Meet the Teachers

Meet The Teachers

Susan Findlay

Susan Findlay has danced her entire life.  She began her dance education in the Detroit area at the age of 3 and in Royal Oak until age 14 where she took tap, jazz, modern, ballet & pointe classes.  After moving to the Caro, she began studying in Bay City from Elinore Craves and Robert Davis.  She joined the Bay City Ballet Company and started teaching kids in her parent’s basement at the age of 16.  Then after joining the Saginaw Valley Ballet Company and studying with Doris Marsh she received a bachelors in business with a minor in dance.  Ms. Sue has owned and taught at Sue’s School of Dance since 1986.  She continued her dance education by attending various seminars like Tremaine, LA Dance Force, Music Works, & Dance Revolution.  Sue & her staff have created a safe haven at Sue’s School of Dance, where they build self esteem and create great memories for the children and families that attend.


 Courtney Sturtevant

Coutney has been a dancer & gymnast for 30 years and has been teaching for 20 years.  Her specialties are tumbling, kick line, lyrical, jazz, tap & hip hop.  She began her training a studio in her home town of Cass City with whom she competed, was on the Dance Troupe, received many scholarships & awards.  She also became certified with the Cecchetti Council of America with a level one diploma in ballet.  She performed in “Christmas at the Heritage” and on the Chesaning Show Boat.  In recent years Courtney has trained with numerous celebrity choreographers.  After studying her gymnastics in Cass City, she trained with Gym Jesters in Saginaw and at a U of M gymnastics camp.  While in high school she joined the Cass City Gymnastics team.  During this time, she won many medals, broke records and was a regional finalist all 4 years of high school.  Currently she is a registered instructor for USA Gymnastics and is trained in Safety & Risk Management.  Courtney has been teaching at Sue’s for 6 years now.  She is competition director for Sue’s Dance Royalty teams along with teaching gymnastics & jazz.  She is passionate about dance.  She believes that learning such skills should be a fun and over-all positive experience for her students.  Integrity, devotion and pride are qualities Courtney brings to the studio and shares with her students.


Makayla Matt

Makayla Matt grew up in Bath, Michigan and has danced for over 30 years and taught for 20. She trained in Hip Hop, East Coast Swing, Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Tap at Patsy Watson's and Happendance before opening her own dance studio at the age of 19. She fell in love with teaching Hip Hop and put her focus on that style by training under Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo and Debbie Getson, as well as continued training at Monsters of Hip Hop. Makayla also traveled the country for the touring production company called Crossroads as their choreographer and lead dancer for 4 years. She has had her work as a choreographer featured in the film, The Heart of a Dancer, along with a few of her advanced students. Makayla is a certified group fitness instructor and is licensed in Zumba Fitness, Strong by Zumba, Circuit training, Pilates and Yoga. She offers a variety of fitness classes at the studio as well as training the kids in the art of Hip Hop. She believes in hard work, fun, and helping kids train and learn this incredible technique in a positive and uplifting atmosphere! Makayla currently resides in Unionville with her husband, Nathan, and their two children Gabriel and Charlotte, and is in school studying physical therapy. 


Whitney Shetler

Whitney Shetler, age 24, is from Millington, MI.  She has danced for 20 years and trained with Sandra Brewer in Davison in tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern, pointe, contemporary & partnering.  She competed for 6 years with Sandra Brewer, then taught for her for 2 years and also for Frankenmuth Dance Academy.  In 2017 Whitney earned her Bachelors Degree in General Education from Saginaw Valley State University.  Whitney and her husband, Aaron, became the proud parents of Breslyn Jo on February 1, 2018.  She enjoys working with kids and we are excited to welcome Whitney to our staff.


Shannon Nelson

Shannon Nelson is our upbeat office manager, but has also been dancing with Sue for 20 years. She has numerous years of experience in Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Gymanstics, and Hip Hop. She will be teaching Tap this year, and is a certified Group Fitness Instructor. She teaches a variety of fitness classes such as Kick Boxing, Cardio,  Circuits, Strength Classes,Sculpting, Boot Camps, KettleBell, and Step Aerobics. She has been studying alongside her mother Jeanne Putman who has been teaching fitness for over 20 years. She loves motivating and helping people reach their fitness goals whether it be for losing weight or just to feel like a stronger  healthier you.

        

Elizabeth Swoish is from North Branch, Michigan. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University.  She is an active and participating member of the Michigan Dance Council (Board Member) and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) as well.  As a young dancer she studied all genres, including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, pointe, hip hop, tumbling, and musical theatre at various performing arts schools and dance studios in Michigan. She was also a competitive dancer for 13 years and was a two-time title winner in the Advance category as a teen dancer. As an undergraduate in college she studied primarily ballet, pointe, modern, and choreographic improvisation at the University of Michigan. She now considers these styles her specialties. Elizabeth continues her education through dance conventions, nation-wide teacher events, and studios in the Detroit, Michigan area. Since 2012 Elizabeth has been employed at Sue's School of Dance where she has become the director of the ballet program. She has since directed three full productions; Alice in Wonderland, Jewels by George Balanchine, and Adventures in Neverland.  Elizabeth has instilled a love and appreciation for Classical Ballet within the students. Two years after Elizabeth’s arrival at the studio, she and Courtney (from above) started the competitive dance program which has been so rewarding for not only those competitive dancers but for their teachers also.