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Faculty A – L

Nanci Hammond – Artistic Director

Nanci Hammond, one of the founders of The Performing Arts Center, began dancing at the age of four and was instructing children by age 15.  Born in Hanford California and raised in Fresno California she attended Denise Sommers School of Dance and opened her first dance studio, The Dance Programme, at the tender age of 20. 

In 1975, Nanci moved to Los Angeles to study fulltime at Eugene Loring's American Ballet School and within a year was working professionally on a national commercial choreographed by Jo-Jo Smith.  Since that time, she has worked professionally in a variety of theater, television, film, video and commercial venues.  Nanci has performed in such prestigious television programs as The Academy Awards, The Peoples Choice Awards, The Movie Awards and Carnivale , a weekly variety show in Rome, Italy. She has appeared in the films Thank God It's Friday, Stayin Alive as well as The Jackson Brothers, Lionel Ritchie and Kenny Rogers videos. 

Currently, in addition to her full time duties as Artistic director, Nanci can be seen on a national Heineken commercial, on an episode of Glee; she has recently performed on the Kid’s Choice Awards and is presently lending her choreographic talents to The Master of Illusions – Live tour.

Nanci credits her success as a dancer to her husband, Joseph Malone, who diligently and meticulously trained her, Alex Ruiz, who taught her to listen, Michael Peters who taught her to dance from the inside out.  She also credits her Mother and Father who instilled the idea that she could do anything and her Buddhist training which taught her to never give up.  

Kaeli Carr
Lower Division, Upper Division

Kaeli Carr has extensively trained in dance for over eighteen years at The Performing Arts Center. Throughout that time she has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip-hop, being mentored by Joe Malone. Kaeli has trained at many exclusive summer programs such as American Ballet Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Austin, and Complexions Contemporary Dance with Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden.

Kaeli has appeared in television and movies, most recently appearing in several episodes of the new ABC Family series, Bunheads. She has also appeared in ABC’s Desperate Housewives, Nick@Nite’s Hot in Cleveland, and The Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana and Shake It Up. One of her fondest memories was dancing with Mary Tyler Moore in CBS’ Movie of the Week The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.

Some of Kaeli’s live performances have included performing at the Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards with the Pussycat Dolls and in TV Moves II Live for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Performing in live theatre is a huge passion for Kaeli. Some of her favorite roles include Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Kristine in A Chorus Line, Lily St. Regis in Annie, and Mayzie in Seussical, the Musical. Kaeli is also the assistant director/choreographer with the Metropolitan Educational Theatre Network (MET2).

Irene Cho - Ballet Department Director
Upper Division

Irene Cho is a Kansas City native. Shortly after beginning pre-med studies at Stanford University, she decided to pursue a different adventure in the big City. Performing career highlights include The Phantom of the Opera (original Broadway cast, Los Angeles and San Francisco companies), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (original cast), The King & I (w/Yul Brynner, National Tour and Broadway), Funny Feet (Off Broadway), Sayonara (Papermill Playhouse), Phantom (Theatre League’s Yeston/Kopit production), Hollywood Bowl (Showboat, Carousel, South Pacific and Bernstein’s Mass), Los Angeles Opera (Rigoletto, Aida, Turandot), Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, Cleveland Ballet, American Ballet Comedy, “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” for TV, commercials, still photography work with Harvey Edwards.

Irene first joined the Performing Arts Center family as a parent seeking a reputable studio with a teaching philosophy which would provide professional- level dance training in a nurturing fashion. Over the years, she has been particularly pleased to see how the PAC policies and rules of conduct for students, parents, and staff create a safe after school environment that has enabled her children to mature into articulate, responsible, independent, confident young people.

Ms. Cho currently conducts classes in ballet technique and musical theatre skills in the Los Angeles area and in Ventura County. She also works for the Los Angeles Unified School District, assisting English language learners in the classroom as well as working with students to improve reading fluency, math, and writing skills.

Irene’s favorite career highlight is raising her 2 amazing boys Nathan and Brandon with her actor/singer husband, Norman Large. In addition to her extensive 25-year performing career, Irene has volunteered her time to produce a number of fund raising events and has raised over $1,000,000 for various charities.

