ALUMNI

Jennifer Ardell Miller

Jenefer Stickradt Miller is a native of Michigan and an alum of Deborah’s Stage Door. She was once in the DSD Repertory Company and a national champion. Jenefer has studied dance and acting all across the country. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in the Performing Arts from Oakland University and a MAEd from the University of Phoenix. While at OU, her choreography was faculty selected to be presented at Cornell University for the American College Dance Festival. She has appeared on stage with Tap 24.7, Scuff’d Up, Especially Tap Chicago, the Detroit Tap Festival, and Oakland Dance Theatre. She has studied with and performed in shows alongside legends such as Savion Glover, Ben Vereen, Chloe Arnold, Sarah Reich, Jason Samuels Smith, Dianne Walker, Barbara Duffy, Robert Reed, Debbie Allen, and Heather Cornell. Jenefer was honored to perform solo at the Detroit Tap Festival honoring the legendary Nicholas Brothers and faculty credits include the Motor City Tap Fest, The St. Louis Tap Festival, Circle City Tap Fest, Nexus Dance Conventions, and Gregg Russell's Tap Into the Network. Jenefer is also an avid fan of musical theatre and has studied and played in theatre nationally. She studied dance, voice, acting and technical theatre at Oakland University and delved into Improv at the Improv Olympic , or IO, in Chicago. In addition, she has choreographed and directed hundreds of shows including Hairspray, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Seussical the Musical, and many more. She founded and served as the director for the Kyrene Community Theatre for nine years and currently is the director of Thunder Theatre Company. She also teaches dance across the country and is on staff locally at Studio 111 in Ahwatukee and Tempe Dance Academy. JMill, as she is fondly referred to as, has helped several students obtain scholarships from organizations such as The Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the University of Michigan, and the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts. She has won many awards for her teaching and was a finalist for the Ahwatukee Chamber’s Educational Mentor of the Year, nominated for Phoenix Best Teachers in 2011, and has won numerous inspirational awards including one from former Governor John Engler of Michigan. Recently, Jenefer has enjoyed watching many former dance students including Ryan and Evan Kasprzak, Nick Young, and many more on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance! During the day, she is a full time high school English teacher at Desert Vista High School. You can also see her perform regularly with Tap 24.7 and the band Junk at special Junk on Tap performances and is a cast member of Scuff’d Up and Just Breathe and Tap On.

Katie Rustowicz '03

Katie Rustowicz is a Michigan native who grew up winning top awards in the competitive dance world. After graduating she moved to California to continue her training under Joseph Malone at the Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Her television credits include Boston Legal, Joan of Arcadia, Tracy Ullman's "Live & Exposed" / "State of the Union" Seasons 1, 2, & 3, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Bunheads, Growing Up Fisher and Broad City starring Adam Levine. Katie has worked with Lily Allen, N.E.R.D, Beyonce, Herbie Hancock and more. You can see Katie in commercials for Smithfield Ham & Gameworks. In addition to being a working dancer in TV & Film Katie's stage credits include productions of Evita, Peter Pan, South Pacific, a skeleton crew for Lennon the musical, American Choreography Awards, Radio City Christmas Spectacular and numerous shows around Los Angeles.In addition to her career as a professional dancer Katie has had numerous opportunities teaching and choreographing around the country. Katie was thrilled to choreograph her first webisode series this past year based off the Richie Rich series. She was a featured teacher in the Dance Spirit Convention & Competition issue. Katie has been lucky enough to assist one of the industries top master teachers and choreographers Jackie Sleight on numerous jobs, master classes, college classes, shows around Los Angeles and on her convention LA Dance Magic. Katie has directed multiple Final Cut shows and National Finals Gala's for LA Dance Magic where she has accepted the new position of C.F.O. Katie has had the pleasure of sharing her knowledge as a judge for multiple talent competitions in the US & Canada for the past 8 years.Katie is the president and director of Act 1 Talent, a National Talent Competition. Now entering their fifth season, Act 1 talent travels across the country to 16 cities.

