Mid American Studio takes pride in providing our students with a group of teachers that are motivational, talented and dedicated. Our instructors come from various backgrounds, and each brings an exciting element to their classes due to their unique personal experiences in the dance field.
Miss Abbie – Director of Dance
Abbie Baublitz is a graduate of Alma College, finishing top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. As a member of the Alma College Dance Company, she danced under Rosely Conz, Ben Munisteri, and Kristen Bennett, and performed in two American College Dance Association concerts. Abbie was a two-year member of the Alma College Competitive Dance Team and won the NDA DIII Team Division Championship title in 2019 along with her teammates. Abbie has since danced for Third Coast Dance Company under the direction of Kristen Bennett and Lynn Bowman, and The Detroit Dance Company under the direction of Barbara Selinger.
She began her dance career at three years old, and has studied Scottish Highland dance, Cecchetti ballet and pointe, contemporary, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, and Pompon. As a member of the DuHadway Dance Dimensions Elite Competitive Team, she was highly successful in the Michigan dance competition scene for eleven years. Over the years, she received multiple regional and national titles. In 2015, Abbie spent a semester traveling Europe while living in Macedonia and teaching Pre-Ballet Classes at the Bullfrogs Ballet School of Skopje.
Abbie has been teaching ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, contemporary/lyrical, hip hop, strength & technique, and rhythm & gymnastics, as well as choreographing competitive dance routines for the past six years. She is also a certified Vinyasa Yoga Instructor and loves taking Hot Yoga classes when she is not in the studio dancing!
Since 1991 Miss Sam has been training in ballet, pointe, partnering, jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theater, lyrical, voice, contemporary, choreography & pedagogy. She competed locally, performed at various local community events and trained and performed in the Disney Magic Music Days program in 2002 and 2004. Miss Sam went on to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance on scholarship with departmental honors from Oakland University. She was honored to represent Oakland University by performing at the American College Dance Festival in 2008 and 2009. Miss Sam decided to further her education by earning her Masters in Performing Arts Administration from the University of Michigan-Flint where she was commissioned to choreograph their 2013 fall musical.
Since 2006 Miss Sam has been teaching, choreographing and directing various styles and levels. She enjoys working with students ages two to adult in conservatory studios, competition programs, high schools and even at the collegiate level. Miss Sam continues to assist Absolute Dance of Midland, TX remotely and is excited to further her career by teaching, choreographing and working with Mid American Studio.
Ms. Jessica brings a wealth of Dance and Theater expertise. She began her training at the age of 2, studying Cecchetti Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Hawaiian, Tap and Musical Theater. Jessica competed in both Regional and National Dance Competitions, as well as performed as a member of the Plymouth Canton Ballet Company. Throughout her high school career, Jessica discovered her love for Musical Theater as a three-strand performer in The Creative and Performing Arts Program at Churchill High School, where she triple focused on Dance, Theatre and Voice. Jessica then went on to achieve her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University. At Western, Jessica was a valued member of the Western Dance Project Dance Company. Upon Graduation, Jessica moved to Las Vegas where she joined the Cast of Donn Arden’s Jubilee! While in Las Vegas, Jessica also worked as a Model, Actress, Dancer and National Spokesperson.
Jessica is also a mother, a Certified Body Confidence and Wellness Coach, Registered Yoga Teacher- 500 hrs., a Prenatal and Chair Yoga Specialist, a Usui Reiki Level 2 Practitioner and is authorized to teach Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, The Non-Linear Movement Method® (NLMM) and to facilitate The Wild Woman’s Circle™ She is a dōTERRA® Wellness Advocate and is also certified in the The AromaTouch Technique® and is CPR and First-Aid Certified as well. Jessica has done extensive work with Trauma Informed teaching and recently completed an Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certification. She is currently also studying to become a Somatic Movement Therapist.
Jessica has over 20 years of experience in movement and dance instruction. Additionally, she has choreographed many community theater, and school musical theater productions. Jessica loves to help her students develop their self-esteem, confidence and sense of self through the pure joy of embodied movement.
Valerie Simcheck has been dancing for 20 years. She danced competitively for eleven years and has been teaching for the past nine years. Miss Valerie has choreographed many award winning pieces, including a national 1st place winner! When Valerie was a young dancer, she loved any dance studio in her path. She trained at multiple schools in her home town of South Lyon, including dancing with the Cecchetti Council of America, American Dance Academy, Detroit Opera House, Luna Dance Company and eventually trained as a performer at Walt Disney World.
Miss Valerie enjoys all types of dance, but specializes in contemporary, ballet, jazz funk and improvisation. She has trained with some elite choreographers and performance companies over the years including Will Thomas and George Lawrence from the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” the Alvin Ailey Company and many other spectacular mentors. She has also been cast in special performances, such as The Academy of Russian Classical Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Spring Showcase and Ballet La Bayadere, and more. Miss Valerie is very proud to share her passion and love for dance to all her students and watch them grow into wonderful dancers.
