Hello Thunder Bay !

Train. Sweat. Perform.

ARMY of SASS is a training and performance program for all levels, designed to build confidence and gain physical strength while developing sassy dance skills in heels.

There are 3 different 10-week sessions per year: Fall, Winter, and Spring. Every week you will train for 2 hours on drills and choreography. At the end of the session, you will showcase your new sassy moves in a themed performance with your fellow AOS dancers!

Your week just got a whole lot SASSIER!

This session, join 2000+ dancers across North America as we train together and perform together in an original show!

• Spring 2019 session runs from April to June. Program & registration dates vary by location.
• Early bird registration for Spring Session opens on February 24.
• Regular registration for Winter Session opens on March 10.

Join us and be part of this growing community and movement!

All Skill Levels

Absolute Beginners to Beginner-Trained Dancers

Intermediate to Advanced in Heels Dance

Advanced to Professional in Jazz/Hip Hop/Heels Dance

• Classes •


Spring 2020 Session
10 weeks between April 15, 2020 and June 21, 2020


WED • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
AOS Program Level 1 PrivatesAdvanced Beginner Level

Nicole Avella
Studio at 320 Bay Street

WED • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
AOS Program Level 2 CorporalsInter/Advanced Level

Emma Dubinsky
Studio at 320 Bay Street

SAT • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
AOS Program Level 1 PrivatesBeginner Level

Emma Dubinsky
Studio at 320 Bay Street

• Rates •

Full year • 3 sessions

Available June 10 - October 17

$900 +tax

• Unlimited drop-in classes across Canada & US (space permitting; please contact individual locations regarding availability)
• Reserved spot for 'Full session' registration
• Valid for 3 sessions: Fall, Winter & Spring

Full session • Early bird

Available February 24 - March 9

$260 +tax

• 2 hrs / week for 10 weeks
• 1 full cast rehearsal
• Performance

Full session • Regular

Available March 10 - May 1

$285 +tax

• 2 hrs / week for 10 weeks
• 1 full cast rehearsal
• Performance


Contact us for current rates

$15 to 30

• 1 hr class
• First come, first served
• Contact us for availability & payment options

• Shows •

Winter Show

Army of Sass Thunder Bay Presents “Heartbreak Hotel”

Picture this … a girl gets a call from her partner letting her know their relationship is over. DEVASTATED her homegirls spring into action to help cheer her up making their way to the Heartbreak Hotel. Once they are checked-in, they realize the hotel is much more than they ever expected! Featuring the music of soul, Motown, funk, blues, rock, and more with a playlist that includes songs by Eagles, Billie Holiday, Santana, Dr. Dre, James Brown, Outkast, NSYNC, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Dua Lipa, Queen, Lizzo, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye to name a few!

Two shows at Paramount Theatre
Friday, March 20th 2020
Saturday, March 21st 2020
Doors Open: 7:00 PM
Show Starts: 7:30 PM

Doors 7:00 pm • Show 7:30 pm

Sat • March 21
Paramount Theatre

All ages
$25 general admission

Tickets available on Eventbrite for $25 + fees & taxes

Buy tickets

• Spotlight •


Here are the link for our upcoming FREE spring classes! 

All Levels Heels Class April 8th 7-8pm
–> https://bit.ly/2VY5EY9

Beginner Level Heels Class April 11th 1-2pm

Corporal Auditions will be held on April 11th 3-5pm



Starting on the week of April 14th you can pay for a single drop-in, or purchase a pass that best suits you!

from 1-2 pm on Saturdays

from 7 pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays

from 7 pm to 8 pm on Wednesdays (April 15th & 29th, May 13th & 27th)

from 7 pm to 8 pm on Wednesdays (April 22nd, May 6 & 20th)

Our Heels Dance 101 class is a jazz-based style technique class that includes a warm-up, stretching and strengthening, down-the-floor exercise + combo with new choreography each week. It is open to dancers of any level and runs from 9-10:30 am on Saturday mornings.

$200 (+ tax) for ALL ACCESS CLASS PASS
$100 (+ tax) for 7 CLASS PASS

Our studio is located at 320 Bay Street (use Secord St. entrance).

We offer everyone a FREE trial class to start, so whenever you are ready to try we are ready for you!  Please email us at thunderbay@armyofsass.com to purchase your pass today by e-Transfer! We also offer Visa, MasterCard or cash payment for your convenience.


