Dance
Sonja Chiappelli
Sonya brings over nine years of tap, jazz and ballet dance experience to the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts. She has studied and performed nationwide and internationally including Los Angeles, Florida, New York, Russia and Poland. She has competed both with dance troupes and as a soloist. Her performance and competition experience include Dance Shoppe’s competitive troupe the Classy Dancers, Junior Miss Dance Competition, Waterford Kettering Dance Team where she was captain and choreographer, and Startrek dance company which provided entertainment for children’s events and fundraisers. Sonya continues to hone her dance skills and has most recently been studying Checcetti. She has passed level one and two exams. Sonya is a member of Mt. Zion Church and is actively involved in the children’s ministry.

Carmen Cook
Carmen Cook is an outstanding product of the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts (MZSPA). She has been dancing since the age of three and been dancing with Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts since the age of 8. She is a graduate of Oakland University with a degree in Communication. Her extensive training includes studying with Ballet Magnificat, Marygrove College, Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City and intensive training with internationally renowned ballet master and choreographer Iacob Lascu. Ms. Cook has danced locally at community events including performances with the Detroit Tigers, Cobo Hall and Dream Cruise. She has danced internationally in Lima Peru with the mission group of Mt. Zion and has been a featured soloist in performances of The Nutcracker and Coppelia. In addition to teaching Ms. Cook is an active dancer with the Mt. Zion dance worship team and church hip hop choir. She was a founding member of the award winning MZSPA competition teams and currently is an active member of the Elite Company, Elite Small Group Jazz and Principle Group.

LaDia Dodd
LaDia has been dancing since the age of three. Fourteen of these years have been at Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts. She was accepted into our Assistant Training program where she quickly developed into a Rehearsal Director. After working through the program and apprenticing under Maria Mohrman she is going into her second year of teaching for the dance department for recreational classes and company classes. Her choreography has won high awards and been used and recognized at showcases with Macomb Community College and Marygrove College. She has studied under Sue Panek, Jordeen Ivanovoericsson, Barbara Selinger, Judity Molina, Deborah Cherveny, Jonathan Atwood, Teresa Muller and taken master classes from Dante Henderson, Richard Monyano and Virginia Johnson. Her dance technique includes ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, b-girling, modern, contemporary, improv, character and tap. Along with teaching she has performed in numerous recitals and competitions as well as international missions trips.

Maria Mohrman - Dance Director, Choreographer
Maria Mohrman’s background in dance extends from coast to coast. Spending time in New York and Los Angeles, Maria has sat under the training of Rhapsody, Bev Brown, Chio and many others. She has been teaching at Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts for 17 years and going into her fourth year as the Dance Director. Specializing in Hip Hop, Maria started forming performing company’s ten years ago that place a strong emphasis on character development in addition to excellence in dance and performing technique. Believing that the growth of the dancer should extend beyond simply learning the art, Maria’s dance company’s have participated in several community outreach programs, including performing at local schools, competitions, festivals and churches. Select company members perform internationally for missions work. She has also been invited to choreograph for the Detroit Tigers, The Dream Cruise and for several roles in ballets, such as the Nutcracker and Coppelia. Many of her students have been granted scholarships to colleges and have won awards to schools such as Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and regional talent agencies.

Colleen Tihansky
Colleen graduated from Marygrove College in May of 2008 with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance, and has been teaching dance for 10 years. Colleen has been dancing for a good portion of her life, but began seriously training at the age of sixteen. She began studying at local studios, where she studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and musical theater. In college, through the Marygrove College Dance Company Colleen has been able to perform in many concerts, outside venues, study at a summer intensive at Point Park University and travel to the American College Dance Festival. Colleen had studied from many great teachers like Jordeen Ericson, Iscob Lascu, Brea Cali, Krenly Guzman, and Kisha Limila-White, and in many studios across the country from New York, to Alaska. Since graduation Colleen has danced with the Michigan Dance Project, and MooreDances Comptemporary Dance Company.

Kathie Van Rooyen
Kathie Van Rooyen is affectionately referred to as the “beginner student specialist.” Kathie has a special gift for inspiring and teaching our youngest dancers. Kathie has been teaching with our studio for over 15 years. Many of our award winning competition team members began their dance studies with Miss Kathie. Currently she teaches ballet, tap and rhythm classes. She has studied ballet, tap, lyrical, modern and hip hop dance. In addition to studying dance she was a member of the Mt. Zion ballet worship team for a number of years as well as a performer in the annual Nutcracker performance at the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts.

