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Meet The Founders


P.K. Van Voorhees

Founder/Artistic Director

Ballet, Tap, Acting, Voice, Musical Theatre

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P.K. Van Voorhees


Artistic Director

Ballet all ages and levels, Tap, Acting, Voice, Musical Theatre

Patrice (“P.K.”) Van Voorhees received her B.F.A. in Music Theatre/Dance from the University of Michigan and headed to New York where she studied with theatre greats Fred Kareman (Meisner) for Acting, Elizabeth Howell (Broadway) for Voice and David Howard, Willy Burmann, Alexandra Danilova, Miguel Godreau, Frank Hatchett and Phil Black for Dance, among many others. She has appeared as an actress on Broadway, Off-Broadway in original shows at the Perry Street Theatre, The Nat Horne Theatre and the Carnegie Studio Theatre, in Touring Shows, Regional Theatres, Dinner Theatres, and Summer Stocks. She also appeared on MTV with Carly Simon (directed by actor Jeremy Irons). She has choreographed and directed in Los Angeles, in Regional Theatres throughout the country as well as locally for several high schools and the former Boarshead Musical Theatre Summer Conservatory. She has studied voice with Beverly Rinaldi, ballet with the late Valentina Pereyaslavec, and contemporary dance with Dennon and Saybre Rawles in Los Angeles, among many others. She teaches and coaches all levels of dancers, singers and actors, is the Artistic Director of the East Lansing Dance and Theatre Company, and creates, writes and directs 3-5 productions and original shows each year for The Studio.   She is the Immediate Past President of Lansing Matinee Musicale, a 126 year old non-profit music outreach organization, current Co-Chairman of LMM's Richardson Young Artists Award for Musical Theatre, a past Co-Chair of the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs Dance Award, and has presented several times at the MFMC and the LMM on Musical Theatre. She is married with two lovely children and is the daughter of Theda Assiff, founder of the now-retired Assiff Studio of Dance.

Theda Assiff-MacGriff

Ballet Master Emeritus

Ms. Assiff founded the Assiff Studio of the Dance over 60 years ago after a busy career as a dancer and sought-after choreographer in New York, Miami and Hollywood. She has choreographed numerous shows for both professional theatres and community groups and adjudicated for The National Council of Dance Teachers. A longtime member of The American Society of Teachers of Dancing/Dance Teachers Club of Boston, the oldest Dance Educators organization in the country, as well as Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs and the Lansing Matinee Musicale, where she is a Past President and currently Chairs several dance scholarships including the Richardson Dance Award. She was inducted into the Lansing Dance Hall of Fame in 2015 for her collaboration with two other dance professionals for forming The Lansing Ballet Company /Children's Ballet Theatre in 1967.  She is a recent recipient of MSU’s Distinguished Alumnae Award for her work in the arts, and a finalist for the Woman of The Year by the “Greater Lansing Women’s Magazine” recipient of many awards including the Crystal Apple Award from Michigan State University as an “Outstanding Educator” and the Crystal Apple Award for “Distinguished Community Service” from the City of East Lansing. In addition, the East Lansing Educational Foundation established the “Theda Assiff Distinguished Community Service Award” in 2001. Ms. Assiff is Ballet Master Emeritus for The Studio where she guest teaches advanced Master Classes and mentors Advanced students.  She has choreographed for professional organizations nationally and regionally, as well as at The Studio.

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