Staff

 

Michelle Miller

Owner, Artistic Director, Instructor, Choreographer



Michelle is an experienced and awarded instructor, choreographer and performer. Mrs. Miller helps dancers to realize the incredible rewards of discipline and hard work. Her high expectations and nurturing spirit allow dancers to excel and reach their goals.


Michelle started her training as a gymnast at the age of 4.  She began dancing at age 11 and continued in dance and musical theater through college.  Michelle has performed in productions of “The Pajama Game”, and “Music Man” and had starring roles in the International Film, “Music Criminal” and two productions of

“A Chorus Line”.  Once starring as BeBe and then as the vivacious Val.

Michelle has appeared in an Illinois Lotto Commercial and on an episode of  the TV Show “Early Edition” and has modeled for various photographers.  Michelle was also the Overall Talent Winner (Vocalist) in the Miss Illinois State University Pageant in 1990 and was a finalist in the Miss Illinois USA Pageant in 1993.


Michelle was the Head Coach of the St. Charles East JV Dance Team in 1996. With her choreography and instruction, the team was undefeated for their season


Miller has choreographed productions of “Once On This Island” and “Little Shop of Horrors” and was a dancer, choreographer, and vocalist for the well known “Blooze Brothers Show Band”.  With the band she toured Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Colorado from 1998-2009 entertaining crowds upwards of 10,000 people!


Michelle began teaching and co-founded M&M Dance Productions in 1992 while working full time in Public Relations and Marketing.  When son, Mason, was 2 years old, the opportunity was right for Michelle to develop and open M&M Dance in Elburn as the sole owner in 2003. Miller has restructured her competitive dance company in order to meet the needs of her students and to propel them to the next level...Empower Dance Company is a highly disciplined group of dancers with many having goals to be professional dancers and performers.  The sister dance company, MMDC , is structured to give dancers, that may have started dancing later or are not interested in the intense schedule and commitment that EDC requires, performance opportunities, competition experience and invaluable lessons in responsibility and goal achievement.


Miller continues to grow as a dancer and a teacher by attending conventions such as  The Pulse, West Coast Dance Explosion, L.A. Dance Magic, New York City Dance Alliance, Adrenaline, JUMP,  Velocity, Hollywood Vibe, and Intrigue;  taking classes and dancing with top choreographers and instructors from around the country such as  Twitch, Mia Michaels, Sonya Teyah, Alan Sherfield, Jeff Lapes, Katy Spreadbury, John Crutchman, Stacey Tookey, Bobby Newberry, Phlex, Elizabeth Parkinson, Tara Foy, Mark Meismer, Joey Dowling, Dee Caspary Ray Leeper, Justin Giles, DJ Guthrie, Cris Judd, and many more!


Michelle has added a new chapter to her life as a commercial model signed with multiple Chicagoland Agencies and has shot an ad campaign for United Airlines and worked as a fit model for Kohls.  Michelle has also shot multiple commercials for Sage Products.


Michelle is so pleased to be able to help shape the futures of her dancers.  She feels a very personal responsibility to prepare her dancers for the many different situations they will encounter on their road to success; whether it be as a professional dancer/performer or another career path.  The skills that are learned through dance will benefit all no matter where life takes them!

Maggie Kopesky

Assistant Artistic Director, Instructor, Choreographer



Maggie holds a B.F. A. in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University where she was trained by well known instructors, Paula Frasz and Judith Chitwood in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Character and Spanish Dancing.


Miss Redman has been teaching for 10 years and has extensive experience with dancers age 2-7 years old.


Maggie has starred in a production of “A Chorus Line” and has been a featured

dancer with Dance Loop Chicago.  She has choreographed the finale of NIU’s Art for Life benefit concert and also danced the lead in HOTT Productions “Beauty and the Beast”.  Maggie also has several years as a performer and choreographer in the Free Space Dance Concert.


Miss Redman has coordinated the preschool dance programs at several area studios in the past and has also directed a Recreational Dance Facility in our area.  Maggie loves teaching the preschool classes and we are so happy to have her as a part of our program.  We believe in teaching young dancers correct terminology, proper classroom etiquette, and a strong base of skills, while encouraging them to have fun and work hard!


Maggie was named Assistant Artistic Director at M&M Dance in 2008.  She is a vital component to our dance company; instructing and choreographing all competitive Modern and Ballet pieces.