Mark Burrell '97

A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City and made his Broadway debut in the First National Tour of Fosse.  He is currently the Assistant Choreographer for Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular starring the world famous Rockettes.  His movie debut was in the film, The Producers.  Other theatrical productions include:  CATS, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,Broadway for Hilary, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  Television credits include:  CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman andNBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien.  Mark has been involved in numerous industrials for such companies as Macy’s Department Stores, Ford Motor Company, Intel Computers, IBM, and Tupperware.  He has also worked with Susan Lucci in her one-woman show.Mark has also been involved in the classical and contemporary works of American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor and Lar Lubovich.  Mr. Burrell is a principle dancer with the company WalkerDance under artistic direction of Chet Walker as well as an honorary guest artist with David Parker and The Bang Group.  Mark is on the jazz faculty at Jacob’s Pillow and has served on faculty for The Juilliard Summer Intensive. Currently Mark serves as a master class instructor and panel contributor for several different teaching organizations including Pittsburgh's CLO Academy, Barbara Ingram's School of the Arts, The Joffrey Ballet School, Jacob's Pillow, Tokyo's Broadway Dance Center, Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute, The Institute for the Blind, Instituto Cultural Peruano Northamericano and others. He is a passionate supporter of Boradway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS and various groups. He frequently performs in charity concerts at various venues in NYC and across the country.

Sarah Smith Podollan  '95

Sarah Smith Podollan is an alum of Deborah’s Stage Door where she was a member of the Repertory Company. She was a top overall national championship soloist as well. Sarah is an extremely successful dancer, singer and actress with a great deal of experience. After completing a year scholarship at the world-renowned dance studio EDGE Performing Arts in L.A., Sarah kicked off her dance career in a small but memorable role in Austin Powers : International Man Of Mystery. From there she worked on other movies such as the next two Austin Powers, She's All That, Scream 2, Not Another Teen Movie, Orange County, Like Mike, Down With Love, Click, and the animated movie Rango. She worked on TV shows like"The O.C.", "The Sweet Life of Jack and Cody", "That 70s Show", "Cold Case", "Drake and Josh", "What About Brian", and "CSI: NY".She’s traveled the world with artist Paul McCartney, toured with Britney Spears and worked with artists such as Carrie Underwood and Justin Timberlake. Sarah was also part of the singing group “Nobody’s Angels” managed by Disney. Her group had hit singles – two of which were on the soundtracks of “The Parent Trap” and “Princess Diaries” and were also at the top of the charts. Throughout her career she's also found time to teach and choreograph. She has traveled across the US teaching with companies such as LADF, LA Dance Magic and Showstoppers.Sarah now lives in Vernon B.C. with her husband and three little boys where she continues to teach and spread her love of dance. She has started a dance intensive called The L.A. Dance Experience where she brings some of the very talented people she met from her 13 years in LA to Canada to teach and inspire. We are so excited to have Sarah here to share her passion and talent without students.

Allison Roller

Allison Roller has been touring with the Radio City Rockettes for over 6 years and has appeared in the “Tribute of the Stars” production at Casino Windsor, International Detroit Auto Show and various community theatres. She is currently the Artistic Director of Take Root, who recently traveled to Berlin for a performance, and an Associate Professor at Oakland University!

Bridget Berger

Bridget Berger is currently performing in Jersey Boys as “Roberta Wooster” . She has also understudied the roles of  Georgia Hendricks and Jessica Cranshaw.  She as also appeared inThe Pajama Game as “Virginia” and also understudied “Babe Williams” . In 2005 she appeared in Jersey Boys as “Mary Delgado”. She most recently was the acting coach on the show Nashville!

David Havasi '96

Presently touring nationally in Spamalot as “Galahad” and “Lancelot”.  He has appeared in “The Producers” as “Leo” and understudied the roles of “blind violinist”, “Scott” and “Donald Dinsmore”.  He as performed in numerous regional productions including, “Hairspray”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Hello Dolly”, “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “Beguiled Again” and  “Damn Yankees”.  David has also appeared in films and movies including the lead role of “Dave” in the film “Together”.

Enrico Rodriguez

(99) Enrico has appeared on Broadway in such hits as Rent and Big, as well as off-Broadway in Zanna Don’t, and Fame.  He has been a part of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  He did the national tour of Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia, and Rent as well as starring in the regional productions of Crazy for You, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story and starred as Ren McCormack in Footloose.  Other theatre works include The Best of Improve, Into the Woods, and The King and I.  He has also done national commercials for the US Postal Service and Office Max.  Enrico just completed the world premier of a new show called Allegiance starring Tony Award winner, Lea Salonga and Star Trek’s George Taei in Los Angeles, California.  It is slated for a Broadway Opening in 2010.

