Faculty

 

Drilling Korin

Korin Drilling

Dance Center Owner/Director

Korin has been teaching at The Dance Center for over 35 years. She has been the owner of The Dance Center since 1996, and is co-founder and director of The Dance Center Youth Ensemble. Korin received her foundational training at The Dance Center beginning at age 7 and continued her dance studies at Interlochen Center for the Arts where she graduated in 1980. After graduation, she studied in New York City with Melissa Hayden, Madame Darvash, David Howard, Nadine Ravine, Willy Burmann, and Dennis Nahat, as well as The Martha Graham School. She has performed with The Cleveland Ballet and Joffrey II Ensemble, in various roles including NutcrackerCinderella, Coppelia, Romeo & Juliet and many original works. Korin is a member of Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and has attended many CNADM Conventions and Teacher Training Schools, earning certification in Ballet, Tap and Jazz. She has attended Ballet Magnificat! Summer Teacher Training school and is founder of “Heavenly Steps” a sacred dance performing ensemble. Korin has served as Treasurer of Northern Michigan Dance Council. In addition to her work at The Dance Center and Youth Ensemble, Korin was Ballet Mistress of The Traverse City Youth Ballet Company for 6 years, and dance faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for 5 years. Korin was active with Swingshift and The Stars Charity, donating many hours of rehearsal time and acting as a judge for five seasons.  She holds a BA from Ferris State University, passed the Uniform CPA exam in 1988, working as a public accountant and in corporate accounting and marketing for over 15 years. Korin lives with her husband, Mike, and has two adult children, Clarence and Mitchell.

 


Marvin Solberg

Dance Center Youth Ensemble Ballet Master, Director of Ballet Virtuoso & Studio Company, Associate Instructor

Marvin Solberg is a graduate of Hope College, where he obtained his bachelors of Science in Nursing. Marvin received his professional training with the Dance Center, starting at the age of 7. He studied ballet, tap, jazz, Celtic & Hardshoe, modern, and pas de deux. He received a full scholarship to study under Jefferson Baum at BFLAC in ’06; to study at Interlochen Arts Camp the summers of ’07 and ’08, and Ballet Chicago the summers of ’09 and ’10, under Patrick Duell. In addition to summer ballet intensives, Marv has been an active member with DCYE, has performed in Walt Disney World, and had several lead roles in The Nutcrackers, A Christmas Carol, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter Pan. Marv has also been very active at Hope College, performing lead roles in The Nutcracker all 4 years, as well was a member of the Ballet and Hip Hop Club. Marvin has been teaching at The Dance Center for the past 3 summers.


 

Jens Lee

Dance Center Youth Ensemble Ballet Master, Ballroom Instructor, Associate Instructor

Jens Lee is an internationally known and acclaimed professional Ballet Master, choreographer, teacher and professional dancer.  His resume is extensive including training, teaching and choreography in classical French and Cecchetti Ballet; former professional member of Dance Masters of America and Certified Teacher under the Cecchetti Council of America.  Modern training includes May O’Donnell, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Lester Horton and more.  He is also certified in all 13 American Ballroom/Latin styles.  Jens has an extensive performance career in classical ballet, modern and musical theater as well as film/television; and was a professional dancer and ballroom instructor for Princess Cruise Lines for seven years.


Pam McCormick

Pamela McCormick

Celtic Program Director, Associate Instructor

Pam has been teaching for over 25 years, including 20 years at The Dance Center, where she is an instructor of Ballet, Celtic, Jazz, Musical Theater, Preschool Dance and Tap. She is a Communications & Journalism graduate of Michigan State University, including Dance Specialization studies. She has attended Dance Master Teacher’s training seminars, Dance Maker’s (DMI) Teacher events/classes and Master Classes studying with several choreographers and artists from all over the U.S. Pam was the artistic director for a Jr. and Sr. dance company in the Lansing area, and has choreographed for musical productions through the Midwest area. She has also completed and passed her Ballet Cecchetti exams with honors. Most recently, Pam contributed her time as an instructor/performer for the local charity dance fundraiser, “Swingshift and the Stars” and took home the 2014 Dance Team Winner and 2014 Charity Donation Team Winner awards. Her other performance experience includes many musicals, dance revues, original works and featured roles in ballets such as (Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and Cinderella). Her Irish dance foundation includes competing in the International Irish Dance Feis for 9 years, winning several solo and team medals. Pam is also a writer/editor and Creative Director of Creative Digital Ink, LLC, a Michigan-based freelance consultancy. Pam is married with 3 children and resides in Traverse City.


Gina Lowe

Gina Lowe

Office Manager

Gina has been involved in The Dance Center for over 25 years, and has been the office Manager for over 13 years. She lives with her husband Tim in the Traverse City area where they have raised two beautiful daughters. Gina is the first person you meet at The DC, either at the front desk, Boutique, or on the phone. She has all the answers for new dance parents and loves being “Mom” to all our young dancers! Gina never misses a Dance Center performance. Gina and her husband, Tim, are grandparents to eight grandchildren!


Sarah Morrow

Associate Instructor

Sarah received her foundational training at Livingston Dance Theatre and Terry Newman’s Dance Shoppe. Her training included classical ballet, jazz, and lyrical dance. She was a company member at both studios and competed in regional and national level competitions. Sarah attended Central Michigan University where she majored in Human Growth and Development and minored in Dance. She was a member of CMU’s Orchesis Dance Company. At CMU her training included modern, contemporary, and tap dance. As a member of Orchesis, Sarah choreographed performance pieces and competed in the American College Dance Festival at Bowling Green University, Buffalo New York, and the at The University of Michigan. Upon graduating from college, Sarah pursued a career in working with young children in an educational setting.


