Betty Mitchell School Director and Ballet Instructor
In 1976, Betty Mitchell began her early ballet training with Jean Nuccilli, (Southfield, MI), Leslie O’Day (Detroit ,MI) and Rosemarie Floyd (Royal Oak, MI), while touring and performing with The Glory & Latter Rain Dance Companies. Currently she is coached by Rosemarie Floyd & Bethany Lenhart.
In 1986, Ms. Mitchell assumed the position of Director of Dance at Bethesda Christian Church, where she also instructed ballet classes. Performances at various large church and school events contributed to a rapid increase in enrollment which brought a significant awareness of Jesus Christ in dance in the metropolitan Detroit area.
In December, 1994—2002, Ms. Mitchell assumed the Director of Dance position at Kensington Community Church (Troy, MI) where a Performing Arts School was launched and classes offered in ballet, modern, jazz, tap & Ballroom. During her tenure at Kensington, Ms. Mitchell coordinated many collaborative events with local, regional and nationally recognized ballet and modern companies, such as Ballet Magnificat (Jackson, MS), Eisenhower Dance Ensemble (Oakland County, MI), Rosemarie Floyd CivicBallet (Royal Oak, MI) and Houston Ballet Dancers (Southfield Millenium Center, Southfield, MI).
(2002-present), Currently Ms. Mitchell is Director of The Link School of the Arts and AD of The Link Ballet. As a non-profit 501 C3 arts organization, Kensington community church launched and provided the initial funds to establish the School. Operating as a separate entity with its own mission and infrastructure, high quality ballet instruction is offered as well as jazz, tap, modern and worship classes. Ms. Mitchell is a LCAA member of the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA) and is currently working on her ACCA and FCCA certification. She is also certified through Cecchetti USA as a LCUSA licentiate member.
From 1987—2016, Ms. Mitchell has presented more than 900 candidates for Cecchetti Examinations in Grades 1– 6 levels with 40% passing highly commended, 60% passing commended. Ms. Mitchell also instructs Advanced 7 and Diploma classes under the direction of Ms. Bethany Lenhart. She has also studied under master teachers; Priscilla Nathan Murphy, Andrew Murphy, Lauren Anderson, Victoria Vittum, Caleb Mitchell (Houston Ballet), Shawn Stevens (NYCB and Twyla Tharp), IBC Teacher’s Training (David Howard), Steve Rooks, Evelyn Cisneros, and Sol Maissoninet.
In 2008, Ms. Mitchell instructed, mentored and coached a competitor at the CICB Competition in Calgary, Alberta, and the 2011 CICB Competition in Manchester, England.
Ms. Mitchell’s students have placed in the top 12 of YAGP regional and national competitions. Ms. Mitchell attends Embassy Covenant Church in Troy, MI.and gives all of the honor and praise of these accomplishments to the Glory of God!
Susan Howard Financial Administrator and Ballet Instructor
Susan Howard received her early classical ballet training at the Doris Marsh School of Ballet. Earlier jazz and tap training were studied at the Judy Kanary School of Dance. During this time Susan attended multiple dance workshops and summer intensives studying under Sylvia Palmer (Royal Winnepeg Ballet), Gus Giordano, Al Gilbert, Meribeth Kisner, Michael Donovan, Sherry Zunker, Ellen Carrington, Lisa Nowak and many others. Following her study, she went on to become a dancer with the Detroit City Dance Company, a professional modern dance company under the direction of Carole Morisseau. Plans to pursue a dance career in NY were thwarted when she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.
In 1984, Susan joined “The Glory Dancers”, a Christian interpretive ballet company that toured locally, regionally and nationally, communicating the Gospel message through dance. Susan was a ballet instructor for 7 years at the Bethesda Christian School of Dance and performed with the Latter Rain Christian Dance Ministry for 11 years. She then went on to teach ballet, tap, jazz, and modern for 7 years at Kensington Community Church School of Dance.
