illumina e Staff

T

Deena Bryan

Deena Bryan was born and raised in Tecumseh, Michigan and began her dance training at the age of 3 at Tecumseh Dance Workshop.   She was one of the first Caravan Kids to tour with Hoctors Dance Caravan in 1993, where she met and assisted hip hop great Devora Cooper Howard.

She received a dance scholarship to Oakland University where she studied all forms of dance including kinesiology, choreography and dance history. Through her years at Oakland University, she was a member of Oakland Dance Theatre Repertory Company under the direction of Laurie Eisenhower and Gregory Patterson. While at Oakland, she was chosen to perform 'The Hundreds' with Twyla Tharpe.

She has received numerous scholarships to Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Los Angeles, California. She received the honor of being a forever guest choreographer for Cathy Roes Dance Spectacular. She was invited to be a part of Jayson Michaels Energy Source Dance Association in 2011 at his National Company Performance as a choreographer and teacher and quickly became a full time staff member and Energy Source Kids Director teaching all genres of dance in studios all around the country.​ She has taught at Tecumseh Dance Workshop, The Dance Centre, Metropolitan Dance Centre and was the Executive Director of Tecumseh Dance Theatre Company. She is well versed in all forms of dance and has taught for over 20 years. Through those years, her dances have won numerous choreography and technique awards.

In 2017, Mr. Jayson Michaels passed away and left the company to Deena and Associate Director, Angela Harris.  They renamed the company Energy Source Dance Experience and Deena is currently the co director/co owner.

Deena is very proud to be the owner/director of illuminaTe Dance and Arts Center.  In addition to being the owner/director and teaching at illuminaTe,  Deena is also an Adjunct Professor at Adrian College.

Deena believes in the art of dance, the integrity and discipline of the art and also the creativity and expression of the person.  Through her unique choreography and connection with her students, she is able to convey her passion and inspire new generations of artists and performers.  

Molly Kirby

Molly started dancing at Tecumseh Dance Workshop at the age of four and joined Tecumseh Dance Theatre Company (TDTC) at eleven. She also had the chance to perform in “The Nutcracker” at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts as both Dewdrop and Snow Queen. During the long rehearsals of both TDTC and Nutcracker, Molly fell in love with the journey of creating, changing, and perfecting dances.

 

Throughout high school Molly attended several summer intensives to further her training including American Ballet Theater and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. After high school she went on to attend University of Iowa to study dance and Spanish. At University of Iowa Molly performed in the Grad/Undergrad concert working with a student collective to create and choreograph a unique contemporary ballet piece.

 

Molly also studied heavily in improvisational dance under Jennifer Kayle. During her last year at Iowa, Molly had the amazing opportunity to perform Martha Graham’s “Helios” in Dance Gala. Later that year she finally achieved her dream of performing in New York city at the Joyce Theater as part of the University Partners program through the Martha Graham professional company.

 

Now that she’s back in Michigan, Molly is continuing her education in business at Eastern Michigan after finding her other love in life, retail management. She is excited to combine her passion for dance and management at IlluminaTe Dance and Arts Center!

Lindsey Knoodle

Ms. Lindsey is formerly from Tecumseh, Michigan and now lives in Chelsea. She graduated from Milford High School in 2009 and since then has been a dance educator and choreographer at Tecumseh Dance Workshop. She established her education in the genres of tap, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, modern, and lyrical under Deena Bryan. Not only did she learn dance from Deena, she learned passion, patience, and creativity that all contributed to the type of instructor and dancer she is today.

 

She began her dance journey in 6th grade at the age of 11 and in the time, she spent at TDW she invited to join the Tecumseh Dance Theater Company competition team where she competed all throughout high school. She discovered that her calling was dance and everything its encompasses so she decided to pursue it as her full-time career.

 

Last summer, Ms. Lindsey dedicated her summer to an internship with Jayson Michaels Energy Source Dance Association, now known as Energy Source Dance Experience that furthered herself as a teacher, dancer and educator.  Her internship gave her new inspiration for the classroom setting. 
 

Ms. Lindsey believes that dancing instills confidence and offers an outlet for expressing oneself. She brings more than just dance moves to her students, things such as building friendships with peers and helps direct commitment and passion into young dancers that will last a lifetime.

Hanna Webb

Hanna Webb is from Britton, MI and currently resides in Canton, MI. She is trained in all forms of dance and began her career by learning and dancing for Owner and Director, Deena Bryan.  

