Our Staff

It is important to us that you have the very best teachers for your dance classes. All of our instructors complete intensive teacher training and student teaching, as well as ongoing advanced dance training. Most of our instructors are certified in CPR and have BA or BFA in dance or certificates from varies training programs. Our organization strongly believes in collaboration with other dance genres and professional teachers. We feel that it benefits the entire community when we all work together for the arts and continue evolving the art of dance for futures to come.


Meet the Mosaic faculty & staff!
Click on the photos below to learn about each staff member.

Joette Sawall

Joette Sawall

Artistic Director
Deb Heilman

Deb Heilman

Instructor
Andrea Zerilli

Andrea Zerilli

Baton and Dance Coach
James Felton

James Felton

Coach
Sierra Sawall

Sierra Sawall

Coach
Julia Rzonca

Julia Rzonca

Coach
Caitlin Gabrielse

Caitlin Gabrielse

Coach
Kelsey Kramer

Kelsey Kramer

Broadway Star
 
Joette Sawall

Joette Sawall

Ms. Joette, the artistic director of Mosaic Dance Center, LLC and the West Michigan School of Middle Eastern Dance, LLC has studied dance extensively since a very young age. Her dance studies began as a young child in tap, baton, ballet, gymnastics, and jazz, leading to competitive dance as a teenager, where she gained valuable stage experience. In addition to college courses in ballet & jazz, she also began her ethnic dance background with famous Egyptian and Turkish dancers and choreographers since the early 1990s, focusing her dance study and performance on Middle Eastern folkloric dance from all regions and also including Flamenco, African, Hula, Latin, and Bhangra. Joette has traveled the world performing, studying, and teaching dance. She holds certifications in pre-school acrobatic arts, acrobatic arts, Dance Acclaim ballet training and much more. In addition to her dance background, she also holds a Master of Arts in communication that compliments her passion for contemporary dance. Joette is also currently working on a masters of Dance Movement Therapy, which there are only 6 licences practitioners in the state of Michigan. 

In addition to being a dancer, choreographer, teacher and writer with numerous published articles in dance publications, she was also a professor in the gender and women’s studies department at Western Michigan University for many years before opening Mosaic Dance Center. Joette is currently the coach for Gold Competitive Dance Team at Western Michigan University.

Joette has performed as opening acts or on stage with international bands such as Rick Springfield, 38 Special, Theory of a Deadman, Skid Row, Spin Doctors, U2 Cover band, Gin Blossoms, Verbe Pipe, Hoobastank and the Arab American Orchestra. She has also performed for heads of state, and President Clinton and Secretary Hilary Clinton.

Within all her educational knowledge are born new ideas for proliferation of performance art she obviously loves and to which she has devoted her life. While advocating for authentic vocabulary & rigorous performance technique — the true conventions for dance preservation and excellence — her visionary methods for dance education and performance are refreshing. Joette understands what it takes to progress a dancer to meet all their goals and dreams while maintaining technique, passion and creativity. She is very approachable and loves teaching preschool dance. She truly loves each student and can’t wait to see them each week in class!

For more information, please contact Joette. Call 269-321-4400 or e-mail her at Joette@mosaicdancehall.com.

 

Deb Heilman

Debbie Heilman is a legend in the Galesburg-Scotts community when it comes to motivating students and creating dancers. Twenty years ago, Debbie started with just a handful of students and grew a school program into over 125 students at all levels including company members that still dance with her today as adults. She has a minor in dance and a major in nursing, and specializes in ballet, tap, jazz and musical theater. Ms. Debbie currently has past student on Broadway in Hamilton and Dirty Dancing. She is a master tapper and enjoys passing along the craft of tap dance to her eager students. She is thrilled to be the Musical Theater team coach at Mosaic Dance Center and inspire so many dancers young and old.

 

Andrea Zerilli

Andrea has been involved in the performance world for over 20 years and attended Western Michigan University as a dance major for 4 years before co-directing the Kalamazoo School of Music and Dance until 2010. She has performed with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Young Michigan Dances, the Western Dance Project and the Kalamazoo Civic Theater. She has choreographed for numerous local schools and studios along with being the director of the Miss and Mr. I Am a STAR Pageant, an event in its 3rd year for special needs contestants who want a chance to be a star.

Andrea has won numerous pageant titles and is Miss Michigan US Beauties 2010, Mrs. Michigan Tourism 2011 and World’s Mrs. Tourism 2012. Her pageant students have won state and national awards in most major pageant systems including Sunburst, Miss American Coed, Fabulous Faces, Circle City and Miss Sparkle Success. She is a 5-time national champion baton twirler in the World Twirling Association and has coached students to state and national titles. In addition to her dance teaching, Andrea is currently a competitive baton coach. Andrea loves working with students and seeing them achieve their greatest potential.

