Alumni of JAOD go on to attend some of the top collegiate dance programs across the country and some join top college dance teams. We are very proud of our alumnus success and love watching them achieve amazing things in their professional careers. Here are some of the schools and professional dance opportunities our students have attended. Keep scrolling to read through our ever growing list of accomplished former JAOD dancers!
- Arizona State University BFA Dance Program
- Chapman BFA Dance Program
- Columbia College Chicago BFA Dance Program
- Edge Professional Scholarship Program
- Indiana University BFA Dance Program
- Loyola Marymount BFA Dance Program
- Marymount Manhattan BFA Dance Program
- Michigan State University Dance Team
- New York University-Tisch School of the Arts
- Oakland University BFA Program and Dance Team
- Pace University Dance Program
- Point Park University BFA Dance Program
- Rutgers BFA Dance Program
- So You Think You Can Dance Top 30 & Top 3
- SUNY Buffalo BFA Dance Program
- SUNY Purchase BFA Dance Program
- The Juilliard School
- University of Alabama Dance Team
- University of Detroit Mercy Dance Team
- University of Illinois Wesleyan
- University of Michigan BFA Dance Program and Dance Team
- Wayne State University BFA Dance Program and Dance Team
- Western Michigan University BFA Dance Program and Dance Team
Summer Intensives: ABT Summer Program, Ballet West, Broadway Dance Center Summer Intensive, Complexions Summer Intensive, Giordano Jazz Intensive, Hubbard Street Dance Intensive, Joffrey Ballet, Juilliard Summer Intensive, Point Park Summer Intensive and The Rockette Experience Summer Intensive along with many others.
Alan Sherfield studied at Juliana’s and has performed, choreographed and taught all over the world. He has performed in many shows such as The Dirty Dancing Concert Tour, The Soul Train Music Awards, Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar. Alan’s choreography has been featured on television specials, award shows, videos, cruise lines, and for Yamaha, Chevrolet, Kmart and Reebok. He has also choreographed for and danced in the group Fuzion, which took home the $100,000 grand prize on television’s Star Search. Alan has become known for his athletic and powerful style. Alan is the artistic director and along with John Crutchman founded West Coast Dance Explosion.
Amy Blackwell was 2.5 when she started dancing at Juliana’s Academy of Dance. Her mother told me her she had to be potty trained before she started to take dance class, and within a week she was attending her first ballet class. Amy shares that she is so thankful for that little two-year-old heart of hers, as she spent 15 years being shaped and molded by many instructors at Juliana’s. The lessons Amy learned in the walls of Juliana's helped her grow into an incredibly confident woman. Amy says, "I was given some of the best classes on technique and style but it is the character building that has stuck with me over the last 9 years. My passion for dance transformed into a passion for nutrition, which led me to graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in dietetics. I now own my health coaching company where I help women find their perfect balance between having the body and the lifestyle that they desire. Being an entrepreneur is the hardest task I have ever taken on. I thank Juliana’s and all of their teachers for the perseverance and grit that they taught me at a very young age, without that I would not have the belief in myself to live this life that I love."
Christie Sciturro began her training at Juliana’s Academy of Dance at the age of 5. She was accepted into Miami City Ballet School in 2005 and was promoted to member of the corps de ballet in 2007. Since then her career has grown in Miami City Ballet and she has been featured in many principle roles such as Myrtha in Giselle, Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote, Paul Taylors Company B and Mercuric Tidings, and Balanchine’s Episodes and Slaughter of tenth Avenue.
