Kristen’s love for the performing arts began at 3 years old when she entered her first dance class, and that love has turned into a life-long passion. Kristen trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip-hop, and musical-theatre dance all throughout her youth, and continues to take master classes around the country. She has been a dance teacher & choreographer for the past 20+ years. Kristen holds a masters degree in Secondary Education, and currently teaches drama, English, and communications at Salem High School in Canton. Kristen has performed in many plays and musicals throughout her life, and served as Director of Park Players at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park for 8 years. Triple Threat Dance & Theatre Company provides an exciting opportunity to combine her experience in the dance and theatre worlds, while enthusiastically training students to maximize their performance potential. In addition, Kristen traveled the country as a Narrator and Product Specialist for companies including Ford, Buick, and Cadillac on the International Auto Show Circuit. She has judged for National Dance Competitions, taught numerous master dance classes in tap and jazz at festivals and conventions. She also lived in NYC for a short time where she studied at Broadway Dance Center. Kristen has directed and choreographed numerous plays and musicals; a few of her favorites being 42nd Street, Jekyll & Hyde, Pride & Prejudice, and Sweet Charity. Kristen’s former students of dance and theatre have gone on to work as professional performers on various Cruise lines, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, for the Radio-City Music Hall Rockettes, in local and national television commercials, in various Las-Vegas shows, and in professional theatre. Kristen is certified to teach dance by Dance Masters of Michigan and Dance Masters of America.
Samantha Sarnecky’s love for dance began at the age of 4 with her first class at Encore Dance Academy. Her passion grew when she joined Encore’s competitive team at age 7. For over 10 years Samantha was a dedicated member of many top score and overall award winning routines at various regional and national dance competitions across the country. Samantha also performed various roles in the Plymouth-Canton Ballet Company and Livonia Civic Ballet Company versions of the Nutcracker. She has valued the opportunities of having taken master classes with many well known choreographers including Frank Hatchett, Gus Giordano, Nick Bass, Dee Caspary, Dennis Caspary and Rhonda Miller as fundamental components of her dance education. As a 2007 Ladywood High School graduate, she was named Wayne County Junior Miss 2007 and was recognized as the 2007 Physical Fitness and Poise Winner at Michigan’s Junior Miss. After graduation, Samantha attended the University of Detroit Mercy where she was a member of the dance team, “Titans In Motion”. With the desire to promote the importance of education and following one’s passion, Samantha served as a choreographer for the Wayne-Westland Junior Miss and Michigan’s Junior Miss programs, and also was the co-founder/director/choreographer of Plymouth Canton Junior Miss program. Samantha is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Science for Nursing. Wanting to have the opportunity to influence dancers of all ages, Samantha has also turned to teaching dance and has been a part of the Encore Dance Academy staff for the past 3 years. She enjoys teaching all styles of dance and all ages. Samantha feels a special affinity for jazz, tap and hip hop. As part of the Triple Threat family, Samantha looks forward to being able to influence students of all ages to always follow their passions.
Abbey began her ballet training with Cornelia Sampson at the Rochester School of Dance and Michigan Ballet Theatre. In 2008, after attending two summer courses at The School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City, Abbey received the Audrey Rose Scholarship and was invited to study at SAB during it’s winter term program. While there, she performed in four annual SAB workshops with roles in George Balanchine’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Cortège Hongrois, Who Cares? and Bourrée Fantasque as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s Scenes de Ballet. Abbey found a passion for choreography during her experience with the New York Choreographic Institute and choreographed in the SAB Student Choreography Workshop. Directors Peter Martins and Kay Mazzo selected her to participate in a SAB’s growing student teacher program during her senior year. Abbey has attended summer intensives at Miami City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet and Ballet Austin. After graduating from SAB in 2013, she received a position in Ballet Austin’s Fellowship Program in Austin, TX. Abbey is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is currently pursuing her B.F.A in Dance from Oakland University and hopes to share her love for ballet with many students.
MARISA PETRARCA (Dance Instructor & Choreographer)
Marisa’s dance career started at the age of three, and danced locally throughout high school, training in contemporary, hip hop, jazz, tap, technique, and Cecchetti Ballet. All four years of high school, Marisa was on PCEP Varsity Dance Team where she helped with editing music and choreography. In 2015 she decided to move on from studio dancing to more performance based and professional companies. She joined Pure Existence X2, a pre professional contemporary company in Ann Arbor, where she studied in contemporary, modern, improvisation, and choreography. Marisa also joined a professional hip hop company, Next Level Dance Company, where she studies hip hop, jit, animation, jazz funk, and whacking & voguing. In 2017, she began working with local artists. Her first music video feature was in “Xxxtra” by LaBritney. After that, she started performing with Zayion McCall famous for his hit song “Juju on that Beat” and Alias Aiir another local artist. Her most recent music video feature was in Mob Diva’s “Is You Rollin”. She is currently on the Eastern Michigan University Dance Team. Marisa’s latest special event was opening up for the legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin at Detroit Music Weekend. She plans to continue her dancing career and challenging herself along the way. Marisa is eager to share her passion for dance with her Triple Threat students!
