Administrative Staff - Happendance

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Happendance Administrative Staff
Missy Lilje - Chief Executive Officer

Missy Lilje earned her BFA in dance from the University of Michigan, and her MFA in Dance from Arizona State University; she currently serves as CEO for the Happendance organization.

As a performer, she has performed the works of Martha Graham, Doris
Humphrey, Paul Taylor, David Dorfman, Peter Sparling, Mark Haim, Diane Newman, Jane Gamble, and more.

Creatively, she has choreographed over 30 works for the contemporary
concert stage, musical theater productions, and children's concerts.

Missy's research on dance communities and how they relate to business
practice was published by ASU Press in 2008. She regularly travels to present this work throughout the US, in Europe, and at Michigan State University, where she is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theatre.

In 2016, Ms. Lilje was elected to the Board of Education for the Lansing School District. She also enjoys serving on the Executive Committee for the Michigan Dance Council, the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters Capitol Region, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Lansing.
Colleen Erpelding - Director of Education Services

Colleen Erpelding is Happendance Director of Education Services. Colleen has trained in various genres of dance since the age of five, and brings a diverse set of skills and experience to the Happendance team; her positions have included: preschool and elementary teacher, and executive director for a nonprofit preschool and childcare program. She holds a BS in Human Resources, K-8 teaching certification, and MA in Early Childhood Education. She is also trained in Applied  Behavior Analysis (ABA), and is pursuing a graduate certificate for Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) through Michigan State University. She hopes to support students, families, and staff with  evidence-based techniques for children with special needs, enriching the dance experience for all students.

Colleen’s dance training began in 1980 and has continued throughout her life. She has studied Broadway style and rhythm tap, jazz, ballet, ballroom, and Latin, with mentors such as Mary Ellen Schrewe (Detroit, MI), Ellen Keane (Minneapolis, MN), Sara Randazzo (Ann Arbor, MI), Dorian Deaver (Ann Arbor, MI), Gage  Clark (Grand Ledge, MI), and Happendance’s, Amy Stice. Colleen continues to train and periodically perform, and serves on the teaching faculty. Her classes include Creative Dance, Percussive Creative Dance, and Introduction to Tap.

Colleen resides in Okemos with her three children, and is excited to grow with the Happendance family!
Jennah Quinn Gray - Accountant

Jennah Quinn Gray is a graduate of Everett High School where she trained in the Everett Dance Program, as well as at other local dance studios. She has been dancing for twenty-four years, and studied various styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, partnering, and hip hop. Her specialties include contemporary, modern, jazz, lyrical and hiphop.

Jennah is also a cross-fit enthusiast and has her level one certificate. Her main goal is to not only provide an open space for dancers to learn and grow, but also to engage students with the how and why of what they are learning to do with their bodies—to engage their minds, bodies, and souls as one.

She currently attends LCC for Business and Accounting, and also works in the office at Happendance, gaining experience in finance. Along with being an instructor at Happendance and Danceworks, she is also one of the assistant directors of the Happendance Impulse student company. Jennah is also an adjunct employee of the MSU theater department, subbing classes in Jazz and Contemporary.
Mike  Marriott - Director of Promotions & Development

Mike  Marriott The Arts Promoter, is an arts administrator and promoter with over a decade of experience in arts administration, management, marketing, promotion, development, public relations, and publicity. He currently serves as the  Executive Director for New York City based DavaloisFearon Dance,  and is the Promoter at Happendance, Inc. in Lansing, Michigan. Mike is also the  Founder/Owner/Director of Opportunity Arts, a company that acts as the administrative & promotional branches for individual artists and arts organizations. His clients have been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker, and have performed at multiple prestigious venues such as The Joyce, The Met Museum of Art, Harlem Stage, and The Shimmel Center for the Arts. Mike has been featured for his administrative work in a variety of publications and news/entertainment outlets such as Dansetrack, Legends TV with Evan Ginsburg, Steve Ludwig’s Classic Pop Culture, and The Dance Enthusiast. He has also  served as the Studio Company Manager and Marketing Director for the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet in New York City, as a Regional Director and Office Manager for Legacy Dance Championships, and as the Head of Recruiting, Scouting, and Marketing for the West Texas A&M University Dance Program. Mike graduated with a Master of Arts in Marketing, Management, and Dance from West Texas A&M University in 2006. Mike is also a member of the Michigan Dance Council, The Arts Council of Greater Lansing, and the Shiawassee County Historical Society. Mike’s interest in arts administration has been a robust aspect of his dream to help artists and arts organizations become more successful. He serves as a powerful advocate for change in the funding and promotion of arts entities, and has created innovative programs that generate additional revenue streams to help choreographers, artists, and organizations thrive.
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