Crystal Ahlberg has performed both nationally and internationally for many years. Her professional experience includes work with Enrique Iglesias, Shop Boyz, Automotion, Shockwave, cruise ships, and several local artists. She has also performed in national television productions with America’s Best Dance Crew, the Junior Olympics, Paula Abdul and Ben Vereen. In 2013 – 2014 she was invited to teach with “Broadway Break Thru ‘s” Triple Threat convention and has choreographed for “National Dance Alliance” located in Dallas, Texas for dance teams all over the nation. She has also choreographed multiple dance routines for Davenport University and Sienna Heights University. In the competitive world, she has also judged and taught master classes for multiple dance competitions including directing one of her own called “Raw Energy dance Competition.” In addition, she has done promotional work with hotel/casinos MGM Grand, Ceaser’s and Motor City. Crystal also has been a part of Dance Spirit, Strut, and Six Degree’s magazines. Most recently, Crystal has begun to make her mark among the elite with her fast-paced and innovative choreography. Over the last 10 years, vast studio demand for her services has led her to host dance intensives at many different studios across the country. Originating from Detroit Michigan, having studied at Juliana’s, Crystal and her family made a bold move and headed South to Atlanta, GA where she continues to teach and choreograph both locally and nationally.
Evan Kasprzak attended Illinois Wesleyan University where he received his BFA in Musical Theatre. In 2009 Evan competed on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, where he finished 3rd. He originated the role of “Elmer” in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Newsies! Other credits include Cats (Broadway Revival), Guys and Dolls at The Old Globe, and The New Yorkers (City Center Encore!). Evan has had to privilege to perform across the country and alongside amazing performers such as Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Janelle Herbert was raised in Rochester, Michigan. As soon as she could walk, she was dancing! She became a member of the Juliana's Academy of dance in 1995. She joined their competitive team in 1997 and spent 10 amazing years having the privilege of traveling both regionally and nationally. She went on to obtain her degree in Business Management at Michigan State University. She was a four-year member and Senior Captain of the MSU Dance team. She lead the team to a top ten finish at the 2011 UDA Dance Team Nationals and traveled the country with MSU athletics sharing her Spartan spirit. Being a competitive dancer all her life, it came as no surprise that she ended up in the fitness field. She is now the co-owner of The Barre Code- Metro Detroit (Located in Birmingham, Royal Oak & Rochester Hills) where she engages the community in challenging, empowering and fun workouts. Janelle serves as an ambassador for Lululemon Athletica Somerset and KIND Snacks. In her free time, she loves to be with her family and friends, snow skiing and traveling the world.
Kayli Michels says, “Passion, determination, persistence, commitment, strength, confidence, hard work and friendly competition are all things I learned during my time at Juliana’s Academy of Dance”. Kayli says these words are something she uses every day and carries with her in everything she does. Kali often thinks about her time at Juliana’s while she teaches and is something she will never forget. In 2008, Kali moved to Washington D.C and spent a year traveling the U.S. dancing with Tremaine Dance Company, dancing in music videos and auditioning for Schools to further her education. After being accepted into multiple schools including the Ailey School Kayli started her college dance career on partial scholarship at Shenandoah University’s Conservatory, pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. After 2 years at Shenandoah Kayli transferred to George Mason University to continue working towards a BFA degree. At this time Kayli also started dancing in a D.C. Jazz dance company while teaching and choreographing for a large competitive dance studio. After graduating in 2014 Kayli danced in 2 companies and taught 20+ hours a week. Today Kayli teaches and choreographs at a competitive dance studio where she has won multiple choreography awards. She is also a successful real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in the Northern Virginia area. Kayli has a true joy for helping others achieve their goals and hopes one day to open her own dance studio offering free classes to children with special needs.
Kevin Leon studied at JAOD and now specializes in jazz, lyrical, contemporary and musical theater. His credits include “The Masquerade Show In The Sky” at the Rio Hotel Casino, a principal dancer on several cruise ships and has had the opportunity to perform with such stars as Usher, Enrique Iglesias, Mary Tyler Moore and MC Hammer. Kevin has also been featured in many industrials, such as the grand opening of the Wynn Hotel and Casino, the Detroit International Auto Show, Redken and Beauty Craft Hair, a Rite Aid commercial, the Windsor Casino and many more. Kevin has choreographed all over the country winning many regional and national awards. He has taught for Starpower’s Power Pak and KAR convention as well as judged for many of the top competitions including: Hall of Fame, Thunderstruck, Showbiz, Primetime, Starpower, West Coast Dance Explosion and KAR. Currently, Kevin is the artistic director of Innovation Dance Company in Las Vegas, NV.
