Our Staff Members

Andrea Purrenhage
Andrea Purrenhage
  • Owner, Artistic Director

Andrea Purrenhage is a Certified American Ballet Theater Instructor for pre-primary through level five. She is currently a faculty member at CMU in the department of Theater and Dance teaching ballet and choreographing for the University Theater Dance Company.

Purrenhage began her training with the Metropolitan Ballet Center and continued intensive study with the Professional Ballet School under Svetlana Chrin of the Ukrainian National Ballet. She has had the opportunity to study with dance greats such as; Arthur Mitchell, Twyla Tharp, Laveen Nadue, and Fluer Isreal through the Dance Theater of Harlem, Dayton Ballet, and Eglevsky Ballet.

Dancing on scholarship Purrnehage studied at Alma College under Ballet Master Tom Morris. She has performed in Swan Lake, Aurora’s Wedding, The Nutcracker, Grand Tarantella, Les Sylphides, La Bayadre, Giselle and many others.

In addition to teaching Vaganova Ballet Purrenhage is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique, which aids dancers in mastering correct ballet alignment while building strength.

You can contact Andrea directly at andrea@mpschoolofdance.com.
Justine Tuma
Chlöe McKinley
  • Lead Instructor

Chlöe is a third-year honor student at Central Michigan University majoring in music performance and minoring in philosophy. At age 5 she began dancing and studied styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, street dance, and contemporary.

Over her 10 years as part of a competitive dance team, she received recognition for her solo choreography and dance performance. She was a featured dancer at the World of Dance competition, as well as awarded the title of Cypher Queen at the Berston Banger in Flint, Michigan. She has also completed her professional elementary V accreditation in the Cecchetti method of ballet..

Bird Clarkson
Bird Clarkson
  • Lead Instructor

Bird Clarkson has been a featured music video dancer having contracts with Warner Bros., and Atlantic Records; a top 25 ART PRIZE vote finalist, and a Main Stage performer at Electric Forest, Breakaway, and Prime Music Festival.

He is also under contract and sponsored by Red Bull as a promotor. Choreographing for National Dance Champions twice, Bird's passion is educating and helping create confidence in aspiring dancers.

"I have often told many that I mentor and guide I’m from Saturn; (third ring) of course. It’s a whole lot better than saying born on an army base in Heidelberg, Germany, then off to Japan, Korea and a bunch of states due to a parent in the military; and all before graduating college. I am a Psych Major that played college basketball for 2 years, but after taking a trip to the East Coast, I let life guide me back to DANCE. It has led me to many dance floors, studios, and concert/festival stages. Above all I get my fill and true satisfaction from educating; CMU, to workshops, to fitness classes and everywhere in between; nothing is quite like being apart of a student or persons journey to excel and reach new levels."

You can contact Bird directly at bird@mpschoolofdance.com.
Katie Hunter
Molly Schuneman
  • Lead Instructor

Molly Schuneman has 20 years of dance training, including ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, modern, and choreography. She began her training at Vaughan Dance Academy in Plainfield, IL and competed with their competition troupe, where she helped earn two national championships in lyrical and jazz competition pieces. Molly continued her dance education in college and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance from the University of Iowa. Molly performed in numerous faculty and student produced pieces and was also a member of the premier pre-professional company, UIowa Dancers In Company. She has been teaching dance in the Mt. Pleasant since 2019.
When not dancing, Molly works full-time as the Associate Director of Student Involvement & Organizations at Central Michigan University.

Tierney Popp
Tierney Popp, MSW, Ph.D.
  • Consultant

Dr. Popp is an Associate Professor of Child Development, in the Department of Human Family Studies at CMU.She is a consultant with MPSD providing instructors with evidence based knowledge on developmentally appropriate practices when working with young students.

You can contact Dr. Popp directly at tierney@mpschoolofdance.com.

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