The Dance Connection

1672 Lilley Road * Canton, MI 48188 * (734) 397-9755

Carol Jackson - Founder

Carol Jackson was the co-owner of The Dance Connection in Canton, Michigan, which she owned and operated with her daughter Melissa, since 1995.  Ms. Carol started her studio with 52 children in whom she instilled much more than her love for dance.  She had a "hands-on" approach, as as is often the case with dance teachers, she became a mentor and even a second mom to many of the over 500 students that now call The Dance Connection their home for dance.  Ms. Carol was a woman full of compassion for each and every child and family who walk through her doors, and firmly believed that dance was for everyone regardless of their circumstance.  In June of 2012 surrounded by her family (which included many of her dancers and their families), she ended her nearly 2-year battle with lung and endocrine cancer.  Her legacy is carried on at The Dance Connection by Melissa, her staff, and the many dancers that call The Dance Connection home.

Melissa McParlane - Owner


Amanda Morgan

Amanda started dancing 23 years ago as a competitive dancer under the direction of The Dance Connection's very own Carol Jackson. She has training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop, Modern, and Contemporary/Lyrical. She has won numerous local and national awards in dance and performed at various festivals and events throughout the country. It was The Dance Connection that helped her launch her career as a professional dancer for Stiletto Entertainment where she danced on Holland America Cruise Lines for four years. She now returns home to start another chapter of her life as well as share her talent and love of dance with other young aspiring dancers at The Dance Connection.

Sharon Joseph

Sharon has been dancing since the age of five. She has had training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and modern. She began teaching at the age of eighteen while taking dance classes at Henry Ford Community College where she was in the Dance Company for two years. She then attended Bruno's Academy of Beauty and received her license in Cosmetology in 1997. She continued teaching dance for several years before coming to the Dance Connection in 2006. She teaches both competitive and recreational classes. Dancing is her passion and has become such a big part of her life. She hopes to continue for many years to come.

Aileen Balatico

Aileen has been dancing since she was 3 years old and has training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop.  As a soloist and company dancer, she has competed and placed at several regional and national competitions.  She was a member of her high school pom team for 2 years and was a member of the Mid-American and Universal Dance Association All Star Teams.  Aileen was a member of the dance ensemble for the traveling production of Disney's Pocahontas at the Fox Theater.  At the age of seventeen, Aileen began sharing her passion for dance with others by teaching at various studios around the area.  She was also a member of the MAPP staff for 2 years.  Aileen coached the Salem High School Rockettes for 14 years and led them to many regional and state championships.  Her team was nationally ranked each year, with a 3rd place finish in the high kick category.  Aileen is currently a 3rd grade teacher in Wayne-Westland and continues to teach dance at The Dance Connection in Canton.

Emily Zazula

Emily started taking class at The Dance Connection at the age of six in 1997 and continued through 2008 when she was a high school senior.  She has trained in Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Pointe, and Ballet.  Emily was a member of the competition team for seven years and loved every minute of it.  She has gained experience in the dance room by assistant teaching and substituting.  Emily graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in elementary and early childhood education.  After graduation she worked as a reading interventionist in South Redford.  Emily is very excited to start a new career as an event coordinator for In10sity Dance.

Aby Cryderman

Aby started dancing at the age of four at The Dance Connection where she danced for 14 years, 10 of which were spent on the competition team. She is trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical. She has assisted and substituted for the faculty at The Dance Connection for many years to gain experience in the dance room. Aby is currently attending Eastern Michigan University where she is studying to earn a degree in dance with a performance track. She continues to take open technique classes, and participates in conventions.

Kelsey Rose Young

Kelsey Rose started dancing at the age of 2  right here at The Dance Connection.  She was trained under the direction of Carol Jackson and Melissa McParlane.  She is trained in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, musical theatre, and lyrical with tap being her specialty.
She has won numerous awards both regionally and nationally for singing and dancing and choreography.  She has previously won "Miss Dance of America". She has performed with the Radio Disney Dance Team and “Jigsaw” which is a semi-professional hip-hop dance company. She currently is a member of the Detroit Tap Repertory and "GLYDE" both are semi-professional tap companies.  Kelsey is also a featured artist on the Armed Forces Radio Network which can be heard throughout the world.  Kelsey has performed throughout the country along side many tap legends including Arthur Duncan, Bill Irwin, Gregg Russell and Sarah Reich of "Syncopated Ladies". She loves spreading the history of tap to a new generation.  She enjoys sharing her love of song and dance with her students and plans to become a professional entertainer.

Megan Pohl

Megan started taking dance and gymnastics at four years old. She was on the competition team for 10 years and danced for a total of 14 years.  Megan trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, pointe, and modern. She was on the Varsity Gymnastics team for all 4 years of high school and captain for 2 of those years. Megan competed and trained in vault, bars, beam, and floor. She went to Division 2 Regionals all four years in gymnastics and competed in the All Around. Her favorite events are floor and vault. Megan graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. She is currently going to school at Baker to get a degree in Occupational Therapy. While at CMU, Megan coached recreational gymnastics to kids ages 3-13 for five years. After graduating from Central she coached her old high school gymnastics team for two years before joining a local gym to coach recreational gymnastics for students ages preschool through age 14, tumbling skills of all ages and private lessons for a year.

Brooke Murphy

Growing up in Flushing, Michigan, Brooke began taking dance classes at the age of 3 at Judy's School of Dance. At the age of 15, she began working as a teacher's assistant for pre-school level ballet classes as well as beginning tap and jazz classes. Soon after, at the age of 17, she became a part-time instructor, teaching a wide range of ages a variety of classes from ballet to hip-hop. After graduating from Flushing High School, she attended Eastern Michigan University as a dance major, specializing in studio management. During her time at EMU, she received many opportunities to perform in faculty and student concerts. She has studied with and has performed works by Barbara Selinger, Sherry Jerome-Wilkinson, Kathy King, Wendy DuBois, and Joanna McNamara, as well as works by various EMU students. Brooke has also attended and performed at the American College Dance Festival multiple times, performing in the adjudicated concerts. She graduated Cum Laude in December 2015 receiving her Bachelor's Degree. Today, she continues to advance and further her knowledge in dance education and technique. She would like to open her own studio someday in the Mid-Michigan region, and share her passion and love for dance with her community.