USASF Certified Levels 1-5 tumbling - USASF Certified Levels 1-5 Stunting - AACCA Safety Certified - CPR Certified
Melanie along with her four sisters and one brother literally grew up in their Mother's dance studio. Melanie shares her passion for the arts with her mother, Gail Kivett. Through Gail's teaching and nurturing, Melanie excelled in all forms of dance. Melanie was trained from age three in Tap, Jazz and Ballet. As she grew she also excelled in Hip-Hop, Gymnastics, Pom-Pon and Cheer.
Melanie attended Swartz Creek High school and graduated in 1991. During her years at Swartz Creek High she earned her place on their award winning Pom and Cheer teams. During this time she also began teaching at her mother's studio (Smooth Steps Dance Academy) in Swartz Creek. Melanie excelled at teaching Jazz, Pom and Gymnastics. She earned her first National Award for top Choreographer in 1998.
Melanie attended WMU as a college freshman, but she missed teaching dance and being near her family. She decided to continue her education closer to home where she attend MCC. Melanie earned two degrees from MCC and became an RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist). She continued to teach dance at Smooth Steps Dance Academy while practicing Dental Hygiene. Before Melanie decided to open SSGA, she was weighing the option of continued education and attending dental medical school.
In 2001, SSGA went from a dream to a full time business, built on Melanie's passion. She has been very fortunate to have a teaching staff of like minded teachers and coaches. Melanie is a competitor at heart, and she gets to exercise that desire with her Panther Cheer and competitive dance teams. Melanie finds the most joy in the faces of her students. She enjoys nothing more than watching them have fun, work hard and accomplish their personal goals. Melanie possess all of the skill, knowledge, compassion and ability one could want in a studio owner and educator of children. Melanie leaves an indelible mark on the lives of her students. Being trained and mentored under the direction of Melanie enriches young lives through example, discipline and kindness.
Nate brings years of business management and ownership experience to handle the day to day operation of SSGA. Nate attended MCC and the University of Michigan. His strong ties to this community, made Davison the obvious choice to set up shop.
His career history has ranged from: Insurance Executive, Municipal Accounting, elected official, Marketing V.P. for a manufacturing company in the food industry, Sales and business ownership. Nate now finds the most joy being the janitor and accountant for SSGA.
Having Melanie as his business partner has formed a bond based on admiration and mutual respect. Being a team in business and family can have challenges... however, Nate and Melanie would not want it any other way.
Exceeding customer expectations is the driver in business decisions he makes for SSGA. Nate is aware his choices will reflect on the legacy of his mother-in-law, Gail Kivett... one that began nearly 70 years ago.
USASF Certified Level 1-5 Tosses - USASF Certified Level 1-5 Stunting
Melissa does so much for SSGA it is impossible to list. She runs Costumes Galore ordering and selecting SSGA recital costumes each year. She has coached Panther Cheer teams, assists with registration and class scheduling just to name of few . Melissa has been with SSGA right from our humble beginning when she enrolled her daughter, Kalee in dance classes. She has become one of the most important people to ever walk through the doors of SSGA and her value can not be measured. With a warm heart and sincere smile she always does her best to get the task at hand done. SSGA would not be what it is today without her.
Gail began dance at age of three. She was taught and trained by Lena Pelio of Flint Michigan. Gail excelled as a student particularly in Tap, her favorite form of dance. By age twelve Gail (McKeon) Kivett started her own dance studio located in her parents basement. Over the years her dance program became more and more popular becoming one of Genesee Counties largest and most highly regarded dance studios. Gail raised her six children in her studio and passed her love and passion of dance to each of them. Gail founded Smooth Steps Dance Studio in Swartz Creek and owned and operated it for well over fourty years before turning over the business to her daugher Alison Williston-Kivett. Alison continues to run Smooth Steps Dance Studio with the same love of dance she inherited from her mother. Gail fully supported Melanie's decision in 2001 to start SSGA in Davison. Melanie and Nate both know without Gail's support and direction SSGA would not exist today. Gail continues to teach and influence both SSGA and Smooth Steps Dance Studio. She is one of the most highly respected Dance Instructors in the area and our students are better dancers and people because of Gail's influence.
Natalie has been involved in Dance, Cheer and Gymnastics since she took her first steps in life. Natalie has always been one of the most committed and focused students at SSGA. She applies the same focus and discipline as a Coach, Choreographer, Dance Teacher and Tumbling Coach. She leads by example and has earned the respect of parents and students alike. Even though she is very young, her experience and dedication put her at the forefront in her field of expertise. She enjoys being a mentor for SSGA students with a confident, firm and example based style of leading.
