The Michigan Youth Ballet Theatre is a pre-professional youth ballet company and school, dedicated to the development and preservation of the great art of ballet, and to providing young people in West Michigan with a premiere ballet company experience.

Michigan Youth Ballet Theatre is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation.

Sean France, Artistic Director

Sean is a third generation performer and teacher who was raised in a well-known theatrical family including grandparents and vaudevillians Jerome & France, Sean’s father Richard France, a renowned Broadway performer, and Sean’s mother, performer Ellen Ray, who worked with Sean’s late godfather, Gene Kelly. Sean began dancing at the age of 9 with his parents as his teachers. He was awarded full summer scholarships with the San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet. He finished his studies with Rosella Hightower in Cannes, France. Sean has danced principal and soloist roles with the following ballet companies: the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Norwegian National Opera Ballet, Ballet Nuevo Mundo of Caracas, the National Ballet of Venezuela, the Athen’s Ballet of Greece, Cleveland Ballet, Oakland Ballet and the Grand Rapids Ballet. In addition, he has been principal guest performer with numerous regional, civic and international companies and ensembles. After turning towards directing, Sean worked as a Professor of Dance at Grand Valley State University, Ballet Master for Cedar Lake 2 ballet company, and co-founded the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. He opened Studio France School of Dance in 2011 and in 2014 started Michigan Youth Ballet Theatre. Sean teaches all levels of ballet, pointe technique, men’s ballet technique, variations and partnering.

Erin France, Executive Director

Erin is a third generation graduate of Montague High School and grew up in the White Lake Community where she is a hairstylist at The Vintage Salon in Montague. She has a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Theater from Grand Valley State University. Erin is currently the costume mistress for MYBT and has previously worked as costume mistress for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet company. Erin and her husband, Sean, were the owners of Studio France School of Dance in Montague. Two out of three of her children take ballet and are involved in MY Ballet Theatre.

Jennifer Klaus, Member at Large

Jennifer is a local businesswoman and mother of three children. She is the past president of MYBT and is our resident expert in set design, logistics, and backstage magic. Jennifer’s daughter currently takes ballet classes and is a company member.

Lorah Miller, Member at Large

Lorah was born and raised in Alpena, MI. She moved out of Northeast Michigan and attended Michigan State University, GO GREEN, where she studied elementary education! When looking for a job after college, Lorah stumbled upon the White Lake area and fell in love with the town. She has lived in the area for eight years and has taught third grade for the past seven years in Whitehall. Growing up, Lorah always had a love for the arts. She was a dancer as a child but due to lack of resources in Northeast Michigan, was never able to take her love of dance and the arts to the next level. Lorah has a daughter who is a lover of dance. She has been dancing since the age of three and has been a member of MY Ballet Theatre for the past five years. She is grateful for the opportunity to dance. Lorah’s motivation for board service is the chance to improve youth organizations in the area and provide children with access to experiences. Her vision for Michigan Youth Ballet Theatre is to provide children with an unique opportunity to explore the art of dance and theater at a young age. She would also love to see local studios become more collaborative and join together in giving children access to ballet theater.

 

Jacquelyn Kosters, Member at Large

Jacquelyn was born and raised in the White Lake area. She is now a mother of two. She is brandnew to dance but loves everything about the company! Her youngest has been attending since fall 2022.

 

Nicholas Todd, Member at Large

 

Melissa Sayles, Member at Large