Deena Fournier
Studio Owner and Director

Deena began dancing at the age of 10 after completing a book report on Maria Tallchief’s autobiography and has loved dance ever since.  She studied with the Milwaukee Ballet School and School of Chicago City Ballet under such notable teachers as Francoise Martinet, Paul Sutherland, Basil Thompson, Melissa Hayden, Maria Tallchief, Diana Adams, Homer Bryant, Edward Villella, Allegra Kent and Joel Hall.  Upon returning home, Deena enrolled in college and continued to perform for two civic ballet companies, Plymouth-Canton Ballet Company and Livonia Civic Ballet Company.  She performed leading and soloist roles in The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Cinderella, Flying Colors, Paquita, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake and Dracula.  She also began studying her Cecchetti Teacher’s Certification.  She currently holds her Professional Advanced VII certificate with the Cecchetti Council of America to which she has been a member since 1992. 

 

Deena has over 30 years of dance teaching experience and has co-owned Ann Arbor Dance Classics with Lisa Holland since 2000.  She is currently sole owner and director of AADC.  In those 30+ years, she has had several dancers compete regionally and nationally.  She has had students win scholarships as well as competitive awards.  Many of her students have gone on to study dance in colleges across the country and have also gone on to perform professionally as well.  Her love and knowledge of dance has also inspired many of her former students to become dance teachers.  She continues to teach her love of dance to as many young people as she can.  

 

Deena currently resides in Milan, Michigan with her husband Jason and her two daughters, Evi and Saila.  She also enjoys camping, hiking and cooking.

dance instructor
Lisa Holland
Founder

Lisa has been teaching dance for more than 30 years.  She founded Ann Arbor Dance Classics in 1996 with the objective of creating an environment for dance education which included various styles of dance, but remained centered on a foundation of classical ballet training.

 

In 2000, Lisa Holland was reunited with Deena Fournier, a friend with whom she had trained in ballet for many years. They became business partners, and in 2004 established the AADC Youth Dance Ensemble (YDE), an in-house performance company for dancers between the ages of 8 and 18.  With Deena directing the ballet program, Lisa was able to turn her attention to her passion for musical theater and tap. Having enjoyed performing in numerous shows including A Chorus Line, Pippin, and Jesus Christ Superstar, Lisa enjoys creating production numbers for YDE which focus on the theatrical elements of dance. Outside of AADC, Lisa has choreographed for and directed the CRU National Dance Spectacular, and continues to choreograph the musicals for Saline High School. 

 

In December of 2019, Lisa handed over ownership and directorship of Ann Arbor Dance Classics solely to Deena Fournier. Lisa returns to AADC this season to teach advanced tap and to direct AADC's March Benefit Concert performance for the Youth Dance Ensemble.

                                       

Lisa works full time at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan where she attended graduate school. She currently resides in Saline with her husband Steve.

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Emma Grabarczyk
Instructor

Emma has been dancing since the age of seven with most of her training focused on ballet, pointe, jazz and modern. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University in 2011 with a degree in Dance Studio Management. While at EMU, she performed in numerous faculty and guest artist pieces, multiple full length ballets, and many student choreography pieces. She also served as secretary for EMU Dance Forum. She continues her own training any chance she can with classes and workshops. She has taken class at Chicago's Lou Conte Dance Studio and the Joffrey Ballet School as well as attending the Jazz Dance World Congress in Pittsburgh.

 

Emma has been teaching at Ann Arbor Dance Classics since 2011 and enjoys working with every age and level. She choreographs for the Youth Dance Ensemble and Competition Team and loves working with a wide range of students in many different styles of dance.

Stephanie Rondy
Instructor

Stephanie is a native of the Detroit-Metro area, having received her early training at Noretta Dunworth School of Dance (NDSD) in Dearborn, Michigan. Seeking further education in the art form, she attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dance, focused in Studio Management. Throughout her college career, Stephanie had the opportunity to perform in multiple works at the American College Dance Festival (ACDF) and claimed starring roles in the ballets Cinderella and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  It was during this time that she also gained professional performing experience with RusticGroove Dance—a modern concert dance company based in Jackson, Michigan.

