director, Instructors & Staff

Maria Huber-Mitchelson

OWNER/ ARTISTIC Director

Mrs. Maria has danced since the age of two. She danced professionally nationwide, touring the Country with Sesame Street Live International Tour "Let's Be Friends". Maria enjoyed costume work so much she went on to portray Angelica from the Rugrats. Maria was invited to dance for Disney in Japan and has appeared on "Entertainment Tonight" dancing for well-known actors and actresses and their families. She's danced, modeled, and narrated for the North American International Auto Shows, danced and sung in Off-Broadway Musicals, danced for cable music videos, and has instructed Master dance classes at Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Maria is a former member of the Macomb Ballet Company. She danced with MBC in such classic romantic works as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Les Sylphides. Maria has choreographed for award winning dance companies, dance teams, Flash Mobs, Wedding Party Dances, Bride & Groom dances, Hair Shows and more! She is sure to get any event jumping with her choreography! Ms. Huber has studied dance throughout the country, primarily in New York and L.A. In the 90's, Ms. Maria made the move to North Hollywood, CA to continue her studies in dance. She trained under the intense instruction of Joe Tremaine and associates at the studio, formerly named, Tremaine Dance Center. Maria danced with the top dance teachers /choreographers in the field. Maria presently sits on the General Board of the Cecchetti Council of America. She has studied Cecchetti levels I-VII, and has passed student and teacher exams levels I-V. Maria has had numerous students pass cecchetti exams with honors. Many of Maria's students have danced with professional ballet companies in performances such as the "Nutcracker" and" La Bayadere". You may have seen Maria in the commercial for World Gym & Fitness Center or Sesame Street Lives' commercial as Roxy Marie or Prairie Dawn. Maria has instructed dance for over 30 years and is great with children! As a former competitive bodybuilder, she is also very fitness orientated. Maria has choreographed and won multiple top overall and special dance awards, including "Most Entertaining" dance consecutively year after year! She has been awarded “Best Choreography” for many of her dance Pieces. Ms. Huber has also judged for dance competitions regionally and nationally. In June 2007, Ms. Maria was awarded “Top Teacher” at Kids Artistic Revue National Dance Competition. In November 2008, she directed RPDA dancers and teachers in the televised “Feature Act” for the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. RPDA has been awarded National Top Production, National Top Studio, and has had numerous 1st overall dances year after year. Maria's studio was awarded Grand National Champs in 2017 and 2X Grand National Champions in 2019! Her choreography has been displayed at multiple Motor City Movement dance shows, Macys Thanksgiving Day Parades, Rochester Christmas Parades, local Fairs, Eastside Derby Events, Detroit Dance Festivals, Shores Mortgage Events and AT&T Events. RPDA was voted Best Dance Studio on Detroit's WDIV channel 4 "Vote 4 The Best" in 2014 and again in 2020! Ms. Huber-Mitchelson continues her studies today to remain a creditable dance teacher and studio owner.

Shawn Mitchelson

OFFICE MANAGER

Mr. Shawn is our friendly office manager. He is always willing to help in any way that he can. He is also an amazing prop dad!

Dr. Jennifer Tillinger



Dr. Jennifer began dancing at the age of four and training with Ann Parsley at the age of eleven. Dr. Tillinger was one of the original members of the Macomb Ballet Company and has performed the role of Cinderella. Her passion to dance drove her to continue her dance education at the University of Michigan where she received a BFA in Dance. Dr. Tillinger has danced and choreographed professionally throughout the Metro-Detroit area and has toured with the International Auto Show. Dr. Tillinger has been teaching dance since 1988 and is a certified instructor of the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. She holds certificates for teachers grades I – VI and has been preparing and presenting students and teachers for ballet since 1993. Dr. Tillinger also has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Oakland University, where she is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

Elizabeth Fadell

Elizabeth Fadell was born and raised in Port Huron, Michigan. She grew up dancing at several local dance studios. During high school she trained at Paavola’s School of Dance in Flint and performed several principal roles with the Young People’s Ballet Theater. She also performed annually with The Nutcracker Ballet Company in Port Huron. Elizabeth earned a BA in Dance from Grand Valley State University and after graduation she danced professionally with the Grand Rapids Ballet under the direction of Patricia Barker. She also taught at the Grand Rapids Ballet School. Elizabeth moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she taught at Legacy Ballet Academy and performed with Arizona Dance Group. Elizabeth also had the opportunity to be a guest artist alumni at Grand Valley, teaching the students ballet and setting a piece for their Spring Performance. Elizabeth is certified in Pilates through Balanced Body. She is excited to be back home in Michigan and to start teaching at Rhythm Pointe Dance Academy. 

Ryann Coakley

 Miss Ryann is a former Rhythm Pointe Dance Academy student. She danced at Rhythm Pointe since age 7.  She was a member of RPDA's Performing/Competitive Company.  Ryann competed for 10 years until she graduated from Eisenhower High School. Ryann is trained in ballet, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, and tap. Her favorite styles of dance are lyrical and hip hop.  Ryann was also a member of the Eisenhower dance team program throughout high school. She was on IKE's US National dance team in 2018. She also danced as a member of the United dance crew for the Jimmy Johns Field for 2 years and trained to perform at games.  Ryann currently attends college at Oakland University and is studying physical therapy. Ryann is so excited to be back at her second home (RPDA) doing what she loves to do most (dance)!  She's excited to see what the future holds! 