Redman continues to expand her teaching and choreography techniques by attending several conventions each year.  Conventions include: New York City Dance Alliance,  Hollywood Vibe, Velocity, Intrigue, LA Dance Magic, West Coast Dance Explosion, JUMP, NUVO, and Adrenaline.  She is inspired by respected instructors such as Elizabeth Parkinson, Stacey Tookey, Joey Dowling, John Crutchman, Kim Wolfe and Joe Lanteri.


We are delighted to have Maggie Redman on staff at M&M Dance!

Sami Erdmier

Instructor

MMDC Choreographer




Erzsi Bernath

Guest Instructor and Choreographer



Erzsi is a  dancer for Royal Caribbean International.  She an accomplished student of academics and the art of dance.   Erzsi is a BFA Graduate of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and was awarded the largest scholarship given to an in coming Freshman to the dance program.  She was honored with solo parts in faculty pieces and was a highly desired dancer to both guest and student choreographers, during her time at the University.


Prior to her University training, Erzsi danced and flourished under the direction of Artistic Director Michelle Miller and Assistant Director Maggie Kopesky at M&M Dance and Empower Dance Company for 11 years.


Erzsi has modeled for Designs by Valerry, and she has walked the runway in a fashion show for Living Well Cancer Resource Center.  She has also been featured in the Music video “Black & White” for the Chicago based band Adora.


Erzsi is an innate teacher, and she values the opportunity to pass on her knowledge and experience to new dancers.  She believes in creating a nurturing environment to help little ones reach their full potential, while maintaining the technique and performance standards that  M & M Dance is known for.  We look forward to Erzsi bringing new perspective from her University and Professional experience to our dancers at M&M Dance and Empower Dance Company.



Kaitlin Allen

Instructor


Kaitlin is a Student at NIU. She is also a Dance Assistant for Dupree Dance Convention.

Kaitlin danced and flourished under the direction of Artistic Director Michelle Miller and Assistant Director Maggie Kopesky at M&M Dance and Empower Dance Company for a short 3 years and continues to train with us as well as many other Professional studios in the Chicagoland area.


 

Bella Bernath

Guest Instructor and Choreographer


Bella grew up in Geneva and currently resides and works in Los Angles,
CA.


Bella has been dancing her whole life, training  in Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Lyrical, Ballroom,  Musical Theater, Tap, Hip Hop, Tumbling and Vocals.  She is an alumni of M&M Dance and the Empower Dance Company and former dance assistant to John Crutchman and Alan Sherfield of West Coast Dance Explosion.  She soon will be making a name for herself in Hollywood as she continues to pursue her passion for dance and modeling!

Bella is a working model that is represented by several Chicago agencies.  She has done campaigns for Groupon and Six Flags and has walked in fashion and hair shows.  She has been a featured model and choreographer for Designs by Valerry, Weissman’s Designs for Dance, Kelle’ Dancewear and Valerry Designs.  She has also been featured in the music video “Black & White” by the Chicago based band Adora. You will also find her doing her “Fly Girl” thing with the Chicago based band Too White Crew.


Bella is a natural teacher.  She loves working with younger students, and values their enthusiasm.  Bella has been trained in the classroom as an Assistant Teacher with Michelle Miller for 4 years and has proven herself to be an effective, motivating Instructor.  Dancing has motivated Bella to work hard and do her best at dance and in lifel; she is driven to motivate her students in the same way.

Judith Chitwood

Ballet Instructor for Empower Dance Company


Judith Chitwood is a Professor of Dance at Northern Illinois University. She began her dance training in the Chicago area. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music studying under David McLain, Oleg Sabline and the Horton technique under James Truitte. 

Prior to her appointment at NIU, she taught at the University of Cincinnati and Kansas State University. 

Ms. Chitwood’s performing career includes member of the Cincinnati/New Orleans Ballet Company, guest artist with MOMENTA Dance Company in reconstructions of Humphrey/Weidman choreographic works and guest artist in many performances throughout Chicago. Ms. Chitwood is also a Certified Pilates Instructor in Romana’s Pilates working under the Master Teachers, Romana Kryzanowska, Sari Mejia Santo, and Juanita Lopez.

Ms. Chitwood is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, Illinois Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, American College Dance Festival Association and also serves on the board of directors for the Doris Humphrey Society.

