Carmel Academy of Performing Arts CAPA Staff

Photo Credit: Robert Ellis Photography

The Carmel Academy of Performing Arts is an artistic space with a sacred history.  It will continue to hold and nourish, instruct and expand the arts to all those who walk up the stairs for generations to come, as it has for the past sixty years.

Devin Adler Devin has performed locally and professionally for over 15 years.  He has coached and choreographed for competition teams and is trained in tap, jazz and ballet. He has created screen auditions for the TV show “Glee”, working in a sound studio and recording the steps for stage productions need “tapping” in the pre-recorded musical score.

 Sherri Beck Sherri began her theatre career at MPC in 1975. She studied and performed in San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles for 8 years then returned to the Peninsula, and has been performing and choreographing ever since. Her favorite roles include The Beggar Woman in 'Sweeney Todd', Kathy in 'Company' and featured dancer in 'Tommy'.  She is a certified Pilates instructor.

Sandra Burnham As a Royal Academy of Dance registered teacher and adjudicator with over 60 years teaching experience, Sandra travels the world teaching and judging RAD examinations for dancers.

Natalia Chambers Natalia has trained with CAPA for the last ten years.  Currently a junior at Monterey High School, Natalia’s training includes ballet, contemporary, jazz and hip hop.  She has trained in our mentorship for youth program for three years. 

Gloria Elber Gloria is legendary for her choreography and directing of stage and musicals on the Peninsula.  Gloria is a dancer, teacher, director and choreographer.  She has worked with most of the theater groups on the Peninsula and was the choreographer for the Gold Medal, USA Olympic team in synchronized swimming.

Emily Freeman Emily received her dance training in Houston, Texas at the Houston Ballet Academy and at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts with Ann and Nick Polojenko.  She has been teaching on the Peninsula since 1985. 

Stacey Hamada Stacey holds a Bachelors degree from UCLA in both psychology and World Arts and Cultures with a concentration in dance.  She is the owner of the prestigious In Studio Dance Company, bringing cutting edge teachers to studios across the country.

Kaitlyn Hayden Kaitlyn trained since the age of 8 from Carmel Academy of Performing Arts.  She was a Member of the CAPA team for four years and a Pacific Grove High School Breaker Girls Dance Team Member.  Kaitlyn is currently the Assistant Coach for the Breaker Girls Dance Team and studying nursing at Monterey Peninsula College. 

Amanda Kerby  Amanda, born in Riverside, California, grew up a competitive dancer from the age of six.  She has won numerous titles, including representing the United States in Australia, winning the international title of ‘Dancer of The World’ in 2006.  She toured the world dancing on a cruise ship, was a background dancer for ‘Foreigner’, and enjoys print modeling.  You may have seen her on the Fox series ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, season 5, making it to Top 30 girls.  Amanda danced two seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers.  Amanda graduated college from California State University, Long Beach with a BA in Dance, and is Pilates Certified (BASI).  She currently teaches conventions and master classes throughout the nation, is a nationally recognized choreographer, and judges internationally including Japan, Mexico, and Canada.

Shauna Noland Shauna Noland appeared as a top 20 finalist on the third season of the Fox network’s reality television show So You Think You Can Dance.  The daughter of a professional ballerina, she entered the world of dancing at the age of three years old.  Shauna has received formal training in modern dance, tap dancing, ballet, hip-hop, and jazz at the Dance Company of San Francisco.

Carol Heiland Rosa Carol grew up on the Monterey Peninsula and received her education in dance from U.C. Irvine, Monterey Peninsula College and U.C. Santa Cruz.  She has directed for Monterey Peninsula College and U.C Santa Cruz

Kelly Pegler Kelly attained a BA in Ballet Education at the Royal Academy of Dance, London UK, and became certified to teach Pilates in July 2013.  Kelly also was the girls Body Conditioning teacher at The Royal Ballet Upper School.

