Common Questions:

Why should I choose Turning Pointe School of Dance?

Turning Pointe School of Dance has served the community for 20 years with the mission statement: preparing the dancer in body and spirit to glorify God through artistic excellence.

We are a unique combination of a nonprofit Christian ministry and a pre-professional dance school. We start all of our classes with a brief devotion as part of our year-long Bible Study curriculum. All of our performances are family-friendly and God-glorifying. We provide a safe space for students to learn to dance and we costume your dancer modestly. Over the years, our pre-professional quality dance training has equipped our graduating young women and men to secure positions as paid dancers in professional companies, to become artistic directors and dance teachers, and to use the discipline and time management skills gained through their dance training in the fields of Architecture, Education, Law, Mathematics, and Medicine. These young men and women have grown in their faith and learned to give testimony of God’s work in their lives by integrating their love for dance with their faith.

If you would like a tour of the studio or to talk to one of our staff members about Turning Pointe School of Dance, call (616) 394-7109. We would love to meet you and show you around!


Studio Amenities
Our Holland location houses the school’s Administrative Offices, our Costume Designer’s sewing studio, and three large studio spaces. Our Hudsonville location has one large studio space. All of our dance studios have professional-quality sprung floors and Roscoe Marley dance floor as well as an observation window. Each of our locations has a parent waiting room with Wifi.

If you would like a tour of the studio or to talk to one of our staff members about Turning Pointe School of Dance, call (616) 394-7109. We would love to meet you and show you around!


Who Are The Teachers?

Turning Pointe School of Dance is proud of our highly trained and experienced team of teachers who are committed to sharing their love of the Lord and their giftings in dance with our students. Please take a moment to read about our team:

Ms. Gretchen A. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe) is an instructor of the arts with over 20 years of teaching experience. She graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Wayne State University and is also trained in the Cecchetti method of ballet and fully certified to the Professional VI level. Gretchen’s teaching positions include 18 years at Grand Valley State University where she was a Professor of Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern. “As I left the performance role and stepped into the teaching role, I found it absolutely rewarding, imparting my experience and knowledge to young students who are so eager to learn.” Gretchen loves teaching at Turning Pointe. “The most fulfilling part for me is to inspire students and guide them to their full potential. I love the look they have when they know they have mastered a skill thy have been working so hard for! That is the reward! I feel so blessed to be an Instructor at Turning Pointe School of Dance; being a small part of the lives of such amazing, hardworking students and coaching them in the art of ballet.” Outside of dance, Gretchen is a mother of five children and one St. Bernard. She is also a loving grandmother of two. Her favorite verse is Ephesians 4:2 ~ Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ms. Debra B. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop) Debra’s career and passion as a ballet instructor and mentor of ballet students and teachers spans three decades. Debra began dancing at the age of five and studied the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. She also trained in Pointe, Lyrical, Tap and Jazz. Debra successfully passed student examinations in the Cecchetti Method Grades I-V and she has passed her Cecchetti Teacher Examinations in Grades I-V. She is currently studying Cecchetti Teacher Grade VI. Debra has served on the Cecchetti General Board for many years and belongs to the Western Michigan Cecchetti Committee. She has been a Registrar and Host for dance examinations and workshops. Debra was also certified by Dance Masters of America in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz and has been a member of Dance Masters of America and Dance Masters of Michigan.

Debra was the Owner, Artistic Director and Dance Instructor at Dance World, a 300 student dance studio in the Waterford/Clarkston, Michigan area for nine years. During this time she enjoyed teaching, preparing students Ballet examinations and directing annual Showcases. Debra had the unique opportunity to work with Mr. Bob McGrath from Sesame Street as Children’s Coordinator and Instructor for a Waterford Cultural Arts Performance. She sold her studio and moved to Grand Rapids in 1999 where she taught at the Academy of Dance Arts until 2012. While there she had the opportunity to work with the Moscow Ballet for four seasons as Assistant to Children’s Coordinator and the Children’s Dance Instructor for “The Great Russian Nutcracker” at DeVos Performance Hall.

Debra has been teaching at Turning Pointe since 2012. She has served as Head of Curriculum and Interim Artistic Director. In 2014 Debra was asked by the Board of Directors to serve as Director and was promoted to Executive Director in 2016. Debra feels blessed to be a part of the Turning Pointe family. The Lord is her Savior and she places her trust fully in His grasp.  Eph. 2:10 ~For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Miss Ericka G. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe) trained at the School of the Grand Rapids Ballet, where she studied for four years, eventually receiving a full scholarship to Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. After training in Atlanta for a year she was hired into Atlanta Ballet where she performed for two seasons. Ericka then moved to Missouri where she danced with the Saint Louis Ballet Company for six seasons and also taught at the Atlanta Ballet School. Most recently Ericka performed with Deos Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Tess Sinke Hoekstra.

