Cheryle Armstrong

Studio Owner
Ballet Company Director

Cheryle began her dance training on the east coast in Washington D.C. with Oleg Tupine from the Kirov Ballet and continued her training at Florida State University where she was a member of the South Florida Ballet Company. Her performing experience ranges from classical ballet with several east coast companies to contemporary ballet with the Valerie Huston Dance Theater in California. After her performing career, she continued her education at the Florida State University Dance Department and two years later graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Instructing, choreographing, and directing a full range of dance styles, from contemporary to classical ballet for all ages, led Cheryle to own several dance studios and direct two companies. In 1989, Cheryle became a co-founder of Class Act Dance and Performing Arts Studio. She has directed the Ballet Company for the past 30 years. Cheryle continues to be inspired by her students and would like to thank her family and friends for all their support and hard work.

Payton Beasley

Director of Class Act Dance Mini's

Payton has been with Class Act Dance since the age of nine training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary, hip-hop, and modern. She has been in the Paso Robles Chamber Ballet Company for the past seven years and has danced competitively since 2015. She recently graduated from Paso Robles High School where she was on the advanced dance team and Jazz n’ Company for all four years.

 

She has traveled to Arizona, Washington, and all over California to attend festivals, compete, and perform with Regional Dance America and The Ballet Alliance. She began teaching two years ago and became the director of the CAD Minis, the youngest performing and competing group at CAD. Payton is currently attending Fresno State University majoring in sociology. 

Nancy Beckett

Adult Tap & Jazz

Nancy began carving up the dance floor at seven years old. Following in the footsteps of her mother Margie, a professional dancer who toured with the USO during WWII, Nancy studied dance at Stephens College under the direction of Harriet Gray, finishing her degree at USIU in San Diego.

 

She and her husband Doug and their two boys Josh and Jake moved up to Paso Robles in 1982, where they followed their passion for winemaking and dancing. Her first teaching position was through the Paso Robles Parks and Recreation in the old Veterans building. In 1991, she became part owner of Class Act Dance.

 

Tap dancing has always been Nancy’s passion, and she plans to continue teaching for many more years. Nancy has been intimately involved in multiple annual productions for Class Act Dance, including the June Recital, performances at the Vine Street Christmas Celebration, a Sip of Paso and much more.

Blythe Berg

Children’s Program Coordinator

Blythe is a Paso Robles local and received her early dance training at Class Act Dance Studio. She attended UC Berkeley, earning a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on Spanish/English in 2015. While in university, Blythe attended summer intensives at LINES, Hubbard Street, Post: Ballet, and SF Conservatory of Dance and danced professionally with Bay Area companies such as No Strings Attached, Unfinished People, Danse Lumiere, and Piano Fight.

 

After graduation, Blythe worked as the lead teacher in the Children’s Division at Presidio Dance Theater in San Francisco. Escaping high living costs in the Bay Area, Blythe spent the year of 2017 traveling while working online as an English teacher. At this time, she studied dance in Berlin at the b12 Festival, Tel Aviv at Suzanne Dellal Centre, and Vienna at ImPuLsTanz Festival. Since moving back to Paso Robles in 2018, Blythe has taken 18 units of Early Childhood Education classes, worked as an Early Intervention teacher with at-risk 0-3-year-olds, and received certifications in GYROKINESIS® and INTELLIDANCE®. She enjoys sharing her love of movement with CAD’s youngest dancers in the Children’s Program.

Theresa Comstock

Ballet |  Jr Youth & Youth Ballet Director 

Theresa Broussard Comstock (B.F.A. Ballet, TCU), a Texas native, began her dance training with RDA company Beaumont Civic Ballet and continued her training at TCU where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Ballet. At TCU, Theresa worked with many renowned artists including the late Fernando Bujones who described Theresa’s dancing as having “remarkable energy and attack” paired with “her radiant personality on stage.” Her performing career has extended throughout the States and Europe with NYC based companies The Von Howard Project and BodyArt and with the Music Theatre of Wichita in West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Annie Get Your Gun, Me and My Girl and Joseph and the Amazing…

 

As a dance educator, Theresa has taught and choreographed throughout the country for various schools, studios, universities, and companies. She considers her relationships with her students one of her greatest gifts and treasures the ability to pour the knowledge and beauty of dance into each soul. Theresa is grateful to her husband, Casey, and daughters, Lily Kate and Maddy Beth, for their endless support and love!

McKenna Hartman

BAllet & Jazz

McKenna Hartman started dancing at Class Act Dance at the age of four and has been in love with dance ever since. She has been an Infinity Jazz Company and Chamber Ballet member and has attended many competitions with Infinity and Regional Dance of America with The Chamber Ballet.

 

McKenna has performed in productions of the Nutcracker as a cousin in the Family Scene, Bon Bon, Lead Soldier, Lead Rat, Lead Reindeer, Lead Angel, Arabian, Angel Queen, and Raggedy Ann. McKenna has also danced in productions of Let It Be, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland. She has been teaching at Class Act Dance since 2018. “I thoroughly love seeing my students get excited when they learn a new step.”

