Michelle Mejaski ~

Michelle is the very proud owner of Gotta Dance Studio and Company. Michelle and her husband, Mike moved to Oregon from Indianapolis, Indiana where she has studied dance since age four at Dixon Dance Studio, On Your Toes Studio and at Ball State University. Since moving to Bend, she has choreographed for most of the local schools and theaters. Her choreography and stage credits include: Grease, FootLoose, The Rocky Horror Show, GodSpell, Singing in the Rain, A Chorus Line, Little Shop of Horrors, Cinderella, Annie, Beauty & the Beast, LaCage aux Folles, AIDA, and Once Upon a Mattress to name just a few! Michelle has had the privilege to travel to New York City, as well as attend conventions, workshops and competitions that have allowed her to study with tap greats such as Mike Minery, Tre' Holloway, Jason Samuels, Michelle Dorrance, JT Hornestein and the Hot Shot Tappers. Michelle is an award winning tap dancer who has studied at and competed in various conventions such as LA Dance Force, Monsters of Hip Hop, Hollywood Vibe, New York City Dance Alliance and Manhattan Dance Project. Michelle is proud to be the choreographer for Cat Call Productions, Bend's newest professional theatrical company which produced Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors at the Tower Theater. Michelle and instructor, Sara White had the hilarious priviledge to be back-up dancers for Weird Al Yankovick!


 

Marissa Baranoff

Marissa began to study dance in Santa Ynez Valley, California at age 4. She was accepted into the Joffrey Ballet Company at age 16 on scholarship. She studied ballet, jazz and pas de duex under John Magnus, Francesca Corkle and Zelma Bustillo. She has studied with RDA, CPYB, and with Alvin Alley. Marissa toured Taiwan with the State Street Ballet Company in 2002. Marissa most memorable performance was the lead in Giselle, which she performed with the Santa Barbara Chamber Ballet. From 2003-2007, she taught for Gustafson Dance, the Ballet Conservatory, the Pacific School of Ballet and the Mission Viejo Dance and Performing Arts Center before moving to Bend.



 

Ashley Piland

Ashley began dancing her Junior and Senior year at Bend High where she was on the Varsity Dance Team and Varsity Cheerleading Squad. After graduation she coached Bend High's Dance Team for 2 years. She started teaching at Gotta Dance in October of 2005 and has been open to an entire new world of dance ever since! Ashley has continued to train every year at conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop and The Hollywood Vibe working with amazing choreographers such as Kevin Maher, Rhapsody James, Nappytabs (her all time favorite!), Dave Scott, Brian Friedman, Teresa Espinosa (Beat Freaks-MTV's America's Best Dance Crew), Popin' Pete, Jamal Sims, Marty Kudelka and a member of Jabbawokeez (MTV's America's Best Dance Crew) just to name a few! In August of 2008 Ashley became the instructor of our Senior Hip Hop Crew. In May of 2009, Senior Crew's hard work and Ashley's choreography took home Platinum scores, 1st place in our division and highest overall score for our division!! Ashley's most memorable event in her life so far was travelling to Warsaw, Poland for 3 weeks to teach hip hop in August 2009! She taught at the Rivera Dance Studio in Warsaw, and taught at a Dance Camp in Kuebjek, Poland near the Baltic Sea! She also got to train with Storm, one of the most amazing pop 'n lock dancers/instructors Europe has to offer! During her trip she co-choreographed a Levi's Jeans commercial with instructor, Paul Zajac.


 

Sara White

Sara received her ballet training starting at age 7 at Renoux Dance Studio in Portland, Oregon. Sara studied dance at the University of Oregon and with the Eugene Ballet Company. Sara's performance credits include: Midsummer Nights Dream and The Nutcracker with the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Ballet West. In high school, Sara was a member of the dance team and the Performance Dance Group who performed for the Portland Trailblazer NBA playoff games. At age 22, she began studying tap at Sally Mack's School of dance in Portland and relocated to Bend with husband Brian in 2001.


