Fall is uncertain, but we're prepared for all outcomes
Fall Schedule 2020
Move. Create. Elevate
Over 50 years ago, an MSU student organized a small group of dancers to stage a free performance on MSU’s campus. It has grown into a Mid-Michigan cultural treasure with two locations (Okemos and Lansing), with multiple programs and community projects. All programs provide accessible, low-cost educational and performance opportunities for all dancers of all ages. Our mission is to broaden the accessibility of dance to a diverse community and promote dance for lifelong physical and mental fitness.
CEO; Artistic Director
I dance because it is the act that makes me feel most alive and most present in the moment. Through dance I can express aspects of my human experience that there are no words for.
Growing up at Happendance gave me the opportunity to see what it was like to try as hard as I could every day to inch closer and closer to goals that were physical, creative, mental and emotional. This process gave me the tools to create a life for myself that makes me feel empowered, joyful and satisfied. Working here means that I get to express and share this with my community. It is an honor and a privilege.
I am inspired every day by so many of my amazing mentors over the years. They all have the following things in common: soul-guided excellence combined with kindness and rock-solid work ethic.
Missy holds a BFA in Dance from University of Michigan (Earl V. Moore Award, Axon Merit Scholarship) and MFA in Dance from Arizona State University (Hope Hineman Fellowship). Her thesis, “An Investigation into Business Models in Nonprofit Dance in the United States” was published by Arizona State Press in 2008. She is a presenter for National Dance Education Organization, and has presented her research both nationally and internationally.
As a concert dance performer, she has danced in works by Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Isadora Duncan, Doris Humphrey, Peter Sparling, Yvonne Rainner, Mark Haim, David Dorfman, Robin Wilson, Bill DeYoung, Jessica Fogle, and more. She’s danced and toured as a member of five professional companies (Happendance Velocity, 100th Monkey, Travesty Dance Group Cleveland, A. Ludwig Dance Theater, Rayn Dance Theater.) Missy has choreographed over 30 works for concert dance and musical theater stages. She has conducted residencies at Columbia College and University of Texas and has served as adjunct faculty for Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre, Alma College, Albion College Lansing Community College and Arizona State University.
Missy was elected to the Lansing Schools Board of Education in 2016. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Dance Council and is a member of Mayor Andy Schor’s Arts and Culture Comission.
I dance because it’s my escape from reality. Dancing is the one constant in my life that I know I can always turn to when life gets crazy. I teach at Happendance because it’s where I grew up dancing, and it played a very important role in shaping me into the person I am today. Happendance not only taught me dance technique, but also professionalism and maturity, and helped me in discovering who I was even at a young age. Without all the positive role models mentoring me through my education at Happendance, I might have never pursued dance after high school. I was ecstatic when I was offered a position to teach there hoping I could do the same to the newest generation of dancers.
I pursued a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University in Performance Dance and I’ve recently became an affiliate to the local arts promoter Opportunity Arts.
My favorite quote is from the jazz instructor Luigi (Eugene Louis Facciuto) when he said “Never stop moving” after his car accident. In all honesty I admire a lot about Luigi; his determination to never give up, even when all the odds are stacked against him, his ingenious effort to create a new way of moving so that he could still do what he loves, and the fact that he makes it his goal to make everyone he teaches feel seen. I especially like that last aspect of him. I aspire to make my students feel the way he makes his students feel: good about themselves and their talent.
At Happendance, we believe that every person deserves the best opportunity to create their highest quality of life. Today’s Happendance serves 14,000 diverse people per year with our many innovative and exceptional programs. Happendance began over forty years ago with a small group of performers on the banks of the Red Cedar River at MSU.
Now, Happendance is proud to share the benefits of dance with everyone. Help Happendance continue to set the barre for the next forty years!