Melinda Hartman

Classy Kids Jazz Director | Jazz, Ballet, Tap &  Children’s Program Instructor

Melinda studied ballet at Marjorie Hall School of Dance, Cheryl Utasamia Ballet School, and Hancock College. Selected to dance at the San Francisco Ballet summer program, Melinda became a featured dancer in the summer student production. Later she studied ballet, tap, and jazz at Adkins' Dance Center in Santa Maria. While at Adkins she was a senior company member, featured dancer, and a ballet, tap, and jazz instructor.

For three consecutive years, Melinda was invited to Los Angeles Street Scene to perform and was also selected to be a member of the Great American Dance Company. She traveled twice a month to study dance at Joe Tremaine Studios, Dupree, and Al Gilbert Dance Studios in the Los Angeles area. While at Al Gilbert, Melinda was invited to participate in the tap dance instructors class (learning to instruct dancers of all levels and ages).

In 1997, Melinda opened her own dance studio in Atascadero. In 2001, in order to spend more time with her family, she turned her dance studio over to her business partner and returned to teaching at Adkins. Melinda found her way to Class Act Dance in 2007 when her daughter wanted to take dance. "I am at home here, and I love working with the children!"

Kunchang Lee

Hip-Hop & Urban Dance

Kunchang Lee has been dancing since middle school when he first saw someone spinning on their back in the cafeteria. For the past 12 years, Kunchang has taught Breakdancing, Hip-Hop, and Urban dance to students of all ages at various dance studios and after school programs. His passion is cultivating a fun and encouraging a culture of learning and excellence for his dance students.

Molly Mckiernan

Ballet 
American Ballet Theatre Certified Dance

Molly is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Dance Teacher with over 20 years of experience teaching in the Performing Arts. Her first ballet class was at the age of five at Mary Coudin Snyder’s Dance Studio. Her dance training continued at American Dance and then on to Academy of Dance in San Luis Obispo where she spent many years studying ballet and jazz as a young dancer. At the age of 10, Molly auditioned for Ballet Austin and was accepted to their Junior Company program for three years of classical ballet training under the direction of Eugene Slavin and Alexandra Nadal of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She performed many of the children’s roles in their acclaimed production of The Nutcracker.

 

Upon returning to the Academy of Dance, Molly became a member of the Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo. For more than 12 years she performed corps de ballet, solo, and principal roles for the ballet company including Snow Queen, Rose Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy. She was hired as Lead Guest Artist for two seasons of Ballet Fantastique’s Nutcracker and went on to further her training with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Molly is delighted to be a part of such a quality and professional ballet program working with NCDPAF’s Nutcracker production.

Jonathan Ritter

Guest Instructor 

Broadway credits include: WICKED, FINDING NEVERLAND, THE ADDAMS FAMILY Tour and

SWEET CHARITY starring Christina Applegate. Recently released his original EP - Lovers in a

Different Life, available on Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Music

 

.Other professional credits:

WEST SIDE STORY, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and Tokyo Disneyland. Graduated from

Atascadero High School and trained on scholarship at EDGE Performing Arts Center in

Hollywood, CA before moving to NYC, where he currently resides.

Michelle Russell

ballet 

Michelle has always had a love for dance. She began dancing ballet, tap, and jazz as a young girl and discovered a natural affinity for ballet as she began her technical training at Ballet Academy Ventura. Dancing in classic ballets alongside professionals at State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara was a dream come true. Her freshman year in high school, Michelle was on the varsity dance team and her love for all forms of dance was rekindled. She explored hip-hop, lyrical, and jazz while continuing to study ballet and take dance classes at the Ventura Community College. She participated in a summer dance intensive at the California Institute for the Arts where she studied under Gregory Dawson from Lines Ballet. As a senior in high school, Michelle started an after-school dance program at a local elementary school.

During her time at Cal Poly, Michelle earned her teaching credential and a concentration in dance. Her favorite dance classes not only stretched her artistry but gave her experience in teaching. She participated in student-produced and choreographed performances, which allowed her to collaborate with incredible artists.

After graduating from Cal Poly Michelle taught middle school for two years before she and her husband started their family. She is now a mother of two young boys whom she has the privilege to be at home with. Michelle is overjoyed to share her love of ballet and technical training with the students at Class Act Dance.

Taylor Santero

Ballet | Jazz | Tap
MFA - Jazz Company Director

Taylor began dancing at the age of four in Lancaster, CA at Dance Magic Studios. She studied and performed many forms of dance including jazz, ballet, tap, modern, contemporary, and hip-hop. Taylor danced competitively for 12 years and was a member of Antelope Valley Ballet Company for five years. While living in Lancaster, Taylor performed with and choreographed for the local Minor League Baseball dance team for three seasons. She also danced with Antelope Valley College’s performing company for two years before transferring to Cal Poly.

After moving to San Luis Obispo, Taylor was a member of Street Heat Dance Studio’s EPiDEMIC Dance Company as a choreographer and director of contemporary for three seasons. She also choreographed and performed for Duende Dance Company at Cuesta College, Orchesis Dance Company at Cal Poly, and SLO Opera. Today Taylor also choreographs for local high school drama departments. Outside of the dancing world, Taylor is the Assistant General Manager for a local summer collegiate baseball team, the SLO Blues.

Taylor graduated Cal Poly with a B.S. in Sport and Event Management and a Minor in Dance. In 2019 she earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance through St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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