Lisa Shapiro – Studio owner since 1988. Teaches classes (all levels) in jazz, tap, ballet, and pointe. Choreographer for high school musicals including: Cats, Damn Yankees, Back to the 80s, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Guys and Dolls, and Hello Dolly. Co-creator of an in-house Ballet Company for 18 years that performed original choreography in fairy tale themed shows including Beauty and The Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, The Wiz of Oz, Anastasia, Alice in Wonderland, The Lion King, Oliver, Read Me A Story, The King and I, Annie, and The Wizard of Oz. Previous teaching experience includes team-teaching the dance program three years at a public high school. Joined her childhood dance teacher to run the after school dance program at Ferndale High School in 1979; took over the program in 1981.

lisa shapiro

Miss Lisa

Erin Goldsworthy – Graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degrees in communications, economics and education. Trained for two years in the EMU Dance program in modern and ballet. Performance experience includes dancing with the Peter Sparling Dance Company in Ann Arbor. Co-director of an in-house Ballet Company for 8 years that performed original choreography in fairy tale themed shows including, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Wiz of Oz, Anastasia,  The Lion King, Oliver, Annie, and The Wizard of Oz. Currently responsible for the maintenance and development of the studio website. Assistant Artistic Director and Director of offsite programming. Dancing at Center Stage since 1994. Teaches: jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, and preschool.

erin goldsworthy

Miss Erin

Front Office

Office Manager: Renee Siracusa

Systems Manager: Holly Tilton

Bookkeeper: Allie Waisanen

Renee Siracusa

Miss Renee

Senior Faculty

Allie Shapiro-Waisanen – Allie is a Center Stage Alum who works primarily as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) at Michigan Medicine, having completed schooling at Grand Valley State University and Madonna University. Allie provides offsite support to the front office, functioning as the studio’s bookkeeper. Allie has the opportunity, on occasion, to sub in the classroom, and most enjoys tap. Allie’s son, Levi, is a third generation Center Stage dancer!

Allie Shapiro-Waisanen

Miss Allie

Dami (a.k.a. Dammy) Ikwe – Dami started dancing at a young age training in contemporary and modern. While studying psychology at the University of Michigan, he danced with a branch of the international dance company Dance 2XS, eventually becoming one of the branches Co-Artistic Directors. He’s the former Creative Director of Next Level Dance Company, a youth and adult hip-hop dance company based in Detroit. Next Level competes across the Mid-West region and has taken 3rd place overall at World of Dance Chicago twice, as well as placing and winning at various other competitions across the Midwest and country. They have earned two invitations to compete at World of Dance International Finals L.A., once in 2015 and again in 2017. Dammy loves working with both adults and children and is always looking to push dancers to think outside of their box and find their personal style. Dami joined our staff in 2017.

dami ikwe

Mr. Dami

Marie Jaster – Marie is a 2017 graduate of Northville High School and is currently enrolled at Schoolcraft College with plans to transfer to Eastern Michigan University to study Elementary Education. She has been dancing at Center Stage since 2012. She began assisting instructors in the classroom in 2015 and was also a member of the competitive TEAM for two years. Marie is excited for her first year as the lead teacher in a tap and jazz classroom along with assisting in ballet, dance acro, and TEAM classes.

marie jaster

Miss Marie

Holly Tilton – Center Stage Alum and Graduate of Alma College with a BA in International Business and French including Diplome de Langue certificate. At Alma, she was an active member of the Alma College Dance Company. She participated in many ballets including Giselle, Swan Lake, Pas de Quatre, the Nutcracker and more. She assisted in choreographing and staging for Giselle including a fun wooden shoe "tap"-style dance. Additionally, Holly choreographed and staged several original tap pieces during the young choreographers and spring concerts. While mainly focused on ballet, pointe and tap in college, she also participated in jazz and some modern pieces thanks to guest choreographers from NY and CA. Also, during college, Holly worked at Center Stage helping run the summer dance program and co-choreographing the company ballet "Read Me A Story." After college, Holly moved to Chicago, IL, and then transferred to Atlanta, GA, working for McMaster-Carr Supply Company in both locations. Shortly after her son was born, Holly's family moved back to Michigan. Holly's daughter now dances at Center Stage. These days, Holly can be found behind the front desk at Center Stage or teaching ballet or tap.

Holly Tilton

Miss Holly

Claire Varvatos – Claire is a 2019 graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Supply Chain Management and a minor in Retail Management. She has danced at Center Stage since the age of three. She was a member of the competitive TEAM which included attending conventions and workshops where she was able to take class from professional dancers and choreographers from around the country. As a freshman in high school, she worked as an apprentice in the dance classroom and continued teaching through college. You can find Claire in the preschool, jazz, ballet and tap classrooms.

Claire Varvatos

Miss Claire

Studio Assistants & Apprentice Programs

Based on maturity level and commitment to dance, upper-level students with leadership qualities may be invited to join our Studio Assistants program or our Apprentice Program. Studio Assistants and Apprentices assist teachers by helping to demonstrate steps, combinations and choreography during classes. They serve as role models for younger dancers and as representatives of our studio. It is considered an honor to be invited into this program.

Apprentice Program Mission Statement

  • To teach senior level dancers the art and mechanics of operating a dance studio business including: dance instruction, choreography, communication skills, systems management, building management, and time management.
  • To demonstrate the skills necessary to instruct, nurture and develop young dancers in their pursuit of technique, self-esteem and FUN!
  • To enhance the instructional flow by providing each teacher with an assistant. In time, the apprentice will assume a co-teacher role. The effect of ‘team-teaching’ will be that of a better student-to-teacher ratio and in the absence of the primary instructor the apprentice will perpetuate the class routine.
  • Minimum age of an apprentice is 14, or a freshman in high school. As our program has grown, the most typical entry age for an apprentice is 15, or a sophomore in high school.
  • Apprentices are invited by the director to participate in the program. Considerations for invitation include: skill level, commitment, attitude, level of participation in studio activities, leadership qualities, and dependability.
  • Apprentices are compensated by the hour. They are required to document their hours on a monthly basis for reimbursement. If they cannot come to work as scheduled, they must arrange for a substitute apprentice to work with the primary instructor.
  • It is strongly impressed upon the apprentices that they represent our studio, its philosophy, and its reputation, but most importantly, that the younger dancers are always watching them. They must role model in the most positive of ways at all times.
  • We have regular contact with most of our Alumni. Over the years, many of them have told us that the time they spent as an Apprentice proved to be invaluable to them as they moved forward in higher education and careers.
  • The young people in the Apprentice Program are a wonder. They are incredibly talented, heart-warmingly loyal, and full of the desire to achieve. It is our distinct pleasure to have the chance to help them reach their greatest potential.

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Serving Ann Arbor, Belleville, Canton, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Milford, Northville, Northville Township, Novi, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Redford, Royal Oak, Salem, South Lyon, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield, Westland, White Lake, Wixom, and Surrounding Cities