battle with cancer in June, 2018.  Maureen was admitted to the An Cala palliative care unit twice, and on both occasions she received excellent and compassionate care from the staff and volunteers.

Gurjinder Singh is the founder of Taurified Bhangra, a dance team in Cape Breton. Neha Aurora, also a member of the dance team has been coaching LeeAnne for the Dancing with the Stars event.

The Taurified Bhangra team gained exposure with their performances at Walmart, CBU, the Mayflower Mall, Sydney River Elementary school and several other events.

Their team has decided to use their talents to raise funds in the community. In 2018-2019 they participated in three fundraising events for the IWK Foundation. Gurjinder and Neha are greatly looking forward to working with LeeAnne and supporting this great cause and fundraiser for Hospice Palliative Care in Cape Breton


STAR: David Dingwall

with DANCE PRO: Cynthia Vokey


David Dingwall is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Cape Breton University, who has spent the past year leading the University through a Strategic Planning process, a rebranding process, and tremendous growth overall.

A leader who knows the true value of community, David is proud to participate in an event in support of the Cape Breton Hospice Society, an organisation that gives so much to our Island.

David is eager to hit the dance floor with his dance partner and CBU colleague, Cynthia Vokey.

Cynthia Vokey started dancing at the age of 5 and now has 20 years of experience in many forms of dance including ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and musical theatre. While training with the Cape Breton School of the Arts, Cynthia had the opportunity to study under the A.D.A.P.T Dance Syllabus (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) and worked closely with Canadian dance legends Brian and Faye Foley.

She continues to teach locally in Cape Breton for dance schools, has been a guest teacher for dance studios across the province, choreographs many shows for The Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and is the Resident Choreographer at the Highland Arts Theatre in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Vokey is also a certified Barre Instructor and teaches for Breathing Space Yoga Studio.

Cynthia works as the Manager of Domestic Enrolment with Cape Breton University.



STAR: Chief Terry Paul

with DANCE PRO: Lucy Wintermans


Chief Terry Paul has been leading the community of Membertou in his role since 1984. Membertou, a proud and progressive Mi’kmaq community has experienced tremendous growth under Chief Terry’s leadership, including the development of twelve corporate entities. Community is a core value for both Membertou and Chief Terry. Membertou recently announced a donation of property to the Cape Breton Hospice Residence, valued at more than $1.2 million. Membertou has set a goal of creating a pad-ready site to ensure a safe and tranquil Residence for all.

Chief Terry’s decision to participate in Dancing with the Stars Cape Breton is two-fold; passion for the cause, and his granddaughters’ love of dancing – they will make great coaches for him along the way.

Chief Terry is looking forward to hitting the dance floor with his dance partner Lucy

Lucy Wintermans is the owner and Artistic Director of the Lucy Wintermans School of Dance. She has over 20 years teaching experience at the competitive level and is professionally certified through the Canadian Dance Teachers Association in both Ballet (Member) and Acrobatics (Associate). As a competitive dancer since age 7, she traveled throughout Canada and the USA and sought additional training through residential summer ballet camps. To further her training as a teacher she traveled to Toronto and New York to learn from Choreoraphers such as Mia Michaels, Brian Friedman, Dave Scott, Laurie Ann Gibson, Wade Robson, Tyce Diorio, as well as taking classes with instructors from the Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Winnepeg Ballet, and Toronto Dance Theatre. She has been a competitive adjudicator, talent judge, theatre production choreographer, and has coached a professional basketball dance team for the past 3 years. She is an award winning competitive choreographer and has a commitment to a high standard of technical excellence.

Lucy is so happy to be dancing with Chief Terry Paul and raising money for such a great cause. After going through breast cancer this year she has a special connection to the healthcare industry and loves having an opportunity to give back.



STAR: Kathleen Yurchesyn

with DANCE PRO: Chris Mkandawire


Kathleen will be dancing the Tango with Chris Mkandawire.

Kathleen Yurchesyn is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Born and raised in Sydney, Cape Breton, Kathleen is a passionate advocate for Cape Breton’s future. After graduating from the Bachelor of Public Relations program at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, she began her career in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador before moving back to Nova Scotia.

In her free time, Kathleen volunteers in the community sitting on the Board of Directors for the Transition House Foundation. Kathleen believes that Cape Breton is a place to stand out, build meaningful connections, become a champion for community success and make an impact.

Chitsanzo (Chris) Mkandawire, has been dancing for 13 years. He started dancing by learning moves from videos and street performers. He started focusing on Popping and Hip Hop early on. In 2010 he attended formal training at dance studio Dancelife for performing and showcase as a hip-hop dancer under Enrico Wende. He also started dancing ballroom under Kersten Nebl and continued under Eric Schlicke and Jaqueline Weise. While studying ballroom he joined the breakdance group Lila Crushers and received training from the Saxonz through their youth training programs. He later moved to Canada and in 2016 he opened his studio Concept Creative Dance Co., in Sydney, which originally catered to adult dance classes and expanded to include children’s dance classes in 2018. Artistically he has been pushing ways to express and build his artistic resume by writing dance pieces and performing in different theatrical shows like Chicago The Musical, Heart of Steel and more.