Kristen Prappas graduated in 2009, after studying at Juliana’s for 5 years. Kristen went on to study Fashion Business at Columbia College Chicago. After graduating with a BA in Fashion, she went on to fashion assist in New York City, where she worked on editorial shoots for publications like French Vogue & V Magazine. Kristen later went on to work in photoshoot production where she worked on numerous global campaigns and E-commerce for Kate Spade New York, publications like Elle, T Magazine & Bon Appettite. Kristen currently works as a Junior Producer at Chandelier Creative, where she produces photo shoots, radio & broadcast for Old Navy & their agency culture talks.
Krystle Sosland most recently spent a year in Paris, France performing at the world famous cabaret Crazy Horse Paris after dancing in the troupe’s show on the Las Vegas Strip for four years as a featured soloist and second dance captain. Prior to being the first American ever hired by the cabaret, Krystle performed seasonally as a Radio City Rockette in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for three years. In the off-season, she worked as a featured soloist for Costa Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruise Lines, which enabled her to visit more than thirty countries while living out her dream of performing professionally. When Krystle partially tore her Achilles tendon during her final year with the Rockettes and was forced to take a hiatus from dancing, she used the opportunity to graduate magna cum laude from The University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration. During her years at Juliana’s Academy of Dance, Miss Julie’s instruction and encouragement helped Krystle win national and regional titles. Krystle looks back on her years at the studio fondly and will forever be grateful for the tutelage, love, and support she received and continues to receive from Miss Julie and the rest of the Juliana’s family.
Laura Jakowenko studied at Juliana’s Academy of Dance and won many regional and national competitions. She has performed on stage as a Rockette in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Michael Awards for the fashion industry, The American Ballet Theatre’s “Swan Lake” as the Lady in Waiting and the Moscow Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” as the Spanish Dancer. Laura has also danced with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Ballet International, Michigan Opera Theatre and the Tremaine Performance Company. She danced in several NFL Detroit Lions half-time shows with such artists as Kid Rock, Jesse McCartney, and Mariah Carey. Laura is also a Singer/Songwriter and you can find her original country/pop album on iTunes.
Lauren Parker graduated in 2008 after many years at Juliana’s she went on to pursue a Bachelors degree in nursing in sunny south Florida. After graduating from Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Nursing in 2013 she has been working as a cardiac nurse and loves her job feeling blessed to spend her days caring for those in need, but she recognized she missed dancing. With that drive, Lauren auditioned to be a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader in the spring of 2014 and in 2017 became a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader! Lauren also sits on the board of a cancer foundation and spend her free time working with a children’s outreach ministry in Belle Glade, FL. Lauren says Juliana’s Academy of Dance helped shaped her into the woman she is today and is thankful to always have a home and a loving family in Michigan!
Lyndsay May started began dancing at age 14 at Juliana’s where she trained with Mrs. Julie and Mr. Mike until she graduated. She won numerous regional/national convention and competition scholarships, titles, and awards. Some of these include Tremaine, West Coast Dance Explosion, NYCDA, Star Systems, 2 Days on OC, Shake The Floor, and LA Dance Magic. Growing up, she toured with Radio Disney, Jordan Knight, and on conventions as an assistant. She modeled for the recognizable and flawless dancewear line Katrina Wear (@katrinawear). Lyndsay has worked for choreographers such as Nappytabs, Tony G, Frank Gatson, Bobby Newberry, Dennis Caspary, Todd Flanagan, Justin Giles, and Mark Meismer and danced on stage for celebrities including Beyoncé, Enrique Iglesias, Life House, Eminem, Nick Cannon, and Cody Linley. She was a recurring dancer on TV series Real Life the Musical and ABC’s MOBBED and danced in the movie The Comebacks and Bring It On 3 as assistant choreographer. Currently, Lyndsay is working with Armenia’s star artist Ani Christy and a new LA artist Ellenie.