Floor Workshop with Emma Dubinsky

Beginner/Intermediate Level
on Saturday, May 2nd
from 7 pm to 28:30 pm
Studio location at 320 Bay Street (use Secord entrance)
➡️ https://bit.ly/38V6JDE

The cost for this workshop is $30 plus fees + taxes. You can register online by clicking the Eventbrite link below, in-person at any of your classes, or by e-Transfer to us at thunderbay@armyofsass.com.


Are you looking to … 

✔️ Start in a smaller setting one-on-one just you and an instructor
✔️ Get direct feedback and training tailored specifically for you
✔️ Feel extra prepared for your upcoming performance

▪️STEP 1 – Book your private lesson by click this link here https://calendly.com/danceroom/privatelesson
▪️STEP 2 – Payment for your lesson is $100 + tax ($113). It can be done as a one-on-one private or shared with a dance buddy.
▪️STEP 3 – Finish and confirm your lesson by following the instructions online. All fees are due in full upon booking. An official confirmation email will be sent once payment has been received and processed.

• AOS Thunder Bay Team •

Carla Catherwood

Commander-in-chief (CEO & Founder)


Carla Catherwood
Commander-in-chief (CEO & Founder)

Carla Catherwood

Carla knows what it’s like to start from the bottom and work your way up.

Dedicated, focused and driven to detail best describe her work habits. With over 20 years professionally in the dance industry and over 10 years experience as a self-made entrepreneur, she has worked not only as a professional dancer, choreographer, and producer, but most importantly as an entrepreneur, teacher, and mentor to many developing up-and-comers.

Her mentoring and teaching style consists of clarifying and developing the direct abilities that are needed to become a successful performer, teacher, and AOS Licensee by educating them on function, technique, and leadership skills. She has a special talent in bringing out what is natural within each individual by pushing them into what she calls “The Pocket” of each movement, teaching method, or leadership goal.


Carla’s story: how it all started

It started with a twist of fate…

About 11 years ago I was out with some dance friends and a fellow teacher from LA in Vancouver.  We were having a good time dancing the night away.  Next thing you know… a shootout between two gangs erupted and there were some innocent victims caught in the crossfire.  Luckily I was pushed out of the way and only grazed with a bullet (but don’t worry I’m ok! I was blessed enough that all I needed was a band aid on my wrist!)  Unfortunately there were a few innocent victims… one of them being my friend from LA.  I was blessed to have walked away pretty much unharmed considering what had happened.  At that point I knew I needed to do something to help my friend.

Fast forward to one year after the incident, I joined forces with the pretty much the entire entertainment community of Vancouver to put together a fundraiser in honour our friend to help with his recovery process and costs. PS. he’s doing great now!

With it being the first show I had ever produced… and as a dancer and choreographer I naturally wanted to put together a piece of choreography for the show… but it needed to be DIFFERENT! Later that week I saw a cabaret burlesque-style dance troupe on TV and I said “YESSSSSS I’m going to do something like that!” I gathered 10 of my girls and we did a burlesque inspired piece for the fundraiser. Vancouver HAD NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT! People went crazy! So I decided to keep doing it!

I created a dance crew called Burlesque Beauties with a few of my girls and had a ton of fun! We did everything from lounge gigs, to corporate events over the years and even performed at the infamous Playboy Mansion! As time went on I wanted to perform less and teach more so I coined the style “Nuvo-Burlesque” and started to teach the heel’s style to dancers of all levels.

The day before I moved from Vancouver to Toronto in 2010 I was in a car accident and my injury made performing a challenge so at the age of 29 rolling on 30 I knew it was time to throw in the ‘performing towel’ and go full speed ahead with producing, choreography, and teaching.

So there I was… alone in a new city and not sure where to start.  I got a call from my mom and she reminded me I was doing cabaret and shows, she said “why don’t you put together a program for your students and have them be part of your show”.  So, “DING”, a light went off! Great idea mom! I’ll do that!!! So there it all began!

  • It started with 12 girls in Toronto under the “Nuvo-Burlesque Performance & Training Group”
  • After a year I created the first satellite program in Vancouver
  • I was building something and it was time to come up with a better name!
  • So while in class with 25 plus women strutting towards me… “DING” again! They just looked like an ARMY OF SASS!
  • And that was it; yep that’s the name! The ARMY of SASS was born and there was no turning back!

