West Michigan Dance Center provides both recreational and competitive dancers with quality training in a healthy atmosphere that builds self-esteem and positive experiences. Our dancers are treated as athletes, consistently improving technique and developing artistry with our focus being the overall well-being of your child.
Thank you for your interest in West Michigan Dance Center of Portage, Michigan. We know that starting a new program can be a tough decision for a dancer, but we assure you that WMDC specializes in dance education and the overall well-being of your child. Our focus is on the art of dance and the development of strong technique and performance skills for each individual dancer.
We offer small classes that are presented in a creative fashion to keep our dancers focused, inspired, and engaged. We provide each student with personal attention in a safe and productive atmosphere, which helps to promote the growth and development of each dancer’s individual style. We also stress the development of communication and life skills that will benefit the dancers beyond the world of dance, and help them to exceed.
WMDC was established in 2008 & is committed to quality, originality in choreography and strong technique, all while maintaining a positive atmosphere. We provide top of the line instruction for beginners through advanced dancers in ballet, pointe, lyrical/contemporary, tap, jazz, gymnastics and hip-hop. We also offer intermediate and upper level classes, as well as a competitive company, for the serious minded dancer. We also have an annual recital for our dancers to perform in the spring of each year.
Marissa Peterson graduated from Western Michigan University in April 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and a certificate in Dance Studio Management. During her time at WMU, she has had the opportunity to perform Paul Taylor's work, Esplanade. She has also performed in faculty pieces choreographed by David Curwen, Jeremy Blair, and Monique Haley, along with many student choreographed pieces. Marissa has had many of her works showcased in performances at WMU such as Orchesis, the Martha Hearron memorial, and Graduating Presentations. She has also had her work presented at the American College Dance Association.
She has had the opportunity to perform in two music videos through the Hollywood Summer Tour summer intensive. Marissa loves teaching and choreographing, and is excited for the future of West Michigan Dance Center.
Stephanie Copeman began dancing at age 3 and has over 17 years of teaching experience in the recreational, concert and competitive space. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, modern, lyrical and musical theater. Stephanie spent many years competing at the regional and national level and was a member of the Creative and Performing Arts Program (CAPA) established in Livonia, MI. . CAPA allowed her to perform at Michigan Youth Arts Festival, set student choreographed pieces for dance concerts and assistant choreograph program musicals Brigadoon, Les Miserables and A Chorus Line.
Stephanie has been with West Michigan Dance Center for over 8 years and her students and choreography have won high honors on regional and national levels. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts from Western Michigan University and Master of Business Administration degree from Spring Arbor University. Stephanie has a passion for cultivating talent and loves to mentor and coach the dancer as a whole through the art of dance. She is thrilled about this upcoming season!
MARKETING / INSTRUCTOR
Nicholas McNees was born and raised in Kalamazoo, MI. Nik started his career at Steps Dance center at the age of two where he simply fell in love with movement. After the closure of Steps, Nicholas then joined the competitive team of West Michigan Dance Center where he worked with multiple top industry choreographers and performed in many nationally recognized pieces before graduating in 2019.
He is now pursing his passions of dance and creative marketing with a Bachelor of Arts and minor in Advertising and Promotion from Western Michigan University, graduating in 2023. New to the choreography scene, Nicholas has already received multiple choreography awards for the works he has done for WMDC! Encasing an expertise in Jazz Funk movement, Nik is excited to be back on the team that cultivated his love for dance!
Practically born in a leotard and my hair up in a high pony, I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan dancing since the age of four. During my school years, I trained in every style of dance I could get my hands on. Six days after graduating High School I left for my first professional dance job at the age of 18. Five years flew by working in the dance world until I was sent home due to a stress fracture in my right foot. Quickly after returning home, I filled my passion craving cup with instructing hungry and eager competitive dancers. Instructing filled my heart like I could have never expected. I dedicated my life to this particular passion and continue to do so to any dancer who shares my love and need for dance.
The stress fracture in my right foot benched me from dancing for quite some time. I eventually bounced back and I was able to live my two passions of instructing and dancing all at the same time. My most recent success in the dance world is making it into the database of a life long dream company of mine, Cirque Du Soleil. I could not be more excited to jump into the West Michigan Dance Center family this year and I look forward to growing with you all in the season ahead!
Sarah Renae, originally from Naples, Florida, began dancing at the age of three under the directors of Ballet Arts and Etutdes de Ballet. She has worked and performed with many great artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and professionals with The Miami City Ballet. In strengthening her technique Sarah has studied Balanchine, RAD, Cecchetti, and Vaganova methods of ballet. Sarah holds a BA in Dance from Western Michigan University where she performed in many guest artists’ and faculty works. Dance has taken Sarah over seas to Scotland, London, and France where she has had the pleasure of performing at historical venues and sites. In the last 12 years, teaching in numerous cities and states across the country, Sarah has also reconstructed ballet curricula, stage-managed, and directed production/prop design teams. In addition to choreographing and instructing many different ages and levels Sarah continues to build her dance knowledge by recently completing certification in PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) and Mat Pilates. Sarah believes in promoting an educational experience while inspiring dancers to find their true joy and love for this versatile art. Sarah is extremely excited to be back in Michigan and honored to be working with West Michigan Dance Center.
Sydney Osinski, born and raised in Kalamazoo, began dancing at the age of 2. Her passion for dance grew very quickly, leading her to join the competitive team. The dance studio was Sydney’s second home. She spent countless hours after school undergoing intensive training in all dance styles. Competing in both regional and national competitions across the country, Sydney won scholarships to train and perform with top choreographers in the industry in states including New York and California. She had the honor to attend company classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York to learn from choreographers including Al Blackstone, Martha Nichols and Ashlé Dawson. She also attended dance intensives in California where she performed pieces by Lex Ishimoto and Andrew Winghart. Sydney will be attending the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University in the fall to pursue a degree in Business. She is excited to join the West Michigan Dance family to share her passion for dance with others.