Meet the Faculty
At Broadway Dance Co, our faculty believes that dance training fosters valuable life skills such as respect, humility, teamwork, goal-setting, creative expression, and personal achievement.
All our instructors have extensive qualifications in dance and a solid understanding of what is technically-appropriate for every age level. The faculty works hard to ensure that every student reaches their very best potential.
STUDIO OWNER | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Michelle Larnard brings years of experience as a professional dance instructor, choreographer and performer to her role as Owner/Artistic Director. She is trained in tap, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz.
Michelle is a graduate of MSU with a BA degree in Psychology and Dance. She was a member of the MSU Repertory Dance Company, a teacher for the MSU Orechsis program, and a director and choreographer for the MSU student dance productions. Her choreography combines an artistic talent and visionary movement that makes her pieces dynamic. Her passion and dedication to each students personal dance success makes her an exceptional teacher and award-winning choreographer.
Michelle is a life long dance student, she continues to add to her dance expertise by training with the top choreographers and teachers throughout the United States. Michelle is also an RYT 200 hour certified yoga instructor.
COMPETITION | RECREATIONAL INSTRUCTOR
Katie Caldwell is a graduate of Point Park University, PA. Katie graduated with a BA degree in Advertising and Dance. She has trained in all styles of dance as well as acrobatics.
She has performed with professional Pittsburgh dance companies and has judged dance competitions. She has won many awards for her outstanding choreography including Top Overall, Judges Choice, and FDC finalist.
Katie is a certified Acrobatic Arts Instructor. Through this certification she teaches our students exercises to increase strength, flexibility and endurance. She also has the required skills to safely spot tumbling and group stunts.
COMPETITION | RECREATIONAL INSTRUCTOR
Laura Standlick has 33 years of training and experience at several of the most prestigious dance programs in North America including two seasons of training at The Royal Winnipeg School of Ballet and a 6-month work study program at New York City's Broadway Dance Center.
Laura danced for three years with the Detroit Shock dance team. She then majored in Dance at Western Michigan University where received and attended the Frank Hatchett scholarship program from Broadway Dance Center in NYC attended an intensive scholarship at the Edge Performing Arts in Los Angeles, California. She has performed on stage with Boyz II Men and in Gus Giordano's Sing, Sing, Sing.
While living in NYC for her work study, Laura performed professionally with The Double D Productions and was chosen to perform for Celebrity Cruise Lines. She then traveled the world and was selected as dance captain for several contracts. From there she began to choreograph and teach dance while still performing professionally at Motor City Casino, MGM Grand Casino, and with Max Pellicano's Elvis impersonator show at Caesars Windsor Casino.
10 years later, Laura is a renowned choreographer and teacher who has taught many award winning routines. She has received numerous choreography awards at Regional and National competitions. She has been a GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION for multiple pieces throughout the past decade and has just received her third INDUSTRY DANCE AWARDS NOMINEE this season. In the past 9 years, she has been a judge for multiple competitions such as KAR, Rainbow and now recently ENERGY. Laura choreographed the opening number for ENERGY Nationals this past season in Sandusky, Ohio. This past competition season she became a International judge and traveled throughout Australia for 6 weeks in 2019.
Laura is also the Director of IGNITE DANCE INTENSIVE. IGNITE is a successful dance convention that will soon be having its 7th season in the Metro Detroit Area. Attending students study and train in multiple styles with amazing teachers annually.
She enjoys seeing talent throughout the WORLD and is super excited to meet and inspire more dancers. LIVE, BREATHE, DANCE...
Elizabeth Kaarlela has over 30 years of dance experience and 16 years of teaching experience. She received her early training beginning at age 4, in the Russian style of Ballet under the direction of Phyliss Pickett, who danced professionally with a ballet company in New York. She began tap, jazz and lyrical at age 9. She started studying Chechetti at age 12 and passed her 1-4 exams with high honors.
Lizz's performance experience includes many annual recitals and performances of The Nutcracker Ballet. She began teaching and choreographing her own works at age 17 and began teaching and choreographing competitive dancing at age 22. She is certified to teach through Dance Masters of Michigan and America and devotes herself to continuing and furthering her education in a pursuit to become a more well rounded dance teacher.
Lizz is married with two daughters and a sassy pug and in her free time she enjoys nature and walks with her family.
BALLET | INSTRUCTOR
Beth Perry has been teaching ballet to students of all ages for almost twenty years and is certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum for levels pre-primary through three. She earned her MA in American Dance Studies from Florida State University and her BA in History with a Specialization in Dance from Michigan State University.
After receiving her Masters, Beth taught ballet history for four years at the American Ballet Theatre's summer intensive in Detroit and danced with stb dance in Men Dance Michigan. She also worked for five years as the operations manager with the arts education organization, Living Arts.
While at Florida State University, Ms. Perry danced in Days of Dance, Awaken and Shift an MFA Concert, represented FSU at the American College Dance Festival, and extensively researched Alwin Nikolais, the subject of her thesis. She also had the fabulous opportunity to study with Suzanne Farrell, Jowale Willa Jo Zolar, Dan Wagoner, Sheila Humphreys, Lynda Davis, and Geri Houlihan at FSU. Ms. Perry performed for two years with MoreDances Contemporary Dance Company based in Troy, Michigan and also in Bravo, Bravo! an annual fundraiser for the Detroit Opera House. While at MSU she performed with the Dance Repertory Company, Orchesis, and in the MSU School of Music’s production of Orpheus and The Underworld. She was also on the executive board for Orchesis, the student dance group.