Ms. Hanna began her secondary education in 2014 at Saginaw Valley State University where she majored in Athletic Training with a business minor. She has spent over 500 hours working with athletes of all disciplines. At SVSU she was President of the National Society of Leadership and Success for two years working with 800+ students, Manager of the Women’s Basketball team, and a member of the Pre-Physical Therapy, Exercise Science, and Athletic Training clubs. Ms. Hanna was also an integral part of the committee to develop and implement the first and only all-inclusive recreational group for all styles of dance, Assemble Cardinal Dance. She volunteered annually at SVSU with the Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Play!60, and worked the medical tent at various 5k runs and events within the community. 

 

Ms. Hanna was trained by Deena Bryan for 6 years prior to being offered an internship for the late Mr. Jayson’s company, Jayson Michaels’ Energy Source Dance Association. Ms. Deena continued on his legacy by beginning the Energy Source Dance Experience. Her many roles over the years have brought her to this amazing opportunity, being appointed Assistant Director of the Energy Source Dance Experience. Ms. Hanna is also in charge of all social media and internship operations, and proud to have gained opportunity in this field through Deena’s guidance. 
 

Sarah Nowak

Sarah Nowak is a native of Tecumseh, Michigan and started dancing at the age of five. Throughout her training growing up she studied at several different studios in the area such as Dance Steps Studio and Tecumseh Dance Workshop. Sarah also started training in musical theatre and vocal performance at a young age and has continued to center her career in that particular field.

 

Holding a BFA degree in Musical Theatre from Siena Heights University, she has been working professionally as an actress and choreographer for several years throughout Michigan and the mid-west. Some credits include working at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia as a vocalist and dancer for three different productions, as well as a back-up vocalist and choreographer for recording artist, Tatiana Owens.

 

Sarah is also heavily involved in Lenawee County at the Croswell Opera House, Siena Heights University, and the high schools in the area as both a dance instructor and choreographer. She also spent time teaching jazz, modern, tap, and musical theatre competitively at Dance FX Studio in Toledo, Ohio.

 

Sarah truly has a passion for the performing arts and loves being able to share that expressive gift with students.  Her unique and demanding choreography has created a reputation of exciting visuals and have been accredited by nationally recognized theatre professionals.

Amanda Lopez

 

Amanda began her dance training at the age of 6 at Tecumseh Dance Workshop.  During her years there, she studied ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop and modern.  She began training with Deena when she was 13.  

 

During her senior year of high school, Amanda traveled to Buffalo, New York to study with the prestigious Dance Masters of America.  She received her Grade 1 teaching certification. After high school, Amanda began working for Britton-Macon Public Schools as a dance educator for the after school program.  During her time there, she taught jazz.  

 

Amanda also began teaching free/creative movement and music classes at the Hope Community Center in Adrian for adults with special needs.  This line of work is what Amanda continues to do on a daily basis and something she is truly passionate about. Currently, she works for Renaissance Community Homes as an assistant manager.  

 

In 2018, Amanda received her Acrobatic Arts Level 1 certification.  She currently teaches acro, jazz and pre ballet at illuminaTe. Amanda is also the office manager for illuminaTe Dance and Arts Center.

 

Amanda wants dance to be a safe place for all the dancers to grow and express themselves as artists and people.  Her hope is that through the art of dance, her students will gain self confidence, musicality and discipline.  

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy earned her BFA in Dance with Special Studies in Ballet, K-12 Teaching Certification in Dance Education and Psychology from Western Michigan University and her MAT in Dance Education from Marygrove College. Mary has studied with Jurgen Schneider formerly of the American Ballet Theatre and with Alanzo King of the Alanzo King Lines Ballet. She has also studied with modern dance choreographers Eric Hawkins and Alvin Nikolais. She has choreographed over 70 musical theatre productions for grade schools, high schools, community colleges, community theatres and universities. She has served as the Director of Dance for the University Liggett Schools in Grosse Pointe, MI and as The Director of Dance for Livonia Public School’s Creative and Performing Arts Program (CAPA) for 22 years. She has taught and created curriculum for all levels of ballet, jazz, modern dance and musical theatre and has choreographed and staged numerous concert works. Mary has taught master classes in dance at Michigan State University, Henry Ford Community College, Michigan Youth Arts Festival and various private studios.  She currently is a Lecture of Dance Education and Field Coordinator for the Dance Department at Oakland University. She is an instructor at The Dance Centre in South Lyon, MI and choreographer for The Farmington Barn Players in Farmington, MI.  She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization, the Michigan Dance Council and the American Psychological Association. Mary serves as the Dance Division Coordinator for Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Mary was awarded the 2010 Michigan Dance Educator of the Year.

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