KRISTIN BUDZISZ (Dance Instructor & Choreographer)
Kristin’s love of dance started when she stepped into her first Tap class at the age of 2. She was instantly hooked and expanded her training to all different styles including Jazz, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Pom-Pon, Acro and Pointe. Growing up, she was privileged to be able to travel the country with Encore Dance Academy to compete at the regional and national level while taking as many convention classes along the way as possible. While completing an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Kristin became a member of the Eastern Michigan University Official Dance Team and was able to perform at all football, basketball, and soccer games. She was even able to travel to MAC championships games and perform at the University of Michigan stadium. She was a member of the University of Michigan Dance2XS Hip-Hop dance team and co-captain of the Eagles Competitive Dance team at Eastern. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles, California where she studied at Millennium Dance Complex from top choreographers such as Steven “Twitch” Boss, David Moore, and Travis Wall (just to name a few). Kristin most recently received her Master of Science in Human Resource and Organizational Development degree from Eastern Michigan University. She is thankful to still be sharing her love of dance with the students of Triple Threat DTC and looks forward to the creative road ahead.
ASHLEY MEARS (Dance Instructor & Choreographer) Ashley found her love for dance at a young age, but didn’t begin her training until the age of 11. She found that dance came natural for her and quickly progressed. Her passion grew when she became a competitive dancer at the age of 13. Ashley went on to win numerous awards and overall high scores in her competitive career. In high school, she was a member of the prestigious Salem Varsity Rockettes, a pom and dance team. Post-graduation, Ashley went on to choreograph productions for community theatre groups at Cherry Hill Village Theatre as well as for the Park Players at Salem High School. Ashley has been in many theatrical productions including Guys and Dolls, 42ndStreet, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and High School Musical. Professionally, Ashley was a member of the Detroit Ignition Dance Team, “The Spark”. Ashley was also a dancer for Eastern Michigan University’s competitive dance team. Throughout Ashley’s dance preparation, she has taken classes from many elite instructors and choreographers including Dennis Caspary, Mia Michaels, and Frank Hatchett, just to name a few. Ashley is excited to share her creative knowledge with the students of Triple Threat.
SAWYER JONES (Dance Instructor)
Sawyer Jones has been dancing since the age of 3, training in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, contemporary, musical theater, hip-hop, and tap. Sawyer mainly favors ballet and lyrical. As a child, Sawyer participated in multiple activities such as cheer, before deciding that dance was the activity in which she had a natural potential and a true passion for. Sawyer also participated in choir, where she developed a love to sing. She has performed in a variety of musicals and local productions including Nutcracker: All Cracked Up, Christmas Spectacular, West Side Story, and Nine. She has competed in many regional and national competitions, earning many overall placements in solos, duets, and groups. Sawyer loves the art of dance, and loves working with children. She hopes to inspire her students in the same way her teachers did, instilling a love for dance and performing. When Sawyer is not dancing or teaching, you can find her working as a hair stylist at Ashka Salon and Spa.
HEATHER DOLAN KEETER (Vocal Instructor/Glee)
Heather began performing at the age of 3 when she enrolled in dance. After several years of jazz, tap and ballet, she added gymnastics to her repertoire. She auditioned for and became part of CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) dance upon entering Churchill High School. As a member of the CAPA program she became known as a “triple threat”. She landed lead roles in several musicals including Into the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood) and Grease (Rizzo). She was also a cheerleader and member of the varsity pom pon squad. From there, she went on to earn a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University. There she performed in cabarets, dance shows and main stage musicals such as West Side Story (Consuela, Anita u/s), On The Town (Flossie) and Late Night Broadway Starring John Tracey Egan (Soloist) to name a few. She has attended numerous master classes with casting agents and Broadway stars at both WMU and in NYC where she lived for a year. She performed professionally in summer stock shows as well as all over the world as a singer/dancer for Holland America Cruise Line. After returning home from the high seas she was lucky enough to continue honing her craft at local theatres and took on the unbelievable roles of Elle in Legally Blonde and Amber in Hairspray. Most recently she has had the pleasure of returning to her alma mater, CHS, to choreograph for the all-school musicals for the past two years, including The Addams Family and Anything Goes. Currently she is off on a new adventure to obtain a second bachelors degree in Nursing from Wayne State University. Heather is always very excited to take part in shaping future performers by sharing all the wonderful things she has learned along the way!
KAITLYN MCKAY (Vocal Instructor/Glee) Kaitlyn McKay has always had a passion for performing. She started taking dance classes at age 3 including, tap, ballet, jazz, Hawaiian, and gymnastics. Along with dance, Kaitlyn soon realized her natural talent and aptitude was singing! Kaitlyn was in choir throughout all of her education, and in high school was a part of Choralation (show choir), and CAPA vocal (creative and performing arts program) at Churchill High School in Livonia. She has performed in many musicals and plays, her favorite role playing Sandy in GREASE! Kaitlyn is currently an Elementary Education major at Eastern Michigan University. She looks forward to inspiring young students to pursue their performance goals, and enjoys the opportunity of sharing her knowledge and experience with students wishing to develop skills in vocal performance.
Marissa Sarnecky, Office Manager
Lee Collins, Front Desk
Ann Elinski, Costume Coordinator & Seamstress
Karen Crowther, Company Costume Design & Seamstress