 

James Felton

Originally from Lapeer, Mi, James Felton II is a Sophomore Dance Major at Western Michigan University, working towards his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He initially received his dance training under former Broadway gypsy, Sandra Brewer in a competitive dance studio where he first received his love for movement and performance before attending the Flint School of Performing Art’s.

While training under Sandra, James was exposed to a wide spectrum of dance genres specializing in Musical Theatre, Tap, Partnering, and Jazz. At FSPA, James studied American Ballet Theatre®, Russian, and Cecchetti methods to classical and neo-classical ballet techniques, in addition to Horton and Graham modern dance techniques under the direction of Karen Mills Jennings.

James has studied under numerous professional dancers and master teachers including:* Charmaine Hunter, Andrea Long, Brandye Lee, Kevin Thomas, Michael Woodberry Means, Victoria Simon, Lisa DeRibre, Kevin Lega Jeff, Jennie Begley, and Atilla Mosolygo. *When James wasn’t studying or rehearsing in Flint after school, he was instructing and choreographing award winning competitive solos and ensemble numbers for Sandra Brewer’s Dance Connection in Davison, MI. In the past year, James has had the pleasure of performing in guest works for Karen’s School of Dance’s “*Nutcracker”,* “*Tangled”,* and *“Paquita”* in Milford. In addition, Ballet Kalamazoo’s production of *“Rapunzel”, *and Ballet Arts Ensemble’s *“Masquerade”.* James’s latest role pushed the envelope of dance and theatre in David Curwen’s “Falling Table”, featured in WMU Dance Department’s Winter Gala 2018.

 

Sierra Sawall

Sierra has a minor in dance from Western Michigan University and is pursuing a Bachelor of Exercise Science as well. Sierra is a member of Gold Competitive Dance at WMU and is on the elected board. In the summer of 2016, she was the recipient of Broadway Tours scholarship in Hip Hop. Sierra has performed in the 2010 Orange Bowl live with the Goo Goo Dolls and has worked with Emmy award winning artist from Complexions Dance Company. In addition, she has won numerous regional dance competitions in contemporary dance as a dancer and choreographer. Her works are being featured and in contention for the Industry Standards International Awards in October 2021.  Sierra is currently vice-president of e-board for student athletics at Western Michigan University. 

In 2017, Sierra became certified in Acrobatic Arts and adds the training to her own studies and creating choreographic pieces for competition dancers. Sierra is also a vocal artist that trains off Broadway and with a number of master singers. As a competition coach and choreographer, she has won national titles for solos and groups in the summer of 2019. She is excited to bring ideas and concepts to the Mosaic Dance Company and is looking forward to working with each student!

 

Kelsey Kramer

Kelsey Kramer a graduate of The Ailey School in New York City, is currently performing as a swing on the National Tour of HAMILTON! While she currently finds herself in the musical theater world, during her schooling she studied ballet, pointe, jazz, Horton technique, Martha Graham technique, theater dance, improv, partnering, West African and multiple other styles which has led her to a beautiful career of 10 years as a professional dancer.

Owing to Kelsey's extensive training and talent she has performed in episodes of Saturday Night Live, the National Tour of Dirty Dancing, Disney's The Golden Mickey's, Vegas! The Show, Holland America Cruise Line and much more.

 

Caitlin Gabrielse

Caitlin grew up in the Kalamazoo area and has been dancing since the age of four and started her career at 18. She has worked professionally for major cruise ship entertainment including Quantum of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas, which are part of the Royal Caribbean brand. She is an award-winning choreographer for multiple competitions and her talents include certification in aerial training, acrobatic arts, and she specializes in many dance genres including contemporary, acro dance, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and lyrical.

Caitlin has performed with “On the Fly Pros” aerial work as well as a competition judge for Talent on Parade competition. Her most recent success in the dance world is making it into the database of a life-long dream company, Cirque Du Soleil. Caitlin is thrilled to be a coach for the Mosaic Dance family!

 

Julia Rzonca

Meet Julia, who is a senior dance major at Western Michigan University and is a member of the Gold Competitive Dance Team at WMU. On the Gold Team, Julia was President for the 2019-2020 season leading her team to a regional championship in hip hop. Julia specializes in teaching ballet and modern dance, and has been cast in numerous productions in the dance department. Julia is originally from the Chicago area and brings lots of experience and skill to the dancers at MDC.