Staff - Happendance

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Happendance Impulse Artistic Director
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 topresent this work throughout the US, in Europe, and at Michigan State University, where she is an adjunct faculty member in the Department ofTheatre. In 2016, Ms. Lilje was elected to the Board of Education for the Lansing School District. She also enjoys serving on the Executive Committee forthe Michigan Dance Council, the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters Capitol Region, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Lansing.
Associate Artistic Director
Lauren Mudry is a Lansing, MI native and has been dancing for over 25 years and teaching over 17. She is a professional dancer and educator, as well as a freelance graphic designer. She has been a dance instructor and choreographer for various studios, companies, colleges, dance festivals, and theatre programs all over Mid-Michigan. Lauren is an adjunct instructor at Lansing Community College, Associate Director for Happendance Impulse, Assistant Director of DANCE Lansing, and was a professional dancer for Velocity Concert Dance/ Educational Exchange for five years. Lauren graduated from Lansing Community College with an Associate in Applied Arts, and Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science: Dance Performance and Teaching. In 2013 she was Assistant Producer for EMU’s Video Dance Project: For Diego, directed by Joanna McNamara, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2014, and later adjudicated for presentation at an International Dance Film Festival in Korea. Lauren is on faculty at Greater Lansing Academy of Dance and choreographed for the Greater Lansing Ballet Company at RDA. In 2017 at the RDA Nationals, Lauren became certified in Progressing Ballet technique.

Lauren has performed twice off-Broadway in New York City, and will do so a third time in August 2018. She has studied acting in London, England with instructors from BBC and RSC. She has worked with Frank Hatchett, Dr. Alice Bloch (5thgeneration Isadora Duncan dancer), Alvin Ailey dancer V. Gilmore, Ellen Werksman-Smith, Kathy King, Wendi DuBois, William Crowley, Danielle Selby, Phillip Simmons, and Sherry Jerome-Wilkinson to name a few. For more info visit:

Assistant Director - Tap and Young Artists K-2
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.
Assistant Director - 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 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.
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