At d.m.s.dance we celebrate the art of dance with every step we take. Our focus is proper technique and appreciation for every style of dance. Most of all we want our students to have fun, build self confidence and the feeling of accomplishment. 

Over the years dancers have received highly commended and honours for their hard work. Students have successfully earned teaching certificates and are making a career in teaching dance.


We have two shows through the dance year. One in mid December to celebrate the Christmas Season and our year end recital in June. All students are encouraged to participate. 

British Association Grade Examinations and Dance Medal tests are an important event every year. All students who participate are recognized for their hard work. It's not about being the best, it's about doing your best. Examinations are available to all students!   They encourage students to work a little harder and put forth their best efforts. Students are awarded with a Certificate and Medal or Trophy. 

Blenheim Dancer of the Year and Wallaceburg Dancer of the Year awards are presented at our year end recital, along with the 'dmsdance award' in memory of Angela McGonigle Hemmings. 

The Katherine Voets Award is also presented to the dancer 'who dances like nobody's watching' . 

The studio offers assisting positions to interested dancers who are eager to teach.

We look forward to welcoming new dancers.....


Debbie McGonigle

Owner, Operator and Instructor 

Debbie studied dance with Florence Able from the age of 5 years. Dance quickly became her passion and by the time she was a young teen, she was spending most of her time dancing or assisting with classes. 

Debbie studied dance and examined in Royal Academy Ballet and B.A.T.D. Tap. She later became a member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance and is a certified teacher in Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Modern. Debbie became a Hip Hop teacher through the British Dancing Association and is currently a member. She continues to teach and prepare students for their examinations and attends workshops to stay updated with any changes to the syllabus. 

Opened dmsdance in Blenheim January 1983 with 16 students, teaching in the basement of the United Church. Moved to a more permanent location two years later and has watched dancers grow and build self confidence ever since.

Debbie spent several years as a dance fit instructor at several exercise studios in Chatham Kent and for ten years, during the summer, she was the jazz instructor at Olympia Sports Camp in Huntsville. Later she became the Dance Co-ordinator for Olympia's Dance program, sharing her passion with young dancers from all over the country!

In January of 2009 dmsdance opened a second location in Wallaceburg. 

Celebrating 30 years of teaching in 2013, Debbie continues to enjoy being part of teaching young children and watching them grow and enjoy the art of dancing. 


 Shannon Clapp - Instructor

 At the fresh age of 3, Shannon laid forth her foundation in dance thru studying Gymnastics with Maple City Motion.  Shannon’s interests were later drawn towards dance and at the age of 13, she plunged into dance lessons with Debbie McGonigle School of Dance.  Over the next 5 years, Shannon continued her studies in dance with Debbie in Jazz, Tap and Ballet (achieving Certification under the British Association of Teachers of Dance), growing into an Assistant Instructor in all of Debbie’s classes, and being one of the original New Sensation Performing Group dancers! During these 5 years, Shannon also became a High School Cheerleader, leading her team in choreography and gaining championship status over all of Chatham-Kent!

 After graduating from Secondary school, Shannon moved to Guelph, Ontario to attend the University of Guelph as a student in the Dramatic Arts program.  Not only was Shannon a student in university, she soon became an instructor of Intermediate and Advanced Ballet Courses for the university as well.  She obtained key roles in numerous theatrical productions in stage management, acting, choreographing and dancing.   Shannon was then discovered by a Toronto Film Agent employing her in a made-for-television movie “The Quiet Killer” and a spot on the Canadian TV Show “ENG”!   Outside of the university, at the Guelph School of Dance, Shannon instructed tap and ballet, and danced on the senior competitive dance team, achieving 1st and 2nd awards across the board in competitions!  During a competition in Cleveland, Ohio, Shannon earned a Scholarship at the Henry LaTang School of Tap Dancing in New York City. And during the summer, in between semesters at university, Shannon instructed dance two summers in a row at Olympia Sports Camp in Huntsville, Ontario. 

 After taking a break from dance to start a family, Shannon felt it would be a positive adventure to enter the Mrs. Canada International Pageantry 2002.   Gaining some amazing support from her community, Shannon represented Chatham-Kent with her campaign “Family Unity Thru Physical Fitness”.  Over 3000 applicants across Canada, 30 women were chosen to compete in the Pageantry; Shannon is quite honoured to have achieved 3rd Runner-up over all! 

 Once her two children were both school age, Shannon took on a position with the Lambton-Kent Catholic School Board in the Learning Thru The Arts Program.  Using dance as the basis in teaching the academic curriculum was an exciting yet challenging endeavor.  With this being an innovative time for Shannon in her dance career, she also expanded her interests and passion in Christian Dance, teaching and choreographing performances in various churches within the Chatham-Kent community. 

 The most rewarding and inspirational time in Shannon’s dance journey was instructing jazz and ballet to the special population at The Children’s Treatment Center in Chatham.  “It’s truly amazing to witness the hearts of these children shine beyond their physical challenges.  I may have taught them a dance, but they taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined!”  

 Currently, outside of instructing tap and ballet with Debbie McGonigle, Shannon enjoys instructing exercise classes for the senior’s population and instructing freestyle dance classes for ladies of all ages.

Aside from dance, Shannon runs a small bakery out of her home, enjoys scrapbooking, sewing, and making her two children laugh! 

          “Debbie has this amazing ability to teach dance, inspire a child, and most of all she has an unbelievable way of opening your heart to let dance flow thru you and become a part of your soul!  Thank you Debbie for filling me with your love of dance and enriching my life!  Thank you that now, you teach my daughter and dance is penetrating her with such beauty! Not only has dance been a part of my life personally, it is a part of my family.  Dance has been a family affair for many years, and it still continues to be today!  I am blessed that Debbie is much more than my dance instructor, she is also my Aunt!” 


 Stephanie Harris - Instructor 

I started taking dance at Debbie McGonigle School of Dance when I was eight years old, taking Tap, Ballet and Jazz. Through the years of dance I realized I really enjoyed Jazz and excelled in it, so I joined the New Sensation Performing Group. Throughout my 10 years of dancing, I have been awarded Highly Commended on my metal and B.A.T.D testing’s, and the Katherine Votes Award “Dance Like Nobody is Watching”.  In 2009 when Debbie McGonigle opened her second studio in Wallaceburg, she gave me the opportunity and experience to work beside her, assisting and learning everything she knows from her 30 years of teaching. I was also asked to choreograph a performance to be preformed at the Family Night show at St. Agnus School. After being with Debbie and assisting, my passion to work with children grew even stronger. I then decided to go to St. Clair College for the Early Childhood Education Program. In those two years I graduated from the program with honors and was able to expand my knowledge about children and gain more teaching techniques.   

In 2013 I was given the opportunity to teach my own class for Debbie, now with a new year I am excited to continue this amazing opportunity again at the Debbie McGonigle School of Dance.