STAR: Michele Bianchini

with DANCE PRO: Jake Nguyen


Born and raised in Cape Breton, Michele’s career in the hospitality industry spans four decades! Michele has been dedicated to the Cambridge Suites Sydney Hotel since its inception in 1989 succeeding as General Manager for the past 25 years. Michele is highly respected and well known by all levels of Community.

Recognised in 2018 as a Chamber of Commerce Charitable Fundraiser of Year, Michele has led multiple charity events raising over $1.2 Million dollars. No doubt this event will add to that total. Michele received the 2019 Hotel Association of Canada Humanitarian Award of Excellence. It is a treasure to have a hotel with a huge Heart in Michele.

Michele is excited to be dancing with dance partner Jake Nguyen!

Vu (Jake) Nguyen is from Vietnam and is now living in Canada. He has been dancing the dance style ‘popping’ since 2011. In Vietnam he was a member of a popular dance group called D. Outlawz Squad. In Vietnam his reputation as a dancer and organiser of hip-hop events attracted the attention of established dancers like Greentek. He hosted the event the Show Off to introduce people to the hip-hop scene in Vietnam. He now is studying at CBU and keeps on dancing and is now establishing himself as a dancer in Cape Breton.



STAR: Amanda McDougall

with DANCE PRO: Jason Han


Amanda is equally excited and nervous for her upcoming routine for Hospice Cape Breton Dancing with the Stars 2019. She is grateful for the patience of her dance coach Chris Mkandawire and dance partner Jason Han.

Amanda hails from Main-a-Dieu where she spends her summers and loves the community of Glace Bay where she lives with her partner Kevin, a dashing 5-year-old boy and a couple of critters. Having grown up on military bases across the country, Amanda always loved coming home to Main-a-Dieu each summer and happily made the choice to call Cape Breton home. As Councillor for District 8 of the CBRM and Executive Director of ACAP Cape Breton, advocating for and growing community is her passion. Though she has zero dancing skills, knowing that she could play a part in helping the much needed Hospice project in Cape Breton made taking part in this event a no-brainer.

Han Yunpeng (Jason), has been practising street dance for over five years, focusing on hip hop and swag styles. Jason was a street dance teacher China and has participated in a number of large-scale dance competitions. He also worked with local TV stations to choreograph dance sessions for variety shows. Jason has extensive stage experience, can’t wait to be a part of this special event.



STAR: Mandat Maharaj

with DANCE PRO: Jessica Han


Mandat will be dancing the Samba choreographed by Jessica Han. Mandat is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. When he was young, Mandat wanted to be a Thespian when he grew up. He attended University of West Indies in Jamaica and while studying there he had the pleasure of seeing his favourite singer Bob Marley in concert many times. He’s now a member of a local band of colleagues from the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and he is the vocalist with a special penchant for Bob Marley songs. His favourite type of dance is Reggae style and his favourite dancer is his daughter Nalini (Highland Dancing).

Mandat has been a Neurologist at the Regional Hospital since 1996, he is married to a Cape Bretoner, Gina Gouthro and has four children. He lives in East Bay with his wife and his and his best friend Buddha his Goldendoodle.

Han Yiyang (Jessica) has 20 years of dance experience. She teaches both latin and jazz. She has won several awards in Latin dance, including the championship for Latin Dance in China and the best group for Latin dance in China. Jessica has lots of experience in dance competition and shows. She is very happy to be a part of this Dancing with the Stars event.




STAR: Guy LaFosse

with DANCE PRO: Denise Jardine


Guy and dancing professional, Denise Jardine, will be dancing to the hip sounds of Uptown Funk.  Guy is a lawyer and is the senior  partner with the Sydney law firm of LaFosse MacLeod where he is mostly known for his abilities to “dance” around the issues in a court room. However, his abilities to actually dance outside of a court room is– to be kind– limited. Thank goodness he has Denise as a dance partner!

Guy’s late mother Helena LaFosse, his brother Edgar and his brother-in-law Sandy Hillier all received exceptional and wonderful care through palliative care facilities before their passing. It is in their memories and that of his late wife, Heather MacLeod LaFosse, that he will be dancing in this event.


Denise Jardine is the owner/ operator of D&R Dance Ltd, formerly MacDonald Dance Academy. The school was founded in 1948  and was officially taken over by Denise in September 1999. The school offers classes in ballet , lyrical, jazz, tap, cabaret, pointe, modern , hip hop and acro and is open to students from 3 – adults .
Denise had her early training with the National Association Teachers of Dance and is now an associate member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association. Her aim is to teach the art of dance both technically and passionately in a fun filled family oriented environment.  D&R Dance Ltd is also proud to offer their “Chance to Dance “ program , a special needs class offered free of charge so everyone can have their chance to dance.
Denise is very excited to be part of this Dancing with the Stars event , with proceeds going to such a worthy cause and wishes good luck to all the participants.