Wagenschutz final

Alyssa Wagenschutz

Fusion Team Coach, DCYE Choreographer, Associate Instructor

Alyssa has received her foundational training at The Dance Center and Fitch’s School of Dance. She has studied tap, ballet, pointe, jazz, Celtic, ballroom, lyrical, hip-hop, contemporary and Latin. She was an assistant teacher for Celtic, tap, ballet and jazz at The Dance Center before joining the faculty. Alyssa was a member of DCYE for over five years and performed in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan and Nutcracker. Lyssa is a member of 4-H shooting sports, Junior Hunters Education instructor, Co-President of Kalkaska County Jr. Fairboard, and has choreographed for Kalkaska High School drama clubs production of “Grease, The Musical” and “Guys & Dolls”. She is currently employed at Mcleans Hardware where she has worked for four years, and also at Boardman Family Practice and Best Medical Services for the past year.


 


jennifer rainey Jennifer Rainey

Associate Instructor

Jennifer Rainey began teaching dance at the age of sixteen at Dancer’s Workshop of Yuma, Arizona.She has been a member of Yuma Ballet Theatre for ten years and danced for Jazz of Yuma for several years as well as one season with DanceMakers.She also choreographed award winning dances for competitions such as Tremaine and Showstoppers.On top of her dance accomplishments she has earned her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Master’s in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. She moved to the Traverse City Area in 2013, where she lives with her husband of ten years and their two children, Coraline, 5, and Gavin, 3.


 

Milarch MereMeredith Milarch

Associate Instructor

Meredith Milarch holds BA in Humanities with focuses on Dance and Education from Michigan State University. While at MSU she was involved in Orchesis Student Dance Company, where she was a three year member of the executive board. Meredith has extensive teaching experience through Orchesis as well as many studios and public schools in the greater Lansing area. She has performed, taught, and choreographed throughout Michigan with Orchesis, American College Dance Festival,  Lansing Community Dance Project, and the MSU Dance Minor. Meredith received her foundational training at The Dance Center and was a member of the DCYE where she performed lead roles in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and others. Meredith has been teaching styles ranging from ballet to hip hop since she was 18.


Melissa

Melissa Bennett-Pensinger

Adjunct Faculty – Ballet Instructor

We are pleased to announce that Melissa has joined our teaching staff!  She has a wealth of knowledge to share with Dance Center students.  Melissa received her dance training at Academie Ste Cecile and Royal Winnepeg Ballet both in Canada.  She is an Associate with Cecchetti Society of Canada.  Melissa has taught and choreographed in disciplines of ballet, jazz, modern and creative movement. Her teaching experience includes Academie Ste Cecile, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Recreational program, Emily Watson School of Dance in Dominican Republic, and for Abba’s House.  Melissa has also been choreographer and Drama Teacher at Essex Community Church and substitute instructor at Ballet Etc.


Grace Hall

Grace Hall, Summer Faculty

Grace Hall was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan. She is currently working on achieving a Bachelor of Arts for Dance and a Bachelor of Science for Secondary Education with a focus in Mathematics and French from Western Michigan University. She has trained in dance for eighteen years at three different locations: The Dance Center, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Western Michigan University. She has been teaching a variety of dance styles at two different recreational studios for five years. Grace was a teacher’s assistant to Amy Avery for tap at the collegiate level. She has choreographed pieces for various shows at Western Michigan University. Grace recently served as a research assistant for Megan Slayter, Western Michigan University Dance Department Chair. She researched the famous dancer Loïe Fuller at the National Library in Paris, France. She became a certified research analyst through the National Library and went to several different libraries throughout Paris to fulfill this research. Grace also performed in the summer production of Catch Me If You Can with Miracle Productions in Traverse City, Michigan. Grace has been involved in the Orchesis Dance Society at Western Michigan University for four years. Within this organization she has performed in the Orchesis Dance Show, Winter Gala Concert, and other various WMU dance concerts. Grace intends to teach Middle School Math and French upon her graduation 2017 and hopes to someday own her own dance studio. She has found a way to express herself as an individual throughout each of these three art forms and enjoys using each to paint success in her own life and that of her students.

 


 

Samantha Comai

Substitute Instructor

Samantha graduated from Kalkaska High School in 1998 and earned an associate of applied science degree with a certificate in dental assisting from Northwestern Michigan College.  She studied dance at Fitch’s School of Dance beginning at age 9, and became an instructor there for five years following her graduation from college.  She continued her dance education in New York City where she took classes. She plays an active role in her community where she is a 4-H livestock leader and has coached t-ball through coach pitch baseball as well as 3rd and 4th grade basketball. Samantha enjoys anything outdoors and loves to travel. She has a beautiful 11 year old daughter, Audrey.

 


 

Whitney Soule

Whitney Soule

Substitute Instructor

Whitney received her foundational dance training from The Dance Center and from Western Michigan University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance in 2003. She has also studied at Gus Giordano in Chicago and performed with their 2nd company. Whitney was a member of the Traverse City Youth Ballet Company, and WMU’s Dance Company in Madison, Wisconsin. Her choreography has been featured at American College of Dance Festivals, The National Poetry Slam in Madison, as well as several high school musicals and dance competitions. While teaching dance in Wisconsin, Whitney has received awards for her choreography, The Grace Award, Best Choreography received from Creations Dance Competition, and Best Choreography received from I Love Dance Competition. She has taught at dance studios, and private and public schools throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. Whitney is a Registered Nurse (RN) in Cadillac, Michigan.