The Big Cats

The DACE Wildcat Way



Derek, began his training when he was eleven years old.  Training under the direction of Tiffany Stewart, and most respectfully the Late Mary Helen Stewart, the world of dance was everything to Derek.  As a trained dancer for nine years, Derek trained in, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, tap,  Cecchetti ballet, and acrobatics.  Derek's competitive career as a student includes group training, partnering, as well as his legendary solo career.  From numerous group, regional and national championships, Derek has had a successful duet and solo dancing career.  Derek's personal solo titles are the following:  Outside of numerous top ten placements, and first overall high scoring solo titles, specific awarded titles include, Teen Mr. Dance of Michigan 1996 for Dance Masters of Michigan, Teen Dancer of the Year for American Dance Awards, for the years 1995, and 1996, Teen Mr. DEA of Michigan 1997 and 1998, Senior Mr. DEA of Michigan 1999, and winning Mr. Dance of the South Eastern Half of America in Orlando Florida in 2000.  Derek has also had the opportunity to work with the Walt Disney Company in 1998.  Learning from top choreographers of the time, as Gus Giordano, Mia Michaels, Michael Knight, Dee Caspry, Frank Hatchett, and countless others, these were the additional influences that helped shape Derek into his teaching career.  


Prior to opening his own studio, Derek had held jobs at two separate studios for three years.  From being the studio acro coach, to a competitive and recreational choreographer, Derek's dance educator platform, continued to grow stronger.   


Part of the success of opening Dance Athletics Competitive Edge in 2007, had been Derek's career, as a trained dancer and student.  From understanding the needs of the youth of the dance world, and the role of a dance instructor, Derek had formed a balanced relationship for a student/ choreographer mentorship.  Derek has shaped the minds, and hearts of his students into the Wildcat way.  Priding himself on not just being a choreographer to his students, but also being a life coach to each and every one of his kids, is everything to him.  


The role, and relationship that he has had with his mother, and father, has truly been a never-ending gift.  From the constant support, love, and true selflessness that he has always had from his family, love has shaped into the man, that choreographs for Wildcats, and has become a legend in his own jungle. Derek lives each day, with a different step, a happy heart with an extra beat, and just enjoying living with brilliance for this chance of lifetime opportunity, to own his brother and sister childhood dream in opening Dance Athletics with his family. 



Courtney Rae Arcenal, stepped into the world of dance at the age of three.  Training under the direction of Tiffani Stewart, and the late Mary Helen Stewart.  The world of dance, was meant for Courtney.  Being trained in Cecchetti ballet, lyrical, jazz, hip-hop, and tap as a student, Courtney had been part of the competitive dance world for, twelve years.  From many top ten placements, and regional, and national titles, in her career, Courtney knows the level of work, and discipline needed to become a winning dancer.  From solo and group training, to numerous duets, and trios, Courtney has had a solid dance career.  From being Nationally ranked throughout her solo career, an Individual solo title that she had won at an early age was Petite Ms. Small Fry Dance Educators of America of Michigan in 1995.  She was also crowned Junior Miss Dance Educators of America, as well as Teen Miss Dance Educators of America.


From being a trained dancer, to years, and years of experience as a coach, and choreographer, the brilliance of her talent to choreograph has brought much success to her studio, and her students.  From top choreography awards, to national championships, Courtney's work, is by far more than awarded, and acclaimed.  It is brilliance done with grace, and beauty.  She looks forward to sharing her talent, with her students in the coming years.  Her appreciation for the strength and athleticism need for Dance, as well as her competitive nature, has brought a lot of success to this team.

From being, a mentor, to a role model for her students, Courtney's personal care for others extends past, her dance studio walls.  Working as a Nurse Practiciner at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital continues Courtney's compassion for others.  Working through life with her patients on such a personal level, allows Courtney to have continued success with all the people that meet her. 


Combined with her talent as a medical professional, and a studio owner, the choreography that she continues to produce, is just an example of brilliance. 



Pamela has over 27 years experience in teaching ballet, Cecchetti, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap and contemporary. Her passion and love for dance started at the young age of 5 and she continued to spend her life dedicated to dancing, competing in Canadian and American dance competitions, judging and teaching. She also appeared in many dance and theater productions in the US and Canada. She has had the opportunity to train and work with many professionals from the Toronto National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Quinte Ballet School, Kirov (Mariinsky) and many others.


Through examination and classes, Pamela has studied with the Cecchetti Society of Canada and the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association, Ballet, Tap and Jazz division. She currently is active with the Cecchetti Council of America, and prepares students for examinations. She also has had the honor to work with many professionals from the Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Contemporary industry. She is currently working with ArtLab J and Moving with Detroit Dance Magazine and is active in many other dance and art community projects.   Pamela is committed to continuing dance education, by attending yearly attending workshops, ongoing classes and courses with master teachers in the industry. 

Her strong belief in creating a positive and rewarding teaching environment, inspires her students to grow and develop as strong performers and dancers. She continues her love of coaching sending students for dance  exams, competitions and auditions. Pamela is an award winning choreographer, coach and photographer, receiving many awards and scholarships. She is known in the industry for growing technically strong dancers and inspiring performers. Her students have gone on to be recognized by dance industry leaders and awarded scholarships to further their dance education. Many have gone on to continue their dance education at Universities, within dance companies or have gone on to receive professional contracts with in the dance and film industry. Because of her strong technical background, knowledge of the conditioning and flexibility, diversity and experience, she also trains athletes, gymnasts and skaters, in private and group classes. 




Camyle began taking dance classes at the age of 2 and continued her student training for 16 years. At the age of 15 she began assisting and substitute teaching and has continued teaching since then. Camyle is trained in the disciplines of tap, jazz, Cecchetti ballet, pointe, hip hop, and lyrical. Near the end of her studio career, Camyle also began training in the art of toe-tap, which involves tap dancing while up on the box of pointe shoes.

Camyle specializes in tap dancing and tap technique and shares her talent with dancers within many studios in the area. She is also certified by the Cecchetti Council of America as a Grade I, II, and III Cecchetti teacher, and will continue working towards her grade IV certification. She has an Associate’s degree in business administration and is always looking for ways to improve her dancing and teaching skills.



Molly Denzer has been in the dance world since the age of three. She grew up in the competitive circuit with training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, contemporary, and some ballroom. She was fortunate to learn and take from many professional choreographers through conventions, and one-on-one training throughout her years. She took her ballet training very seriously, which led her to pursue strictly ballet in a company for three years. She attended the summer intensive with ABT (American Ballet Theatre) for two years, along with two years at the University of Akron. This will be Molly's sixth year at Dance Athletics Competitive Edge, and her second year as a DACE big cat on the staff. She competed for four years as a Wildcat, and was part of multiple National Championships along the way. She leads our newest program of Wonderkatz; the beginning dancers ages 2-4. In addition, she assists and works closely with the competitive team to help build the future of Team Wildcat. As well as dance being a huge part of her life, she is currently enrolled in a combined bachelor's & master's degree program at Eastern Michigan University studying accounting in hopes to pass her CPA exam in the next few years. She will continue her dance training through the Alain Rae Infinity Dance Company, as she continues to learn and grow from the brilliant power siblings themselves, Derek & Courtney Arcenal.