Please join us in welcoming Leanna Conroy Case back to SSGA! We could not be more excited to bring you this news. Leanna's resume and list of achievements in the sport of cheer is extensive and second to none. We hold Leanna in the highest regard as a coach, a leader, a person and mentor. Get ready for excellence Panther Cheer athletes! Coach Leanna will be a major influence on our entire Panther Cheer program.
Coached at Swartz Creek HS from 1988-2007. MCCA State finalists 94,95,97,98,99,01,02,03,04,05,06. MCCA Regional champions 03,04,05,06. MCCA State finals top 10 finishes 94,98,99,01,02,03,05,06. MCCA State finals top 5 finish (4th) 2002. UCA national’s finals 12th place large varsity 2002. UCA Nationals 5th place, Super varsity 2003 (made the ESPN broadcast).
Miss Heather began dancing at the age of 3 with Miss Gail and her family at Gail Kivett's Smooth Steps. Since that time she has studied ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theatre, lyrical, modern and pointe. During her time as a competitive dancer she earned many overall scores as both a soloist and a group dancer. Throughout her dancing years she continued to take dance from Miss Gail and her staff as well as with Denise Paavola, The Flint Institute of Music, Joanna Paraschos and Mr. Bruce Bradley. Shortly after high school, she performed with a semi-professional ballet company based out of Flint, MI. She was a company member and dance scholarship recipient with Alma College's dance ensemble while studying to be a theatre/dance major. She was also an ensemble and soloist performer for the University of Michigan Flint while continuing her Theatre/Dance education. Heather was also cast as a dancer in the University of Michigan- Flint's performances of Godspell. Miss Heather has had great opportunities throughout her dancing career and has been blessed to learn from and take classes from amazing artists such as Bruce Bradley, Joanna Paraschos, Carol Fike, Thomas Morris, Diane Walker, Jason Samuels Smith, Nico Rubio, Derrick Grant, Maurice Chestnut, Frances Bradley and many more amazing artists throughout her college dance experiences and Tapology involvement. Miss Heather has taught both recreational and competitive dancers of all ages throughout Genesee County. She is a former Special Olympics coach for gymnastics, a former VSA dance artist, and most recently has joined other artists in working with the outreach program for Tapology, the science of dance and the art of rhythm founded by Bruce Bradley. When she is not dancing she is a Special Education staff member for Swartz Creek Community Schools as well as a Certified CPI trainer for the Swartz Creek District. Heather has a strong passion for dance and hopes to share her love of dance with each and every student she works with. According to Miss Heather she loves when her students send her practice videos outside of classes and they are eager to share their success and progress with her. She takes great pride in meeting each student where they are at in their dancing experience and helping them grow to greater heights. She loves to focus on clarity and technique and is always continuing to learn new techniques and methods to improve upon these skills and share them with our students.
Nick earned his Bachelors of science degree from MSU in 2010, and an MBA from Columbus State University in 2013
Nick is a Certified Physical Preparation Specialist. Nick has been coaching stunting since 2007 and Coaching Tumbling since 2009
Nick consistently succeeds training his students. He is disciplined and trains accordingly to assure his athletes reach their goals, as long as they are willing to put in the work. SSGA is very fortunate to have Nick on staff. He is a hardworking, talented and good man, that leads by example.
MSU Cheerleader 2005-2010
Columbus State University Cheerleader 2011-2013
2 UCA Nationals MSU
2 UCA Nationals CSU 3rd & 2nd
2 NCA Nationals CSU 2nd& 2nd
NCA Partner stunts 2013 7th place
Heidi started cheering at the age of 13. She was captain of her Varsity cheer team and was named Most Valuable her senior year at Kearsley High School. Heidi coached middle school cheer and worked her way up to Varsity level. Throughout her six years (1999 thru 2004)of coaching school cheer her teams attended many UCA cheer competitions and camps and won multiple first and 2nd place titles. Her last Varsity cheer team won the prestigious "Leadership" award. Heidi is a highly regarded coach and leader at SSGA.
Morgan Bjorklund started her journey with SSGA in 2010. In 2014, she started working in the office, answering the phone and questions anyone had. From there, she started working behind the scenes with Costumes Galore, works registrations, helps run recital at the end of the year, and makes Melanie’s side stage visions come to life. She is one of the all-around go too for anything. In 2017, she started assisting with one of our tiny prep cheer teams and now is with our Allstar Level 1 cheer athletes.
Sarah uses her talent and eye to capture video and photos of SSGA athletes, dancers and cheerleaders. You will find wonderful examples of her content on Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram and the SSGA website. She does an exceptional job preserving memories to be enjoyed for many years.