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Tini Pel and her husband Henk immigrated to Canada from Holland in 1953. Tini had studied some ballet there but in 1955 she was exposed to modern dance through Nancy Lima Dent. Nancy considered Tini a serious and hard-working student and a dedicated individual. When Nancy left Sudbury in 1957 she encouraged Tini to begin teaching. In 1959, Tini and Henk purchased property where there was an unfinished church. This building became The Arts Guild -- a dance school and a site where artists from all disciplines could meet. Tini began ballet studies again and became a teacher in the Royal Academy of Dancing method.