As of the beginning of 2015, just over 10 years from when I began all of this, we have over 275 registered students across the country with over 100 in Toronto and the rest in our satellite cities Vancouver, Abbotsford, Penticton, Kelowna and Calgary!  I am so HAPPY to be able to share my wealth of knowledge about not only running a sustainable and profitable business but also sharing the personal lessons I’ve learned along the way…

For all of my dancers out there wanting to build something of your own but don’t know the steps to get there… I hear you and I feel you!  I’ve been there… Please understand that: I know what it’s like to have a dream and not have the funds to do it, to be broke, to be on your own, to grow up in a small town and want more.  I’ve lived through tragedy and setbacks, but most importantly I’ve learned to overcome all of them to get to where I am today and that is why I am doing this licensing program with a free education portion.  It was built so my AOS team and me can help eliminate the struggle for you to build and achieve your dreams!

If your dream is to run your own AOS program, we look forward to helping you do that!

I’m here to EDUCATE, CREATE and PAY IT FORWARD to my dance community.  It doesn’t matter if 5 or 500 people license this program, what matters to me is to be able to provide a FREE and strong education program to help those that wish to do what I do without the personal, physical, financial, and educational struggle I had endured.

If I can leave you with any form of advise it’s simply this… “There’s a solution to every problem and if there’s a solution… there’s no problem!”



Jennifer Long

General Manager


Jennifer Long
General Manager

Jennifer Long

Jennifer Long proudly brings over 15 years of diverse management and marketing experience to every project she tackles.

Hailing from the lush hills of Prince Edward Island, Jennifer is pleased to now call Vancouver home. A graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, Jennifer has been an entertainer since the age of three! Her first job at age 13 was definitely unusual; at a family friend’s suggestion, she auditioned for (and was subsequently hired to play) the leading character at Canadian World Theme Park in Japan. After pursuing a decade-long professional career in the arts, she decided to focus her talents on the behind-the-scenes world of arts management, including contracts with Canadian Idol, Canada Games, Vancouver Circus School, and Army of Sass Canada.

A self-professed “life long learner”, Jennifer holds a variety of post-secondary and continuing studies certifications including Event Management (Holland College), Professional Bookkeeper (Langara College), and is currently working towards her CPA designation in British Columbia.



Stephanie DePiero

General (AOS Location Licensee)

Stephanie DePiero
General (AOS Location Licensee)

Stephanie DePiero

For Stephanie DePiero, as soon as she could walk she could dance! As a teenager, Stephanie trained in jazz, tap, ballet, and hip-hop. After graduating high school she continued her training through intensives and workshops in Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. Soon landing herself a new home in Toronto, where she performed with a variety of production entertainment companies and live music festivals. She worked with for several seasons with MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club as an in-house performer during all at home games. Stephanie also worked as a dance instructor at various private high schools around the GTA and City Dance Corps.

Stephanie believes in the potential of the thriving entertainment scene in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She now lives back home and loves working full time as a dancer and choreographer. Her own experiences have fueled her to be a leader with Army of Sass Thunder Bay team (a North American heels dance program that is currently taking many cities by storm)! This outlet of dance speaks to Stephanie’s passion and values, providing an outlet for all genders to come together, gain confidence and be a part of a community of dancers whos goal is to inspire others!

Steph is also the creator and director of The Dance Room, which offers studio rentals for private training, special workshops, and industry coaching from dance professionals who are invested in the growth and development of dancers.



Emma Dubinsky

Sergeant (AOS Teacher)

Emma Dubinsky
Sergeant (AOS Teacher)

Emma Dubinsky

Emma Dubinsky started dancing with Dance Dynamics Studio in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is currently a performing artist and pursuing her dreams of being a professional dancer.

Emma has completed up to the pre-advanced jazz in her ADAPT examinations, and 9levels in tap and ballet, as well as the ADAPT teachers-revision course in Ottawa. After one year of post-secondary education at York University studying Psychology, Emma continued attending many master dance classes in Toronto, and soon after was accepted into the Commercial Dance Studies program at George Brown College. At George Brown, she trained in jazz, hip hop, ballet, modern, musical theatre, vocal, and acting. Emma trained for years with a heels company called Sensual Heeling under Kaela Faloon.

