Natalie began EAC in 2016 with the theater dance production Circus Circus- after that, the company took off!
She began dancing at the age of 3 at Dean Black Performing Arts in Midland and spent her entire school life training there. She started in ballet and tap, and moved on to love all styles like contemporary, hiphop, and lyrical. She competed in Poms for midland high school and was active in their drama club.
She began her professional dance career as a choreographer at the Midland Center for the Arts with their musical production of Rocky Horror. She then moved on to choreograph Legally Blonde the Musical, Anything Goes, The Secret Annexe, Alice in Wonderland, Fiddler on the Roof, Shrek the Musical, 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee, Adaams Family the Musical and many numbers in the EAC dance recital this past spring. Recently, she has choreographed Footloose the musical and Bring it On the Musical for BCPS.
She had the pleasure of choreographing the Midland High School Drama Department for 3 years before starting her own studio with Melissa Curtiss.
Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the "click". Where a dancer finally accomplishes something they have been working hard for all season long. She loves it when her students are proud of themselves and overcomes an obstacle.
Outside the studio she loves playing with her dog, Mooka, cooking, and singing for her church.
(Contemporary/Lyrical, Ballet, Pointe, HipHop, MTJazz, competition coach)
Melissa grew up around dance and music. She began dancing at the Bohaty Dance School (Saginaw, MI) at the age of four, and continued as a Bohaty dancer through high school. She has been trained in ballet (Cecchetti), pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, and gymnastics, competing as a Bohaty dancer (for both Saginaw and Chesaning studios) across the country. Melissa also taught private and group dance classes in all genres for eight years at the Bohaty Dance School in Saginaw.
After high school, Melissa was a semi-professional dancer as part of the Saginaw Spirit and Saginaw Sting dance teams for four years. As a way to continue her love for dance, she has choreographed routines for local dance studios both in Saginaw, MI, and while living in Houston, TX. She is also Choreographer, Tap Coach, and Acro Coach for Elite Arts Company's productions.
In addition to her dance career, Melissa was a member of the Hemlock High School Varsity Pom Pon Team and Mid-American Pom Pon All-Star Team. She was head coach for the Hemlock Middle School Pom Pon Team for two years, and then head coach of the Hemlock High School Varsity Pom Pon Team for four years. Melissa remains a close advisor and choreographer for the current Hemlock High School Varsity Pom Pon Team, who have been state champs three years in a row!
Along with Melissa’s passion for dance, she also enjoys being able to mentor youth and helping others find their true potential.
When she isn't in the studio, she can be found with her cats- Kurbis and Twix, or hiking a national park!
(Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acro/gymnastics, contemporary)
Shannon DeGroot is a guest choreographer/instructor for EAC. She teaches contemporary intensives, ballet intensives, and offers assistance for the competition team.
She recently graduated from UMKC with a Bachelors in dance composition and performance. She has been dancing all her life- she attended Midland High School and SASA growing up and still hasn't gotten enough. She was recently Anne Frank in EAC's production of Anne Frank and has assisted in many shows since.
Shannon is also profecient in Highland dancing.
She has performed with UMKC and Grand Rapids Ballet.
Shannon is so excited to teach the next generation of dancers and help them reach their goals.
If she isn't dancing or teaching, Shannon is walking her puppy, Raven, hanging out with friends, or binge watching the latest Netflix series.