Melanie Ullmann studied at Juliana’s Academy of Dance and has been dancing for 20 years in an array of styles. She has performed with many different artists such Eva Badone, Tiffany Alvord, Bryan Leigh and Viva Doll, with the number one hit song on the Latin Billboard. She was an original member of the dance crew Stilletoz, where she performed a variety of styles that required intensive heel work. As a member of the Detroit Dolls she performed on Alcatraz for an Audi corporate event and at Crown in Las Vegas. In later years she was cast to dance at Caesar’s Palace for the 4th of July firework preshow. As a member of Flirt she performed in multiple live shows, LA Fashion Week, videos, photo shoots, and a web series, “Destroy the Alpha Gammas.” Among her television and stage work, Melanie was cast as a principal dancer in the movie Footloose, and a dancer in the film Big Momma’s House 3: Like Father like Son. She was also a finalist on Laurieann Gibson’s television show “Born to Dance” where she was chosen to be among the top 15 in LA. She worked on a television show, “Dream Girls of Atlanta” where she taught/performed her dance skills for aspiring dancers. She has danced in some of LA’s most prestigious showcases such as Carnival, Club Jete, 8th Wonder and Dancescape. In 2012 Melanie was amongst 13 dancers who broke the Guinness World Record for dancing the longest choreographed routine for 24 hours. She danced live on MTV for the O Music Awards and on Good Morning America’s Emmy after party.
Michelle Brock, originally from Detroit, Michigan, danced at Juliana’s from 2003-2010. After leaving Juliana’s she graduated summa cum laude from Wayne State University with a BFA degree. She has worked with numerous choreographers including Dwight Rhoden, Nicholas Leichter, Lisa LaMarre, Joori Jung (Artlab J), Jodie Randolph (Pure Existence), Ray Mercer, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Biba Bell, Meg Pall, Jeff Rebudal and more. She studied and trained at Gibney Dance Center while living in NYC and was a member of Sea Legs Dance & Juliana Garber + Dancers. She has performed at the Music Hall for the "313 to the 213" Choreography Expo, at the Detroit Dance City Festival, the Detroit Institute of Arts for various performances, the Fertile Ground Showcase, SPARK Dance Forum, Biomorphic Dance Festival, Movement Research’s Open Performance series and more. In addition, she has performed at the Joyce Theater, the Kennedy Center, and internationally in South America and Sri Lanka. She spends her spare time as a free-lance based teacher and choreographer and has taught many workshops to private studios across the greater Metro-Detroit area. Her choreography has been performed by the Hilberry Repertory Company (Detroit), at the American College Dance Festival and around various venues between Detroit and NYC. Her latest project involved setting a work on the students of Company One during her residency at Wayne State University. Michelle is very passionate about sharing her love of dance with her students and is excited to enhance her teaching practices by pursuing & completing her Pilates certification through Club Pilates.
Samantha Schwartz, Events and Tour Director at World of Dance grew up dancing at Juliana's and she will forever credit Mike and Julie for her dance foundation. In Sam's words, "They (Miss Julie and Mr. Mike) are the best! I absolutely loved my time there and created friendships I still hold onto to this day." Sam moved to Los Angeles after middle school and says leaving Juliana's was one of the hardest parts of the entire move. Sam continued to train and compete in LA throughout high school and she tried to make it back to the JAOD for the summer intensives as many times as she could. After college Sam created and produced my own dance convention at the age of twenty-five, called The Netwerk dance convention where dancers were booked on jobs rather than receiving scholarships. Sam created and posted The Netwerk Promo Video on Linkedin and was hired only months later as the Events and Tour Director for World of Dance. Sam has now been with World of Dance for almost a year and is grateful for her life and job every day! Juliana's is where Sam's love for dance and entertainment started and she will always support JAOD and the business they have built.
Sutton Foster credit’s Miss Julie as one of her influential teachers during her formative years taking classes at JAOD through her teenage years while attending Troy High School. Sutton is an award-winning actor, singer and dancer who has performed in 11 Broadway shows–most recently the revival of Violet–and originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award-winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She was first seen on television on Star Search at age 15, and has more recently starred in Amy Sherman Palladino’s Bunheads and appeared in Johnny And The Sprites, Flight Of The Conchords, Sesame Street, Law And Order SVU, Psych and Royal Pains. She is currently starring in TVLand’s series, “Younger” created by Darren Star.