When you attend DMS, you are immersed in a exclusive standard of excellence that equips you with technical expertise and artistic creativity, encapsulating the full professional dance experience. David Braciak loves ballet, George Balanchine and his unparalleled style. After attending the exclusive School of American Ballet for three years, David had the opportunity to dance with Pacific Northwest Ballet performing in pieces from Western Symphony to Stars and Stripes. He was honored to be included in a original Kent Stowell piece. Later, David danced with Kansas City Ballet for two years where challenges and many accomplishments came from having a sound classical repertoire. He took his DMS company on with him to earn prestigious awards for soloist, and ensembles at Artist Simply Human, Tremaine and YAGP. He has won best choreography fifteen years in a row including the very prestigious Youth American Grand Prix best choreography award. David is proud to have his dancers around the country performing in top rated ballet companies from New York City Ballet, Nashville Ballet, to back home at Grand Rapids Ballet. Students have earned scholarships at some of the best performing arts colleges in the country from, NYU, U of M to Butler University. When choosing where to master your love of dance, David Matthew Studios will help develop, nurture, guide, and create the most beautiful dancer.
Christen Snyder grew up in Detroit Michigan where she trained with Shelley’s Spotlight and Juliana’s Academy of Dance in the styles of Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Partnering, Ballet (Cechtti and Russian) Pointe and Musical Theater. Some of her work includes choreographing for the Vixen’s dance team (Predators), Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, Opener for local artists Stefano Garissi, Character performances at Meadow Brooke Music Hall, judging for Raw Energy Dance Competition and several Motorcity Movements.
Christen has worked with many studios in the U.S. teaching master classes and choreographing for competitive teams. Many of which have had several different awards ranging from choreography to technique and everything in between from some prestigious competitions such as KAR, VIP, Access Broadway, Termaine, NYCDA, and Hall of Fame. Christen has recently gotten her certification for Acro and tumbling and also enjoys modeling on the side. Some of her work includes modeling for Raw Energy Dance and promotional advertisements for Paul Mitchell and MGM Grand.
Christen is currently residing in Grand Rapids Michigan where she is excited to start working with DMS studios. She plans to continue teaching and helping young dancers grow in all aspects of life to help get their dance career started strong!
BALLET & TAP INSTRUCTOR
Emelia Koopsen was 4 years old when she started dancing at Ballet Arts in Kalamazoo, MI. She attended several years at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and was in their first International Ballet Ensemble. Emelia also spent a summer in the Cleveland San Jose Ballet program and Grand Rapids Ballet program. She started in the Western Michigan University Dance program as a senior in high school and continued there for her first two years of college. Emelia finished her Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Grand Valley State University.
Emelia has taught dance and gymnastics in the Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Chicago areas for over 15 years. She recently finished an Associates in Physical Therapy Assistant from Owens Community in Toledo, OH. Emelia looks forward to working as a Physical Therapist Assistant and sharing her passion of dance with the students of David Matthews Studio.
BALLET, JAZZ & TAP INSTRUCTOR
Marisa Miller has been dancing since the age of three. At seven years old she met and started taking classes from David Braciak, and she immediately fell in love with ballet. Marisa has placed in the top twelve at the Youth American Grand Prix with a pointe solo, as well as making it into YAGP’s finals. She has also been selected to attend some prestigious ballet schools including Miami City Ballet and School of American Ballet. Along with this, Marisa has achieved multiple convention scholarships and four years of outstanding performance awards at the Artist Simply Human Convention. Marisa loves to pass on her love for dance and help other dancers grow and find their true passion for dance.
HIP HOP & JAZZ INSTRUCTOR
Cameron has trained in numerous styles of dance. He started his dance training at a ballet focused school led by professionals but went on to became a competitive dancer, and was also a part of his high school dance team for three years and captain his senior year. Cameron is a fourth-year student at Grand Valley State University pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. He was also a part of the ten-time national champion GVSU Laker Dance Team 2019-2020. He was the first male dancer to make the dance team at Grand Valley. The dance team helped Cameron grow into a better dancer and continue to improve on his skills all while bringing new experiences to him. Cameron has attended numerous conventions and master classes which led him to make connections with top-tier teachers and choreographers in the industry.
