Instructors

Our instructors and guest instructors are not only gifted educators, but also professional performers of the highest caliber. They regularly perform on Broadway and in regional theatre, on television and film, they’ve been nominated for and have won Tony Awards, danced with major companies, and have played alongside some of the biggest names in music. All of them provide the instruction and inspiration required to help our students become leading professionals in the performing arts.

 

John Staley – Founding Academy Director

Posted by on Jul 7, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on John Staley – Founding Academy Director

John Staley – Founding Academy Director

John has been teaching acting and Shakespeare for over a decade to children and adults, beginners to professionals. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California, San Diego graduate theatre program, where, in addition to teaching acting and public speaking, he was an Artsbridge Scholar, introducing theatre to schools in the San Diego area. John was on faculty at the Actors Workshop Studios in San Diego where he taught intermediate and professional level classes to teens and adults. John has adapted and directed numerous plays,...

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Thomas Shepard – Musical Director

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Instructors | 0 comments

Thomas Shepard – Musical Director

Voice teacher/vocal coach Thomas Shepard is a transplant to Los Angeles from New York City where he lived and worked as a professional performer, director, and singing teacher for 28 years. Among his long-standing professional teaching associations are scholastic institutions such at New York University-where he taught for 18 years, Columbia University, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy NYC and Los Angeles. He teaches singing and performing skills in his own private studios in Los Angeles as...

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Lacy Darryl Phillips – Musical Theatre; Dance

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Lacy Darryl Phillips – Musical Theatre; Dance

Lacy Darryl Phillips – Musical Theatre; Dance

Lacy was awarded a full scholarship to The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center before graduating High School, which provided him a strong foundation to pursue his dreams and goals. He performed in his first professional show, Miss Moffat, with Bette Davis at the age of 9. Soon after, he toured the United States and performed on Broadway as Travis Younger in Raisin, Sophisticated Ladies starring Gregory Hines, Anything Goes starring Patti Lupone, Sweet Charity starring Debbie Allen, Dancin’, Play On, Fosse, and, Me and Mrs. Jones, starring...

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Josie Walsh- Ballet

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Josie Walsh- Ballet

Josie Walsh- Ballet

Named “25 to watch” by Dance Magazine. Josie is a native of Los Angeles and former professional dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Zurich Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. Her choreographic career began with the Zurich Opera and moved onto several freelance projects throughout Europe. Upon her return to Los Angeles she integrated this vast background into the commercial world. Choreographic credits include the feature films: Underground Comedy, Walt Disney’s Tinker Bell, and the MGM premiere, Bullet Proof Monk. TV: LA Music...

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Scott Fowler – Tap

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Scott Fowler – Tap

Scott Fowler – Tap

New England Native Scott has performed in over six Broadway shows and two national tours – his most memorable being Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Swing, and Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out.  Feature films include Gnomeo &Juliet, Bedtime Stories, The Producers, Guess Who, George of the Jungle, Inspector Gadget, Woody’s Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, and the Best Picture Oscar winner, Chicago.  Television appearances include So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, Glee, Eli Stone, Viva Laughlin, Swingtown, Ellen,...

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Ramon Del Barrio – Jazz

Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 in Instructors | 0 comments

Ramon Del Barrio – Jazz

Ramon has had a major presence across the U.S. for more than 25 years. Audiences most recently saw Del Barrio creating the role of Damon Runyon in last year’s Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, and Billy Dixon in the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys. His other New York credits include Harold Prince’s, Roza on Broadway, Carousel at the Lincoln Center, and Genesis and Temptation at the New York Shakespeare Festival. His national tours include, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, and the 30th anniversary tour of West Side...

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Darrell “Rhythm” Whitaker – Hip Hop

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Darrell “Rhythm” Whitaker – Hip Hop

Darrell “Rhythm” Whitaker – Hip Hop

Inspired by legendary dancers, Michael Jackson, Fatima, and Debbie Allen, Rhythm has established himself as a force on the dance scene. He’s worked with numerous mega-stars including Jessica Simpson, Will Smith, Backstreet Boys, Mary J. Blige, Neo, and Santana, among others. He also lent his talents to the cult dance hit You Got Served starring B2K andMarques Houston. After laboring diligently in the shadows for years, Rhythm got his first big break with an Industrial for Reebok International. Now, he’s intent on sharing his...

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Maya – Hip Hop

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Maya – Hip Hop

Maya – Hip Hop

Maya, a native of Tokyo, Japan, began dancing at the tender age of five. She studied ballet for eight years at Yuriko Kawaguchi School of Ballet and Matsuyama Ballet Academy.  At 16, Maya ventured into street dance, where she trained in Hip Hop, Jazz, Locking, House, and Wacking at Tony Tee Dance Academy.  At 21, Maya’s ambition and dedication helped her to land her first tour for the famous Japanese Rock group B’z. Soon after, she began appearing on stage, television, and video with other Japanese Pop Artists such as, Namie Amuro,...

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Ruby Karen – Aerial Dance Fitness

Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 in Instructors | 0 comments

Ruby Karen – Aerial Dance Fitness

Ruby Karen has studied aerial arts in Los Angeles, Rio De Janeiro, Madrid, and San Francisco.  She specializes in Lyra/Hoop, Tissu/Silk, Hammock, and Vertical Aerial, and has performed within the United States, Europe, and Israel.  To this date, she continues to perform aerial arts at various cities around the globe.  In continuing the art form, she consistently offers training in new styles, technique and inventive apparatus. Ruby is proud to introduce a program she designed for the general public, Aerial Dance Fitness©, which...