Cody Yerkovich

Cody Yerkovich is a former Rhythm Pointe Dance Academy Company Member and Student. He began dancing at the age of 7 and became a member of the competition team at age 8. Cody competed for 10 years until he graduated from Chippewa Valley High School with Honors. Cody is trained in Hip Hop, Breakdance and Tap. Cody has won many achievements throughout his dance career including the title of Mr. Junior KAR Dance twice, Mr. Junior Showbiz and Mr. Platinum Dance. Cody is attending Detroit Carpenters Apprentice Program and learning the trade of carpentry. Cody is excited to be part of the RPDA staff which has been his second home growing up. He is ready to inspire dancers and help them grow and love the art of dance as much as he does.  

 

Coach Lexi Pawlik

Lexi started gymnastics at the age of 7. She quickly fell in love with competitive gymnastics. After moving to Michigan at the age of 12, Lexi transitioned to the cheer world. She cheered in Middle School and an additional 4 years at Rochester High School. After high school she attended Western Michigan University and obtained a degree in Exercise Science. Lexi started coaching gymnastics while attending college. After she graduated from WMU she coached gymnastics for 13 years at Olympia Gymnastics Academy. She has since graduated with a degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant! Coach Lexi is looking forward to assisting all RPDA students this summer in gymnastics, tumbling, and tricks!

Brianna Bedsole

Brianna Bedsole started dancing at a young age at a local Michigan studio. Growing up she participated in an award-winning dance company that traveled around the country for competitions and performances. Brianna continued her education at Hope College where she earned a BA in Dance Performance/Choreography and Communication. While at Hope she was exposed to many great teachers through classes, as a member of Hope's jazz and tap company iDt, and while working with her peers for student concerts. As a member of iDt, Brianna was lucky enough to perform with Chicago Tap Theatre in their annual Tidings of Tap Concert. Since graduating from Hope she has taught at several studios around the Metro Detroit area and served as a rehearsal teacher for the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Brianna is excited to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of dancers. 

Lisa Stop

Lisa is a native of the Detroit area and is trained in a variety of dance genres including tap, ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern and Polynesian dance. She has taught throughout the country and internationally. Some teaching credits include the American College Dance Association on behalf of Henry Ford College faculty, Phoenix Tap Festival, Detroit Dance City Festival and The Beast Dance Convention. Ms. Allai-Stop also teaches and choreographs annually for various studios and events in Aruba. In addition to directing a non-profit program, Lincoln Park Dance Company, Lisa is also on faculty at The School of Eisenhower Dance Detroit and Tap Dance Detroit. She has been blessed to have been mentored by tap dancers Bruce Bristol, Prof. Robert L. Reed and Denise Caston-Clark and has additionally studied with Dianne Walker, Heather Cornell, Avil Miller and Ofer Ben, Jason Samuels-Smith, Savion Glover, Karen Callaway-Williams and many more. Outside of tap dance, Lisa has a varied background having danced as part of the Henry Ford College Full Circle Dance Company, dancing and singing in a revue with the legendary Eartha Kitt, performing Polynesian dance at lūʻau's with her dance troupe, The Tropical Wahines. She has studied with master teachers from Alvin Ailey, Finis Jhung, Sue Samuels, ABT Master classes and wth Kumu Hulas Tina Gleason-Eggert and Keali'i Reichel. Lisa has been a company member of the Detroit Tap Repertory for over ten years and continues to perform with, and choreograph for the company and additionally, serves as the company historian. In addition to performing nationally and internationally with the Detroit Tap Repertory, she has performed with Anthony Lacascio's TapLife Company and competed at the World Tap Dance Championships in Riesa Germany in the adult competition. Lisa also holds a Master's in Education and is currently on faculty in the mathematics departments at Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University.

Mark McCleese

Mark spent several years training in dance through high school and college. He graduated from Oakland University with a Major in Musical Theatre  Performance and a Minor in Dance. Mark moved to California and has appeared in several professional musicals including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, Fiddler on the Roof, and has appeared in several pilots, and movies. During his time in California he choreographed musicals from coast to coast, and has been a guest teacher for several studios, workshops, and camps. He spent several years working at various competitive studios in San Diego, Laguna Beach, Simi Valley, Los Angeles, and Brentwood. Upon moving back to Michigan, he opened MDM Dance Project in Shelby Township and was the owner and artistic direc tor for many years. While owning MDM Dance Project he became the youth director for Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre. Mark has also been a guest faculty member and teacher for
Musical Theatre and Tap classes at Oakland University. Currently, Mark judges for numerous competitions and is working toward his masters in clinical mental health counseling at Oakland University. He is thrilled to be joining Rhythm Pointe Dance Academy and getting back to choreographing for the competitive stage.

Office Hours

Monday         4:30PM - 8:00PM

Tuesday        OFFICE CLOSED

     Wednesday   4:30PM - 8:00PM

Thursday     4:30PM - 8:00PM

      Friday            OFFICE CLOSED 

Saturday     10:00AM - 2:00PM   

Sunday          STUDIO CLOSED







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