Julia Schaefer is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and educator. Passionate about physical and emotional health, she is excited to bring the art of dance and movement to the community of Lowell. With bachelor's degrees in both Dance and Exercise Science, along with a plethora of professional dance and teaching experience, she is excited to offer a variety of classes in dance and fitness for all ages.
Julia was a competitive gymnast until the age of 12, and then began intensely training 20+ hours a week in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Modern, and Musical Theatre with Company Dance Traverse in Traverse City, MI. After high school, she danced professionally on Holland America Cruise Lines and came home to attend the prestigious dance program at Western Michigan University. Throughout her college career, she performed with a touring company called the Western Dance Project, was selected to perform and teach on a cultural immersion trip to China and Taiwan, co-founded a hip hop company, was selected for multiple guest pieces by world renowned choreographers such as Peter Chu and Nelly VanBommel, all while earning a separate degree in Exercise Science. Throughout many summers, she was the assistant choreographer for the musical theatre summer program at Interlochen Arts Academy, performed as the dance captain for multiple professional theatre shows in Traverse City, instructed for Universal Dance Alliance dance team camps, and guest taught at various studios across MI and beyond.
Over the past 7 years, Julia has been on the teaching and administrative staff at two different studios in MI. She has taught ages 1 to adults, recreational to competitive levels, in many styles including Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Acro/ Tumbling. She specializes in technique, where she uses her knowledge from her exercise science degree to help build strong and versatile dancers. Dancers trained by her are now performing in the programs at Western Michigan University, Marymount University in NYC, and the dance teams at Michigan State University and Grand Valley University. She has received numerous awards for her choreography and performances and has also expanded her choreography to show choirs, pageant contestants, wedding dances, and competitive gymnastics routines.
Olivia Gaudreau graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelors degree in Marketing and International Business. She recently returned from studying abroad in Paris, France, where she broadened her horizons, made global connections, and renewed her creative energy. She has served as the Vice President for Professional Activities for Delta Sigma Pi, a global professional business fraternity, and Co-Treasurer & Social Media Manager of Momentum, a student-run dance organization at GVSU.
Olivia has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She has been trained in ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, and pointe. Her performance experience includes competition pieces, The Nutcracker, yearly recitals, Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts, and Momentum showcases. Through Momentum, Olivia has experience setting choreography on dancers, running auditions, and performing pieces set by other students. Dance has always been a constant in her life & she is thrilled to join us as LoMI’s Administrative Assistant & as an Instructor!
Alex began her dance training at age 4 at the FIM’s Flint School of Performing Arts, studying a pre-conservatory curriculum in ballet and modern dance. Alex participated in Children’s Performance Workshop, Youth Dance Ensemble, and Flint Youth Ballet under the direction of Karen Mills Jennings. From 2003-2011, Alex performed in over 9 productions of The Nutcracker with the Flint Symphony Orchestra at The Whiting alongside company members from Dance Theatre of Harlem and Dance Collage Collective in Memphis. She also performed works by George Balanchine, Darrell Moultrie, Tyrone Brooks, Amy Hall Garner, among others, and attended summer dance intensives on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School, Magnus Midwest, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
Alex continued her training as a dance major at Western Michigan University’s Dance Department and attended intensives at DanceWorks Chicago before moving to Tallahassee, Florida to receive her Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Florida State University. As a college student, Alex performed in MFA student choreographed works with FSU’s School of Dance, served as a dance diplomat with FSU’s Movement Exchange Chapter in Panama City, Panama, and performed as a company member with Dance Tallahassee. Alex returned to Michigan in 2017 to attend law school, while performing as a company member with MSU’s Orchesis Dance Company and MSU’s Law Musical Theatre Revue. Alex earned her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and passed the Michigan Bar Exam in 2020.
Nowadays, Alex is a municipal attorney in Lansing, MI, providing general counsel to local governments and representing them in litigation throughout state and federal court. She continues to guest teach locally and dance in professional freelance roles. Alex is so excited and grateful to join the LoMI community for its second season!
Harlee Scholten has studied dance since she was two years old. She has trained heavily in ballet, modern, contemporary, partnering, and pointe. Harlee trained at West Michigan Youth Ballet for ten years, under Jen Norder and Stephen Sanford. She also trained with HIS Dance Academy for nine years, mainly under Tassia Johnson and Hannah Sullivan, and was a member of HIS Ensemble. Additionally, Harlee trained with Ada Dance Academy for three years under Stephen Sanford, Laura Berman, and Hannah Trulock. Harlee has performed in countless productions through HIS and WMYB, including dancing principal roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Swan Lake, and many others. In 2019, she attended Grand Rapids Ballet’s summer intensive on merit-based scholarship, as well as competed in the world renowned Youth American Grand Prix.
Harlee has taught dance at many studios, including HIS Dance Academy, Turning Pointe School of Dance, West Michigan Youth Ballet, and LoMI Studios. Additionally, Harlee has been teaching, choreographing, and directing at Reverence Dance Academy since 2020. Her past accomplishments include directing, choreographing, and costuming Reverence’s 2021 full-length production of Cinderella, as well as coordinating and teaching Reverence’s summer camps in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Additionally, Harlee is a collaborator with the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. Specifically, she choreographed, coordinated, and danced as Elsa in the “Frozen Live!” musical fountain show that premiered in June of 2022.
Currently, Harlee is pursuing a degree in both dance and exercise science at Hope College, studying under professors such as Julie Powell, Matt Farmer, and Kara Brems. She danced in Julie Powell’s “Pieces of Her” in Hope College’s Dance 48, as well as danced in her Dance 49 piece, “Untethered”. She was named Julie Powell’s rehearsal assistant for the 2023-2024 season, specifically for her piece “Untethered”. Harlee is the president of the Hope College Ballet Club, leading the organization, teaching weekly classes, and choreographing for the club’s bi-annual productions. Harlee is on West Michigan Youth Ballet’s board of directors, and she is currently working at Grand Rapids Ballet as their 2023 Dance Festival Coordinator.
Chris Worpel comes to LoMI Studios with years of experience in teaching preschool and elementary age children. Beginning with her love for music as a child, she studied piano into her high school years, was involved in band/choir, and is a self-taught guitarist. While homeschooling her 3 daughters, she directed the 3 year old Cherub Choir and helped direct a musical production with the West Michigan Homeschool Group. Other experience involves teaching piano, tutoring phonics, accompanying students at Solo Ensemble and leading worship at her church. She has been teaching with Wee Luv Music to preschoolers at AppleTree Daycares for the past several years. This involved teaching young children at several locations, organizing Christmas programs, and teaching rhythm, movement, musical awareness to the next generation. Chris is excited to join a talented group of instructors and will most certainly bring a fun and inspiring energy that will instill a lasting passion of music and dance to your preschooler. Other interests include staying active and working out at the gym, playing pickleball, hiking, boating, and spending as much time as possible with her 7 grandchildren.