|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 Operations|
Colleen Erpelding is Happendance Director of Operations, and Education Exchange Coordinator. 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.
Patricia Villanueva - Artistic Director Velocity!/Director of Ballet
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 Theater of Michigan, the Junior Division of Greater Lansing Ballet Company, and the Junior Division of Holland Area Youth Ballet.
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 jobs: Artistic Director for both Velocity Concert Dance, and Education Exchange Outreach Company, as well as an 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.
Lisa Whiting Dobson - Artistic Director Happendance Impulse/Artistic Director DANCE Lansing
Technical Manager/Marketing Director
|Lisa Whiting Dobson is on the faculty of the MSU Department of Media and Information where she teaches television producing and directing. Winner of over seventy regional, national, and international awards for her producing, directing, and editing work, she is also a TV Producer/Director for the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, adjunct faculty in the Digital Media, Audio, and Cinema Department at LCC, and is Artistic Director of Happendance Impulse and DANCE Lansing Community Dance Project. Lisa has taught dance for thirty years at local studios including Nancie Bauer School Of Dance, Synergy, Class Act, and Fusion Dance Center. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Happendance (Past President), and has served on the Board of Directors of Children's Ballet Theatre of Michigan (Past President), Michigan Dance Association (Past Secretary, Past Vice President), Michigan Dance Council (Past Secretary), and Michigan Youth Arts Festival (Past Dance Division Director). Lisa has stage managed numerous dance and theatrical productions at LCC, Wharton Center, and other community venues including Three Penny Opera, A Room With A View, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, LightVisions, Ah! Wilderness, Ragtime, Vigil, A View From The Bridge, The Shrike, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Graduate, Smoke on the Mountain, Keep On The Sunnyside, Poetry's Motion, The American Spirit, Broadway Beat, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Swan Lake, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, and Christmas Cabaret. Lisa holds four degrees in telecommunication, psychology, and dance.|