about the founder 

Ann Parsley holds a BFA in Dance from Oakland University, graduating summa cum laude with honors in dance.  She holds the highest accreditation of Diploma Fellow of the Cecchetti Council of America.  She is a Permanent Examiner, Liaison Officer and Past President of the Council.  She has presented numerous students for examination and has presented teachers through the Diploma examination. Ann teaches at workshops and seminars throughout the country.  She also directed Ann Parsley School of Dance for over 30 years before selling the studio in 2009.  Ann has taught many students who have danced professionally in ballet and modern companies, industrials and videos.  She founded the Macomb Ballet Company in 1983.  Ann received the first Outstanding Alumni Award in Dance from Oakland University, has visited Taiwan three times to teach and examine, and is listed in Who’s Who in America. 

OWNER and director 

Amber Megna Michalik is the owner and director of Ann Parsley School of Dance. She first connected with the school as a dancer when she was just 7 years old. Her love for the art, coupled with an inexhaustible passion to learn, create, and share, sustained her journey from student to teacher. A former member of the Macomb Ballet Company, Amber served as the Assistant Director to Ann Parsley from 2001-2006. Ms. Michalik founded the Junior Macomb Ballet Company in 2006, the first non-profit ballet company for young children in Macomb County. In 2007, she became the Artistic Director of the Macomb Ballet Company. Trained by many of the area’s finest teachers including Ann Parsley, Iacob Lascu, Laurie Eisenhower and Gregory Patterson, Ms. Michalik is certified to teach both students and teachers in the Cecchetti Method. Additionally, Ms. Michalik is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level Three of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Amber attended Oakland University on an academic scholarship, where she pursued dance and business, and was a member of the Oakland Dance Theatre. She graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts Management. She was awarded the Eastern Michigan Committee Board of Directors Scholarship in 2012 from the Cecchetti Council of America. Ms. Michalik currently sits on the Executive Board of the Cecchetti Council of America, and is the past Chair of the Cecchetti Council of America Eastern Michigan Committee. She has trained many successful dancers and teachers since 2000. Her students have received numerous awards and recognition in the dance community across the country and around the world; many have continued their study of dance at the college level, and have pursued professional careers in dance, choreography and teaching. Taking part in various conferences and workshops across the country fuels Ms. Michalik’s desire to continually learn and impart her love of dance and the methods and philosophies that she embraces.

Assistant Director 

Hannah (Budny) Carden  has been a part of the Ann Parsley School of Dance family her entire life. Taking her first creative movement dance class at the age of two, this formed in her an infinite passion for dance. Hannah was a member of the Macomb Ballet Company since she was 7 years old. Through dance education, Hannah blossomed in her musical abilities through dance, music, and performing opportunities. Dance has given Hannah the confidence she needed to be the outgoing and driven woman she is today. Through the Ballet Company Hannah has been in shows such as Cinderella, Les Sylphides, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Wizard of Oz, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and she has taught as the Rehearsal Director since 2013. Hannah performed with The Enchanted Princess Ball for 4 years and DDC Dances as a trainee where she was then offered a company position. Hannah has furthered her dance education by completing the Cecchetti Student Certification Exams, Levels I-VII as well as Teachers Grade I through Diploma. Hannah has also received scholarships to attend The Cecchetti Council of America’s Summer Intensive Camp, CUSA Santa Barbara, both student and teacher scholarships to the Cecchetti Council of America’s summer school and in the summer of 2019, she received the Sylvia Hamer scholarship to be a guest at the Cecchetti Society of England teacher summer school in Birmingham, England. Hannah competed in the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition in 2014. Hannah also enjoys guest teaching at numerous studios in the Metro Detroit area. She has been directing Ann Parsley’s homeschool dance program “The Art of Ballet,” since 2016. Hannah is also active in her community teaching adult special needs dance and leading small groups for the young professional program at her home church.


Charlotte Catherwood has been dancing for 15 years, discovering her passion for dance at 3 years old at Ann Parsley School of Dance. Over the years she has grown to hold CCA student certifications for the levels I-VI. Charlotte is also working on her Teacher Grade I certification for the Cecchetti Council of America. She was a member of the Macomb Ballet Company for 11 years, and has performed various lead roles in performances of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, and Once Upon a Time. Charlotte is currently attending school at the Oakland University Honors College, where she will major in Pre-Nursing. She cannot wait to share her love for teaching and dance with her students!

Carley Glugla has been dancing for 19 years and for the past 11 years , she has been working with special needs children in an adaptive dance class. She also has experience with providing child care to children with special needs, and has been a camp volunteer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Karen Glugla, OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for the over 20 years. She works as a Clinical OT Specialist at Children's Hospital of Michigan/Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan Stilson Specialty Center. She works with children from birth-20 with a very broad range of diagnoses. She works in the MDA clinic where she monitors children with Muscular Dystrophy diagnoses. Karen has 11 years experience working with children in an adaptive dance class.

