Mavis Staines was born in Quebec's Eastern Townships and received her ballet training at Canada's National Ballet School.
Upon graduation from Canada’s National Ballet School in 1972, Staines danced as a first soloist with The National Ballet of Canada and The Dutch National Ballet until an accident cut short her performance career. She subsequently enrolled in NBS' Teacher Training Program, joining NBS' Artistic Faculty in 1982. She was appointed Artistic Director in 1989.
Staines works to evolve ballet education by building on the best of traditional schooling while ensuring dancers develop the self-awareness and creativity essential to leading dynamic, innovative careers and lives. She is the driving force behind NBS' commitment to bring dance to all members of the community, from aspiring future professionals to those involved in the School's myriad community programs and beyond.
Staines served as juror for the Prix de Lausanne from 1993 to 1995 and was President of the Jury in 1998 and 1999. In 2001, Staines accepted the volunteer position of Artistic President Designate for the Prix de Lausanne and assumed the full responsibilities of Artistic President from 2002 - 2008.
In December 2010, Mavis became a Member of the Order of Canada, in recognition of her commitment to the education and well-being of individuals in the field of dance; and in 2013, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her contributions to the dance community.