She has many stage performance experiences performing with companies such as such as the Ballet Jörgen in the Nutcracker, Hairspray with St. Ignatius High School, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pan America Games Opening Ceremony with Cirque Du Soleil, the 6th Annual HUM Awards, the Canadian Dance Awards launch, Creativiva, The MAS Fest, Makeup Forever, performing backup for vocalists and DJs at music festivals, Army of Sass Toronto, Nuit Blanche, Seneca Pulse Casino Grand Opening in New York and more.

Emma also enjoys teaching dance and choreographing. Emma taught heels classes for Army of Sass Etobicoke, Army of Sass Peel, her own hip hop classes at The Pink Studio Toronto and other drop in classes in Toronto. As well, she choreographed a music video for an up and coming Toronto artist. Emma is the creator of Here & Now,  a local showcase in Thunder Bay that is a charity fundraiser featuring all local performers including dancers, singers, musicians and actors.  She is also the co-creator of Next LevelWorkshop which inspires young dancers and gives them insight into being a professional. She has taught in studios and choreographed for numerous competition numbers in jazz, contemporary, hip hop, ballet, musical theatre and acro.



Maddy Bou

Sergeant (AOS Teacher)

Maddy Bou
Sergeant (AOS Teacher)

Maddy Bou

Starting at a young age Maddy Bou has always had a lover for the stage and performing. First starting out at the age of 7 years old performing with Cambrian Players. And their One act play festival in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario. From there, a few movie roles with the local college film and broadcasting program as an extra.

 Maddy has done numerous productions with Frankly Scarlett Productions. On stage, and backstage as well stage managing.

Maddys love of dancing begin at the age of 17 with Burlesque classes. At the age of 18 she joined a local burlesque troupe; Les Coquette Rouge. She has been an on going member for 5+ years.

This is Maddy’s fourth year with Army of sass Thunder Bay. Having completed teachers training in the summer of 2019, she extremely excited to bring all of her knowledge to the Thunder Bay Army of Sass team.



Nicole Avella

Office Admin / Assistant

Nicole Avella
Office Admin / Assistant

Nicole Avella

At the age of 8, Nicole entered the dance world. She took classes both recreational and competitive at local dance studios Spirit of Dance as well as International Dance Academy. Nicole developed a love for hip-hop, jazz, and musical theatre.

Over the years, Nicole had the opportunity to perform and compete both locally and out of town. Nicole’s love of music also translates into a passion for singing and vocal training. Seeking an outlet that combined her love of dance with her vocal talent, Nicole joined BOUNCE Productions. She took part in many classes and local productions with BOUNCE including BOUNCE Senior Year: The Concert.

Through her training in dance and singing Nicole was able to develop her technique as well as her confidence on stage! Nicole is incredibly excited to be a part of Army of Sass Thunder Bay! She looks forward to continuing her training in the heels style. Nicole can’t wait to help empower and encourage other women to pursue their passion for dance!



Kassandra Arsenault

Office Admin / Assistant

Kassandra Arsenault
Office Admin / Assistant

Kassandra Arsenault

Kassandra joined the dance world at the age of 4. She has danced at local studios Fay Gleeson and Spirit of Dance training in styles such as Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Ballet and many more. She traveled for dance competitions and performances. Her favourite being Dance the Walt Disney Parade in Orlando Florida.

She took a break from dance to focus on her education. Kassandra has graduated from Lakehead University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Confederation College with a Business Marketing Diploma and George Brown College with a Digital Marketing Diploma.

She knew that she was missing something in her life and that’s when she came to us. Army of Sass fit well with her love for other people and passion for dance. She has since then taken ballet classes to continue to strengthen her dance training and skill.

She loves making new friends from the program and being on stage is her favourite place. Kassandra is excited to see Army of Sass grow and looks forward to improving her dance skills in heels!



Shannon Gagne

Office Admin / Assistant

Shannon Gagne
Office Admin / Assistant

Shannon Gagne

Shannon was born and raised in Thunder Bay and lives with her husband and dog Finn. She joined AOS in the winter of 2017 at the age of 36, having never danced before in her life, proving you are never to old to follow your dreams!