As a progressive professional with classical ballet experience, Cameron believes that he can bring valuable contributions. Observation, inspiration, and determination is his foundation for success. Cameron’s philosophy is introducing fresh perspectives and new techniques to allow for kids to evolve and grow. Formerly in his life, his successes have stemmed from essential skills, including competition preparation and technique development. Cameron is always searching for opportunities to impart valuable insights. With these qualities, he is able to facilitate positive change and impacting outcomes.
Winthrop was born in Grand Haven, MI. He moved to San Francisco in 1975 and danced with Pacific Ballet. Wanting to increase his technique he auditioned and received full scholarships to American Ballet Theater and the Joffrey Ballet schools in NYC. He danced with Cleveland Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet theatre. Win was featured in Alvin Ailey’s The River and other athletic roles. On moving back to San Francisco, he danced the SF Opera Ballet company and worked on becoming a personal trainer. Win was the personal trainer for the San Francisco scholarship program to strengthen the students for the company. Now in Grand Rapids Win is proud to be part of DMS working on strength and grace for ballet technique.
GUEST BALLET/CONTEMPORARY INSTRUCTOR
Tyler Angell is an emerging dance artist and choreographer in Toronto. At the age of 14 he be- gan his intense dance training in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario, where he trained in multiple disciplines of dance.
Tyler relocated to Toronto in 2013 to train with Courtnae Bowman at The School Of Cadence Ballet, where he developed a strong background in classical ballet, pas de deux, contemporary, and modern dance. Now an alumnus from Cadence’s Post-Secondary Training Program, he is now a leading faculty member for the school.
He has worked professionally with TranscenDance Project, Nostos Collectives, Little Pear Gar- den, Cadence Progressive Contemporary Company, Alysa Pires Dance Projects, Patrick Roberge Productions Inc, The Parahumans, Impromptu Movements, I/O Movement, Louis Laberge-Cotê, and Jeff Dimitriou.
Tyler’s strong passion for choreography began during his post-secondary years with Cadence. Since then, his unique stand-out choreography has been featured in shows with Nostos Collectives, Cadence Progressive Contemporary Company, Halifax Dance, New Blue Dance Festival, and The Parahumans.
“anaesthetic”, Nostos Collectives, Toronto, Ontario
“from Adam to Ashes”, Nostos Collectives, Toronto, Ontario
“Prometheus”, The School Of Cadence Ballet, Toronto, Ontario
“November”, WBAC Gala, Niagara Falls, Ontario
“People Always Leave”, Halifax Dance, Halifax, Nova Scotia
“Nowhere Familiar”, The Parahumans, Toronto, Ontario!
“How could I forget”, New Blue Dance Festival, Toronto, Ontario
GUEST BALLET INSTRUCTOR
Andrea was born and raised in small town Winsted, CT where she received her initial training under Sharon Dante at the Nutmeg Ballet. She then studied on full-scholarship at NYC’s School of American Ballet and performed a lead role in their annual Workshop. Chosen by Edward Villella, she was selected to join Miami City Ballet, where she was promoted to soloist. She also danced with Morphoses, under the direction of Christopher
Wheeldon. Andrea was fortunate to dance many principal and leading roles in Balanchine, contemporary & classical repertoire, on stages throughout the US and Europe. After originating a featured role in the National tour of “Flashdance, the Musical”, she has returned back to Miami where she teaches private ballet lessons and is launching her own fashion label.
GUEST BALLET INSTRUCTOR
Jessy was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and began her ballet training with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet at the age of 4. She later studied at the School of American Ballet at where she received the Mae. L. Wein award. At 17, she joined the New York City Ballet (1995-2001), where she danced featured roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and Christopher Wheeldon, and toured in Europe, Asia, and Australia with the company. In 2003 Jessy joined the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera, and for 6 years traveled across the U.S and Canada, and then joined the Broadway cast for five years working with legends Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hal Prince, and Gillian Lynne. She performed in the revival of the Broadway musical, On Your Toes at City Center Encores!, directed and choreographed by Tony- award winner Warren Carlyle.
