Kristie Wyler – Director, Dance Instructor
Kristie graduated from the University of Michigan – Dearborn with degrees in Communications and Psychology. Since age 4, Kristie has had extensive studio training in Pointe, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Tap, Musical Theater and Pom. She has danced competitively regionally and nationally since age 10 and prior to Metro Dance, Kristie implemented and ran a city dance program while coaching Junior Varsity and Varsity dance teams. Kristie joined the Metro Dance staff in 2005 and has been the Owner/Director since 2006.
Shannon Barrett - Dance Instructor
Shannon joined the Metro Dance Company's staff in 2006. She has studied numerous forms of dance including Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Gymnastics, Pointe, Hip Hop, Kickline & Pom and has danced competitively since age 10. In high school, Shannon was a member of Annapolis High School's Varsity Pom Pom team and has since coached the Westland Stars and Spirits Dance and Cheer Team, Crestwood JV Pom Pom and Cabrini JV Pom Pon. She loves teaching children of all ages and prides herself on maintaining a healthy balance of discipline & fun in her classes. Shannon enjoys creating age appropriate choreography that pushes the envelope in a creative way. She teaches her students that it is okay to be different, regardless of what others perceive to be normal.
Laura Cionca - Dance Instructor
Laura studied teaching at Michigan State University where she graduated with degrees in German and advertising. She has always had a passion for dance and began her formal training at the age of 12. While developing her craft, Laura studied diligently under renowned teachers and was a member of an international dance troupe that performed throughout Europe and North America. An instructor for almost 10 years, Laura is certified to teach Pilates and has taught several dance forms including hip hop, tap, jazz, ballet and creative movement.
Dana Cochren - Dance Instructor, LCCA
Dana has danced since age 5 at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, under the direction of MaryEllen Cooper. Her major training is in the Cecchetti Method of classical ballet. She is a certified teacher and a member of the Eastern Michigan Committee of the Cecchetti Council of America, and has been successfully training students and teachers in the method since 2001. She loves teaching and choreographing, and her philosophy in teaching dance is to train not only the body, but the mind and the ear, to explore and participate in the art of dance, and to challenge every student to become more self-aware and expressive.
Jenna Smith - Front Desk
Xiao (Angel) Tan - Piano Instructor
Melissa Gross - Dance Instructor
Melissa received her Associates Degree in Childhood Development and then went on to major in dance at Western Michigan University, where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance and a minor in Business Management. Starting dance at the age of 4 and teaching as a junior in high school, both have been a passion of hers. Throughout middle school and high school she competed locally and nationally, receiving many different awards and scholarships at dance competitions/conventions. She was a part of the Livonia Civic Ballet Company and danced various roles in The Nutcracker for many years. Melissa was a Varsity Salem Rockette for 4 years, and a Mid-American and UDA All Star. She danced at the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade for two years, multiple Pistons games, and was in the Stanley Cup Parade for the Red Wings. In college, Melissa was on the Western Michigan Dance Team and competed nationally in Daytona Beach, for two years, where they placed 2nd in the nation her last year. They also traveled with the football team and dance at the Texas Bowl in Dallas Texas. Also in college, Melissa was a member of Hip Hop ConnXion, which was founded by Suave, a professional choreographer and dancer. While being in the dance department, Melissa performed in the Orchesis concert with Hip Hop ConnXion, and the Winter Gala Concert with a jazz piece called “Slit Red” choreographed by Kirsten Harvey. Melissa has been teaching and choreographing for over 9 years with many different genres, ages, and levels. She has worked with recreational and competitive dancers, where she was awarded for her choreography at multiple competitions. As a teacher, she wants to focus on training each student to develop proper technique, as well as gaining the same passion she shares, with them.
Jami Mullins– Voice Instructor
Emily Swanson - Dance Instructor
Emily is currently studying Special Education, English, and Dance at Eastern Michigan University where she is on the Dean's List. She studied at Metro Dance Company for nine years and was the 2007 All Around Dancer. Emily danced competitively for thirteen years and is trained in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, modern, pointe and tap. She is certified in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet through Grade VI. Emily has performed with the Plymouth Canton Ballet Company and in the Central City Christmas Spectacular and currently performs with the Eastern Michigan University Dance Program. Emily has taught children of all ages.
Stefanie Shepler - Dance Instructor
Rita Wyler– Office Manager
Rita graduated from the University of Michigan – Dearborn with a degree in Early Childhood Education and comes to Metro Dance with over 10 years teaching experience.