Stephanie returned to Michigan after receiving her Master of Arts at New York University with a full certification in the American Ballet Theatre® (ABT) National Training Curriculum (NTC)—a breakthrough eight level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development. While in New York, Stephanie worked in Development at ABT and was a substitute instructor at several area dance academies, including the Joffrey Ballet School.  In her spare time, Stephanie fed her love of performance by dancing with theater dance company Aries in Flight, founded by her NYU cohort, Catherine Baggs.

Stephanie continues to work in Development, now with the Detroit Institute of Arts, and lives in Plymouth with her husband Ray.

Melanie Simpson
Instructor

Melanie has been dancing for 20+ years and competing since the age of eight. She is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, gymnastics, tap, musical theatre, hip hop, modern and precision pom. She is a Livonia Churchill High School graduate where she participated in the Creative And Performing Arts program. While in CAPA, she danced in choreographed group and solo numbers for her fellow dancers. It was during her time at Churchill that she discovered her passion for choreography and teaching. She was also a member of the award winning Churchill Chargers Pom Pon team. 

After high school Melanie attended Eastern Michigan University majoring in Dance Performance. She has had the pleasure of studying under many master teachers including Glenn Packard (from the television show "Brooke Knows Best”), Addison O’Day (formerly of the Alabama Ballet), Keith Clifton, Rhonda Miller, and Jamie Trepanier. Melanie was also selected by audition for a small part in the movie “Youth In Revolt”. 

Recently she has been teaching and choreographing for several local dance studios. Her engaging and energetic choreography has helped her students to achieve numerous regional and national awards. Melanie looks forward to sharing her dedication, energy, and creative choreography with her students this year.

Christine Golus
Instructor

Miss Chris received her BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art and is Managing Director and owner of Q LTD –  a design, branding, web studio located in Ann Arbor. Chris has had a life-long love of dance and began her training in the Detroit area at a young age. She was a long time modern dance student of J. Parker Copley. Chris has choreographed and performed her own works as well as performed in works by Noonie Anderson, J. Parker Copley, Pat Plasko, Peter Sparling, Whitley Setrakian, and studied Latin dance with Laura Geldys. Miss Chris has taught creative movement since 1993 and Modern Dance since 2004.

 

Prior to teaching at Ann Arbor Dance Classics she was at a teacher at Arts in Motion and Dance Gallery Studio. From April 2006-2008, she served as Board Member and Secretary of Dance Gallery Foundation, the umbrella organization for the Peter Sparling Dance Company and Dance Gallery Studio. She loves inspiring young dancers to express their own creativity through improvisation techniques grounded in strong technical training.

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Natasha Konanahalli
Instructor

Natasha is a lifelong dancer and is delighted to share her passion for dance with the next generation of dancers at Ann Arbor Dance Classics. She holds a Bachelors of Science from the University of Michigan, where she was also a member of the Salto Dance Company. In addition to teaching with Ann Arbor Dance Classics, Natasha works as a simulation support engineer. Natasha loves watching her students learn and grow, and is excited to have joined the Dance Classics team!

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Olivia Lemmenes
Instructor

Olivia Lemmenes graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor in Fine Arts with a degree in Dance. Olivia is originally from Evanston, IL, where she danced for fifteen years with Dance Center Evanston. She was also part of their youth company, the Evanston Dance Ensemble, for six years. Throughout her dance career she has had the opportunity to work with Jeremy Blair, Monique Haley, BAIRA, Mike Esperanza, Julie Nakagawa, Eddy Ocampo, and many more. Olivia is trained in modern, jazz, ballet, tap, and hip hop, and specializes in teaching modern, ballet, tap and jazz. Olivia is currently located in Ann Arbor, MI, where she has been professionally choreographing and teaching in the Metro-Detroit/Detroit area. 

 

For the 2022-2023 dance season at AADC, Olivia is teaching creative dance, ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, conditioning and Adult dance classes. She is excited to work with returning students, as well as new dancers this year. Olivia is thrilled to also choreograph for YDE’s Nutcracker, Benefit Show, and Competition Team. 

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Ashlee Phillips
Instructor

Ashlee has been dancing since the age of three.  She began dancing competitively regionally and nationally at the age of nine with Juliana’s Academy of Dance. This is where she developed her passion for performing and competing. Ashlee is trained in multiple style including tap, ballet, musical theatre, hip hop, modern and lyrical. 

