Marilynn Piazza-Esper

Marilynn Piazza-Esper, co-owner of Piazza Dance Company, was introduced to the world of dance at a young age by her first teacher, Eva Mckeon, who taught and inspired Marilynn for over 15 years. McKeon’s energy, vitality and enthusiasm for the art was contagious and Marilynn soon grew to appreciate and love all aspects of dance.

Marilynn has trained at the Lambert Dance Theatre and the Severo-Geiger School of Ballet. She has also studied with many master teachers from New York, Chicago and California and continues to regularly participate in professional teacher’s workshops.

Marilynn, along with her sisters, Gina and Denise, was a member for a professional Hawaiian-Tahitian group called the “Hapa Hula Dancers”. For 10 years, the group toured Michigan and surrounding states, performing for many private and corporate functions.

Marilynn has been teaching jazz, tap, lyrical, musical theater and character dancing for 33 years has loved every minute of it!

Throughout those years, her students have won high honors in both regional and national competitions. One of Marilynn’s long-time solo students, Briana Bock, won the coveted title of MISS DANCE OF MICHIGAN 2010 in the prestigious Dance Masters of Michigan Miss Dance Competition. Briana went on to compete in San Antonio for the National Title of Miss Dance of America and placed #6 as a semi-finalist. Several of Marilynn’s soloists have won coveted titles including first runner-up to the Teen Miss Dance of Michigan, Miss International Dance Elite, and Special Awards: “Overall Top Performance” and several Outstanding Choreography awards. Marilynn’s group dances have been the recipients of countless overall victories and cash prizes. In addition, her choreography has been recognized and awarded by professionals at the regional and national levels for her creative JAZZ & MUSICAL THEATER choreography. Marilynn won the 2002 coveted honor of Overall High Score for her intense Senior Jazz Small Group – “Come Together”! In the summer of 2005, her Musical Theater Junior Large Group, “MAMA’S TALKIN”, won PLATINUM MEDAL and 1ST PLACE OVERALL HIGH SCORE and also won “DANCE-OFF 1ST OVERALL and was presented with a SPECIAL AWARD: ‘MOST ARTISTIC PERFORMANCE”. Marilynn is very proud of all her soloists and groups and is equally proud of the countless number of students she has taught over the past 30 plus years!

In 2003, Marilynn choreographed the Farmington Players Barn spring production of “Once upon a Mattress”. The Farmington Observer critiqued it as “the best musical they’ve seen at the Farmington Players in a very long time!”

Marilynn, and her husband, Mike, are the parents of two grown children, Michelle Martin, a former Piazza Dance Company instructor, and Mark, a physical therapist who resides in Chicago. Michelle is married to Ken Martin and they have one daughter, Abigail and Mark is married to Claudia and they have two children, Rebekah and Bella.

Aside from o-directing the studio and teacher, Marilynn has enjoyed painting and playing the piano. Before the studio opened in 1981, Marilynn was an avid and busy artist who sold some of her artwork at various local art shows. One of her acrylic watercolor paintings was selected for display in the lobby of Henry Ford Community College. In addition to her love for music, visual and performing arts, Marilynn loves dance, children and teaching students of all ages, and looks forward to the upcoming dance year at Piazza Dance Company.