Lakeshore Academy of the Arts - Biographies - North Muskegon, MI
Lakeshore Academy of the Arts                -
Team Biographies

Our people are among the most talented in the industry. It would be our pleasure to put our extensive experience to work for you.


ERIN BLAIS
OWNER / OPERATOR / AWARD-WINNING CHOREOGRAPHER

At the age of 7 while watching  her best friend dance on stage, Erin knew that she had to get into dance.   Her parents finally giving in, they signed her up for classes.  
What started out as one day per week, turned into 6 days per week.  Erin had 
found her true niche.  Carrying on the passion, she started teaching dance at 
the age of 12, eventually owning her own dance studio here in West Michigan.

Living close to Chicago, Erin was fortunate enough to study with Gus Giordano as an intern at the Giordano Jazz Company.   Erin also studied with Greg Begley 
(ballet master) at Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago.  She attended Point Park University on a Dance Scholarship majoring in Dance with a Choreography 
Emphasis.  She graduated with honors earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  While in College, she was a member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Company performing in productions such as:  "The Nutcracker", "Peter Pan" and "A Chorus Line".  Erin also worked with Don Brockett (a.k.a. "The Chef" from Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood) doing commericials and industrials while in Pittsburgh.

After graduatioin, she moved out west to Los Angeles.  Erin met up with an 
upcoming pop sensation (Paula Abdul), and was able to gain a spot on the Tracey 
Ullman Show as a chor dancer.  She also performed in several music videos while 
out west as well as being introduced to a new dance form called:  "Hip Hop".  
Erin had to learn this new style of dance so she enrolled in some classes at a 
studio called "The Dance Barre" where she met a no name dancer (Jennifer Lopez) 
who studied at the same studio who had just landed a job on  "In Living Color" 
as a "fly - girl".  Her story was truly inspiring and Erin worked harder to 
learn more about "Hip Hop". Erin also worked with Glen Douglass Packard on a video shoot in Lansing Michigan.  

Erin currently resides in Spring Lake  Michigan where she currently owns and operates her own studio,(Spring Lake East).  She also runs dance classes at West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics and North Muskegon. She choreographs for local show choirs, musicals and professional music and theater companies. Erin knows that she is truly lucky to make a living doing what she truly loves and can share her passion and knowledge with students of all ages and all dance capabilities. 
Photo by:  Chad Davignon


MIKE MCCALLUM 
TEACHER / AWARD-WINNING CHOREOGRAPHER
 (JAZZ / HIP HOP / LYRICAL / CONTEMPORARY / CHEER)

Mike McCallum began dancing and choreographing routines while at Fruitport High School.  He worked with the cheerleading squad on their routines and choreographed and performed in the school's Mock Rock competition.  After graduating in 1990, he continued as a volunteer assistant coach and choreographer for the cheer team which culminated in a trip to the national championships in 1994.

Mike began formally dancing at Muskegon Community College during his freshman year doing a duet with his sister Michelle (McCallum) Lovse in the Overbrook Dance Theater in Concert.  The following year, he began taking modern jazz dance classes there.  He has choreographed and performed in numerous Dance Concerts at MCC over the years.

He began teaching cheer dance and hip-hop at Blais Dance Academy/Lakeshore Academy of the Arts in 1998.  Over the years he has also added Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary to his repertoire.  He was won numerous awards for his choreography and music-editing.
Photo by:  Chad Davignon


KIM BEACHUM GAVER
TEACHER 
(MODERN / JAZZ / TAP / MUSICAL THEATER)

Kim Beachum Gaver has been dancing for over 34 years, and has studied ballet, modern, contemporary, hip hop, tap, step dance, and African dance with various teachers. She has attended numerous regional and national competitions and conventions across the country, including classes in NYC (Steps, Broadway Dance Center)  and Hollywood (Tremaine Studios). Kim has extensive performance experience, including Jazz Dance World Congress (NY), Danceworks at WCC (NY), Overbrook Theatre Dance Concerts and multiple concerts at Western Michigan University where she earned her BA in Dance. She also won the Best Group Award for her tap trio in the 1992 West MI Showcase. In 2001, she auditioned for Mia Michael’s R.A.W. dance intensive and performed one of Ms. Michael’s works in NYC. She has studied with master teachers including; Mia Michaels, Randy Duncan, Gus Giordano, Joe Tremaine, Debbie Allen, Joe Lanteri, and Desmond Richardson. 
Kim has over 8 years experience as a special educator and preschool teacher, and has her MS in Education from Mercy College (NYC). She has been teaching creative movement, tap, jazz, and ballet for over 9 years. She also enjoys choreographing high school musicals (My Fair Lady, Oklahoma) and teaching musical theatre camps (Summer WINGS at MCC). Kim, her husband; Matt, daughter; Ellery, and dog; Ben live in Norton Shores. 