Miss Tahlia H. (Recreational and Training Division Ballet) started dancing when she was four years old, training at Reflections of Grace and then Turning Pointe School of Dance. She performed with the Turning Pointe Performance Ensemble for several years. She also participated in Musical Theatre during her high school years. After serving as an Apprentice Teacher at Turning Pointe for two years she starting teaching in 2018. Tahlia also attends Great Lakes EMS Academy for EMT training. Her hobbies include photography, making music and dancing as much as possible. Tahlia’s favorite verse is 1 Timothy 4:4 ~ For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.

Ms. Keely H. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe, Progressing Ballet Technique) took her early training at Etudes de Ballet, Faubourg School of Dance, and Naples Academy of Dance in Florida. Throughout high school Keely attended Summer Intensives at the Harid Conservatory, The Bolshoi Ballet, and Canada’s National Ballet School. After high school Keely trained full time in the Professional Division of Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. She then earned the position of Company Trainee and, subsequently, Company Apprentice with the Grand Rapids Ballet where she danced for three years. Keely is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique. Keely is married to her husband, John, and has two cats, Gizmo and Totoro. She enjoys yoga, Pilates, reading, and spending time with family. Her favorite verse is Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Miss Ellie K. (Recreational and Training Division Ballet, Musical Theatre) trained at Turning Pointe School of Dance for ten years and performed with the Performance Ensemble for six years. She attended Ballet Summer Intensives at Turning Pointe School of Dance, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Ballet 5:8. Ellie served as an Assistant, then an Apprentice Teacher at Turning Pointe for six years prior to being hired as an instructor. Her hobbies include reading and writing. One of her favorite Bible verses is Isaiah 40:31 ~ But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Miss Erica N. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe) started training at Turning Pointe School of Dance in 2000 — one year after the school opened — after being inspired by watching a performance. She trained in Ballet, Pointe and Contemporary, performing for many years with the Turning Pointe Ensemble. She started serving as a Teacher’s Assistant at age 11 and worked up to the role of Teaching Apprentice in high school. After graduation, Erica started teaching dance full time and served as Leader of Ballet at Turning Pointe Hudsonville as well as leading a Sacred Dance Team in the community. Throughout her career she also served as Leader of the Holland Children’s Division Pre-Ensemble Ballet and Rehearsal Instructor for Ensemble performances.  Over the years Erica taught at other dance school and ran her own school, “Ballet 150,” from 2018-2020. She has enjoyed taking dance groups out into the community to share the love of Christ through dancing.  She supplements teaching dance with working full time at a nursing home in Life Enrichment. Erica says, “I am so THRILLED to be back teaching at Turning Pointe!” Her favorite verse is from Philippians 3:13b-14 ~ Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Ms. Dani S. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe, Pointe Variation, Pilates, Progressing Ballet Technique) received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN where she performed throughout her four years. She started teaching at Turning Pointe in January of 2013. Dani currently teaches and is employed as a freelance dancer and choreography across the Midwest in Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Michigan. She also is a Pilates instructor and enthusiast and an avid reader. Dani is originally from Jackson, TN and lives in Hudsonville, MI with her husband, William, and her dog. Her favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

Ms. Alyssa S. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe) began her early training in Southeast Michigan at F & R Dance, competing on top scoring competition teams and earning multiple awards. She gained her classical training at Modern Messages Dance and Brighton School of Ballet, while enhancing her training at Joffrey Midwest, Checchetti Council of America, and Ballet Magnificat! Summer programs. Ms. Sherwood danced professionally for over seven years at various companies around the United States, including Paradosi Ballet Company (Seattle, WA), Votum Dance (Fort Worth, TX), Light of the World Ballet (Syracuse, NY) and Soli Deo Gloria Contemporary Ballet (Holland, MI). While performing, she had the opportunity to tour both nationally and internationally, as well as train dance students from around the US.

