Academy of Performing Arts, Luanna Luxton Armstrong B.A.T.D., Director

About Us

The Academy of Performing Arts studios are located at Chi Mukwa Community Recreation Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

The Academy is directed by Luanna Luxton Armstrong, B.A.T.D.

Academy Brochure

Brochure: The Academy brochure for the current year (2019-2020)

Flyer: Introducing our Instructors

About Our Director

Luanna Luxton Armstrong, B.A.T.D., Academy Director, Dance/Drama Instructor and ChoreographerLuanna Luxton Armstrong
B.A.T.D., Director, Choreographer

A Dance student from the age of three, a lifetime member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance, and a seasoned dancer, actress, singer, choreographer, playwright and director in countless productions, Luanna brings a wealth of experience to the arts and our community.

Luanna was born and raised in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario. She is a graduate of Loretto in Sault, Michigan, alumni of Lake Superior State University, Ryerson University and York University, Ontario. She opened her first school of dancing in Dundas, Ontario in 1969. For 20 years she owned and operated the Luanna Luxton School of Dance and Performing Arts in Bolton, Ontario where she also founded and directed a professional summer theater company. Her school boasted a Barn Theater where countless one of a kind productions, both amateur and professional took place.

In the fall of 2001, Luanna became the Director of Dance and Drama at Lake Superior State University. Original productions written by Luanna brought local children and adults a new appreciation of dance and theater. Productions include: Beauty & the Beast, Peter Pan, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Send in the Clowns, Ferngully, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Puff the Magic Dragon, Jungle Book, Pinocchio, Snow Queen, Snow White, and A Tale By the Ancient One.

In September 2003, we welcomed Luanna as the owner, director, instructor, and choreographer of the Academy of Performing Arts, on the campus of Lake Superior State University. In September 2008, the Academy moved to its current location, the Chi Mukwa Community Recreation Center.

About Our Academy

For over 40 years, Luanna has offered students of all ages a unique environment in which to develop and express their creative talents. Our students are encouraged to explore their boundaries and to take risks in a structured, nurturing environment. We then give them an opportunity to shine their light. Every year we come together in the most perfect way to create a masterpiece.

Our season is traditionally climaxed with a full-scale theatre production involving dancers and actors. This provides our students with the opportunity to participate in a live theatre production.

Our academy philosophy fosters the thrill and joy of performance without competition.

About The Studios

The two dance studios are located on the first floor of the Chi Mukwa Recreation Center. The studios are spacious with ballet bars and mirrors. Reception, waiting area, locker rooms, concession, and indoor walking track are available for students and their families.

Meet Our Instructors

Mrs. Erika Laitinen-Odbert, Instructor

Erika Laitinen-Odbert, Instructor & Choreographer

Erika Laitinen-Odbert has been sharing her commitment to excellence in the dance arts for 15 years with the Academy of Performing Arts, where she teaches Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, and Jazz. With over 25 years of experience, Erika danced competitively with Trixie Hardy Dance Studio and Studio Dance Arts, both of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

She has traveled internationally and within the United States competing, performing, and attending numerous workshops. Erika has undergone extensive B.A.T.D. training, focusing primarily in the study of ballet.

Erika loves to share her passion for dance with her students, her family, and her community. Among her dance experiences, Erika has been able to volunteer for many community events, including Hospice of the EUP Madrigal Dinner for over ten years and is incredibly honored and proud to now be a coach for the Dancing with the Hospice Stars!

She looks forward to continuing her adventure in sharing the art of dance with all for many years to come.

Ms. Kayla Price, Instructor

Kayla Price, Instructor & Choreographer

As a sixth year instructor, Kayla comes to the Academy from a long history with performing. Her love of figure skating and gymnastics at a very early age inspired her to study ballet, where she began dancing at the Sherry Walsh Academy of Dance Arts at the age of 8. Kayla also participated in the Sault Gym Club Gymnastics programs in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario.

She has studied dance at our Academy for many years and has taken part in several of our annual Children’s Theatre Productions, both as a dancer and as an actress. Kayla has participated in several dance competitions during her time, performing with the Sault High Pom Pon squad.

She also brings skills learned from participating in those competitions, as well as, performing and dancing in New York City, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Puerto Rico. She performed with the LSSU Dance Company, and has taken summer residence near Traverse City, MI. as an employee of Interlochen Center of the Arts. During the summer of 2018, Kayla enjoyed instructing dance to students coming to LSSU from various cities for the EDventures summer camps.

Kayla will be returning in the fall to begin instructing classes again this year. We look forward to having more years with her.

Ms. Kayla Price, Instructor

Ali Brand, Instructor & Choreographer

We welcome Ali Brand as our new Tap Instructor.

A student of dance from the age of three, Ali brings to the Academy years of experience in Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop.

She studied at Rapid City Dance Factory in Grand Rapids, MI and Rhythm Dance Center in Belmont, MI.

She has performed multiple times at the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts with her Dance Company.

She was also part of the Dance Program at LSSU taking classes in Tap, Jazz and Theatre.

She has a love for all types of dance, but tap is by far her favorite. She is passionate about dance and is very excited to be teaching Tap at the Academy.

**The B.A.T.D. (British Association of Teachers of Dance) was founded in 1892 with just 24 members & has now grown to be recognized in the U.S. & Canada, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Germany, Korea, Italy & more. The first of its kind to encourage dancers to organize into a society with which to improve & develop the art of dance and its many forms.

Academy of Peforming Arts - Chi Mukwa Community Recreation Center - - (906) 253-2180
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