ANDREA VAN BEEK                                 
TEACHER / AWARD WINNING CHOREOGRAPHER

Andrea began her dance career at the age of 3 in ballet.  Her love and passion for dance bloomed, and by high school she was dancing four days/week in the Grand Rapids area.  She soon became the dance director for Champion Gymnastics & Dance (formerly of GH), toured China with New Olympians International Show Teams, and was on scholarship with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.  In 1995 Andrea's choreography received special recognition & was requested to perform at the ACDFA state convention in Raleigh, North Carolina.  In 1996 Andrea received her BFA in Professional Dance Performance from East Carolina University.  While there, she performed with East Carolina Dance Theater, and received Dancer of The Year Award for 1996.  Andrea has also been on scholarship at Dance New Amsterdam (formerly Dance Space Dance Center) in NYC.  She has studied under such world-renowned artists as Gus Giordanio, Lou Conte, Alan Arnett, Katiti King, Frank Chaves, Patti Weeks, and Joe Carow.  Andrea has taught at Danceworks in GR, Ada Dance Company, Ballet Arts, Muskegon Community College, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Muskegon Civic Theater, Holland Arts Council, and Dance Revolutions in Spring Lake. Most recently, Andrea has received multiple choreography awards at dance competitions and is a current pro dancer with Dancing With the Local Stars in Muskegon.  She is very excited to share her knowledge and passion with the Lakeshore Dance Academy students this year!!!


MICHELLE VISGER
TEACHER (BALLET / LYRICAL/POINTE/TAP)

Michelle (Honick) Visger  started dancing at the age of 7 with Erin (Blais Dance Academy).  Michelle Visger has been dancing for 21 years, and teaching for 14 of those years with Lakeshore Academy of the Arts. She has danced competitively, taught lessons through the WINGS program at Muskegon Community College, and she has loved every minute!
Michelle graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Elementary Education, but for now stays at home with her daughter born in spring of 2015. She also enjoys scrapbooking, reading, going to the drive-in movies, and being involved in her church.
Photo by:  Chad Davignon



GYPSY BATES
STUDENT  TEACHER

Gypsy is 12 years old and in 8th grade at WMAAA where she is a member on the student council.  Gypsy is a 5th year Girl Scout Cadette and a 2nd year West Michigan Governors Honor Scout.  Gypsy has been dancing since the age of 5.  In her spare time, she enjoys dance, painting, cooking, making YouTube Videos and hanging out with her friends and her cousines Grace and Kelsey.  Science is her favorite school subject!
Photo by:  Chad Davignon



SOPHIE FULLER
STUDENT TEACHER
Sophie Fuller has been dancing for more than 14 years, and has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip-hop, pointe, and contemporary. She has attended various regional dance competitions including a national competition in New York City as well as many conventions. Sophie has been in theater productions as well, including "The Wizard of Oz" and "Annie". She has been a dance assistant for 3 years, and also assists Kim Beachum Gaver in musical theatre at the Summer WINGS program at MCC

                                                 
SAMANTHA NIC                     
STUDENT TEACHER

Samantha is a junior in Grand Haven CyberSchool and has been dancing both recreationally and competitively with Lakeshore since the age of 3. Samantha discovered her love for choreographing and teaching at a very early age.  She has danced three roles in the West Michigan Youth Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. She also had the opportunity to dance in the Michigan State Capitol building as a part of National School Choice Week. She has been to many intensives/conventions and taken classes from Dedrick Anthony (graduate from the Ailey school), Stacey Tookey, Travis Wall, and Chloe Arnold to name a few. 

JAIDEN CUNNINGHAM                
STUDENT TEACHER

Jaiden is a 15 year old sophomore at Mona Shores High School. She has been dancing since the age of 3. Jaiden has always had a love of the arts, Jaiden loves to sing, dance, and act. She has been in four musicals including Seussical jr as Mayzie la Bird, and Legally Blonde jr as Brooke Wyndham. Jaiden started dancing at LAA in 4th grade, and this will be her fourth year as a competition dancer. When she isn’t acting or dancing, she is working hard in school. Academics are high on her list of priorities. Having a four year old brother, younger cousins, and babysitting for extra money, Jaiden enjoys working with kids and is  looking forward to teaching this year!


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