Instructors - Happendance

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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!
Chloe Gonzales is a Happendance and University of Michigan alum, is in her second year teaching at Happendance. Specializing in modern technique, she is drawn toward any movement driven by momentum and loves experimenting with performance improvisation. Her class is often a mixture of styles, heavily influenced by Doris Humphrey and Bill DeYoung, with emphasis on building performance quality. Some highlight performances include Quarry, by Meredith Monk and Brisk Singing, by Richard Alston. During preparation for those performances, she was able to work extensively with each choreographer. Training from other notable artists include Amy Chavasse, Jessica Fogel, and Jillian Hopper. Chloe is happy to be a part of the Happendance family again, this time from a new perspective as she teaches the advanced levels of contemporary and choreography.
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 Theatre Department, subbing classes in Jazz and Contemporary.
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.
Diane Newman founded Happendance Contemporary Dance Company in 1976 and has served as a performing artist, master instructor, choreographer, artistic director, and executive director at different times during its 40-year history. Always an educator, she contributed her private studio of instruction to the organization in 1993, renaming it Happendance School and developing its multi-year curricula in ballet and modern dance. Diane also co-authored a book on creative dance with veteran Happendancer Beth Post, and Dr. Lynnette Overby, titled Interdisciplinary Learning through Dance: 101 MOVEntures, a book which offers elementary school teachers and dance teaching artists lessons which integrate curricula and movement. Diane is an adjunct professor at Michigan State University where she has been teaching both creative workshop and civic engagement courses since 2008. Diane was honored as a top-ten finalist in 2010 for “Greater Lansing Woman of the Year”; as a featured profile in the November 2014 issue of Dance Teacher, a national magazine; and as Michigan Dance Educator of the Year in both 1981 and 2007. Now semi-retired, Diane loves to read, garden, birdwatch, and travel. She has lived in Lansing’s “Eastside Neighborhood” since 1971 with husband Jesse, and has three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Emily V. Emersen-Rich has been on a search for personal wellness and knowledge for almost thirty years. Her path has taken her through many fields, including: cosmetology, serving in the U.S. ARMY as Quartermaster, civilian corporate accounting and tax preparation, hospitality (working with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Lansing Lugnuts, and multiple hotels and spas), energy healing and esoteric teachings, Physical Therapy, Licensed Massage Therapy, aromatherapy, herbalism, and working with healing crystals. Emily earned an Associates Degree in Business, and specializes in yoga for PTSD, First Responders, Veterans, and those recovering from addiction.  

She attributes much of her success to her son, amazing friends and family, her dog and cats, Mother Nature, Our Creator, and the loving support and constant encouragement of her beloved spouse.

Her formal education in physical therapy and kinesiology combines with her yogic training and military experience to facilitate your progress forward with your health and wellness goals.
Amy Stice holds two degrees in Music Education, so it is no surprise that Tap is her first love in Dance. Amy’s dance training has included: tap, ballet, lyrical, jazz, and hip hop, from educators and artists such as Jerry Flint, Jason Samuel Smith, Diane Walker, Arthur Duncan, Michelle Dorance, and Jason Janas. Amy’s life has taken her to various parts of the Midwest, where she participated in the fields of dance, music, and theatre, including Elkhart Civic Theatre. She was a K-12 certified Music Educator in Indiana, and Michigan before having her daughters: Olivia and Isabelle, with her husband, Mark. Amy currently teaches early childhood music classes at the MSU Community Music School as well as five levels of Tap, and the K-2 Impulse Young Artists at Happendance. Amy loves teaching tap students of all ages and levels how to create musical and percussive artistry with their feet. She believes that as they learn to let go and listen to their feet, the magic will truly begin.
Patricia Villanueva graduated from Hope College with a B.A. in Dance. She has been a Lansing area teacher for many years, teaching at Happendance, The Dance Conservatory, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Her choreography has been shown in venues across the state of Michigan, as well as in Chicago, and Martha’s Vineyard. In 2014, Patricia was a finalist for the Maggie Allesee Choreography Award. She has served as Ballet Mistress for the Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan, the Junior Division of Greater Lansing Ballet Company, and the Junior Division of Holland Area Youth Ballet. In addition, Patricia was the Artistic Director of Happendance Velocity and Happendance Education Exchange, and was Director of Ballet at Happendance School.

In her former life, she performed with Happendance Professional Company (now Velocity!), Happendance Education Exchange, Greater Lansing Ballet Company, and Aerial Dance Theater. She is now happy to pass the floor burn and blisters on to others and stick to the stressful-but-less-abusive job: Assistant Director with Impulse Student Dance Company.

She lives in Eaton Rapids with her husband, Tony, an ever changing number of daughters, and two cats.
Haylee Voogt was born and raised in Burton, MI and began training in dance at a young age. Her training included jazz, classical ballet, contemporary, and tap. Haylee continued studying ballet, jazz, Horton, and Graham techniques while attending Eastern University in Pennsylvania, graduating with a Bachelors in dance. During her time at Eastern, she attended Wesley Institute of the Arts in Sydney, Australia while in a study abroad program, where she continued her dance technique and performance training. Haylee moved to Houston after graduating to pursue a professional career in dance.  Along with teaching in a variety of studios, she performed with two contemporary companies, Ad Deum Dance Company in their second company until 2009 and Psophonia Dance Company for three seasons. Haylee traveled abroad in 2011 to the Netherlands and South Africa to use dance as a ministry, which is one of her greatest passions. After having moved to Lansing in 2015 with her family, Haylee performed with Happendance’s professional company Velocity for one season and has continued teaching in local area studios.
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