Tamara Gray-Baston - Lower Division Director
Lower Division, Adult Program

Michelle Elkin – Jazz Department Co-Director, Teen Company Director
Upper Division, Adult Program

Michelle Elkin made her professional debut at age 8 in the movie musical “Annie”. Since then, she has continued to work in numerous film, television, commercial, and theater projects as a dancer and assistant choreographer such as, ABC Family show Bunheads, Boston Legal, Joan Of Arcadia, Boston Public, Ally McBeal, Charmed, American Idol, the tv series Fame LA, 3rd Rock from the Sun, That 70’s Show, Tracey Takes On, The Country Bears, Batman and Robin, Austin Powers I-III, A Time For Dancing, and Elizabethtown with Susan Sarandon. She was the associate choreographer for the films, Semi-Pro, Tropic Thunder, 10 Things I Hate About You, Cinderelmo, Looney Tunes: Back In Action, 13 Going on 30, Starsky and Hutch, tv series Viva Laughlin, the musical Sister Act, as well as the 58th Emmy Awards, and 81st Academy Awards with Hugh Jackman. Was also the Associate Choreographer of the Broadway show, Wonderland at the Marquis Theater, 2011 Emmy Awards, Dancing With The Stars. Michelle’s own choreography can be seen in such projects as the feature films Wild Hogs and What Just Happened, as well as Emmy award winning television shows, Boston Legal, Weeds, Lifetime’s reality show “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, Warren The Ape on MTV, Marvin, Marvin on Nickelodeon and Baby Daddy on ABC Family.

Jerry Evans
Adult Program

Jerry Evans has worked as a Dancer, Choreographer and Director for over 28 years.

Soon after beginning his career as a dancer, Jerry became a favorite with the top choreographers of the day. Working with the likes of Michael Kidd, Baryshnikov, Cher and many other Touring Artists.

With a very successful professional dance career as his foundation, Jerry then launched a stunning career in choreography that has been more than two decades in the making. Having choreographed numerous consecutive world tours for the likes of Reba McIntyre, Paula Abdul, and Chayanne, Jerry has proven himself to be a favorite with producers for his ability to showcase performers, earning him industry wide respect and allowing him to elicit the highest quality performances from stars and support dancers alike.

With more than 20 feature films under his belt including,: “The Scorpion King”, “Eraser”, “Naked Gun”, and “The Mask”, which won an American Choreographer Award for Best Choreography in a Feature Film to name just a few. He’s choreographed over
15 music videos including: Smashmouth ( which garnered him an American Choreographer Award Nomination ), Sugar Ray and Barbara Streisand’s “Left in the Dark” for which he was awarded a Music Video Producers Award. He’s also choreographed over 50 commercials for such high profile clients as “Ikea”, “Direct TV”, “McDonalds”, “Dr Pepper” and “GAP – Country”.

Other peer awards he’s had the honor of being bestowed with are an American Choreographer Award for Best Choreography in a Television Variety for his work on the Tracey Ullman Show and a THEA (Themed Entertainment Association Award) awarded for Best Live Show for his work on Legend of Mythica at Tokyo Disney Sea.

Not only is Jerry a widely recognized and hailed industry pro but he is an engaging teacher with high energy and a great eye to help individuals progress to the next level. Jerry teaches regularly in Los Angeles and is known industry-wide for his fluid, kinetic and captivating style.

Jackie Evans –
Upper Division, Adult Program

Jackie Evans moved to Los Angeles from Vancouver, Canada where she trained extensively in the Cecchetti Method under Cecchetti Master teacher, Heidi Zolte. The Cecchetti method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Italian ballet master and pedagogue Enrico Cecchetti (1850–1928). The training system is especially concerned with anatomy within the confines of classical ballet technique, and seeks to develop the essential characteristics of dance in its students through a rigid training regime. The goal is for the student to learn to dance by studying and internalizing the basic principles, in an effort to become self-reliant rather than imitating the movements executed by their teacher, ultimately leading to purity of line and simplicity of style which enables them to take their places in dance companies of other genres of classical ballet.

She has been the Ballet Mistress at PAC since 2008 and enjoys imparting the meticulous training that she had on to younger students and adults alike.

Joe Hall
Upper Division, Adult Program

Joe Hall, originally from Des Moines, IA moved to Los Angeles to join the Apprentice Program at The Performing Arts Center. Since graduating from the program in 2008, Joe has worked in television, film, commercials, theater, music videos, and various live shows. Some of his credits include Nickelodeon's "iCarly" and "Drake & Josh," ABC Family's "Bunheads," CW's "90210," and the live Las Vegas show, "Donny and Marie." He can also be seen in Fiona Apple's "O' Sailor" video and Cee Lo Green's "Cry Baby" video. Joe is excited to continue his teaching career at the very place where he trained. 

Lindsey Lorenz
Lower Division, Upper Division, Adult Program

Lindsey moved to Los Angeles from her hometown in Louisiana in 2001. She joined the Performing Arts Center Apprentice Program under the direction of Joseph Malone for three years. Lindsey has since performed in several Mandalone Shows, SGI events, American Choreography Awards, and Choreographer's Carnivals. She was dance captain for the Mark Goodman Tap Company and performed in “Seal With A Kiss” and “Red”. She also assisted Jerry Evans on Disney’s “Block Party” parade and the Hollywood Bowl‘s “Roaring 20‘s“. Lindsey was in “The King and I” starring Deborah Gibson. Lindsey has traveled to various cities around the country teaching and choreographing. For the past several summers she has been a teacher, assistant choreographer, and now choreographer at Teenage Drama Workshop.