Miss Julie with her dog Curley.

Juliana Pirpinelli

Owner & Director

Miss Julie, is the Owner and Director of Juliana’s Academy of Dance and has been teaching for nearly 40 years specializing in tap, jazz and lyrical. Her credits include judging national dance competitions, President – Dance Masters of Michigan, countless awards for choreography and teaching, the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade and a $100,000 winner Star Search – Vegas. Julie’s students have appeared on Broadway, television and national tours including The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Billy Elliot, and West Side Story and many, many more!


Michael Lemanski

Co-Owner, Elite Choreographer & Instructor

Mr. Mike has been at JAOD for over 15 years and is honored and privileged to be able to work with such amazing Faculty, Students and Parents. Michael has had the pleasure of working with such amazing artists as Enrique Iglesias, Shaggy, Vanessa Carleton, Jon Bon Jovi, Christina Milan, and Patti Labelle. Michael was the assistant choreographer for three Orange Bowl Halftime shows as well as the Gator Bowl halftime show. Michael was the head choreographer for the Champs Sports Bowl Halftime show, the Hall Of Fame Game for the NFL, the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Halftime show, the Halftime show at the Alamo Bowl and the 2013 BCS championship game. As a performer, Michael was in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for five years, danced for Disney Productions as well as played and sang the role of Aladdin. Michael has also done numerous shows, industrials, and television commercials for Chrysler, Nike, MGM Detroit, Ceasars Windsor, and Ford Motor Company. Michael has taught for Dance Makers Inc, State Dance Championships, Conquest Dance Convention, ADA, DEA, Jazz On Tap, and DMA.


Morgan Lansky

Choreographer & Instructor

Morgan is an alumni of JAOD, began dancing at the age of three here. She graduated from Wayne State University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. While at Wayne, Morgan performed with their three performance companies under the direction of Meg Paul. She has also performed in pieces and taken instruction under Jen Freeman, Doug Verone, Dwight Rhonden, Stefanie Battent-Bland, and many others. Morgan has continued to expand her dance education and choreographic experiences while teaching full time at JAOD where she works hard with our elite team and our recreational program! You can find her teaching technique, cleaning our guest pieces, and doing some choreography of her own!


Amanda Knight

Choreographer & Instructor

Miss Amanda is a third generation dancer. She grew up dancing at JAOD under the instruction of Juliana Pirpinelli and has taught dance since 1998. Amanda’s love for dance has motivated her to lead all types and styles of dance so she can teach others, no matter your age, anyone can learn. Amanda has performed with Enrique Iglesias, Boyz II Men & Mariah Carey. She teaches all her students to love what they do and do what they love. Amanda’s passion, drive, and love for dance shine through in everything she does.

staff-Alyssa Cebulski

Alyssa Cebulski


Alyssa Cebulski, from Michigan, joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in NYC in 2016 and has performed in Chronicle, Maple Leaf Rag, Diversion of Angels and Primitive Mysteries. Outside from her work with Graham she has performed works by Dwight Rhoden, Aszure Barton, Kate Skarpetowska, Larry Keigwin, and others. Alyssa was a member of Graham 2 and has a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College.

Ballet Instructor

Shauna Cook


Shauna graduated from Wayne State University Summa Cum Laude, receiving a BFA in dance. In her two last years of college, Shauna was a member of WSU’s Dance Workshop. Before her studies at WSU, she trained at Ballet Theatre of Toledo and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Shauna has been a company member for Lexington Ballet, ArtLabJ, and MoveWorks. She has been blessed to work with many world-renowned artists such as Dwight Rhoden, Nicholas Leichter, Meg Paul, Jeffrey Rebudal, Duncan Cooper, Ron De Jesus, Alan Obuzor, Keith Lee, Terrence Orr, Gregory Hancock, Nycole Ray, Kate Hutter, Samantha Shelton, Brain McSween, Nathan Trice, and Joori Jung. Shauna is currently a company member with Ballet Edge Detroit, enjoys sharing her love for ballet with her students, and has fun creating works of her own.


Jessica G Thomas


Jessica G Thomas is a native of Detroit, MI. She obtained a M.F.A in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Thomas also received a B.F.A in Dance from Wright State University. Thomas currently instructs classical ballet for Wayne State University. Thomas performed in American Ballet Theater’s Sleeping Beauty as Ariana during its run at the Michigan Opera Theatre. She has performed extensively throughout New York City, NY; Dayton, OH; and Detroit, MI for companies such as Dayton Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet International, Second Avenue Dance Company, Naomi Goldberg Haas, and Ohio Dance Theater. Thomas’ choreographic works have received numerous awards throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Thomas is a professional educator, choreographer and performer.