Shortly after joining, she took on the role of Fundraising and Event coordinator. In this role, she books events on behalf of AOS Thunder Bay, organizes community outreach and volunteer opportunities, and manages the fundraising aspect of our stage shows.

Shannon is very passionate about giving back to the community and is proud to be able to carry that enthusiasm over from her professional life to her involvement with AOS.



Hannah Smith

Office Admin / Assistant

Hannah Smith
Office Admin / Assistant

Hannah Smith

Hannah was born and raised in Thunder Bay and has a passion for being involved in her community. She is currently in her fourth year of a double major in Women’s Studies and Political Science at Lakehead University. Given her motivation for empowerment, building confidence and dance, Army of Sass was a natural fit. 

Having never danced before, stepping into a sass class for the first time was invigorating, exciting, and a little nerve-wracking! Hannah has always loved theatre and performance and is happy that she can express this love with Army of Sass. She is very thankful for her dear friend who encouraged her to try her first class, as joining this powerful community has allowed her to grow in and out of the studio.

The creative outlet that dance provides has given her the opportunity to build self-esteem and body positivity, all the while being, unconditionally supported by a wonderful team and group of dancers.

Hannah loves to share her passion for Army of Sass and is looking forward to continuing her journey through heels dance.



• FAQ •

Check out these frequently asked questions, or contact us using the form below.

  • Do I need dance experience to join the ARMY of SASS?

    NOT AT ALL! We have classes in 3 different levels:

    • Beginner (and yes we mean absolute, never been in a dance class kind of beginner)
    • Intermediate
    • Advanced & professional

  • What do I wear?

    • For training: stretchy, comfortable and SASSY clothes that you feel fabulous in!
    • For performance: costumes will depend on the production theme for that term.

  • What kind of shoes do I wear?

    Comfortable, CLEAN, and thick heeled indoor shoes! Doesn’t matter what height of heel, just as long as you are comfortable! Be mindful of stilettos… they may look fabulous for a night out, but wearing them while trying to execute the AOS moves for two hours can be difficult. If you’re first starting out we suggest a good pair of kitten heels or sneaker wedges!

  • How much is the ARMY of SASS program?

    The program is currently $285.00 plus taxes and fees for each 10-week program where you receive 2 hours/week of training, an all-cast rehearsal, and a session end performance.

    That comes out to $13.75/class! Normally in the dance/fitness industry, drop-in classes are $20.00. That is a savings of $6.25/class!

    Please note: registration fees are non-refundable.

  • How much are the drop-in Sass classes?

    Drop-in pricing will vary by location; generally classes are $15-$30. Please contact the location leader for pricing information.

  • Can I try my first class for FREE?

    YES! Contact us using the contact form below to get your FREE pass to a Sass class in your area!

    NOTE: this promotion is for first-time students only.

  • How can I pay for the program or drop-in?

    Drop-ins are generally cash only, payable when you arrive at the drop-in class; first-come, first-served. Contact a location near you for info!

    Program payments are generally accepted via Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard, cash, and cheque. Payment types may vary by location; click “Register now” for full details.

    Please take note that some AOS locations do charge taxes, where applicable.

  • Do we have class cards for drop-in Sass classes?

    Some locations do, but not all. Please reach out to a location near you for info; you can use the online contact form below to do so.

  • Are there any other costs incurred by the AOS Program?

    YES! Just one. It is for the costume that you will be performing in. NOTE: We often use many of the same pieces over and over again, and just layer them with different affordable accessories or pieces so you don’t have to spend too much money. If it is your first time we would safely say you will end up spending roughly $80.00-$100.00 on the base pieces costume (getting your staple pieces: fishnets, thigh high socks, and bodysuit or dress). Each session may have different costume requirements; check with your location licensee on the exact costs for each show.

  • Are there financing/payment plans available for the program?

    Payment plans may vary by location. Please use the online contact form below to speak with a location near you!

  • Can anyone take a class?

    EVERYONE who is willing to dance and be fabulous in heels is welcome in our classes! Army of Sass is open to anyone of legal age in their province/state, all abilities, and all genders.

  • Can people watch?

    Not the whole class. If someone is picking one of you up after class and the door is open or there is a viewing mirror in the studio, yes they can watch at the end.

  • Questions or comments ? Contact us here !

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