|Happendance Administrative Staff|
|Rachel Miller - Chief Executive Officer|
Rachel Miller (she/her), recently retired from performing with Wellspring/Cori Terry &
Dancers, a professional modern/contemporary company in Kalamazoo, MI before moving
to the Lansing area.
Miller attended The Ohio State University as a Dance Major, holds a BA in Creative Writing through Western Michigan University, and an MFA in Dance through Hollins University in partnership with the former Forsythe Company of Frankfurt, Germany.
Miller has curated the internationally recognized Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival (RAD Fest) for over 13 years, is on the dance faculty at Grand Valley State University, and is the Co-Chair of the Dance Department at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. She has also served as the Thesis Coordinator for the Hollins University Dance MFA program, and her professional performance career spanned 20+ years.
She has performed all over the country, and her choreographic and screendance works have been presented in the Midwest RAD Fest in Kalamazoo, Detroit Dance City Festival in Detroit, Big River Dance Festival in Huntington, South Bend, Chicago, Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York City, Prague, Frankfurt, Indianapolis, and she has had a piece of choreography commissioned as a work of study for the Lincoln Center Institute for Aesthetic Education Kalamazoo Chapter.
Miller is a 2005 recipient of the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and a 2010 recipient of the Kalamazoo Artist Development Initiative Grant.
She has also sat on the adjudication panels for the Motor City Dance on Film Festival, Screen. Dance. Now., Screendance International, the Maggie Allesee New Choreography Award, and JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival in South Africa.
Miller is thrilled to take the helm at Happendance as their new C.E.O. and is honored to be a part of its 45+ year legacy.
|Patty Villanueva - Happendance School Artistic Director|
Patty Villanueva grew up in West Michigan and graduated from Hope College with a B.A. in Dance. She has been a highly sought-after Lansing area teacher for many years and has been with Happendance since moving to Lansing in 1999. In the past 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. Patricia has also held the positions of Artistic Director for both Velocity Concert Dance Company and The Education Exchange Outreach Company, and now serves as Artistic Director for Impulse Student Dance Company-Happendance. She currently holds the leadership and administrative positions of Artistic Director of Happendance School and Co-Director of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Dance Department. 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.
|Missy Lilje - Director of Development and Education|
Missy Lilje earned her BFA in dance from the University of Michigan, and her MFA in Dance from Arizona State University.
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.
Jennah Quinn Gray - Happendance Operations Manager
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.