EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | CREATIVE DIRECTOR
David Kelly's academic career in the fine arts includes graduate degrees from Kent State University, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Cleveland Institute of Art. His fine-art skills have translated into a 25 year career as a television and film art director that includes a long list of distinguished credits for prime time television sitcoms and variety specials for all the major networks. He is best known for his production design of the MTV Movie Awards short film comedy vignettes from 1994 to 2004.
David has also been the art director for many musical tours and concerts, including Diana Ross's world tour and Barbra Streisand's farewell tour and most recently Cher's new show at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas. He is also working on a new show for the San Diego Zoo's outdoor amphitheater set to open this summer. Additional works in progress include 4 live show attractions being developed for a major casino resort currently under construction in Singapore. In addition to being an art director David has produced many live dance/variety shows around the world.
In honor of Miss Judy, and as the owner of San Clemente Dance and Performing Arts Center, David is dedicated to making the school continue to grow and flourish as a world class center for the performing arts.
Gretchen Akers leads SCDPAC studio director efforts. She provides superior leadership in all aspects of managing a small business. Her background includes hiring professional and technical staff, implementing budget reductions, writing business plans, and installing effective management information systems.
Gretchen has been responsible for managing a family owned restaurant, Branch Manager at American Savings Bank, Senior Product Manager at Ingram Micro and President and Owner of Tahiti Sweetie. She has several years of community service in San Clemente. She has served on the Board of Directors for SCLL. She was an officer and board member for the SC Tritons Travel Ball nonprofit program.
She has experience in all aspects of financial forecasting, resource allocation, fund management and budgeting. Gretchen has a proven track record in administrative expense reductions, while improving overall staff morale and client confidence. She has been very active in raising thousands of dollars for charitable causes both locally and nationally. In addition, she has been involved in various startups and joint ventures.
Gretchen grew up in the Bay Area where she came from a family of performers. She moved to Orange County after she got married. She grew up with the love for dance starting with the Filipiniana Dance Troupe. Gretchen has been with SCDPAC since 2007 along with her daughters who are now continuing the family's passion.
TECHNIQUE, LYRICAL, JAZZ AND CONTEMPORARY
Brittany Bently Wells began her formative dance training as a child at Rolann's School of the Dance (one of Dancer Magazine's top 50 competition studios). While studying at that studio, she also continued her classical training at the Southern Ballet Theatre/Orlando City Ballet School and Boca Ballet Theatre.
Brittany attended the prestigious summer program at the Joffery Ballet School in NYC while training with Ballet Mistress Trinette Singleton as well as Pacific Coast Dance Fest in Long Beach, CA and UCLA's summer intensive. Brittany is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, where she was accepted on scholarship. While in college, Brittany trained with original Fosse Dancer Jane Lanier, broadway veteran Jon Engstrom, Marina Benedict, and mentored by Chryssie Whitehead. Film/TV credits include "Glee", "90210", "Vamps", "Platypus: the Musical" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". She was a dancer for electro pop artist Cheeks and danced with the hip hop group Urban Blush. Regional theatre credits include "Dream Laurey" in Oklahoma, "June" in Gypsy, and "Ruby" in Dames at Sea.
Brittany has received numerous choreography awards for her solo and group routines at regional and national dance competitions; believing that technique comes first and trains all her students to go on to have a professional dance career.
Danielle Luna Braithwaite began her dance training with some of the industry's top professionals. She joined Youth America Ballet at age 11 and began competing with local competition teams. Danielle received her jazz, lyrical, and modern training from Cheryl Klaft. She earned her classical ballet training with Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky, former principals of the Moscow Classical Ballet in Russia.
After training as a classical and commercial dancer for eight years, Miss Luna began dancing with the SCHS Dance Team, where her team earned four national titles. Danielle had the privilege to train with Kelly Devine, Tim Stevenson, Leann Alduenda, Tyson Garner, & Mike Esperanza. In 2006, Miss Luna was one of seventy-five dancers selected internationally to study with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City where she continued training in ballet, jazz, modern, African, and Horton.