Ashley Wrathell
Ashley is a product of the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts (MZSPA) and its teacher training program. She has been dancing since the age of four and began studying at MZSPA at age seven. Ashley is currently enrolled in college pursuing a degree in sports medicine. Ashley has performed in a number of local venues for events for organizations such as the Detroit Tigers, Woodward Dream Cruise, Ambassador Magazine and others. Ashley is Zumba certified. She has trained in New York City at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. She has studied under master choreographers Luam, Slam, Bev Brown, Dana Foglia and more. Ashley continues to dance and choreograph for the Mt. Zion Hip Hop choir as well as MZSPA.

Music
Greg Priebe
The Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts is extremely fortunate to have a person of Greg Priebe’s caliber on staff. Greg has an extensive music background. He has over 40 years experience working as an accompanist and studio musician. His experience also includes composing, arranging, directing and teaching. Greg holds a degree in church music from Jackson College of Ministry and has been an instructor at numerous state and national musical conferences. He has done musical tours in 30 states, Canada and United Kingdom. Although his duties with the School of Performing Arts are newly acquired, Greg has worked for Mt. Zion for 18 years in all aspects of the music ministry including the orchestras, ensembles, choirs and worship teams.

Pamela Nemeth
Pam’s musical training began in her early childhood. She took private piano lessons throughout her school years and also played the clarinet in the school band. In the evenings and weekends at home she enjoyed accompanying her father on the piano as he played his violin. Pamela is currently a private piano instructor and has been for over 20 years. As a founding member of Mt. Zion Church her ministry began as a Sunday School teacher where she used her musical skills to write simple songs to help children memorize Bible verses and lesson themes. Pam was also the pianist for the children's Junior Church services for many years. She went on to become director of the children's music and arts department in which her many duties included organizing weekly worship and praise services and co-directing choir performances and musical plays that were performed every Easter and Christmas. Pam holds a Bachelor's Degree from Oakland University in elementary education. She taught at Mt. Zion School for thirteen years where she used music to enhance her daily lessons. As you can gather, music has always been an enjoyable and fulfilling part of Pam’s life. She looks forward to once again teaching at Mt. Zion to bring musical enjoyment to the lives of others.

Theatre
Sonja Chiappelli
Sonya brings over nine years of tap, jazz and ballet dance experience to the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts. She has studied and performed nationwide and internationally including Los Angeles, Florida, New York, Russia and Poland. She has competed both with dance troupes and as a soloist. Her performance and competition experience include Dance Shoppe’s competitive troupe the Classy Dancers, Junior Miss Dance Competition, Waterford Kettering Dance Team where she was captain and choreographer, and Startrek dance company which provided entertainment for children’s events and fundraisers. Sonya continues to hone her dance skills and has most recently been studying Checcetti. She has passed level one and two exams. Sonya is a member of Mt. Zion Church and is actively involved in the children’s ministry.

Heather Hodge
Heather Hodge started her love for theatre in high school. She has an extensive background in Early Childhood Education from Aquinas College. She has had the opportunity to experience every arena of theatre from the technical side to helping build sets, props & costumes. Heather was instrumental in developing, implementing and performing in skits at Springhill Camp as well. Heather is currently employed as a Pre-K teacher and is excited for this wonderful opportunity to teach at Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts.

Nicholas Hodge
Nicholas Hodge is a senior at Rochester College who is studying Communications with a Theater Focus, and is working on getting accepted into Wayne State’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program. He is also the president of Rochester College’s Theater Fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. Nick has been involved with a traveling Theatre troupe called the Pied Pipers. Nick has been involved in every area backstage including set construction, stage management and directing. He also assistant taught at the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts for a year. He is looking forward to this next year and working with all of the students.

Diana Stafford - Theatre Director
Diana was introduced to the theatre while in high school where she volunteered as a student director. She immediately loved the stage as well as the behind the scenes elements of putting a drama together. Diana was on the ground floor of the development of the Mt. Zion Theatre Company and has been active in all facets of production since its inception. She has taught theatre classes at Mt. Zion Christian School and has produced several plays and skits. Though professionally trained in family and child development and psychology Diana thoroughly enjoys working with children on a daily basis and encourages them to develop their vast resource of talents.

Erica Zinc
Erica has been involved with several facets of the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts. She has studied acting under Diana Stafford, our director, for the past six years. She has also worked as an assistant for many classes as well. Erica has worked behind the scenes on several productions building and painting sets. She was also involved with Mt. Zion’s annual performance of “The Passion of Mary.” Erica has used her talent to write scripts that have been used in showcase performances by the Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts students. Erica has a special passion for the youngest students and introducing them to the exciting world of theatre.


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