Philip Pegler Philip Pegler began his study of Classical Ballet with his mother, Sandra Burnham, at the age of five.  Following his training at The Kirov Academy in Russia, he joined the Legat School of Russian Ballet before being awarded an international scholarship to study at The Harid Conservatory in Florida. In 2002, Philip was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor in the College of Theatre and Dance at the University of Florida, teaching Classical Ballet and lecturing in Dance History. With over 30 years of Classical Ballet experience in April 2010, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Royal Academy of Dance. Philip’s career has been dedicated to the training of students in Classical Ballet.

Ashley Rutherford- Ashley began her dancing career at the age of 2 and has competed with Studio West Dance, No limits Dance and Dance Attack. Ashley performed with Disney artist, Linda Arnold, as a dancer and vocalist. She was a member of The Dance Company of San Francisco and was a founding member of Starz Dance Company. She started her own dance business at the age of 15, "Gotta Dance”, and works with kids in private schools, after school programs and preschools.  Ashley is the Team CAPA Director

Mikey Perdue Choreographer and director Mikey Perdue’s degree in Musical Theatre includes seven years of dance training in jazz, modern, contemporary, tap and ballet. He recently choreographed for Pacific Repertory Theatre and is involved in production on the Monterey Peninsula. 

Tristin Rammel A competition dancer for the last five years, Tristin is a member of Kinetik Crew of Santa Cruz and has a long list of competitive awards.  Tristin’s performances include Monsters of Hip Hop, World of Dance, UCSC En Route Showcase, NorCal Dance Arts Unity Showcase and he has trained with cutting edge hip hop teachers in Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Kristine Tarozzi Kristine graduated with a B.S. in Business and a Minor in Dance. Kristine then went on to earn a M.A. degree in dance from Mills College. During her college years, Kristine spent time performing as a NFL 49er Goldrush Girl and a NBA Warrior Girl.  She is currently the Director of Dance at Carmel High School.

Laurel Weingand Laurel teaches with attention to injury prevention and alignment. Her undergraduate degree is in kinesiology. 


Robin Anderson-piano and all band instruments As a professional trumpeter, Robin has taught at schools throughout Santa Cruz County.  He teaches all band instruments, piano and guitar.  Robin performs regularly with a Big Band orchestra he founded in the Santa Cruz area.

Irina Kendall-piano  Irina is a professional classical pianist, accompanist and piano teacher. She was trained in Berlin, Germany by well-know pianist, Prof. Dieter Brauer and received her Graduate degree and Diploma at the Hannis Eisler Conservatory of Music. For twenty years she was the resident piano teacher and staff accompanist at The Music School in Berlin.

Jennifer Leighton-violin Originally from New York, Jennifer Leighton studied with Dr Laura Mount of the Juilliard School.  She was first violinist with the New York Youth Symphony, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.  She has performed regularly as a freelance professional in New York and Florida.  Her teaching experience began with piano students in 1990, and continued with violin students the following year. 

Malinda Minniear-voice, violin, piano Malinda studied violin with Shirley Stafford, Dr. Percy Kalt, former head of the music department of BYU, Christine Davis former concert master of the Utah Valley Symphony and played with The Utah Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.  Malinda composed her first piece at 12 years old and continues. She is the Music Director at a local children's theatre in Salinas and guest conductor and String Specialist for local high school orchestras.


Jane Press was Lead Instructor at CET (Children's Experimental Theatre) in Carmel from 2005 - 2010.  She was mentored by Marsha Hovick to help her complete a 50-year teaching legacy in the Theatre Arts.   Jane also brought her unique acting courses to CPY (Community Partnership for Youth) during their Summer sessions from 2012 - 2014.  She has been mentoring children in the arts since 1977, is a playwright, musician, lyricist, artist and stage actress .  Jane is Monica's mom and "Gaga" to Colin and Nicholas Benjamin.


Nicole Costa - Studio Manager 

Joy Ellis

Sue Galdo

Susan Richards