Maliwan (Molly) Diemer began her dance training in Columbus, Ohio at the age of three. She continued her studies with RAD certified teacher, Ng Siew Fong while her family lived abroad. Ballet became her passion and by the age of thirteen she had been invited to study and perform with Indiana University's Ballet Theater, where she trained with Violette Verdy, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Jacques and Virginia Cesbron, Leslie Peck and Doricha Sales, along with notable guest choreographers and directors. A long time instructor for Indiana University's Pre-College Ballet Program, Ms. Diemer also spent a year as Associate Instructor for the African American Dance Company under the direction of Iris Rosa. She currently teaches in Chicago and is on faculty at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, serves as

Molly Diemer

Ballet Instructor for Empower Dance Company

Latin Ballroom Instructor for Empower Dance Company

Maddie has been dancing at M&M Dance for 14 years.  She has been trained in all disciplines of dance including Jazz, Tap Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary,  Musical Theater, Pointe, and Hip Hop.  Her passion is Tap!  Maddie has been highly awarded for her Solo Tap Performances and always brings tons of energy and personality to the stage!. Maddie has recently competed in the WCDE National Elite Dancer of the Year Competition in Las Vegas in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017!


Maddie has been training under Michelle Miller as a teacher’s assistant for the past 5years and will continue to train and develop her skills as a teacher.  She is a patient and detailed instructor and her Tap Students love her!

Maddie Landahl

Junior Instructor:  Beginning Tap

Teaching under supervision of Michelle Miller and Maggie Redman

        Classroom Helpers

Training under  Michelle Miller and Maggie Redman

Say Hello to our Classroom Helpers!!!


Morgan, Emilee, Miranda

Abby, Katie and Brianna

not pictured:  Taylor, Mia, Rosie, Regan & Alyssa

All of our Classroom helpers have been dancing with the Empower Dance Company since they were little girls!  They provide a beautiful example to our young dancers of how to execute movement, while they, themselves are learning to be teachers.


We are very proud of the excellence our dancers achieve.  we love that we can “GROW” our own teachers.  They teach what they know...and what they know is excellence!  They have superior attention to detail, amazing discipline and work ethic, above average time management skills, and talent that will take them wherever they choose to go!


Having these girls in the classroom with our AMAZING staff of teachers, further differentiates us from the others.


An M&M Dance education is an education that stays with them for life!

In addition to dance, Maddie is an aspiring writer and actor and is a passionate musician!


We are thrilled to be able to “grow” our own teachers at M&M Dance.  This ensures that all of our classes are taught with the same focus, discipline, and attention to detail that our dancers are known for!


Emilee Klemm

Junior Instructor:  Jazz/Tap Combo

Teaching under supervision of Michelle Miller and Maggie Redman


We are thrilled to be able to “grow” our own teachers at M&M Dance.  This ensures that all of our classes are taught with the same focus, discipline, and attention to detail that our dancers are known for!

faculty member and Performance Project Director for Chicago Ballet Arts and is a member of the dance faculty at Chicago's first public arts high school, the Chicago High School for the Arts. Ms. Diemer has also been a guest coach and teacher for the University of Chicago's UBallet and has taught company class for DanceWorks Chicago. She is a professional ballroom dancer, specializing in International Latin and Ballroom. Ms. Diemer has recently won Professional Rising Star and Open events in both styles. She holds a M.A. in Arts Administration and a B.S.O.F. in Ballet and Political Science, magna cum laude, both from Indiana University.


Brianna Michi

Junior Instructor:  Hip Hop

Teaching under supervision of Michelle Miller and Maggie Redman


We are thrilled to be able to “grow” our own teachers at M&M Dance.  This ensures that all of our classes are taught with the same focus, discipline, and attention to detail that our dancers are known for!


Miranda Hansen

Junior Instructor:  Beginner Lyrical

Teaching under supervision of Michelle Miller and Maggie Redman


We are thrilled to be able to “grow” our own teachers at M&M Dance.  This ensures that all of our classes are taught with the same focus, discipline, and attention to detail that our dancers are known for!


Katie Dunteman

Junior Instructor:  Beginner Jazz

Teaching under supervision of Michelle Miller and Maggie Redman


We are thrilled to be able to “grow” our own teachers at M&M Dance.  This ensures that all of our classes are taught with the same focus, discipline, and attention to detail that our dancers are known for!


Abby Bonebrake

Junior Instructor:  Little Boys Hip Hop

Teaching under supervision of Michelle Miller and Maggie Redman


We are thrilled to be able to “grow” our own teachers at M&M Dance.  This ensures that all of our classes are taught with the same focus, discipline, and attention to detail that our dancers are known for!