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 had the opportunity to perform Paul Taylor's work, Esplanade. She 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.
Marissa attended many intensives throughout high school and college, one of which offered the opportunity to perform in two music videos. Marissa loves that she is back where she danced in high school, at WMDC! She loves teaching and choreographing, and is so 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!
Instructor / Marketing
Nicholas McNees was born and raised in Kalamazoo, MI. He 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.
Nik is now the first male member of the Western Michigan University Dance Team under the instruction of Michaela Anson. Also a junior member of the WMU Dance Department, He will earn a Bachelor of Arts in dance upon graduation in 2023. Nicholas is also in his second season of working on tour with VIP Dance Competition allowing incredible networking opportunities. New to the choreography scene, Nicholas has already received multiple choreography awards for the works he has done for WMDC! Speacializing in Jazz technique/movement, Nik is excited to be back on the team that cultivated his love for dance!
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.
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.
Originally from a small town on the East Side of Michigan, I moved to Kalamazoo to attend Western Michigan University. I have completed a minor in dance and am working toward my Bachelor’s degree in nursing. I have been dancing for 18 years and have been fortunate to study various styles under some of the best choreographers. I competed for 10 years until I graduated, which is when I chose to move to the West Side of the state.
Through Western Michigan University, I chose to continue performing through the dance program as well as joining clubs, including Orchesis Dance Society and Hip Hop Connexion. This year will be my fourth season teaching at West Michigan Dance Center and I couldn’t be more excited. I have loved working with these dancers and cannot wait to continue to watch them grow.
Emma is currently attending Western Michigan University as a dance major. Until college, she lived in a small town in Wisconsin. She is trained in hip hop, contemporary, acro, jazz, ballet, tap, and modern. Emma trained everyday in Madison, WI at studios like Madison Professional Dance Center, Barrio Dance, and Move Out Loud. She also attends conventions and intensives whenever she can, such as Reveal Dance Chicago, Artists Simply Human, Flux Dance, and Barrio Dance Factory.
Her favorite styles are hip hop and contemporary fusion. Emma has trained with many that are very knowledgeable in hip hop (AJ Juarez, Papa-Kobina Brewoo, Monyett Crump, and the Familaras through WMU. When she is not dancing, she spends her free time learning about dance, or coaching gymnastics. She loves sharing her passion and knowledge as well as learning from others, and is very excited to work with everyone this season!