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


Katherine Greene

Katherine Greene has been dancing for 15 years, training in many different styles of dance such as jazz, musical theatre, hip-hop, ballet, and lyrical, but specializes mainly in tap. Before becoming a teacher at her home studio, Katherine grew up dancing at The Dance Connection, where she was apart of their competition team for six years. At her 2016 Nationals at Applause Dance Competition, Katherine won 1st place overall with her solo “Smooth Criminal”, and also received the title of “Miss Applause”. Katherine has trained under many famous tap choreographers such as Christopher Broughton, Gregg Russell, and Denise Caston. She is also apart of a tap group called “GLYDE”, started and overseen by Shelby Kaufman. Katherine began teaching choreography inside of “Detroit Tap Repertory” when she was 15 years old. She has been teaching choreography to students across Michigan ever since.

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. Emily has spent the past five years touring the country helping to produce dance competitions for children. She currently works for as a Regional Director for EnerGy National Dance Competitions.

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 graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Science in Communication and Dance Performance-Choreography.  She is currently pursuing her masters degree at Wayne State University.  She continues to take open technique classes, and participates in conventions.

Lauren Fahlman

Lauren started her dance training at The Dance Connection and for fifteen years trained under the founder Carol Jackson and her daughter, Melissa McParlane. While with The Dance Connection, she studied jazz, tap, ballet, Checchetti, point, and lyrical. Lauren furthered her dance education on scholarship at Western Michigan University. While there, she studied jazz, ballet, point, and modern under accredited faculty members. While at Western Michigan University, Lauren participated in Orchesis concerts, Graduating Presentations, and Great Work Concerts with her pinnacle performance being, “Minus 16” choreographed by Ohad Naharin. Lauren graduated from WMU with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance. She is currently employed with NexStar National Talent Competition.