In 2002, Susan assisted Betty Mitchell in launching The Link School of the Arts, a 501c3 arts launch of Kensington Community Church. Susan also became a member of the Cecchetti Council of America, and has trained and presented more than 150 candidates for Cecchetti Examinations in Grades 1-3. She has attended numerous Cecchetti seminars as well as workshops including the 1998 IBC Teacher’s Workshop with David Howard, CICB 2011 Teacher’s workshop in Manchester, England, CICB 2014 Teacher’s Workshop in Richmond, Virginia and Master Classes at the Houston Ballet. During this time, she has also studied under master teachers: Lauren Anderson, Shawn Stevens, Priscilla Nathan Murphy, Andrew Murphy, Caleb Mitchell, Steven Rooks, Clara Cravey, Sol Nazario, Charmaine Hunter, and Evelyn Cisneros. Currently, Susan serves as a Ballet instructor at The Link School of the Arts.
Theresa Maybee Bolinger Drama Instructor and Director Of Productions
Theresa has been a performer, director and producer for over fifteen years. Performance credits include: performing as a cast member on Main Stage at The Second City (Detroit, MI) and Assistant Directing there under Saturday Night Live Director Tom Gianas, cast member of “Strong Women Keep Coming”, Host of TV pilot “Peacemakers”, Improvisational Comedian for Toyota Motors and a Spokesperson/Product Specialist/Trainer for automotive companies including General Motors, Daimler Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. Theresa has also had featured film roles in “Mutant Swingers from Mars”, “Temptation” and “A Polish Wedding”.
Theresa has served as Executive Director for Spare Me Productions and Executive Producer for Peacemakers, Inc. Theresa has also served as Director/General Manager of The Magic Bag in Ferndale, The Millennium Centre Convention and Performing Arts Complex in Southfield, The Majestic Theatre in Detroit and The Federal Reserve Conference Center in Detroit. Mrs. Maybee Bolinger has served as a Director, Assistant Director, Producer, Costumer, Make Up Artist and Set Dresser for many productions such as, “A Family Affair”, “If These Hips Could Talk”, “Ain’t Nothin’ Like Family” and, most recently, “Whatever She Wants” starring Vivica A. Fox in 2007. Theresa has spent over twelve years in Christian Arts Ministry including Director, Producer and Programming Team for Kensington Community Church from 1997 – 2000, Drama Team at Northridge Community Church from 2003 – 2005 where she directed the drama for “The Glory of Christmas” 2004- attracting over 20,000 audience members.
She is currently Drama Instructor and Director of Productions for The Link School of the Arts in Troy since 2002. Theresa has been a member of Word of Faith International Christian Centre in Southfield, Mi under Bishop Keith Butler since 2001.
Bethany Lenhart Ballet Instructor
Bethany Lenhart is currently a Fellow of the Cecchetti Council of America, holding the Advanced Certification (FCCA). She serves as the First Vice President and current Liaison Coordinator of the Executive Board. Bethany has held the offices of President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary and General Board Chairman. She received the Sylvia Hamer/Margaret Marsh Scholarship and attended the Cecchetti Teacher’s Course in England. She has choreographed for several regional dance companies in the USA and Canada and was associated with the former Flint Ballet Theatre. Bethany has received the Children’s champion Award and is listed in the International Who’s Who of Professionals. We are very excited that Bethany is a part of the Link Family and Faculty.
Sarita Pauline Mehta Worship
Sarita began her early ballet training at Rochester School of Dance. At the age of twelve, she was selected to dance with The American Ballet Theatre in their production of Le Corsaire. At age 13, Sarita was accepted into the Michigan Ballet Theatre under the direction of Cornelia Sampson.
During her tenure with Michigan Ballet Theatre, Sarita felt a strong calling to dance for the glory of God and became one of the first members of Grace Dance Ensemble, a local Christian dance company, under the direction of DeAnne Essian. She is now co-director of Grace Dance Ensemble and has choreographed numerous pieces for the company as they currently minister at local churches and events. Sarita also runs the after school dance program at Franklin Road Christian School in Novi, Michigan. Currently, Sarita heads the worship program at The Link and teaches worship classes from beginning A through advanced levels. She also teaches Mustard Seeds (creative movement for 3 year olds) and Pre-Ballet 1 and 2. Sarita has a huge passion for teaching young girls and boys to dance for God’s glory. She believes it undoubtedly has the ability to change lives by its beauty and power.