Throughout her training, Miss Luna competed as a soloist at the regional and national level and earned several overall awards and titles. In 2009, Miss Luna was accepted as 1 of only 25 freshmen into the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Dance Department, which ranks in the top 10 in North America and has earned a degree in Communications and Dance. She remains a member of the CSULB National Society of Collegiate Scholars for undergraduate students who academically rank in the top 20%. She has been invited to teach several master classes all throughout Southern California. She is also assistant coach to the national champion, SCHS Dance Team. Her students have been accepted to many renowned college dance departments throughout the U.S.
Miss Luna's classical and commercial training has inspired her to train well-rounded students who involve themselves in several forms of dance, and continues to produce award-winning pieces of choreography. Her students have achieved many overall and special judges awards throughout various regional and national competitions. She also continues to win several choreography awards throughout various dance competitions. Miss Luna continues to produce exceptional dancers and pieces and hopes to continue in her successful career in choreography and dance education.
Mrs. Kristine Houston has been teaching classical ballet for over 20 years. Her students
are chosen regularly to train at summer and year round programs by companies including
The School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kaatsbaan, and The Jose Manuel Carreno International Summer Intensive to name a few, along with many international companies. Mrs. Houston’s students also receive scholarships to top colleges and programs and have placed at the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix Competition. Some of her students have gone on to professional careers with major companies such as The Boston Ballet and Alvin Ailey.
Before she began teaching, Mrs. Houston performed principal and soloist roles in ballets
such as La Bayadere, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Vivandiere, Spartacus, The Firebird, Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, and Corazones de Espana, among others. During her early training, Mrs. Houston was selected to receive the Elly Cameron
Scholarship and was also given a special technical award while training at the Orange County High School of the Arts.
Michael received his first 10 years of training from former principle dancers of Houston and San Antonio Ballet. His Supplemental training and classical education over the following 18 years includes master classes and private coaching from world renowned ballet masters and principle dancers from Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi,Kirov,and Joffrey Ballet. Michael’s stage experience includes lead roles in Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Black Swan, Coppelia, La Bayadere, and Paquita. As Ballet Master, Mr. Houston’s students have received countless awards from the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix over the past 15 years, including senior division regional Champion and many year round pre-professional scholarships, including a full tuition scholarship to Ballet West this year.Mr. Houston’s trained students currently hold contracts with many professional ballet companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West, Alberta Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and so far in 2017, with Boston Ballet. Mr. Houston’s long term student was just nominated for the National Princess Grace Award Scholarship in classical Ballet.Mr.Houston has recently been acknowledged for his ballet training in both Pointe and Capezio magazine respectively.
Beginning Jazz, Lyrical, and Combo
Ellie chandler started out in Tokyo, Japan at Studio One Dance Academy strictly training in ballet. She then moved to the United States in 2008 and trained at Fired Up Dance Academy in the styles of ballet, modern, contemporary, tap, lyrical, and hip hop! She also grew up doing dance competition and won many awards such as, senior overall convention schalorships at 24seven, Radix, And Jump! She’s also awarded many first place awards at Spotlight dance competition , American dance awards, Celebrity dance competition, and many more! After high school she trained at Point Park University as a dance major, Point Park is one of the top five university for dancers to train at! At Point Park she got to train with Keisha Lalama, Jason Mcdole, and Garfield lemonius. She is currently working at celebrity dance convention and competition and touring with the company. She is excited to inspired young dancer and teach them the true meaning of what it takes to become a dancer!
Combo & Mini Program
Taylor Spang has been dancing since she was three years old. She began training at Dance Studio 84 in Valencia, CA. When she moved to San Clemente, she joined San Clemente Dance and has been dancing there for 7 years. Taylor assisted dance classes alongside Ms. Brittany for three years, and began subbing at the studio a year ago. She has always found a love for dance and a love for working with children, so she was thrilled to become apart of the SCDPAC staff.
