We're dancing through the decades. Join us!
Is a summer dance festival produced by Happendance in Collaboration with Lansing Community College. Since 2005, DANCE Lansing has given opportunities to adult choreographers and dancers, from beginners to professionals. All performances are free to see and happen all over the city at a variety of venues.
Happendance Education Exchange
Bringing dance into schools for 45 years. Engaging students in school requires a variety of strategies, none more effective than physical movement and integrated learning. Happendance brings Project-Based Learning though physical movement to the PreK-12th grade curriculum. School leaders can customize an plan with two services: 1) a Happendance Facilitator in the classroom; 2) a group of Happendance Velocity Professional Dancers coming in to perform an assembly for the entire school.
We believe that every student deserves to be empowered, actualized, and heard. Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Hip-Hop. Jazz Funk are styles taught along with these 4 Life Lessons: 1) You are worth it. 2) Work hard every day. 3) Get in touch with the dreams of your soul. 4) Put yourself in the room with the best in the world.
Happendance Impulse Student Company
Gives Pre-K – 12th grade dancers the opportunity to train and rehearse for four stand-alone concerts and 2 out-of-town dance festivals each year. Technique, improvisation, dance composition and performance skills are the focus as they come together every Saturday under the support and supervision of Happendance faculty.
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 Commission.
Assistant Director Happendance Impulse Student Company, Faculty member
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-Okemos, The Dance Conservatory-Charlotte, Adjunct faculty at MSU Department of Theater and Dance, Lake Michigan Dance Academy- Allendale, and summer sessions at 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 among the four finalists for the Maggie Allesee Choreography Award. She has served as Repititeur and 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. Her performing credits include the Happendance Professional Company (now Velocity!), Happendance Education Exchange, Greater Lansing Ballet Company, and Aerial Dance Theater. She is now in the leadership positions of Artistic Director of the Conservatory Ballet Company at Dance Conservatory, Charlotte, Assistant Artistic Director of Impulse (a student dance company) and as Dance Department Co-Chair at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Patricia is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
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!