Desirée Joy Champion
September 29, 1963 – August 9, 2019
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to Toronto General Hospital, where the funds will be directed to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Heart Failure Team, 5th floor.
Please make cheques payable to Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and write “In Memory of Desirée Champion” in the memo line.
Address: Brandon Carter Development Officer, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation R. Fraser Elliott Building, 5th Floor 190 Elizabeth Street, Toronto ON M5G 2C4
For credit card donations, please call Brandon directly at 416-340-5460
- Funeral Service Monday, August 12, 2019
- Interment at Resthaven Memorial Gardens Monday, August 12, 2019
Desirée Joy Champion
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August 15, 2019
I met Desiree 5 years ago when I decided to return to dance after a long break. Within a few moments, I knew that she was not only an amazing dance teacher, but a wonderful person as well. Her kindness, humour, and sincerity was evident from our first meeting, and I know that my life has benefited from knowing her over the last few years. I was very saddened to hear of her passing, but I know that her spirit will continue to surround us all, reminding us to keep moving and growing. My thoughts go out to her family at this difficult time, and I hope they will gain some comfort from knowing how important she was to the people she came into contact with, and how much she impacted our lives. She will be greatly missed!
August 13, 2019
Very saddened to hear of your passing. I remember your caring advice for my daughter Aira. Our deepest condolences from 7 garrick.
Diana Di Clemente
August 13, 2019
I think about Ms. Champion, and the strict dedication she instilled in me, very often. I am so saddened by the news.
Desiree taught me more than ballet... She taught me how to feel confident in my skin, how to stand tall and strong in the face of adversity, and how to go after what I believe with my whole heart. Many of us who were taught by her have countless memories of her tough teaching style... I can still hear her, "BUTT IN, SHOULDERS BACK, SIT DEEEEEP INTO YOUR PLIE!" But I am sure none of us realized how big of an impact she would have on our lives way after our dance days were behind us.
Wishing Ms. Champion, and her loved ones, so much peace. My sincerest condolences.
August 12, 2019
It was such an honour to work side by side with you for 15 years. When I began teaching at WSD I was very young and very overwhelmed and you took me under your wing immediately teaching me the ropes and mentoring me on how to be the best teacher I could be. If I am half as good now as you were, I have done something right. We often butted heads, like really often but that was because we both shared such a passion for teaching and our students. That is why I think we bonded, because we understood each others passion for dance. That is always why we cried it out together, hugged and then laughed about it. It was a gift to learn from you, teach beside you and share the joy of dance together. Working with someone who pushes you to be your best is the ultimate gift. I will cherish the memories for ever. Rest in peace my friend. You earned it.
August 12, 2019
I had the very great pleasure to work with Desiree at the Woodbridge School of Dance from 1997-1999. At that time, I was a new and very young dance teacher just starting out. I was not only inspired by the caliber of Desiree’s teaching, but for the passion and dedication she gave to every one of her students. It is awe inspiring to think of the generations of young people who, having crossed her path, had the opportunity gain a deeper understanding of the beauty and power of dance. My most heartfelt condolences to the Woodbridge dance community as we all mourn this devastating loss.
August 11, 2019
It was an honour to know Desiree and a pleasure to spend time getting to know her and the whole family. I will always remember your beautiful smile., your poise and elegance.
You’ll always be in our memories on 5B.
God bless to all the family.
August 11, 2019
I sit here saddened as I write this.
Desiree and I have spent 10-15 years editing music for all her routines as well as for Woodbridge School of Dance. We spent countless hours at times trying to get the right cuts, the exact seconds between songs, the change of speeds, changing the pitch, and creating explosive endings. Desiree and I always had a laugh together, I think she loved coming to my music studio. I didn’t see her this year because they used previous music.
Desiree always talked about her family, and the love for them. We would be editing and she would be on the phone constantly doing dual diligence. I remember when she got the Rogers security cameras and had it on her phone. We were editing music and her phone notifications were going haywire. I said Desiree, what is that? She said my alarm I have to check. Oh it was a bird. 5 min later, a squirrel, 5 minutes after that, the mailman, and so on and so on. I said Desiree were never going to get anything done? She said I know but I have to check, we had a chuckle.
She sometimes came into the studio in a kerfuffle. Running late, forgot this, spilled her coffee, and out of breath. I would sit her down, tell her to put down all her stuff, and just sit for a minute and relax. I always seemed to have a way of making her feel better. By the time she left my studio, I don’t even think she remembered what she was stressed about.
Desiree you were a challenge to work for, and that only made me better, and I thank you for that. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can't tell you how much I will miss our visits. I will compile all the music over all the years that we edited, so that it can be used in the future for WSD, and perhaps for her daughter as well.
My deepest condolences to the family, and I have never met her daughter but can tell you that Des loved that girl right out of the park, like nothing else. With a heavy heart, you will be missed Desiree, but never forgotten.
Audio Fx Recording Studios
August 11, 2019
Desiree danced me through almost twenty five years of my life. The dance started in my mid forties. She trusted me to learn so who was I to argue. In the studio she implored; stretch, balance, move, leap, be in this moment, look where you want to go, smile, breathe, be creative and dance. Metaphors for a good life. What a legacy! Desiree I will be forever grateful for the gift of you. To the family, my most sincere condolences.
August 10, 2019
I have fond memories of being taught by Desiree from a young age until “dance graduation”, as many other former students of WSD do. Desiree was strict but it was because she wanted us to succeed. She had a beautiful heart and desire for success for all of her students. We had to work hard in class but everyday we made it a point to make her smile or laugh! Ms. Champion's tenacity and vigour as a woman as well as her meticulous attention to detail as a teacher were qualities that influenced the rest of my life.
Desiree gave us the opportunity to share the stage with the most elite level of dancers. It was because of her encouragement that I continued to pursue recreational ballet classes at the National Ballet of Canada and pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone to learn from other professionals. These experiences built not only my love for dance but the foundation for much of the confidence I have today. Later, as her colleague, I remember Desiree always asking to hear about our classes. She was so kind, willing to lend advice, help solve a problem and on the late winter nights always made sure everyone had a safe ride home!
Thank you Desiree, for all the lessons you taught me, and every other dancer, both in the studio and in life. You always encouraged us to achieve more as dancers, and these lessons transpired into the rest of my life.
I wouldn’t be who I am without the years of ballet training or mentorship from you. My formative years spent in the studio were never forgotten and never will be. To hear of your passing bears a heavy heart on us all. My deepest and most sincere condolences to your entire family and the dance community at WSD. May you rest in peace, Desiree. My prayers are with you and your family.
August 10, 2019
Life is not fair, & no 1 knew this more than Desiree Champion.
May she now rest in peace through Our Lord Jesus Christ as is our God- given privilege when this life is done.
To Ms. Champion's dear mother-
You are Desiree's faithful devoted mother & her forever best friend. You were inspired when you named your only daughter with the most appropriate name...Desiree Joy. Words and prayers can never fill the hole that is in your heart. Our only consolation at painful times like this is the 'ever so true' promise of Christ Himself when he describes for us the reality & certainty of resurrection & reunion. May you have His supernatural comfort & strength- this is my most sincere request of heaven on your behalf.
To Desiree's "favorite" child-
Every mother wants that her child will have a happy & good & safe life. Surely, your kind mom would have spared you this & every other grief (& would have stayed by your side if only she could). Surely, you will bear this sadness & never be the same. Even so, always allow yourself every gleeful happiness & wholesome pleasure that you know that your gentle mom would want you to have. She wants you to smile, she wants you to laugh, again.
One of the nurses, CVICU,