Rachel Hibbard began dancing in Traverse City, MI when she was four years old, and has been trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, tap, and musical theatre. Rachel performed, traveled, and competed with Company Dance Traverse until she graduated high school. She attended Hope College where she was very active in the dance department and a member of the school’s dance company, H2. She performed and choreographed in several dance productions each year, was a member of the school’s hip hop performance group and choreographed for the Department of Theatre. Rachel was also a member of the Traverse City pre-professional musical theatre company, Miracle Productions, where she performed and assisted in choreography for several musical theatre productions. Rachel is passionate about emphasizing each dancer’s individual strengths and is excited to share her love for dance with her students!
Originally from Farmington, MI, Martha began dancing at the age of 6 and quickly fell in love with dance and movement. She trained in many styles and attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, where she was one of the youngest dancers chosen to dance with the International Ballet Ensemble. After her European tour, she began competing and was awarded many accolades including top 10, best choreography, best performance and more. She continued her dance education at Wayne State University, where she earned her BFA in dance and then moved to New York City to pursue dance professionally. While in New York, she danced for Holland America Cruise Lines, Ben Munisteri, Jan Van Dyke, CoreDance Contemporary, and more, while also pursuing acting and singing. She established SPARK Dance Forum, a networking and performance forum that ran biannual events for 6 seasons before she earned her MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University.
Martha is also a fully certified Pilates and Fitness instructor with over 15 years experience. Her knowledge of anatomy and proper body mechanics are infused in her teaching to ensure students have safe and healthy movement practices inside and outside the studio.
Miss Lenore has been dancing for over 30 years and began teaching in 2011. In her career as a dance teacher, she has taught Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Tap, Hip-Hop, Argentine Tango, and Barre Fitness. She began her dance education at her mother’s studio, and then moved on to dance with another local studio for over 15 years and was also a member of its inaugural competition team for six years, winning numerous solo and group regional titles. Competition inspired her to expand her dance knowledge, and she has taken class from renowned dance masters such as Brian Friedman, Doug Caldwell, Joel Hall, Mia Michaels, Claudio Villagra, and Helena Fernandez. She then continued her dance education with another local dance studio in an excellent adult dance program for 10 years, where she began her student teaching journey and eventually taught classes of her own. It was during this time that she also began studying partner dance styles, primarily studying Argentine tango, in addition to Salsa and Bachata. She currently assists in the teaching of various Argentine Tango classes.
From 2017 on, Miss Lenore has continued to perform in various partner dance showcases, competitions, and festivals, performing Bachata Fusion and Argentine Tango. In 2019, she competed at both the Southern California Argentine Tango Championship and the International Argentine Tango Championship and World Cup, receiving numerous first place awards. She was also a member of the Detroit Tango Nuevo dance team from 2017-2020 and continues to perform and teach locally and abroad in addition to furthering her Argentine Tango training. Most recently, she has begun studying Kizomba. Since 2020, she has also performed annually as a back-up dancer with Jackie Paige of WWJ Newsradio 950 at the Celebrity Lip Sync Battle for charity, choreographing jazz routines that get the crowd on their feet, helping Jackie to earn first place at 2022’s event.
Miss Lenore also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in Marketing from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, a Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University, and a Certificate in Project Management from Cornell University. When she’s not dancing, Miss Lenore uses her marketing and communications skills at a large B2B company as well as helping local small businesses. She is married to her husband, Kevin, and they have a daughter, Evelyn, and a beagle mix, Rosie.
Miss Lauren has been dancing for over 30 years, teaching for over 20 years and has trained and taught at dance studios all over Michigan. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and was a member of the GVSU Dance Ensemble under the direction of Jefferson Baum, Calin Radulescu, and Lisa Catrett-Belrose. In her time at GVSU, she was additionally a member and captain of the Nationally ranked Laker Dance Team for 4 years.
After graduation, Miss Lauren had the opportunity to train in New York City and Los Angeles with some of the top names in dance at the time, including the most influential Sonya Tayeh and Suzi Taylor. Here she was also able to gain valuable audition experience to pass on to her students. Upon returning to Michigan, Miss Lauren was the studio director of a dance school for 8 years, where she coordinated all aspects of studio day to day and recital and community performances in the recreational and competitive program. She also coached students of all levels and ages to receive top scores and choreography awards at various regional dance competitions.
Miss Lauren enjoys teaching ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary, modern, acro dance, pom, and musical theatre. She is a Cecchetti Council of America Licentiate Member and has been coaching students culminating in successful examinations with commendations since 2010. She is also a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor able to train students from primary-level 6. Miss Lauren is so excited join the Mid American Studio team and help her students grow and thrive in the community here at the studio and beyond!
Pompon is my favorite style to teach because I love how unique it is! The visuals, sharpness, and energy make it so fun to watch and perform! Some of my proudest accomplishments related to pom is having the opportunity to be on Mid American Pompon Summer Camp Staff! I’ve also won the Mid American High Kick Competition twice and States once, which was awesome and so rewarding! A fun fact about me is that my absolute favorite dessert is ice cream!
My favorite dance styles to teach are ballet and lyrical. I love getting to see students have that “eureka” moment. Watching a student finally master a skill they’ve had trouble with is the most rewarding moment as a teacher. My degree is in musical theater! I have been teaching dance for 4 years now. Last year, I choreographed one of the top Junior lyrical solos at Star Quest. When I’m not teaching, I am playing with my 2 dogs that I have at home!