 

Ashlee had the opportunity to become a student teacher/assistant and discovered her passion for teaching and choreography. During her dance career she has had the opportunity take instruction and perform in pieces from many world renowned artist such as Micheal Lemanski, Juliana Pirpinelli, Jess Hendricks, Dee Caspary, Chris Jacobsen, Caroline Lewis Jones, Sonya Tayeh and many more.  Ashlee has had the opportunity to work with several music artist and dance in music videos. 

 

Ashlee is continuing her education at Eastern University studying nursing and dance.  She is also a member of the Eastern University dance team. 

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Paola Souza
Instructor

Paola began dancing when she was eleven years old at Ann Arbor Dance Classics. She soon joined the YDE competition team, and spent the next seven years dancing with them. Paola trained in ballet, jazz, pointe, and contemporary. She graduated from Milan High School in 2019. 

 

She returned to Ann Arbor Dance Classics as a dance instructor the same year she graduated with hopes of sharing her love for dance with other dancers!

 

Paola is currently attending University of Michigan-Dearborn, and working towards a degree in International Studies.

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Olivia Walters
Instructor

Bio coming soon!

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Lisa Barnes
Front Desk Staff

Lisa is a native of the Detroit-Metro area. She has been a part of the Ann Arbor Dance Classics Family, since her daughter Brianna took her first dance class in July 1999. Lisa joined the staff of Ann Arbor Dance Classics in 2007.

 

Lisa attended Eastern Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration, specializing in Accounting.

 

Lisa also works full time for the University of Michigan, Student Financial Services as a Senior Accountant.

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Brianna Barnes
Guest Instructor

Brianna began her dance training at Ann Arbor Dance Classics at the age of three. At the age of seven she became a member of the YDE competition team. Her diverse training includes tap, ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre, and hip hop. Her passion for teaching started at the age ten when she began assisting her instructors with their ballet, tap, and jazz classes. By the time Brianna started high school she was MEG certified and began instructing her own classes. 

 

In 2019, Brianna graduated with honors from Kent State University with a bachelor's degree in Special Education and a Minor in Dance Performance. During her time at KSU, she performed in numerous faculty and guest artist pieces, and many student choreography pieces. Outside of her studies Brianna continued to teach dance at local dance studios in northeast Ohio. 

 

Brianna is thrilled to be teaching at AADC while also working as a third-grade teacher. She is incredibly honored and excited to have the opportunity to share her love of dance with everyone at AADC.

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Kaea Prescott
Guest Instructor

After graduating from Community High School in 2018, Kaea moved to New York City to continue studying dance at Broadway Dance Center (BDC). During the fall semester of the training program at BDC, Kaea signed with MSA Agency - one of the leading Talent Agencies for dance on the globe. Kaea completed the training program, and continued to live in the city training and auditioning. However, due to COVID-19, Kaea (along with many other artists) moved back home to Ann Arbor, where she returned to Ann Arbor Dance Classics to help train and support students in growing their passion for dance.

 

This year, Kaea moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue dance professionally, but continues to choreograph for Ann Arbor Dance Classics. She has set a few Youth Dance Ensemble (YDE) competition dances that are being rehearsed by other teachers during the year. Even though she might not be around all the time, she hopes that the AADC students are ready for an amazing year and cannot wait to see the work they produce!

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Madi Hofe
Guest Instructor

Bio coming soon!

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Megan Wiggers
Guest Instructor

Megan began her dance training in 2003 in Jackson, MI. She danced professionally with Jodie Randolph Dance for 8 years and served as the Artistic Director of the pre-professional company, Young Dancers Initiative. She currently works as an instructor/choreographer at P & P Dance Centre, in Belleville and Ann Arbor Dance Classics in Ann Arbor. Megan has choreographed for many young artists in Michigan including YDI, Dance Xplosion, and Ann Arbor Dance Classics. Her work has been presented at RADFest in Kalamazoo and American College Dance Association among others.
 

Megan graduated in 2016 summa cum laude from Eastern Michigan University earning her BS in Dance Studio Management. Throughout her college years, Megan performed and trained under many notable choreographers such as Wendi Dubois, Holly Hobbs, Jillian Hopper, Sherry Jerome-Wilkinson, Thayer Jonutz, Kathy King, Erik Abbott-Main, Travis Staton-Marrero, Joanna Mcnamara, Jodie Randolph, and Ali Woerner.
 

This will be Megan's fourth year teaching at Ann Arbor Dance Classics and she is beyond thrilled to continue her journey as a dance educator and choreographer in Michigan.

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