She assisted Balanchine teacher Suki Schorer in demonstrating the Balanchine technique on tours and lectures throughout Western Europe. Jessy taught and coached students at SAB, Longview Ballet Theater (TX), and Ballet Academy East (NYC), among others.She has been featured in Shape Magazine, O Magazine, ad campaign for Burberry, and has been featured on Late Night with David Letterman, CNN Presents, and in the Oscar nominated film, Black Swan with Natalie Portman. Jessy graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with an Associates Degree in Fashion Design. She designs and constructs costumes for various ballets and private clients, and is currently a Technical Designer for the Women’s ready-to-wear collection at COACH.
Carlos dos Santos, Jr.
GUEST CONTEMPORARY INSTRUCTOR
Carlos dos Santos, Jr. is a recognized dancer, choreographer and teacher. He has performed as a principal dancer with major U.S. and Brazilian dance companies, including the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, and DanceBrazil (US); as well as Grupo Salto, Bale Folclorico da Bahia, and Bale Teatro Castro Alves (Brazil).
Mr. Dos Santos’ choreographic credits include works for Colorado Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, American Dance Festival, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, DanceBrazil, New Jersey Dance Ensemble, Festival Ballet (CA), Cassiano Ricardo Foundation, and Sesi Minas Dance Company (Brazil), Cape town dance company (South Africa) Alvin Ailey 2, Joffrey Ballet 2, Houston ballet 2, CUNY residency choreographer, WKY University Residency choreographer, John Cranko School (Stuttgart Ballet school), Blake High School, Passo De Art(Brasil), Orlando Ballet School, Dallas Conservatory, National Ballet de Sodre(Uruguay) Dallas ballet School, with Dance Brasil he has created many projects, including his latest collaboration with award-winning composer, Tania Leon.
Mr. Dos Santos has taught at dance schools, colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad and has served as a jury member and resident choreographer of Youth America Grand Prix international student ballet competition, Cape town dance company (South Africa) Alvin Ailey 2, Joffrey Ballet 2, Houston ballet 2, CUNY residency choreographer, WKY University Residency choreographer, with Dance Brasil he has created many projects, including his latest collaboration with award-winning composer, Tania Leon.
Mr. Dos Santos has taught at dance schools, colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad and has served as a jury member and resident choreographer of Youth America Grand Prix international student ballet competition as well as his own solo performances around the world. For many years Mr. Dos Santos has also been a resident choreographer of Youth America Grand Prix international student ballet and contemporary dance competition, staging works for YAGP alumni currently working with ABT and annual Grand Defilés featuring up to 350 dancers.
Mr. Dos Santos has been featured in numerous TV programs as an actor, dancer and model. His TV credits include appearances on PBS (US) and SBT TV (major Brazilian TV network), as well as coverage as a performer and choreographer in news programs around the world. His acting career included “Medea Materialis” for the New York Fringe Festival, “Dream on Monkey Mountain” with the Denter Center Theater Company, “Chaplin” with the Edison Souto Theatre Group, “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands” with the Fernando Guerreiro Theatre Group, and “Yalorixa,” a popular Brazilian soap-opera.
Mr. Dos Santos has taught at dance festivals, schools and universities around the world, including the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, The Ailey School, Steps on Broadway, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School and International Summer Institute, DanceBrazil, Academy of Colorado Ballet, Wells College, New Jersey Dance Ensemble, McAllen Ballet, “Open Look” Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Youth America Grand Prix Student Ballet and Contemporary Dance Competition, as well as master classes in the U.S., Italy, Switzerland, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Czech Republic, Argentina, Brazil, and Russia.
We can help develop your love for dance!
THROUGH CREATIVE IDEAS, INNOVATION & SHEER DETERMINATION