Dance Alliance Staff

Adam B. Clark

Adam B. Clark, a Michigan native, began performing professionally in Chicago with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago in the premiere of the Tin Soldier. During his time with Giordano’s, Adam had the privilege of working extensively with “Jazz Greats” such as Luigi, Matt Mattox, Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine and Pattie Obey. Mr. Clark also had the opportunity to perform in several benefit, commercial and industrial shows: AT&T, the McCormick Center, Saks Fifth Avenue, and individuals such as Sherry Zunker-Dow, Mike Ditka and Michael Jordan. While in Chicago, he taught at the Gus Giordano Dance Center and at numerous suburban studios. He returned to Michigan to serve as Assistant Director to Performing Arts Dance Theater and to perform with the Ann Arbor based Jazz Dance Theatre of which he was appointed artistic director in 1993. His award-winning works have premiered on both students and professional companies in the United States and Germany. He has choreographed for several pageant contestants including Miss Michigan 1997 and his work has been seen at the Miss America Pageant. Along with choreographing, Adam has been a judge at Miss Battle Creek and Miss Bay County. Mr. Clark has guest taught and choreographed at numerous studios and universities and was also commissioned by the Midland Center for the Arts Musical Society to teach their week-long annual summer dance workshops for two consecutive summers. In addition to directing Jazz Dance Theatre, Adam also co-owns Dance Alliance and co-directs Dance Alliance Repertory Company with his wife, Lisa. He also served as a founding member and coach for the Saline High School Dance Team in its 2003-2004 season. In addition to his dance and choreography credits, Adam worked with Jackie Sleight where he served as the Production Coordinator for LA Dance Magic’s premier showcase concert “Final Cut” in LA, California from 2006 to 2018. Once again, he will resume his position as Production Coordinator for the concert in July of 2019. During his time in LA, he has also had the honor of instructing dancers from all over the country in several Jazz and Stretch classes at studios as well as during “Final Cut”. Adam and his wife, Lisa, were interviewed by Nancy Wozny, a writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine. In the August 2007 issue, look for their personal stories and input on prevention, care and rehabilitation of injuries among dancers. Along with the numerous hours of class and private dance instruction every week, Adam has combined his years of dance training and instructing with his love for physical fitness and has become a certified trainer for Title Boxing Club of Brighton where he now serves as the Senior Trainer. Most recently, he has found himself traveling the country on weekends working for LA Dance Magic. This summer, you will find Adam at Dance Alliance with the many talented dancers, instructing at a few different events in MI and of course, working and spending time in LA and NYC. On a personal note, Adam and Lisa currently reside in Brighton, and have two sons, Gabriel Adam and Brendan Aubrey.

Lisa Darby Clark

Lisa Darby Clark graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Dance Arts. While at U of M, Lisa received the Gertrude Huebner Undergraduate Award in Dance, as well as Friends of Dance Summer Study Scholarships and a Dance Department Merit scholarship. Mrs. Clark was chosen to represent the University at the American College Dance Festival Association where her choreography was featured in the festival’s Gala Concert. Lisa has performed in works by Vaslav Njinski, Martha Graham, Lucas Hoving and Pattie Obey, as well as dancing with Ann Arbor Dance Works. In addition to her extensive performance background in the midwest, she has had opportunities to dance and perform across the United States as well as Germany. Lisa has taught in past summers at Interlochen Arts Academy for the University of Michigan’s All-State program and has also been commissioned by the Midland Center for the Arts Musical Society to teach their week-long annual summer dance workshops. Mrs. Clark also served as adjunct professor and guest artist for five years at Michigan State University where she taught ballet, modern and jazz for the Theater Department. Along with her husband, Lisa also served as coach for the Saline High School Dance Team during its founding 2003-2004 season. As a youth, Mrs. Clark was also a founding member of Performing Arts Dance Theater and the youngest company member of Northern Ballet Theatre. Lisa currently teaches at Dance Alliance, which she co-owns and directs with her husband, Adam, and also serves as both a company member and Co-Director of Jazz Dance Theatre. Lisa and her husband, Adam, were interviewed for an article on the many issues of injuries among dancers. The article appeared in the August 2007 dance publication, Dance Studio Life. This upcoming summer and dance season, you will find her instructing and choreographing for her award winning Dance Alliance dancers as well as traveling to NYC. In her personal life, Lisa finds herself always busy as the “Organizer of all Things” for all her boys: Adam, Gabe, Brendan and Dallas (the dog).

