Our Staff

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.


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.


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 Gray -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. 


Amanda Casas  -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.


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


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.


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.




Carol Frazier is an Internationally known recording artist, vocal coach and artist development manager that has recently returned to the Monterey Peninsula to join the CAPA team of instructors. Frazier has taught voice lessons for over twenty years and is the creator of SING with Carol Frazier, a Online Singing course for all ages.




Nicole Costa - Studio Manager 

Joy Ellis