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Wendy Obstler – Yoga

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Wendy Obstler – Yoga

Wendy Obstler – Yoga

Wendy is a Certified Yoga Therapist and a Registered Yoga Teacher.  She is also the ‘Lead Teacher’ for Brenda Strong’s Yoga4FerilityTM, privately facilitates Pre & Post-Natal sessions and works with women to rehabilitate pelvic disorders through yoga, breath work and body awareness.  As both a student and a teacher, Wendy continues her journey of yoga with curiosity and recognizes it as a boundless learning experience. Her group classes and private sessions offer a fun and safe space for students to be educated, while also making...

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Michael Cho – Piano, Composer

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Michael Cho – Piano, Composer

Michael Cho – Piano, Composer

Michael has taught music at various schools for the LA Unified School District and currently teaches music for the extension program at Cerritos Community College. As a composer, he has written music for plays, commercials, and award-winning short films and features. Michael’s studies include Cal State Northridge (Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance), the Colburn School of Music, and The International Institute for young Musicians where he studied both piano and composition as a scholarship recipient. He worked with Dr. Gordon Shaw as a...

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Jason Diaz – Guitar, Singing

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Jason Diaz – Guitar, Singing

Jason Diaz – Guitar, Singing

As a performer and songwriter, Jason has shared the stage with artists such as Rocco Deluca, Nikka Costa, and Jonathan Foreman, as well as countless local indie favorites.  His songs, Paper Roses, and Aftermath – from his self-titled EP – appeared on network television shows Gossip Girl, and Ghost Whisperer.  To his acclaim, Jason self-released his first full-length album titled, Stomp Out the Sun, and recentlywrapped up his first tour in promotion of that record. While completing his undergraduate degree in Commercial Guitar and...

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Eric Ray – Guitar

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Eric Ray – Guitar

Eric Ray – Guitar

Eric earned his master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and his bachelor’s degree from Cal State University, Los Angeles. He is a member of the music faculty at both Fullerton College and Los Angeles Trade Technical College. In addition to teaching guitar, Eric has also taught music theory and the history of rock music. He has 20 years teaching experience to students at all levels and ages. Eric also performs and records with the band, All of Us/None of...

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Hinton Battle – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Dance

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Hinton Battle – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Dance

Hinton Battle – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Dance

Three-time Tony Award winner * NAACP Award * Media Choreographer Award * Fred Astaire Award * Screen Actors Guild Award Hinton began studies at the renowned Jones and Haywood School of Ballet at the age of nine. Four years later he received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend the premiere ballet school, School of American Ballet in New York City, under the direction of George Balanchine. Hinton made his Broadway debut at 16 as The Scarecrow in the history making, The Wiz.Hinton’s other Broadway shows include Dancin’, Dreamgirls,...

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Stephen R. Buntrock – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Stephen R. Buntrock – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Stephen R. Buntrock – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Stephen recently concluded the Broadway run of the critically acclaimed revival of A Little Night Music, starring as Fredrick Egerman opposite Bernadette Peters. Earlier in the run he was honored to play the same role opposite the show’s original leading ladies Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury. Other starring Broadway credits include Curly in Oklahoma!, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, St. John in the original cast of Jayne Eyre, Barrett in Titanic, Enjolras in the Tenth Anniversary Cast of Les Miserable, covering the role of the...

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Erin Dilly – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Erin Dilly – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Erin Dilly – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Erin received Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle nominations as Best Actress for her role as Truly Scrumptious in Broadway’s, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Other Broadway credits include Cinderella in Into theWoods, Luciana in The Boys from Syracuse, Young Phyllis in Follies, and Billie in the Encores Series acclaimed production of Babes in Arms.  She recently finished filming HBO’s Too Big to Fail, opposite William Hurt, and the new CBS series Rookies, scheduled to air this fall.  She starred in Lifetime’s The 12 Men of Christmas...

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Richard Kinsey – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 in Instructors | 0 comments

Richard Kinsey – (Guest) Musical Theatre, Acting

Richard is probably best known for his performances as Inspector Javert in Les Miserables, for which he was the recipient of the Joseph Jefferson Award For Best Supporting Actor. He starred in the Broadway, National and International Touring Companies, and performed the role over two thousand times. Other recent theatrical roles include: Brocklehurst/Mason in the world premiere of Jane Eyre, Bill Sykes in Oliver!, Adam in Seven Brides, Fred/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, Don Quixote in Man Of LaMancha, Phantom in Phantom, Father in Ragtime,...

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Benedicte Schoyen – (Guest) Dance

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Instructors | Comments Off on Benedicte Schoyen – (Guest) Dance

Benedicte Schoyen – (Guest) Dance

Benedicte was trained at The Norwegian Opera Ballet and worked as a dancer for television and stage for several years before opening up the Santa Monica Dance Studio. Today she is the owner of Born To Play Studio and Productions in Santa Monica, and is on faculty at UCLA where she teaches ballet and jazz at the Musical Theater (Film/TV) and World/Arts/Culture program. For the past decade, Benedicte has choreographed the Eurovision Song Contest for kids, taking her to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium. In 2008, her production company...

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Geri Jones – (Guest) Dance, Pilates

Posted by on Jul 12, 2011 in Instructors | 0 comments

Geri Jones – (Guest) Dance, Pilates

Geri Jones has performed on stages all over the world in musicals, industrials, and revue shows. Some of her favorite roles have been Bombalurina and Demeter in Cats, Cassie in A Chorus Line, Rosalia in West Side Story, Gun Moll in 42nd Street, Angel in Anything Goes and Dora Bailey in Singin’ In The Rain, to name a few. She has appeared in guests spots on The Tonight Show, Melrose Place and Out All Night with Patti LaBelle, as well as many music videos, infomercials, and television shows filmed in Mexico City and Shanghai, China. Geri has...

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