Dance Studio Canton Michigan/ Ballet Technique Jazz Lyrical Hip Hop Contemporary and Tap Taught Here


Teaching Staff

Laura Muylaert (Thorp)

Owner and Director

Laura’s passion for dance spans 30 years. Since the age of 3, her heart’s desire has been the achievement of excellence in dance performance. Her training includes Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Cecchetti, Pointe, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Pom Pon. She is a former member of the Plymouth Canton Ballet Company and was a four year member and captain of the Salem Rockette dance team. Throughout her years as a Rockette she was chosen as a member of both Mid-American and UDA All-Star teams. After graduating, she successfully coached the Varsity Salem Rockette team to numerous local and national awards. Her experience also includes teaching dance at local studios as well as traveling with the Universal Dance Association, hosting camps, workshops and judging competitions for aspiring individuals and teams. Her numerous awards, include choreography and technique awards, in group and solo choreography from both local and national competitions. Laura believes that dance can only be properly taught with a strong emphasis on ballet and technique.  Laura's students have gone on to dance for Pure Existence (X2), lead roles in the Plymouth Ballet Company's The Nutcracker, Detroit Pistons Automotion, Detroit Pistons Mob Squad, Cincinnati Bangles, numerous college dance teams, and her graduates have been accepted into the top college dance and performing arts programs in the state.  She also takes pride in the fact that she has been fortunate enough to have had a part in the dance training of most of her staff, and is proud to stand behind their work.  Laura is the Owner/Director/Choreographer at Elite Dance Force and is also a licensed Paramedic. She and her husband, Ben, and daughter, Berkley, reside in Canton.

Liz Hynes

Liz Hynes graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in dance performance from Eastern Michigan University.  Most recently, Liz has performed on tour and in various locations in MI as an apprentice for the 2013-2014 season with Eisenhower Dance under Laurie Eisenhower.  Liz danced as a company member of the Michigan Dance Project for two years under the direction of Kathy King.  She received her early training from various studios in the Plymouth-Canton area including La Dance, Encore Dance Academy, Masters of Dance Arts, and Dance Athletics Competitive Edge.  Liz was a Salem High School Varsity Dance Team member from 2003-2007.  She was part of the Universal Dance Association’s All American Team from 2005-2007 and was captain of the Salem Rockettes her senior year.  Liz has performed works choreographed by Cate Brown, Wendi DuBois, Laurie Eisenhower, Holly Hobbs, Ron De Jesus, Kathy King, Erik Abbot-Main, Travis Staton-Marrero, Stephanie Pizzo, Jodie Randolph, Phil Simmons, Allison Smith, Shauna Steele, Sherry Jerome Wilkinson, and Ali Woerner.  Throughout her years at EMU, Liz performed in the adjudicated as well as informal concerts at the American College Dance Festival (2011, 2012, and 2013), The Flint Free City Art Festival (2013), Get Up and Move, the Oakland Dance Festival, “Cars and Stars” at the Detroit Music Hall choreographed by Ron De Jesus, and Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, ME performing an original work choreographed by New York Choreographer Larry Keigwin.  Liz has taken class from Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Alicia Cutaia, Laurie Eisenhower, Hubbard Street Dance-Chicago, Larry Keigwin, Lisa Lamarre, Claudia Lavista, Erik Abbott-Main, Sarah Magoon, Paul Matteson, Mark Morris, Stephanie Pizzo, Liz Schmidt, and Nicole Wolcott.  Liz appeared in the 2013 Detroit Institute of Arts commercial advertising the “Art is for Everyone” campaign.  Liz has been a competitive instructor at EDF since it’s opening in 2009, and continues to share her passion for dance, teaching contemporary, improvisation, jazz, modern, strength and conditioning, and technique classes.  She also coaches the three competitive pom pon teams within the EDF All-Star Program.  Her choreography and her students have been awarded top overall high score awards, judges awards, and scholarships both regionally and nationally.  Most recently, her work ‘Sailboat,’ a teen small group, received ‘Best Choreography’ at Edge National Talent Competition.  Outside of competitive dance, Liz enjoys sharing her passion for dance with the community through choreographing for various talent shows at local schools.  Liz’s mission is to equip students with a strong technical foundation that enforces professionalism as well as artistry while also guiding young dancers to discover their own movement vocabularies. For more information, visit:  http://ehynes.wix.com/liz-hynes


Hilari Smith

Hilari has been dancing since the age of two with extensive training in ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip hop.  She has performed in many roles with the Plymouth-Canton Ballet Company/Plymouth Symphony, and is now a Director of the Company.  She has been teaching dance for more than 12 years, with students winning awards in both technique and choreography.  She is also a Highly Commended Cecchetti teacher.  Hilari has trained dancers that have performed in the lead roles of the Plymouth-Canton Ballet Company's presentation of The Nutcracker.  With Hilari's keen eye and training technique she is a great asset to Elite Dance Force.  Her teaching enables students to grow in their dance abilities and she is thrilled to be a part of the studio!  

Melissa Gross

Melissa received her Associates Degree in Childhood Development and then went on to major in dance at Western Michigan University, where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance and a minor in Business Management. She has danced since the age of 4 and began her career as a teacher in her junior year at high school. Throughout middle school and high school she competed locally and nationally, receiving many different awards and scholarships at dance competitions and conventions. She was a part of the Liven Civic Ballet Company and danced in various roles in The Nutcracker for many years. Melissa was a Varsity Salem Rockette for 4 years, and a Mid-American and UDA All Star during that time. She danced at the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade for two years, multiple Pistons games, and was in the Stanley Cup Parade for the Red wings. In college, Melissa was on the Western Michigan Dance Team and competed nationally in Daytona Beach where they placed 2nd in the nation her last year. They also traveled with the football team and danced at the Texas Bowl in Dallas Texas. During her college years, Melissa was also a member of Hip Hop ConnXion, which was founded by Suave, a professional choreographer and dancer. While being in the dance department, Melissa performed in the Orchesis concert with Hip Hop ConnXion, and the Winter Gala Concert with a jazz piece called “Slit Red” choreographed by Kirsten Harvey. Melissa has been teaching and choreographing all genres, ages and levels for over 10 years. She has worked with both recreational and competitive dancers, and has received awards for her choreography at multiple competitions. As a teacher, her focus is to train each student to develop proper technique and to transfer the same passion she has for dance to them.




Elite Dance Force is a Proud Member of the Cecchetti Council of America!

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