In 2016 Taylor attended American Ballet Theater’s (ABT) summer intensive at The University of Texas. Taylor has always found a joy in performing- especially the Nutcracker. She has been performing in the Nutcracker for 9 years- starting as a snow angel and in her final year of the Nutcracker performing The Sugarplum Fairy. Taylor has also competed with San Clemente Dance for four years. In June 2018, Taylor was awarded the Miss Judy Scholarship which demonstrates her desire and dedication to the discipline of dance. She hopes to share her love and knowledge of dance to her students.
Gary Roberts has performed on stages such as the Ford Amphitheater in LA to the MIM Music Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona where he recently danced to celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Gary has shared the stage with legendary performers such as Chester A. Whitmore, The Opus One Big Band Orchestra, Norma Miller, Skip Cunningham and James Janisse. He has had the honor of working with tap greats such as Channing Cook Holmes, Joy Hewitt, Hiroshi Hamanishi, and also with Christy Hernandez and Leah Silva as a member of Encore Tap Ensemble. Gary also recently performed at the Hollywood Fringe Festival to rave reviews in the award winning original production Office Beat, with the all-star tap company, Tap Overload under the direction of Gabe and Mindy Copeland. He has performed in live musicals and has many regional theatre credits under his belt. Favorite Credits include: Diesel (West Side Story, Taylor PAC), Johnny/Ensemble (Funny Girl, IVRT), Atlas/Ensemble (Mary Poppins, Performance Riverside), Humpty Dumpty/Ensemble (Shrek, Performance Riverside), and Waiter/Ensemble (Hello Dolly, Haugh PAC). Gary also originated the role of Harry the Hoofer in the world premier of Temptation!, a new musical based on Arthur Miller’s play, "The Creation of the World and Other Business" in which his featured solo was praised as "a terrific tap dance" by the LA Times. He has also danced as a swing dancer in Swing into Spring! - A Big Band Musical Revue at the Encore Dinner Theatre in Tustin, CA. In addition to performing, Gary teaches and choreographs for schools, theaters and studios throughout Southern California including Orange County School of the Arts. He is also a resident teacher for TAP-a-holics at Evolution Studios in North Hollywood and has taught at Millennium Dance Complex, and Debbie Allen Dance Academy in LA.
BROADWAY JAZZ, CONTEMPORARY, JAZZ, TECHNIQUE, COMBO CLASSES
Lauren Jackson is an accomplished dancer, choreographer and energetic teacher who has been training since the age of two. She received the majority of her training at various competitive and ballet-focused studios throughout Riverside County. Her love for dance has led her to perform at many venues including World of Dance, The Rose Parade, Disneyland, and Carnival Cruise Lines, The Claire Trevor Theatre, San Diego White Box Dance Theatre, and numerous college campuses. In addition to her 21 years of dancing, she has 9 years of teaching experience. Lauren’s distinctive choreography has received numerous high point and top choreography awards at regional and national competitions. Her students have been recipients for many scholarship awards, cash prizes and have gone on to be represented by top agencies. Lauren recently graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and is proud and extremely excited to share her knowledge and love for dance, the arts, and life with her students!
A former competitive gymnast, Lindsey has always had a love for fitness. She was a gymnast for seven years with the United States Gymnastics Federation and for her High School. She thoroughly enjoyed those years of competing and performing with various dance & choir groups. Since then she’s been an avid Yogi traveling to yoga festivals for practice & retreat. With her gymnastics and dance background, combined with her love of fitness, PiYO has been a natural fit and has become her passion. After practicing the format for three years, Lindsey is excited to be in the studio and share it with others. The Veale family has been part of SCDPAC since 2012 when her girls started taking dance classes and discovering their own passion for performing. She is excited to be sharing her love of fitness and fun exercise with her kids and everyone in her classes. Lindsey grew up in San Diego where she was part of a military family who made California there home base. In 2004, she and her husband, Marc, moved to San Clemente when they were ready to start a family and be closer to grandparents. A mom of three, Lindsey can often be found driving her kids to dance, gymnastics and soccer.