Brigitt Boucha is originally from Lansing. She grew up studying ballet and attended (on scholarship), Lansing Community College, The Lansing Ballet Company, Gus Giordano’s Dance Center, and Columbia College in Chicago, where she received a BA with honors in Teaching Dance Therapy. She has studied and performed Ballet, Jazz, and Modern works throughout major cities in the US. Ms. Boucha has conducted workshops, private classes, and year-long sessions in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern as well as Creative Movement for children and Theatre Dance. Her studies in Dance Arts, Dance Therapy, Anatomy, Kinesiology and Medical Massage Therapy have provided her with a comprehensive understanding of the theory and mechanics of teaching dance. Ms. Boucha provides the best possible training with a strong dance foundation. She previously served as Assistant Artistic Director for the Children’s Ballet Theatre from 1990-1995. In the fall of 1997 she founded and became Co-Director of the contemporary dance company, Lansing Chamber Dance. While on staff at Lansing Community College, Brigitt taught Ballet and Modern classes as well as choreographed for many dance concerts. She served on the Arts and Planning Council for the Greater Lansing Area and is also a member of the Michigan Dance Council, NDEO, NDA and MAHPERD. She is the Director of Danceworks of Michigan, LLC and will also be teaching ballet, pointe, body sculpting/conditioning and modern fusion this year, along with running her store, Allegra Dancewear. In 2009, she became Board Certified in Medical Massage Therapy. She owns Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork and, in addition, works at the Chiropractic Professional Center on Pine Tree Road.
Janice Eslinger was born and raised in North Dakota, where she started dancing at the age of six. She studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical, Modern, Hip-Hop, Break Dancing, Acro and Drill Team. Janice started teaching dance at the age of 14, and graduated from Bismarck State College with an Associates in Theatre Arts and Dance. After college, Janice took a full time position as the Academy Director and Lead Dance Instructor for a non-profit dance studio in North Dakota. In the past 21 years of teaching, she has gained an extensive choreography background, including choreographing for several local and national dance competitions. She has been the recipient of numerous 1st place and specialty awards, including judge's choice awards, outstanding choreography, outstanding entertainment and showmanship. She is currently in her 10th year of teaching dance classes at Danceworks and is Director of the studio's Competition Team. Janice loves to motivate dancers to keep trying difficult dance moves and improve their overall technique, while having fun doing what they love. While not at the dance studio, Janice is enjoys spending her free time with her 3-year-old daughter Oona.
Jennah Gray has been part of the dance scene since she was a young child. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, and hiphop, and loves to experiment and learn new styles. Jennah specializes in contemporary, lyrical, jazz, street jazz, and hiphop. Her main goal is to not only provide an open space to learn and grow as a dancer, but to engage students with the how's and why's behind what they are learning to do with their bodies—to engage their minds, bodies and souls as one.
Jennah also is a level one Crossfit certificate holder, is passionate about continuing to grow and learn in Crossfit. She is currently attending LCC for Business and Accounting. Jennah is in her third year of teaching for Danceworks of Michigan.
Anna Rodriguez has been dancing for seven years. She is experienced in jazz, ballet, lyrical and contemporary. She studied ballet and jazz at LCC, where she received her certificate for the Dance Internship Program. She has choreographed and danced for various LCC spring shows and DanceLansing, formerly known as the Community Dance Project. She has also choreographed for many weddings and quinceañeras. Anna loves teaching and is excited to be in her fifth year at Danceworks and her second season with the Competition Team as an assistant director. Anna also has a talent and passion for hair and makeup. She is a hair stylist at NU Hair Studio in Holt, so stop by and see her.
Alex Krueger has been dancing for 15 years. Growing up in Chicago, she was a member of the Soul2Sole Dance company for 11 years, training in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. She's had the opportunity to work with Sonya Tayeh, Brooke Pieroti, Jenn Freeman, Chris Jacobsen, and Kason Parsons. She also spent three summers in Los Angeles, to take master classes at the Edge, Millennium Dance Complex, Movement Lifestyle, and more. Alex is in her second year of teaching for Danceworks and continues to show us her love for dance.
Josh has been dancing for 8 years and teaching tap for the last 5. He trained at Lansing Community College and Happendance. His specialties include tap and jazz but he has also been trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, hip-hop and a little ballroom. Josh has performed in many Lansing Community College and CDP/DanceLansing performances. Josh has choreographed many pieces for Dance Lansing over the past few years. Josh taught tap and jazz for Danceworks in 2013-2014 dance year, and is excited to be joining Danceworks again this year.
Elena Hayes is a native of Buffalo, New York and received her dance training from the Karyn Kelly Dance Center, along with The American Academy of Ballet. Elena has been dancing for 12 years and has a high level of expertise in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop, and Acro. After many years of competing and winning awards in local and state competitions, she went on to compete regionally and nationally in South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, and New York City. She also has had the privilege and honor of attending dance workshops specializing in Hip-Hop, Tap, and Contemporary, from former “So you Think You Can Dance” stars in New York City. Elena has also choreographed and participated in the “Dancers Give Back,” Jackie Hook foundation along with Michigan States Greek Week events, dancing her way to fight cancer and raise money for local charities. Along with her love for dance, she also practiced musical theater throughout high school and was on a competitive cheer team for 8 years. Elena is currently a student at Michigan State University majoring in History and Political Science. She is very excited to start her first year teaching at Danceworks, and is looking forward to meeting the rising stars of the studio!
Tina Marie Cooper-Minar
Tina Marie Cooper-Minar is originally from Frankenmuth Michigan. She started dancing at the age of 3 with the Susan Aaron Academy, and continued to dance in High School at the Center for Performing Arts and Science in Saginaw and Midland. When it came to college, she received her associates in Dance from Lansing Community College, and finished with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona. Tina Marie also trained and danced with the Alvin Ailey Company in New York City from 1995-1998. She has taught over 1000 students, in many programs from Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and California. Tina has taught Creative Movement, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical and Irish. She loves impacting our youth and young adults through the arts and dance. “Dance is my soul, my haven and where I can always be true to myself and others” .She can’t wait to work with Danceworks of Michigan Students.