Ms. Perry is mom to two wonderful children who do their best to keep her on her toes.
COMPETITION | RECREATIONAL INSTRUCTOR
Kaylee Adair is a performer, instructor, and choreographer that strives to share her journey and passion for dance. She began training with ballet, tap, hip hop, lyrical and jazz at the age of 3 and continued her dance education with pointe, Pilates, acrobatics, and modern techniques. She participated in additional training experiences including Complexions Dance, Eisenhower Dance, Dance Theater of Harlem, and many more. Kaylee is also a Broadway Dance Alumni, graduating in 2018, as well as a former Dancer of The Year recipient. Kaylee graduated from Wayne State University in May of 2022 receiving a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with Honors, and a minor in Nutrition and Food Science. While at Wayne State, she further developed her dance education from faculty members Meg Paul, Dr. Biba Bell, Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney, Hannah Andersen, and Jessica Rajko amongst others.
While at Wayne, Kaylee shared her love and passion for dance by teaching classes at Broadway Dance Company located in Lake Orion, Michigan. While teaching styles that she has a strong education in, Kaylee takes an anatomical approach to help further dancers’ technique. As a fully Acrobatics Arts Certified instructor and in the process of receiving her STOTT Pilates Level 1 Mat and Reformer Training, these principles and approaches are taken into every aspect and way of Kaylee's teaching.
COMPETITION | RECREATIONAL | INSTRUCTOR
Linda believes in continuing education and training, attending the Summer Body Rhythm Festival in Hamburg, Germany is her educational goal for 2023. She has trained in the past with the likes of renowned teacher Henry LeTang, Christopher Erk of 'Tap Dogs', Charlie McGowan and also Ben Schütz who teaches Music and Body Rhythm classes. Zoom classes have made it much easier to train and lean new things from a wider selection of teachers!
More often than not, you'll find Linda teaching tap classes, tap has ALWAYS been her first love in dance! She also teaches jazz, strength/flexibility classes and the occasional ballet class. Along with teaching dance at BDC and other local studios, Linda has created choreography for many local musical theatre productions including; Peanut Gallery Players at Meadowbrook Theatre, the MRP Theatre Program at both Marian and Brother Rice High Schools, and spent many years as choreographer for Community House Youth Theatre in Birmingham. Currently, Linda is the named choreographer for Interact Entertainment, in Bloomfield Hills.
COMPETITION INSTRUCTOR | CHOREOGRAPHER
Jill Cassidy is a professional dancer, choreographer, certified Xtend Barre, Piloxing, TRX instructor and founder of Motor City Choreography Collective (formerly Motor City Movement). Jill's professional career has included stage, film and television credits. She has been working in the industry for over 20 years. Her award winning choreography can be seen locally all over the Metro Detroit area, nationally and internationally. On top of studio and company work, Jill choreographs for high school and college dance teams, including Harvard University, Grand Valley State and others. She has been an adjunct Professor of Dance at Oakland University and at Wayne State University. She currently choreographs for recording artist, Sofi K. Jill was the choreographer for the television series The Wannabes airing on Starz Family. She judges for Dance Force Xpress competitions. Jill holds a BA in Communications from Oakland University is the proud mama of two littles, Samantha and Jackson.
INSTRUCTOR | CHOREOGRAPHER
Portia Bothwell, formerly Portia Simms, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Long Beach, CA up until the end of her freshman year of high school. She then moved to Lake Orion, MI where she finished the rest of her high school career.
Portia, the child who bopped to the rhythm of the windshield wipers, started officially dancing at the age of 5 when her mother enrolled her into a recreational dance program where she learned ballet, tap, and jazz. After outgrowing the program she then became an assistant for the teacher, earning her first tap duo with a classmate. She was eventually recommended to attend a classical ballet studio where she continued dancing throughout the years.
During her middle school years, her parents divorced and dancing at a prestigious dance studio was no longer feasible. However, that didn't stop Portia from doing what she loved. She began taking hip hop classes here and there as a preteen. It was then where she found her love for the hip hop genre of dance and music.
Once she hit the 9th grade, Portia made the dance team and enjoyed learning a variety of dance styles from ballet to hip hop, to lyrical and even step. After moving to Michigan, Portia made the step team and soon found herself Captain of the team. She was able to explore different rhythms and sounds through the body as well as choreograph and teach dance.
Mrs. Bothwell has been teaching for well over 10 years. While attending Oakland University, she danced and choreographed for the school's hip hop dance team, Intrigue, and begun working for a local studio in Lake Orion in 2006. In 2013, she opened her own dance studio called Product of Hip Hop Dance Academy, better known as PH2D. She has enjoyed exploring the creative process that comes from being an owner and teacher of a dance studio.
Portia is married and the mother of two, as well as the step mother to one. She looks forward to joining the BDC family for the upcoming 2022-2023 season and is super excited to meet, inspire, and share the love of the art of dance with her students. And 5, 6, 7, 8!