Marsha Belaire

Marsha Belaire spent numerous years, studying ballet, tap, jazz and other forms of dance with Adam and Lisa Clark at Dance Alliance in Saline and Dance Theatre Studio in Ann Arbor. She was a member of Dance Alliance Repertory Company for six years and danced in Jazz Dance Theatre's Annual Benefit Concerts as a member of the Youth Dance Project. Miss Belaire is currently a principle member of Jazz Dance Theatre and begins her fifth season this fall. In addition to her many years of training and performance experience, Marsha has also served as an assistant and instructor for a variety of abilities, levels and ages at Dance Alliance for the past four years. She has also been involved in many years of Nutcracker as a performer and has spent the last three years fulfilling her duties as Production Assistant for the annual performance. Marsha is a Senior at Lawrence Technology University and plans to pursue a career in Architecture and Interior Architecture. Along with her intense dance and academic schedules, she finds herself immersed in other activities and organizations as well. She is Secretary of Student Government, Treasurer of Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts, member of Lambda Iota Tau Honor Society and has most recently accepted an intership with DSA Architects.

Amy Davis

Amy Davis has a rich and varied career in dance as a performer, choreographer and instructor. She started her studies at the age of 3, a student for 24 years and an instructor for 12. Originally from Michigan, she has studied ballet, pointe, hip hop, jazz and tap under the guidance of many local instructors. Expanding her interests, she also studied Celtic and Highland dance and has attended master classes with Peter Sparling, Alvin Ailey Company, Jefferson Baum and numerous instructors from a wide variety of dance conventions. Amy attended 2 years at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp where she was accepted to perform in the Blue Lake International Tour. Dance has provided her the opportunity to travel to Spain, Africa, Australia and Fiji to perform. Amy performed as a member of the Dance Arts Performing Ensemble for 4 years and choreographed works for Nutcracker and A Dancer's Collage. She returns each year as a guest instructor for the summer intensive program. In college, Amy expanded her studies to include Russian ballet and photography. She married and moved to the Cleveland area where she had been teaching at local studios, and providing choreography for their companies for the past 5 years. Amy has recently moved back to the area and is very excited to begin her first year with Dance Alliance.

Meridith Groom

Meridith Groom has been dancing, instructing and choreographing for more than 20 years and has been a member of Jazz Dance Theatre for 12 years. Prior to dancing with JDT, she was a member of Creative Performing Arts Program (CAPA), and danced at Miss Harriet's Dance Studio with Adam Clark. Meridith has a Bachelor of Science in Movement Science from the University of Michigan's Division of Kinesiology, and works as a Senior Health and Fitness Specialist at the UAW-Ford Dearborn Health and Fitness Center. Besides her other achievements, Meridith served as Miss Washtenaw County, and competed at the Miss Michigan Pageant in June of 2001. This is Meridith's third season with Dance Alliance.

Heather Fountain Merchant

Heather Fountain Merchant has been a dancer, teacher and choreographer for over 20 years. Heather graduated with honors from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Dance Arts. She received her Masters of Arts in Fashion Design and Merchandising from Wayne State University and is currently the Field Visual Merchandiser for Forever 21. Ms. Merchant is in her 14th season as a member of Jazz Dance Theatre. Heather has performed extensively throughout the world, including Poland, Denmark, Germany, Japan and the former Soviet Union. She has received numerous honors and scholarships from national and local organizations, including American Ballet Theatre, School of Chicago Ballet, Michigan Youth Arts Festival and the American College Dance Festival Association. Heather has guest taught and choreographed for several studios and schools, including CAPA, and begins her fourth season with Dance Alliance.

Beverly Robinson

Beverly Robinson has been teaching dance for over 25 years. She has an MFA in Dance from The University of Michigan. She has taught dance in Ohio public schools for 15 years with Arts Unlimited, an aesthetic education program that trains teachers and students in movement perception and aesthetic elements of live performances. Beverly has been with Dance Alliance for 17 years and enjoys teaching preschool ages through adult. Currently, she is also a substitute teacher for Tecumseh Public Schools. She resides in Tecumseh with her husband and two boys. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching and taking classes in Tae Kwon Do and holds the rank of Second Degree Blackbelt.

Carina Sietz

Carina Sietz received her formal dance training from her parents, Michelle and Phillip Mills, at Dancers Pointe in Trenton, MI. She attended summer workshops with Jurgen Schneider of American Ballet Theatre, Jon Rodriguez of the Dayton Ballet and Carole Armitage. Carina performed in Balanchine's Serenade in Crested Butte, CO. She received a BFA in Dance from UM, where she performed in a variety of works and was featured in Martha Graham's Centennial Performance of Panorama. Carina also received her Masters of Education at Depaul University and is currently teaching English at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor where she also serves as coach for the PHS Dance Team. Carina has been a dancer with Jazz Dance Theatre for thirteen seasons, and most recently set a piece for JDT which was premiered during their 2006-2007 season. In addition to her extensive dance background, she has also taught and choreographed for many gymnasts and figure skaters in the mid-west. This is Carina's fourth season with Dance Alliance.