At Soli Deo Gloria, Ms. Sherwood served as the Artistic Director for the company, creating multiple performances as events throughout the Great Lakes Region, including creating a ballet for the Holland Symphony Orchestra. She also served as Interim Assistant Artistic Director at Turning Pointe School of Dance for a season. Ms. Sherwood has over twelve years of teaching experience. Many of her students have gone on to dance professionally and earn dance degrees at prestigious universities. Currently, Ms. Sherwood lives in Holland, MI with her husband, Matthew, and two kids, Eliana and Wesley. She currently works as a guest teacher and choreographer around Michigan, but is loving spending most of her time home with her family, leading Bible studies, and mentoring young women from all walks of life. Her Favorite verse is Philippians 4:6-7 ~ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Miss Brooke W. (Recreational and Training Division Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop) started dancing at the age of 3 training in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. For six years she competed in Tap and Jazz at Regional and National Competitions. In High School Brooke trained at Turning Pointe School of Dance, performing in the large-scale, ticketed Performance Ensemble shows while also performing with the Hudsonville High School Dance Team. Serving as a sideline and competitive cheerleader further enhanced Brooke’s breadth of training. As a student she served as a Teaching Apprentice for several years prior to graduating and becoming a teacher in 2012. Brooke has also coached the Hudsonville Dance Team and has run the dance ministry for a local church. She recently attended Motor City Tap Fest in Detroit, taking Master Classes with leading Tap artists in the industry. Brooke became Leader of Hudsonville Ballet in the fall of 2016 and was promoted to Head of the Recreational Division in 2018. Brooke feels that “Turning Pointe is a place where everyone encourages you to build your relationship with Christ and bring glory to Him. I love working in an enriching environment that challenges me as well as provides the opportunity to encourage others.” Her favorite verse is Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God & His Righteousness and all these things shall be given to you.

Ms. Sydney Z. (Training Division Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary) began her ballet training in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When she was fifteen she was invited to join Turning Pointe School of Dance’s Senior Ensemble under Debra Burr and Tess Sinke. She attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre ~ Detroit under Samantha Shelton and Elaine O’Beare as well as Ballet Magnificat ~ Mississippi where she was awarded a full scholarship and was placed in the Pre-Professional level. In 2014 Sydney joined Michigan’s first faith- based professional ballet company, Soli Deo Gloria Contemporary Ballet (Holland, MI). She was a Company Apprentice for two years and had the opportunity to choreograph for their 2015-2016 season. In 2016 Sydney was hired as an Apprentice with Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet in Connecticut. In 2017 she was promoted to Company Artist and had the opportunity to perform many original works set on the company by inspiring choreographers. From 2016-2020 She frequently toured to NYC, New Hampshire, Maryland, and North Carolina. Sydney was also on faculty at Ekklesia School of Ballet and the Dance Centre of Old Lyme. In 2018 Sydney performed in Deos Contemporary Ballets (Holland, MI) first summer season. She is still involved in ongoing projects with Deos. Sydney currently lives in Holland, MI with her husband, Benjamin. Sydney has a great love of dance and teaching, especially the way this art-form gives glory to our Creator!






What are the benefits of dance for my child?
“Dance is a powerful ally for developing many of the attributes of a growing child. Dance helps children mature physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively. The physical benefits of dance are widely accepted, but the emotional, social and cognitive attributes have only recently begun to be appreciated.


Physical Development: Dance involves a greater range of motion, coordination,strength and endurance than most other physical activities. This isaccomplished through movement patterns that teach coordination and kinesthetic memory. Dancing utilizes the entire body and is an excellent form of exercise for total body fitness. Young children are naturally active, but dance offers an avenue to expand movement possibilities and skills.


Emotional Maturity: Dance promotes psychological health and maturity. Children enjoy the opportunity to express their emotions and become aware of themselves and others through creative movement. A pre-school child enters a dance class or classroom with a history of emotional experiences. Movement within a class offers a structured outlet for physical release while gaining awareness and appreciation of oneself and others.


Social Awareness: Dance fosters social encounter, interaction, and cooperation. Children learn to communicate ideas to others through the real and immediate mode of body movement. Children quickly learn to work within a group dynamic. As the ongoing and sometimes challenging process of cooperation evolves, children learn to understand themselves in relation to others.


Cognitive Development: Young children will create movement spontaneously when presented with movement ideas or problems that can be solved with a movement response. Movement provides the cognitive loop between the idea, problem, or intent and the outcome or solution. This teaches an infant, child and, ultimately, adult to function in and understand the world. The relationship of movement to intellectual development and education is an embryonic field of study that has only recently begun to be explored.”

From the National Dance Education Organization,

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