We are thrilled to announce the merging of our two dance communities! By connecting Quivey Dance Company and West Michgian Dance Center we are establishing an environment for our dancers to grow collectively in their technique and artistry. 


This collaboration will allow for more instructors, class opportunities, dancers, and more LOVE of DANCE!         

Erica Wilkinson & Marissa Peterson

ABOUT

Thank you for your interest in West Michigan Dance Center of Kalamazoo, 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.

OUR MISSION

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.

STAFF BIOS

Erica Wilkinson, Owner


Born in Indianapolis, IN where she started dancing at the age of 5.  She began competing a few years later and was part of many award winning dance numbers in both Regional and National competitions. As a member of a competitive team Erica was able to participate in productions that included Sesame Street Live, The Indianapolis 500 parade, and Colts halftime shows.  After studying for a year at Marymount of Manhattan Erica transferred to Indiana University where she was the Captain of the IU Redsteppers and choreographer for the student run dance team, In-Motion.  She was also a dancer and choreographer for the annual university show, IU SING.  Erica graduated with a Bachelors’ in Communication and a Masters in Social Work.


Erica has been teaching classes in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, and Musical Theatre since she was a freshman in high school for both recreational and competition dancers. Sharing her love of performance has been a huge source of joy for Erica and she is thrilled to be back in the studio with the great team at West Michigan Dance Center.

Marissa Quivey, Owner


Marissa Quivey 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 Quivey Dance Company. Marissa teaches all of the contemporary classes and jazz 5.

Mikayla Bunn


Mikayla Bunn is a Junior at Western Michigan University working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, with a minor in Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness. Mikayla is from Paw Paw, Michigan and has also travelled to Oklahoma City University, where she studied musical theatre performance. At OCU, Mikayla was a part of the American Spirit Dance Company, with direction of Jo Rowan, and performed works by faculty members Tiffany Warford, Jessica Fay, and Julie Russell Stanley. At WMU, Mikayla has been involved in student works, as well as the work of Kaitlyn Pollock. In addition, Mikayla is involved in Orchesis Dance Society at Western Michigan University. Mikayla has also attended dance intensives including Inaside Chicago Dance, DanZa, and Jodie Randolph Dance. Mikayla is excited to share her love of dance with aspiring dancers throughout Michigan.

Lauren DeSmedt


Lauren DeSmedt is currently working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance as well as a Dance Studio Management certification at Western Michigan University. At WMU, she studies ballet, jazz, and modern technique. Lauren was selected to be a part of Western Dance Project under the direction of Whitney Moncrief for the 2018/2019 season. She has danced in award-winning works by Kate Skarpetowska, Melanie George, Monique Haley, Kelsey Paschich, and Alyssa Brutlag. Lauren attended the American College Dance Association East-Central Conference as a representative of WMU in 2019 and 2020. She is also the current President of Orchesis Dance Society. Lauren has been teaching at various studios and high schools in the Chicagoland area for 5 years. She is also fortunate to travel some weekends with Dupree Dance Convention as an assistant teacher. Lauren enjoys all aspects of teaching and performing and looks forward to sharing her passion with her students.

Ciera Nolan


Ciera Nolan, originally from Lake Zurich Illinois, is a senior at Western Michigan University working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, with a minor in Event Management, and a certification in Dance Studio Management. At WMU Ciera has performed many student works and was a part of the WMU department of dance touring ensemble, Western Dance Project, under the direction of Whitney Moncrief. Additionally she has performed works by guest artist Jackie Nowicki and faculty members Monique Haley and Kelsey Paschich. Ciera has also attended many intensives including DanceWorks Chicago, The Cambrians, Inaside Chicago Dance, and River North Dance Chicago. At WMU Ciera also represents her class, serving on the board of Orchesis Dance Society. She is also a staff member at Masquerade Dance Competition, and an assistant and teacher at Chicago Dance Connection. Ciera feels very lucky to share her passion of dance with young dancers in various studios. 

Stephanie Copeman


 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!

Caitlin Gabrielse


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


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. Among many competition awards her most recent achievement was receiving “Best in Category” along with “Top Score” for her ballet ensemble “The Calling” at the 2018 Hall of Fame Nationals. 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. 

CONTACT US

Nicholas McNees


Nicholas was born and raised in Kalamazoo,MI. At age two he started his dance career at Steps dance center. Quickly becoming enthralled with the art of dancing, he continued through senior year of high school. Nicholas is now a Sophomore at Western Michigan University and is working toward a bachelor of fine arts in dance as well as a double major in advertising and promotion! His Performances in opening number productions as well as attendance at several conventions and masterclasses, have helped him make connections with top teachers and choreographers in the industry. Nicholas is currently pursuing a professional career in commercial dance.

Kiley Tiller


Kiley Tiller is currently studying dance at Western Michigan University and will be graduating Spring of 2023 with her BFA. Kiley started dancing at age 2 and trained competitively with Quivey Dance Company. Before attending WMU, she performed in works by Andrew Winghart and Lex Ishimoto in Long Beach and San Diego California. In her first year at WMU, she performed in an original piece “Just Above the Surface”, choreographed by Yin Yue which she also performed alongside Peridance Contemporary Dance Company from New York City. She also performed the work, “Rev(I’ve)” by Kaitlyn Pollock. Kiley currently teaches contemporary at West Michigan Dance Center and is developing her choreographic voice through her teaching experiences with students.

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West Michigan Dance Company  ©2017-20

6136 S. Westnedge Ave. Portage, MI  49002

PH: 269.615.6519 


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