Meredith Gagnier


Meredith Gagnier first came to Juliana’s as a student in middle school. She went on to study dance at Western Michigan University and became a certified ballroom dance instructor after graduation. Some career highlights include numerous awards at regional and national ballroom dance competitions and collaborating with Fabian Sanchez from ABC’s Dancing with the Stars to choreograph and dance in a music video staring Recording Artist Sean Forbes and Academy Award Winning Actress Marlee Matlin.


Gabrielle Girard


Gabrielle Girard’s passion for dance began at the age of twelve here at Juliana’s Academy of Dance! Gabby continued her ballet training with Valentina Barsukova at Valentina’s school of ballet and then in New York City at Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program followed with additional study at Alonzo King LINES Trainee Program, Forrest Academy of Ballet New York, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Peridance, Steps on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She received her certification of graduation from Forest Academy of Ballet under Erin Forest. Gabrielle has had the privilege of dancing at various venues throughout her dance career including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Abron’s Art Center, Sheen Arts Center in NYC, Skirball Center, and Lincoln Center after being a part of the winning ensemble at the Youth American Grand Prix finals. Gabrielle Girard has been an artist with Arch Ballet in NYC and currently is an artist with Ballet Edge Detroit. In addition to her dance career, Gabrielle has also instructed as a stretch coach, personal trainer, and teaches group fitness classes. Her methods fuse together all of her dance training, rhythmic gymnastic conditioning, and functional movement to allow the body to move efficiently and pain free.


Alysa Komisarz


Alysa is an alumni of JAOD in both the competitive and recreational programs having studied tap, jazz and ballet. Additionally Alysa is a former cheerleader, a MHSAA & USASF competitive cheer coach, gymnastics coach and health coach! Alysa has been married to her husband Ken for 20 years with 2 teenage sons, Kendrick & Zach.


Kyle Halford

Jazz Technique

Kyle Halford, originally from Illinois, graduated summa cum laude in 2021 from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Business Administration. During his time at U of A, Mr. Halford received the Maria C. Mendel Scholarship for excellence in ballet as well as the Undergraduate Creative Achievement Award highlighting his many performances across multiple dance forms. He performed works by prestigious choreographers such as George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Larry Keigwin, and Gregory Dawson. He also trained in summer programs with Hubbard Street, NW Dance Project, LINES Ballet, and Visceral. Mr. Halford joined Eisenhower Dance Detroit as a Company Member in 2021. He now performs with the company across the country and teaches at the School of Eisenhower Dance Detroit. With EDD, he has performed works by EDD Artistic Director Stephanie Pizzo, Micaela Taylor, Maleek Washington, Norbert De La Cruz III, and many others.

Julie Malloy


Julie has spent the last 20 years teaching Music and Theatre to ages 8 through college in community theatre, Performing Arts Camps, School settings as well as Oakland Univeristy where she served as a Musical Theatre Vocal Coach in their Musical Theatre Program. She has been teaching for Shrine Catholic Schools since 2002 where she teaches vocal music grades 7 - 12, directs middle school and High School productions, and also has served as the Co-Founder/Camp Administrator and teacher of the Summer Performing Arts programs working with over 100 students each summer. She serves as a Musical Director for various theatres throughout the Detroit Metro area, and runs a private voice studio from her home where she specializes in Musical Theatre Voice. Julie Malloy holds a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University, a post-bachelors Teacher Certification from Wayne State University and a Master of Music from Oakland University.


Jacob Reves


Jacob started his dance career at the age of 9 in former Czechoslovakia and by the age of 16 he achieved an “A Category” which is the highest category in Ballroom and Latin dance and qualifies him to represent his country of origin. By 18 years old he moved to the United States and turned professional, coached amateurs and professionals. Jacob has been a winner of many European Championships throughout his career. He is proficient in both American and International styles of dance – American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Modern and International Latin. Jacob enjoys working with JAOD as a ballroom coach, instructor and detail clean-up coach for both students and adults. He enjoys his time at the studio and we adore him!

Adjunct Faculty

2022-2023 Season