Evolve Instructors

We value the experiences your dancer has in the studio every week – not just the competition results or skill levels.

Dance Studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Evolve Instructors

We value the experiences your dancer has in the studio every week – not just the competition results or skill levels.

Dance Studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan

shelby tilmann

Shelby Tilmann is a 2016 graduate of Grand Valley University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. During her time at GVSU, Shelby trained in technical courses including, ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, dance history, dance costuming, pedagogy, and choreography/improvisation. She also performed with Grand Valley State University Dance Company, as well as GVSU Momentum dance club.

Shelby’s teaching & choreography experience includes: GVSU Dance Company, GVSU Children’s Enrichment Center, The Dance Center, Rockford School of Dance, The Dance Asylum, DuHadway Dance Dimensions, and Flat River Dance Company. She received her foundational training at DuHadway Dance Dimensions including Ballet, pointe, Cecchetti, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and hip hop.

Shelby’s favorite part of teaching and choreographing is seeing her students pour their love into something she has helped create.

ashley stonecheck

Ashley grew up dancing in Rockford, MI. She has been dancing for over 18 years and began sharing her love of dance through teaching at age 16. She has trained in jazz, tap, contemporary, ballet and hip hop. Her main focus and continued training is in hip hop. She loves helping her students grow in their love for dance. Ashley danced and choreographed with Cultura Collective as they participated in ArtPrize, an independently organized international art competition. Cultura Collective was fortunate enough to be one of the winners of ArtPrize in 2016. Ashley danced in The Haunt in Grand Rapids and trained with the DanceSpire family as well. She also works with several middle school and high school dance teams creating award winning routines.

samantha tort

Samantha Tort is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Williamston, Michigan. As a dancer, she began her journey with Elizabeth Williams School of Dance and Children’s Ballet Theater in the Lansing area. In her early career she learned ballet, pointe, pas de deus, tap, jazz, and modern from her teachers Elizabeth Williams, Elzbieta Alabuszew-Kutek, and Jesse Powers. Over the summers, she continued her education at Grand Rapids Ballet and BalletMet summer dance intensives. In her collegiate career she continues her studies at Grand Valley State University with majors in Dance and Exercise Science. Samantha has honed her skills in ballet, modern and contemporary while acquiring skills in African dance. She has had the opportunity to learn from her professors Carrie Brueck-Morris, Hannah Seidel, Rachel Miller, Edgar Page, Stephan Sanford, Samantha Shelton, Dana Powers-Klooster, Dawnell Black, and Alexandra Meister-Upleger. She has also had the privilege to work with guest choreographers Justin Koertgen, Alissa Tollefson, and TruDee. Growing up, she performed in several principle and leading roles in the ballets Nutcracker, Robin Hood, Camelot, and Alice in Wonderland. In early college, she performed in the Back to Our Roots Showcase with Lansing Community College. At Grand Valley State University, Samantha has performed in several Dance Department showcases throughout 2019-2022. She is also an active member of the student dance organization, Momentum, performing in their charity performances each semester since 2019. As a choreographer and teacher, Samantha is emerging and thriving. Currently teaching here at Evolve Dance Studio, Samantha is expanding student technique in ballet and pointe to a variety of ages. Samantha has choreographed for the “Back to Our Roots” showcase with Lansing Community College. She has also choreographed and co-choreographed for Grand Valley State University in their “Fall 2020 Dance Concert”. Samantha has produced several student works for submission into her student dance organization and for public viewing. Samantha is very excited to be working with all the amazing teachers and students at Evolve Dance Studio and cannot wait to see where we evolve.

carly o’donohue

Carly O’Donohue is a dancer and choreographer who grew up in Saline, Michigan. She has been dancing for eighteen years and her passion for dance started as a student at Dance Steps Studio right in Saline. Currently, Carly is a senior at Grand Valley State University finishing up her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. She has been trained in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, and improvisation. Carly began teaching dance when she was fourteen. She started off by choreographing for Saline’s local show choir as well as for showcases put on by Dance Steps Studio. Since then, she has been able to choreograph and teach dance through a club at Grand Valley State University and through the courses she partakes in. Carly’s favorite part of teaching is being able form connections with her students and to watch them grow every week.

addison jones

Bio Coming Soon!

roxanne calcagno

Bio Coming Soon!

megan ellison

Megan Ellison is the owner and director of Evolve Dance Academy. She has over 35 years of dance experience. After growing her current dance studio in the Cedar Springs and Northern Kent County area she decided to return to her hometown of Rockford. She loves dance and has been lucky to have it play a big part in her life as both a life long student and a successful teacher. Her dream was to always open a studio that she could share her love for dance and find instructors with a true passion for the art also that children and adults will learn from. Dance has so many benefits both physically and mentally and the mission of Evolve Dance Academy is to build not only a dancers strength and technique, but to find their inner love and passion for the art of dance while building self esteem and confidence.

Register for Dance Classes Online

Check out our upcoming class schedule for the summer along with the 2023-2024 season. You are able to register online, and we welcome dancers of all experience levels. If you have any questions, give us a call or contact us through our website.

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