 

Ashley Lanier

Ashley began dancing at Gotta Dance in 2001 when it's doors first opened. Owner, Michelle Mejaski, saw the tremendous potential in Ashley for her natural ability to not only dance but also teach. For the past several years, Ashley has trained in hip hop with dance greats such as Brian Friedman, Nabby Tabs, Poppin' Pete and Mr. Wiggles to name just a few! Ashley has studied jazz, tap and hip hop with the dancers of Hollywood Vibe and Monsters of Hip Hop for the past 3 years. Ashley instructs our own hip hop crew named HipNation and took our girls to competition in Portland in 2007 to perform for the amazing dancers at the Monsters convention.


 

Lexie Cook

Lexie has been with Gotta Dance for 6 years and has been a student and dance choreographer for 4 years. Lexie studies tap, hip hop, jazz and ballet at Gotta Dance. Lexie is in Gotta Dance's company. She is part of our award winning competition jazz team and our award winning hip hop CREW. Lexie's potential is limitless and her 8-10 year hip hop and jazz classes are always over-flowing. Since becoming a member of the Gotta Dance team, Lexie has attended and performed in the Hollywood Vibe and the Monsters of Hip Hop conventions and competitions in both Portland and Washington. Michelle looks forward to working with Lexie for years to come.


 

McKyeli Eastland

McKyeli has shown herself to be an amazing person and dancer. With Gotta Dance for only 6 years now, she has already proven to have unlimited possibilities. Mckyeli is a member of company. She is in our award winning competition jazz team, in our award winning hip hop CREW, and just this year has advanced into Gotta Dance's tap company, TAP ATTACK! McKyeli is training in ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop. She has trained and performed at Monsters of Hip hop and the Hollywood Vibe. This is McKyeli's third year with her own ballet class. She will be instructing a beginning ballet class for ages 5-7 starting this fall. We look forward to a wonderful year with our newest instructor, Miss McKyeli!


 

Lindsey Beltran

Lindsey instructs Zumba at Gotta Dance. Lindsey started taking Zumba lessons in June 2008 and fell in love instantly.

Zumba is the perfect blend of her love for dance and the health benefits of high cardio fitness. She lost 20lbs in 4 months taking class just once a week. After several months, she became a Zumba instructor. To date, she has lost 65lbs, just doing Zumba. What is Zumba? Zumba is the Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning, feel-it-to-the-core fitness party. If you love to dance...or if you have always wanted to dance, but felt you had two left feet...Zumba is the cardio/dance workout for you.


 

Charlene Weirup

Charlene Weirup is the Acro Dance Instructor here at Gotta Dance and also is an Instructor at Redmond Gymnastics Academy. She is a member of the USA Gymnastics and is safety certified.

Charlene began her journey of being an instructor through many different life experiences. Living in a small coast town most of her life, she began her love of gymnastics at age 5. In high school, she was a high level sprinter and a member of her dance team for 4 years. This lead to her coaching the team for a year.

Coaching and working with children have always been a big part of her life. Starting at age 16, she was a volunteer Recreation coach. She did this for 5 years. In 2002, Charlene helped put together and co-coach a dance team in which kids from Kindergarten - 12th grade were allowed to participate. In her small community not a lot of families had the opportunity to offer their children dance and she wanted all kids to be able to get the chance.

When Charlene was 24, she started coaching gymnastics at a small gym that had opened. Two years later, having her second child, caused her to leave the gym. Her son was born with Autism and this lead to a whole new world of knowledge and challenges. Since the rural area they lived in wasn't the right place for their son to get the help he needed, the family decided to move. In 2004, Charlene and her husband packed up the family and moved to Bend.

After 11 years of being a stay at home mom of 3, she got the crazy idea to better herself and became a ballet student at the studio. Starting ballet at age 35 is not an easy task, but she loves a good challenge and is very grateful that she made this move in her life.

Charlene also is a strong advocate for Autism Awareness and likes to promote healthy, clean nutrition for children and adults.