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.
Colleen is a graduate of Marygrove College with a bachelor’s degree in dance performance. She has been involved with dance companies at the university level. Colleen is also an award winning dancer having competed in International Dance Challenge, ADA and Applause Dance Competition. She has been teaching since 2001 and has an impressive background in teaching ballet, tap, jazz, Cecchetti ballet as well as musical theatre and adult dance fitness classes. She has studied under Jordeen Ivanov-Ericson, Penny Godboldo and Barabara Selinger.
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.
Andrea has been teaching for over 17 years. She holds a B.A. in Dance from Oakland University and has been on the faculty at Steps on Broadway (NYC), Rebecca Kelly Ballet Kids Co-Motion (NYC), and other schools. Ms. Redman has danced professionally in NYC with the Eglevsky Ballet, Tatiano Cabaret Show and Notara Dance Theatre as well as with the Richmond Ballet, Ballet Theatre Pennsylvania and Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware. She has also toured nationally. She has been rehearsal director of the children’s cast of the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet at the Fisher Theatre and the Masonic Temple. Her students have been accepted to and received scholarships to many prestigious programs including The Julliard School, American Ballet Theatre, SAM (New York City Ballet School), University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Oakland University, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and many others. She has won choreography awards and her students have placed in the finals at the Youth America Grand Prix and many other competitions. Ms. Redman has trained with many master teachers including Nancy Bielski, Suzi Taylor, Joe Lanteri and Jason Parsons. She also trained with master teachers at the Kirov Ballet School in Russia. In her teaching methods she stresses proper technique and body alignment, and striving for your personal best in an encouraging atmosphere.
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 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.
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.
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.
Mt. Zion School of Performing Arts welcomes Dan Obando to the teaching staff. Dan is a native of El Salvador and graduate of Institute de Cancion. He has been involved in ministry and music with young people for over 10 years. Dan has a life long love of music and specializes in the guitar – both acoustic and electric. Dan is versed in the bass guitar as well and plays other instruments including the keyboard and various rhythm and percussion apparatus’. In addition to teaching Dan enjoys playing guitar with the Mt. Zion Hispanic Praise Band as well at the Mt. Zion Worship Band.
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.
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.
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.
Laura is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Theatre and Dance and has been our school since 2006. She has been dancing since she was a young child and has amassed an extensive list of performances and experiences. Most recently she has worked as an instructor at the Children’s Improv Theatre in Flint and been an assistant choreographer for Schoolhouse Rock Live at U of M – Flint. Laura specializes in teaching her Introduction to Ballet students that dance is about self-expression, creativity and fun. Students often rave about how much fun it is to learn all of the skills in her class.
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