William Thomas '11

Having recently been seen on shows such as World of Dance and So You Think You Can Dance, Will has been working nonstop in the dance world since his graduation for Avondale High School in 2011. He currently dances with Royal Flux Dance and works as a convention teacher for LA Dance Magic. He has previously been a dancer for the Rockettes and is represented by MSA Talent Agency in Los Angeles.

Eric Spear

Eric Spear moved to New York City to attend Joffrey Ballet School. After graduating, he performing in the award winning Broadway musical Movin' Out, for two years. He worked on the Will Smith film I am Legend, and Saturday Night Live. Following that, he modeled for magazines like Cosmopolitan and Details and designers Moschino and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Karen Morre '93

 Karen has a degree in dance form Marymount University in New York City. She has been a member of the Rockettes for several years. She has performed in New York City's legendary "Christmas Spectacular" and has toured extensively in several shows. Karen has also been a member of the David Parsons Dance Company and toured throughout the United States and Europe.

Marissa Dorchock

Upon graduating from Rochester Adams and DSD in 2006, Marisa attended MSU and was one of their first freshman dance team members. In 2007, she relocated to Los Angeles to pursue her dance career. Her repertoire includes productions, such as "The King and I," music videos, with artists such as Miley Cyrus and Green Day, as well as several live stage performances. For the past seven months, she has been performing in “One Man's Dream,” at Tokyo Disney, as Wendy in 'Peter Pan' in addit... read more

Matthew Rustowicz '99

Matt, who now resides in Los Angeles, began  his professional career training at the Performing Arts Center with renowned choreographers such as Joe Malone, Marguerite Derricks, Peggy Holmes, and Michael Rooney.  Matt has been privileged to work with Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Sigourney Weaver, Debbie Reynolds, Sally Fields, Tracey Ullman, Ally McBeal and many others.  He has been in numerous industrials and national commercials for companies such as General Electric, Southern Bell, Microsoft X-Box, Trading Places, Marshall Fields, Sunrider and more.  His television and film credits include among others; Beautiful, Tracy Ullman, Third Rock from the Sun, Jungle Book 2, Ally McBeal, Jack and Jill, These Old Broads, and as a Gap dancer on the Jerry Lewis Telethon.  He co-produced the live stage show Final Cut, was assistant choreographer and danced in Paris by Night in Paris, France, has done music video includingDancing in the Streets, and just recently performed on stage for the American Television Academy in TV Moves 2.

Megan Garstang '99

Currently performing as ‘Lorraine’, and is the understudy for the leading role, ‘Peggy Sawyer’ in the International/National Tour of Broadway’s ‘42nd Street’. Prior to being cast in ‘42nd Street’, Meghan was the female lead in ‘Tap Happy Two’ in Disney’s newest park, Tokyo Disney Sea in Japan. While living in New York City, she worked on the set of ABC’s ‘Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition’. Meghan also graduated in April 2003 from The University of Michigan with a B.S. in Honors Biochemistry an... read more

Melissa Molinaro

Melissa Smith has appeared in two major reality TV competitions, Making the Band 3 and Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll.  At present she is a solo singer and recently released a music video for her debut single and is working on her debut album for 4847 Records. She also owns her own clothing line in Los Angeles California.

Rachel Ross '98

She is a professional make-up artist currently working on the TV show, Young and the Restless. She is also a model, and dancer and she used to work with the Showstopper American Dance Championships. She has performed at The Celebrity Theater in Myrtle Beach, SC. Rachel has just introduced her own cosmetic line and has a unique talent for making you look beautiful.

Spencer Redford '00

Most recently been seen in the film “Look”.  In 2004 she was the lead actress in the Disney Channel movie “Pixel Perfect”.  She has appeared in the role of Caitlin on the Emmy award winning daytime drama “The Young and the Restless”.  Past performances include, Jake in Progress, Arrested Development, The Trail to Hope Rose, That’s So Raven, Law and Order as well as many other films and commercials.

Brian Sheppard '95

is currently performing in Guys and Dolls as “Joey Biltmore”.  In 2007 he appeared in Young Frankenstein as “Telegraph boy” and “Transalvainia Quartet”.  He has played the roles of Dance Captain/Vlad Vladikoff/U.S. Wickersham Brother, Yerlte the Turtle in the touring production of Suessical the Musical staring Cathy Rigby.  In 2005 he appeared in Monty Python’s “Spamalot”. He recently served as dance captain in Broadway’s Annie Get Your Gun and understudied/performed as Tommy Keeler.  He also appeared in both the Broadway production and national tour of Peter Pan.

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