RCD Staff 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Crimmins - Dancer, Director, Educator, Adjudicator, Choreographer, Television Host, CEO, Rebecca Crimmins has held all those positions throughout the performing arts industry.  As an Adjunct Professor for Oakland University, Ms. Crimmins has been teaching for Oakland’s Dance Department for ten consecutive years. This January, Miss Rebecca is excited to be begin a new dance program opening another dance studio in Washington Township Michigan, Rebecca Crimmins Dance. With over 20 years of dance industry experience, including her extensive background in tap, having studied with great tap masters such as Lady Di Walker, Lane Alexander, Robert Reed, Barbara Duffy, Derrick Grant and more, has inspired Ms. Crimmins to continue sharing the tradition of this great American dance idiom with her Oakland University students. Her professional credits are multi-faceted as she is the CEO and developer of STARLINK the Online Dance Challenge. She originated the children’s television series, Come Dance With Me, hosting and coordinating 28 episodes.   Her extensive past experience includes Owner/Director, Performing Company Director, Choreographer and Teacher for Bravo Dance Centers and Rebecca Crimmins Dance Factory, where her students won National Top awards. The success of these performing companies led her to become a much sought after adjudicator for national talent competitions including; Kids Artistic Revue, Hall of Fame and Star Systems.  In her professional dance years, Ms. Crimmins danced with Detroit Windsor Dance Company and was an original Club Land Dancer.   Her vast diverse education was attained from an early age as a jazz student under the direction of Linda Diamond and as a ballet student under the tutelage of Cornelia Sampson of the Ballet Russe. Miss Rebecca owes her first inspiration of carrying on the legacy of so many tap greats by becoming a student of the legendary Loyd Storey.  She continues to teach, coach and choreograph for Michigan Regional Gymnastics levels 8, 9, 10 & Elite.  Ever since earning her BA at Michigan State University, she has dedicated her career to sharing her passion of dance. Miss Rebecca teaches, dances and choreographs throughout the Metro area and continues to advance her dance education through attending master classes, workshops, conventions and teaching seminars.

 

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Isabel Millington has been dancing since the age of 3. She comes from an extensive studio and dance team background. She is currently studying Human Capital and Society with minors in Dance and Leadership of Organizations at Michigan State University. She is currently a captain of MSU Elite Competitive Dance Team which is a nationally ranked collegiate dance team at the D1a level. She also works as an instructor for UDA, the largest dance team organization in the world. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to continue working in the dance industry through teaching and choreographing,while also attending law school. Ms. Isabel is in her second year of teaching and choreographing for RCD and we are thrilled to have her energy and inspiration.

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Ryan Dawley is currently the Choir & Musical Theatre Director at Oakview Middle School in the Lake Orion Community School District. Ryan has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Oakland University and is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Oakland University.

In addition to being a choir director, he is also very involved in theatre. He has directed, music directed, choreographed, stage managed, tech directed, produced, and acted professionally in over 50 productions. Ryan has performed with choirs and theatre companies all over the United States and Italy. He has been in a number of movies and commercials as well. He loves to travel (especially to New York City). Ryan was selected from thousands of nominations as a quarter-finalist for the 2017 Grammy Music Educator Award.

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Joey Fontana started out dancing at Anita’s Theatre Dance in middle school. By his senior year of high school, was one of the lead choreographers for both their Junior & Senior Elite Competition Teams, winning group and solo awards for his choreography from Hall of Fame, Energy, & Cathy Roe's Ultimate Dance Competition.  He earned his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Oakland University in Rochester, MI (Class of 2017).

National Tour credits: Monty Python’s Spamalot; Regional credits; Something Rotten! (Phoenix Theatre Company), Newsies (The Fireside Theatre), Shrek: The Musical, La Cage Aux Folles, The Producers, White Christmas (Barter Theater), Anything Goes, Oklahoma! (Porthouse Theatre), A Chorus Line, & Little shop of Horrors (The Huron Playhouse). Choreography credits; Assassins, The Theory of Relativity, & The Scarlet Pimpernel (Oakland University). 

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Originally from Metro Detroit, Michigan, Gabriella Burke began her dance training at age 3. She comes from a competitive dance background with training in many styles including jazz, musical theater, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, & pointe. In Michigan, she has had the opportunity to perform “The Nutcracker”, “Cinderella”, and “Snow White” with the Macomb Ballet Company, as well as perform during the Detroit Piston’s Half-time show. Gabriella has appeared in the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show, University of Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase, and a promotional video for Netflix series “Umbrella Academy”. She has attended dance intensives with Arts Umbrella, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Complexions, Ballet West Academy & artEmotion’s Choreographic Workshop, Kairos Pro Dance Prep under the direction of Jacki Sleight & Christian Vincent, and Giordano Dance Chicago. She is grateful to have worked with and performed works by Dee Caspary, Caitlin Kinney, Caroline Lewis Jones, Chantel Aguirre, Colby Damon, Mia Deweese, Blake McGrath, Jacki Ford, Matt Cady, Dwight Rhoden, & Desmond Richardson. Gabriella is currently attending Pace University in New York City for a BFA in Commercial Dance studying under Rhonda Miller, Scott Jovovich, Lauren Gaul, Alexandra Damiani, Jacki Ford, and Dee Caspary and in addition, will be receiving a minor in Business. Gabriella will graduate in 2022 and hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a professional dancer. When she is not dancing, Gabriella is very passionate about pilates and sharing her love for dance as a dance instructor. Gabriella is excited to teach & choreograph at RCD while spending time in Michigan.

 photo by Ben Doyle, courtesy of METdance

 