Alyssa Gorski started dancing at Ann Parsley School of Dance when she was just 3 years old. Trained by Amber Michalik, Julie Merkle, Sarah Komara, and Monique Sgro, she studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and lyrical. At age six, Alyssa joined the Macomb Ballet Company. During her time with MBC, she danced in many performances including The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White. After high school, Alyssa attended Central Michigan University to study Elementary/Special Education. She recently received her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education through Saginaw Valley State University. Alyssa received her dance teacher training under the direction of Amber Michalik. She is currently a Kindergarten teacher for Dryden Public Schools. Alyssa is so excited for the opportunity to return to APSD as a teacher!

Sydney Henderson grew up at Ann Parsley School of Dance starting with her first creative movement class when she was three. Shortly after, she began dancing with the Macomb Ballet Company starting with her first performance in Un Encuentro. Sydney has supplemented her classes at Ann Parsley School of Dance with additional training with the American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Chicago and on scholarship with the Ruth S. Shur Carolina Ballet Company. She has also trained and performed at the Youth America Grand Prix in Pittsburgh 2014 and Chicago 2015 where she performed the Odalisque Variation from Le Corsaire and the Kitri Variation from Don Quixote. She studied at Arts Academy in the Woods and has attended master classes with Samantha Shelton, Meg Paul, Michael Vernon, Kristin Sudeikis and Ashley Bouder. Her training and her determination helped her achieve lead roles in Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Snow White and Alice in Wonderland. Sydney has completed her Cecchetti Council of America Student Certification Exams Levels I-VI along with her teacher Grade I Exam. In the fall of 2015, she attended Wayne State University as a BFA major in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance as a talent scholarship recipient. She was also a member of their dance company, Company One. Sydney is honored to be a member of the APSD faculty.

Brandon Koepsell is a Detroit native and graduated from the Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA in 2005. Brandon holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Wayne State University where he currently teaches as a lecturer in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theater and Dance. He is currently an Assistant Director to the Macomb Ballet Company. After graduation from high school, Brandon spent time performing with “Companie Coline" in Istre, France, Rapture Dance Project, Ron DeJesus Dance in Chicago, and the Macomb Ballet Company in addition to his guest artist work with University programs like the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University, Alma College and Wayne State University. Brandon has appeared with the Michigan Opera Theater in the productions of “ Aida" and "The Merry Widow". He was the choreographic assistant on the set of Disney’s “Oz, the Great and Powerful” and a credited dancer in “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas”. In collaboration with Jaclyn Walsh, Brandon has presented work at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival in 2015 and 2018 and at Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, CO in 2019 as part of Larry Keigwin’s “Dynamic Duets”. Brandon has served as a faculty member with the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, the Southern Association of Dance Masters and the Montana Dance Arts Association. He is a current dancer with Take Root dance company and a company instructor for Eisenhower Dance Detroit. Since 2018, Brandon has also been teaching weekly Dance for Parkinson’s classes hosted at the Henry Ford Health Systems in Detroit and throughout the metro area to individuals living with Parkinson’s disease. 

Julie Merkle has been sharing her love of dance with students and teachers for the past 40 years. She is qualified to teach tap, ballet, Pointe, jazz and Hawaiian dancing. She has danced professionally, attended various master classes, workshops, seminars, and has been trained by highly regarded teachers in the field of dance. She holds the highest level of certification possible through the Cecchetti Council of America, the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma. She has successfully presented many students and teachers for exams through the Diploma level of the CCA. Julie is currently serving the Cecchetti Council of America as 1st Vice President and CCA Summer School Administrator. National Executive Board positions that she has held in the past are President, Assistant National Registrar, and Recording Secretary. In January 2016 Julie attained Permanent Examiner status on the CCA Board of Examiners. In January of 2017 the National Executive Board appointed Julie to the position as Liaison Officer. Her current liaison assignment is the Southern Ontario Committee. Many of her students enjoy successful careers in the field of dance. They have danced professionally with major ballet companies, accepted college scholarships, teach students and teachers and operate their own flourishing studios.

Maria Orsick started dancing at Ann Parsley School of Dance at age three. Here she found a love and passion for dance. She trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, and tap under Amber Michalik, Julie Merkle, Monique Sgro, and Julie Merkle. In 2010, Maria became a member of the Macomb Ballet Company. She performed various roles in The Nutcracker, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White. Maria holds Cecchetti Student Certifications in Grades I-IV and received her dance teacher training under the direction of Amber Michalik. In 2018, she graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education. She currently has a career with Rocket Companies at the Rocket Community Fund in Detroit. She is absolutely thrilled to continue her passion for dance back at her home studio training the next generation of young dancers.  