Melissa Wenhold Advanced and Pre-professional Ballet Instructor and Advanced Modern Teacher
Melissa Wenhold comes to us from East Greenville, PA with a wealth of knowledge in dance and teaching. She began her dance training at the age of six under Deanna Schubert, Founder and Artistic Director of Schubert School of Dance Arts. For the next fourteen (14) years she trained and performed in classical ballet, pointe, modern, jazz and tap. During her tenure at Schubert School of Dance Arts, she attended summer studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, and Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and danced with the J. Dance Company in Bucks County, Pa. Melissa continued her dance training and graduated from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. Ms. Wenhold holds a BFA in dance from Belhaven University in Jackson, Ms. and served as part of teaching faculty for Pennsylvania Classical Ballet and Schubert School of Dance Arts. In addition, she continues to expand her teaching experience through master studies at Belhaven University and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Teachers Training. We are extremely excited that Ms. Wenhold will be joining the Link Faculty.
Joslyn Duncan Ballet Instructor
Alumni-turned-teacher, Joslyn Duncan, has been studying ballet since 3 years of age. First under the tutelage of Gail Hoekstra and then followed by Betty Mitchell and Susan Howard at the Link School of the Arts. Joslyn fell in love with The Link School of the Arts, completed her Cecchetti examinations through Grade 6, and continues to share her passion for dance with young boys and girls today as a proud member of The Link's staff. She also has a degree in digital media design, which she utilizes in businesses all across southeastern Michigan, including her own Lovelle Designs & Photography. Joslyn is married and is living happily ever after with her husband, Matthew, in Clarkston.
Lauren Williams Tap Instructor
Lauren began studying dance at the YMCA in Milwaukee, WI. After her family was relocated to Michigan she studied for the next twelve years with Creative Expressions Dance Studio in Flint. During her years there she rose to the position of choreographer and instructor, teaching tap, jazz and hip hop. Lauren was selected and inducted into the nationally known Flintstone Hoofers as well as Village Ensemble. As a member of the Village Ensemble, Lauren was able to attend the annual conference on Black Dance. There she had the opportunity to study modern, jazz, and ballet. While dancing with the Flintstone Hoofers and under the tutelage of Mr. Alfred Bruce Bradley, Lauren was privileged to study with many of the tap greats, Lady Di (Diane Walker), the Nicholas brothers, Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, and Savion Glover just to name a few. She also participated (teaching and performing) in the annual Tapology conference. Lauren became a member of the “Righteous Movement” tap group and debuted on the Apollo. Currently Lauren is a tap instructor for Staccato Dance Studio and Fem Fatale Dance Studio. She currently teaches beginners all the way up to advanced tap.
Triston O'Day Ballet Instructor
< Bio Coming Soon! >
Chela Dalco Nixon Dance Instructor
Chela Dalco Nixon began her dance experience in the Detroit Public School System, where the dance curriculum was encouraged and supported by the school administration and the community. Her High School Dance Teacher Meredith Campbell became her mentor, exposing her to as much dance as she could inside and outside the systems structure. That encouragement and her own passion for dance led her to the Clifford Fears Dance Theatre after 2 years of College Level Dance exposure with Michigan State and Wayne State University.
Dancing with Clifford Fears changed everything and began an intensive course of training that included Dunham, Horton, Graham and ballet. Although Dunham was the technique of record, it was the manner in which Mr. Fears infused the technique with other dance forms that was unique and left an indelible impression. Chela spend 3 years with Mr. Fears, becoming a principal performer. It was in this company that Chela met Carole Morisseau, whom she would later dance with for 13 years as part of the Detroit City Dance Company. While with DC2 she served as Assistant Artistic Director, soloist and Rehearsal Director. It was with Detroit City Dance Company that Chela traveled to Africa, Haiti, and across country. She is featured in the Emmy winning documentary Carole Morisseau and Detroit City Dance Company.
Chela is currently serving as Board Member and Instructor at Jazz and Spirit Dance Theatre of Detroit, where teaching Dunham technique as she was taught and inspired by her Dance Master Clifford Fears is her joy. We are very excited to welcome Chela.