Brett Wotherspoon is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He began dancing in 1995 just shy of 3 years old at Allard Academy of Dance, under direction of Bonnie Allard. He has performed in “The Nutcracker” with both The Moscow Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. After graduating high school from Arts Academy in the Woods as a dance major, he continued his dance studies at Oakland University. On a dance scholarship, Brett performed works by Laurie Eisenhower, Stephanie Pizzo, Gregory Patterson, Ali Woerner, Thayer Jonutz, Bryan Strimpel, Kendra Portier, and Chin Ying. In May of 2013, he performed in the production of “Aida” with Eisenhower Dance and in September he began with Oakland University’s Repertory Dance Company. During Brett’s senior year of college, he became a member of Patterson Rhythm Pace, directed by Gregory Patterson. After completing his Bachelors of Fine Arts in August of 2015, he moved to Houston, Texas to begin his next chapter as a Trainee in 2015 and an Apprentice with METdance, where he has performed works by Artistic Director of METdance, Marlana Doyle, as well as Kiki Lucas, Camille A. Brown, Margot Gelber, Joshua L. Peugh, Rosie Herrera, jhon r. stronks, Mario Zambrano, Hattie Haggard, Joshua Manculich, and Dominic Walsh. Brett is now teaching at his alma mater, Arts Academy in the Woods, and is thrilled to be entering his third season at Rebecca Crimmins Dance.

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Penny Auten started dancing at the age of three and hasn’t looked back since.  She received her training through Dance Factory and Bravo Dance Center of Macomb, MI, and has been teaching and choreographing for 10 years.  Penny is trained in all styles of dance, but her favorite is tap. During her years of competitive dancing, Penny was a recipient of numerous overall awards, scholarships and titles.  She was a member of the Detroit Tap Repertory and has performed alongside tappers from all over the country.  She has performed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, and has been a guest performer on Sterling Heights’ and WBRW’s local television show, “Come Dance With Me.”  She was also a Top 100 finalist on season 7 of Fox’s Emmy-winning television show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”    

Penny attended the University of Michigan, where she majored in Nursing with a minor in Japanese.  In her spare time at U of M, she was the president of the university’s premiere tap group, Rhyth M Tap Ensemble.  She was also a core committee member of Dance Mix, a collaborative event involving the 20+ dance groups on campus.

Penny currently splits her time between choreographing award winning competition numbers for Rebecca Crimmins Dance studio and the surgical ICU at Beaumont Hospital.  She is eager to share her love of dance with her students and patients alike. 

Tamra Lusch-Odrobina - has been a leader and educator in the field of dance for 21 years. She specializes in teaching dance techniques to children of all different ages and levels. Multi-talented, Ms. Odrobina is currently the franchise owner of Kinderdance of Michigan, LLC in Rochester Michigan. As a former  regional manager for Tutor Time, she has been working with children for the past 23 years. “I love working with children & giving them the wonderful gift of dance. 

Her expertise consists of Hip Hop, Jazz and Ballet.  Tamra’s students have gone on to win scholarships, top awards and accolades from major conventions in the industry. She continues to broaden her knowledge by studying with teachers and dance organizations across the country, attending the conventions of Tremaine, Co. Dance, LA Underground, Extreme and more.   Her inspiration to the youngest of dancers is paramount to none as she earned her degree in Early Childhood Development and Business Management.   She has taught at Dance Factory, Bravo Dance Center & Graceful Moves Dance Center. Ms. Odrobina is a wife of 17 years and has two beautiful children, a fifteen-year old daughter, and a twelve-year old son.

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Elizabeth Walker-Kreutziger graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Oakland University.  She went on to receive a Masters of Liberal Studies from The University of Denver in Arts Development and Program Management.  Her most influential dance instructors include Laurie Eisenhower, Greg Patterson, Ali Woerner, Thayer Jonutz, Alisyn and Jared Hurd, and Jessica Riggs.  Beginning her dance education at a young age, she has studied many forms of dance.  She began focusing on ballet, both in the Cecchetti and Russian methods, as well as pointe technique. Elizabeth’s professional credentials are extensive.  She has studied with the Alvin Ailey Dance Program in New York City, performed as a guest dancer with EDE Motown in Motion, danced professionally with MoreDances Contemporary Dance Company, Vertical Ambition Dance Company, ArtJab J Dance, and Life/Art Dance Ensemble.  Additionally, she has toured with singer Tunde Olaniran, performing in cities throughout the United States.  Elizabeth has performed as a b-girl under the name ElizaBEAST, carrying on the roots of traditional hip hop.  She has been a guest artist with Farmington High School, Cranbrook Schools, and the Michigan Thespian Festival.  Elizabeth has taught comprehensively throughout Michigan and Colorado, including many years at the historic Village Youth Theatre in Birmingham.  Elizabeth’s philosophy is one that integrates injury prevention, technique, and self-expression through movement.  Elizabeth is a Level 4 certified Essentrics trainer; this method focuses on the elongation of the muscles through stretching and strengthening, allowing for proper alignment to facilitate, preventing injuries.  Elizabeth is as well, certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and Barre Intensity.

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Lindsey Wawrzyniak has been dancing since the age of 3. She attends Arizona State University and is double majoring in Dance and Communications. She is represented by the Movement Talent Agency based in LA and is hoping to fulfill her dream as a professional dancer or Rockette. She has received several dance awards and scholarships in her years of dancing and her greatest accomplishment is getting a callback for the the TV show “So you Think you can Dance.” She is trained in all styles of dance and loves to perform and choreograph.

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Emily Stys grew up dancing in Michigan and after graduating from Oakland University she moved to NYC. She was a dancer and teacher across Romeo and Rochester performing in many stage musicals and as a competition dancer. After graduation she spent over 4 years with the Walt Disney Company in Japan and on Disney Cruise Line. She now works in regional theatres across the United States. She loves returning to where is all began and teaching the next generation of performers.