Christine Smith began her dance training in Chesterfield, Michigan, in 1992. As a competitor, Christine ranked as a highly awarded top 5 dancer in her divisions, allowing her to travel the US with her team. She carried her studio training with her throughout high school as a Varsity Dance team member, and then on to attend Oakland University’s dance camp. A recipient of numerous awards, some of her top achievements include: 2005 titled Elite Dance Champion of Footloose Dance competition, 2006 titled Miss Teen Elite Dancer of West Coast Dance Explosion and 2003-2008 titled All Star Dancer at the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge competition. Christine has worked with many world renowned contemporary and Hip Hop choreographers, such as: Dennis Caspary, Jason Parsons, Sonya Tayeh, Travis Wall, Lauren Adams, Chris Jacobson, Kim McSwain, Brooke Pereotti, Joey Tarwater, David Moore and Nick Zibrowski. Christine has also done guest performances for Kelly Cardenas Paul Mitchell hair salon in Chicago Illinois, Wayne State University, and Emerald Theater with Gravity Dance Company ran by Veronica Chapp. She has also had the chance to perform live at the Super Bowl held in Detroit, as a featured dancer for Mariah Carey. Continuing with her heart in modern/contemporary, as an adult Christine joined modern dance company, Mack Avenue, ran by Chris Masters and Mary Lou Parker. She traveled locally in the community with the company to teach and perform at WSU, the Detroit Institute of Art - Pecha Kucha Night, St. Andrews Hall, and 555 Art Gallery/Art installment space. More recently she has performed choreography at the Crofoot Theater in the Motor City Movement Choreography Collective ran by Jill Cassidy. Ms. Smith has taken her work into public schools, teaching Hip Hop, Broadway, Jazz and Contemporary classes at Harrison High School, Novi High School, Arts Academy in the Woods, and L'Anse Creuse North, working with their show choir students and teachers choreographing their performances in the musical “Chicago”. Ms. Smith grew a tremendous passion for dance education in k-12. She has been working as a professional dance instructor at pre-professional dance studios since 2008. Christine continues to teach and perform professionally inspiring and educating young dancers in the studio and in their lives.

Jenica Tremberth has been cultivating her love of dance for 37 years at ASPD. Her love for ballet began at 3 years old under the guidance of Ann Parsley. She was a member of the Macomb Ballet Company and performed lead roles in various ballets including; Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia and Cinderella. Jenica holds the Cecchetti Council of America student certifications for levels I-VII and Teacher certification for Grades I and II. 

Natalie Viviano, born and raised in Michigan, has been dancing
since the age of two. She trained at Shelley’s Spotlight/Spotlight Danceworks in a variety of styles of dance including: ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, and hip hop. Ms. Viviano’s drive, passion, and hard work led her to being awarded scholarships to Shake the Floor (NYC off Broadway show) as well as Pacific Coast Dance Fest. She also received the honor of being named Detroit’s Outstanding Dancer at the New York City Dance Alliance. Ms. Viviano continued dancing into adulthood as she embarked on her professional career. She was a featured dancer in half time shows with the Detroit Lions that included Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, and The Goo Goo Dolls. Natalie also worked as part of the Break the Floor Productions staff for over 10 years. Ms. Viviano trained in California at Millennium Dance and Edge Performing Arts Center. She was a featured performer with Velocity, a singing and dancing show at Greektown Casino. Additionally, she has had the opportunity to open for several recording artists including Gladys Knight, En Vogue, and The Temptations. Ms. Viviano was a highlighted performer at the Detroit Auto Show with Seal. As her career continued to grow and flourish, she also had the opportunity to perform with the elite dance crew Dance2XS Chicago. She has trained at Visceral Dance Center, Joffrey Ballet, and Lou Conte Dance Studio. Natalie garnered an amazing opportunity to move to China and tour with some of the most famous Asian pop acts as well as Avril Lavigne. Ms. Viviano is so excited to be a part of the APSD staff. She cannot wait to share her love and joy of dance with all of the students!

Brian Wirgau began his training at the age of six with Bonnie Allard. He furthered his training under the direction of Liz Schmidt-Mazurkiewicz. Brian was a member of Macomb Ballet company; a pre professional ballet company under the direction of Amber Megna Michalik. He received a BFA in dance from Oakland University and is the recipient of the 2019 Oakland University MaTilDa award in Outstanding Dance Performance. During his time at Oakland University, Brian was a member of Oakland University’s Repertory Dance Company and has worked with Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer, Shaun Boyle-D’arcy, Lauren Edson, Thayer Jonutz, Darrel Moultrie, Laurie Eisenhower and Stephanie Pizzo. During Brian’s senior year he began his first season dancing as an apprentice with Eisenhower Dance Detroit under the direction of Stephanie Pizzo. He has had the privilege of performing Surge choreographed by Stephanie Pizzo at Jacob’s Pillow. Brian is a certified instructor of the Acrobatic Arts Program.


  Kathy Megna and Renee Sun

Ann Parsley School of Dance

51504 Danview Technology Court,

Shelby Township, MI 48315

Phone. 586-286-8300