Meet Our Team
Missy Morelli - Owner/Director
Missy Morelli grew in Arvada, Colorado. She started dancing and teaching at a very young age. After being a competitive dancer for many years, she decided to pursue a career as a professional dancer. Her first big dance job was a background dancer in Disney's "High School Musical 2" when she was just 15 years old. A week before she turned 18, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams. Missy has had the opportunity to appear on "GLEE" off and on for four years, danced with LeAnn Rimes on "America's Got Talent" (AGT), as well as perform on the "AGT" national tour. She was a contestant on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 8, was chosen as the SYTYCD female wildcard of the Season 8 national tour, and danced on "The Voice" just to name a few. It wasn’t until Missy started teaching at one of the best dance studios in the country "The Rage" that she realized how much she missed teaching kids.
In August 2013 Missy Morelli had been living back in Colorado for a year when she purchased the existing business Westwoods Center of Performing Arts. Since becoming owner Missy has worked hard to improve the overall quality of dance and music classes. With over 350 kids, and an amazing staff, Westwoods Center of Performing Arts is place that promotes amazing artists as well as people.
Eric Anduha - Music Instructor
Eric Anduha is a multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Denver, Colorado who has studied genres spanning Jazz, to Romani music, to Rock, to Folk on the guitar, piano, violin, drums, bass guitar, and some accordion. Including performance for audience large and small, Eric also has experience with independent music production and engineering. He is currently in the process of earning his Bachelors Degree in Jazz Guitar performance and plans to earn a Masters Degree in the field of Guitar performance.
Beginning guitar at the age of 13, Eric has continued following his musical aspirations for the past 12 years furthering his knowledge in the fields of all things music. Eric attended private instruction for 3 years under local Colorado guitarist Jeremy Barber; during this time he also played in the Jazz Band for Martin Luther King Jr Middle School. Early on Eric discovered Gypsy Jazz and the Blues and has casually studied the genres for nearly 10 years. From there he independently studied various genres of Rock music for a few years, also learning basic drumming and piano as well as independent music production. After moving to the mountains his musical ventures introduced him to fingerpicking Bluegrass and Folk music traditions. After moving back to Denver Eric pursued more ethnic musics such as Klezmer and Romani music which led him to pursue Violin and Accordion, instruments that suit the genres of music more appropriately. Eric has played violin in a local Folk-Punk band from 2012 to the past summer of 2015, as well as a Jazz Combo and is currently enrolled in the Jazz and Improvised American Music program at Metropolitan State University.
Eric’s plans for the future include studying abroad in Germany and France, Eastern-Europe, as well as audition and attend either Berklee College of Music or The Julliard School to pursue a Masters Degree and eventually pursue a Ph.D. in Music.
Janina Craiger - Dance Instructor and Intensive Company Director
Janina Dingeman, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, began dancing at the age of three, and competing at age eight. She then attended the University of Iowa where she graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance and Performing Arts Entrepreneurship. There she had the privilege of performing works by Bill T. Jones and faculty members. In her summers she attended Jacob's Pillow and American Dance Festival, once as a performance intern and then as a dancer on scholarship. There she performed a rework of Jerome Robbins's "West Side Story" as a soloist as well as many others. This lead to an apprentice with Pilobolus for two seasons. Janina has done intensives with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pilobolus, American Ballet Theatre on scholarship, The Joffery Ballet on scholarship, and many more. For the past ten years she has taught a wide variety of techniques to all ages and choreographed for companies around the Midwest and Denver Metro Area. She is excited for another great season with Westwoods Center of Performing Arts.
Jenifer Castillo - Dance Instructor
Hey! My name is Jenifer and I am a mom of two little boys ages 2 and 6. They are my world and I love watching them grow everyday! We love to be outdoors, going on trips, having competitions between each other, swimming and just being together as a family!
I have been teaching dance for 15 years. The different types of dance that I have taught have been Tap, Ballet, Poms, Hip-Hop, Ballet/Tap Combo and Lyrical. I was a Colorado Crush Cheerleader and LOVED every minute of it! I have such a passion for teaching kids and watching them grow from the start of when they first come to class. I enjoy seeing the accomplishments the kids make and when they learn something new how quick they catch on and get so excited. I look forward to each and every year meeting new students and getting to know them and their families.
Kevin Larkin - Music Instructor
Kevin Larkin grew up in a musical family in Troy, Michigan and has been teaching at Westwoods since 2011. He began playing piano at an early age and got his first guitar when he was 16. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 2004 with a degree in Structural Engineering. While in college he discovered Celtic and Bluegrass music and began writing songs and performing at open mics. In 2006 he moved to North Mississippi and founded the Mayhem String Band. The bluegrass band performed over 200 shows a year across the country and got to open for BB King and the Avett Brothers. While in the South, Kevin learned the harmonica and accordion and began producing music in the studio. In 2010, after the band decided call it quits, he moved back to Colorado and started Chimney Choir. They have toured all over the country and have performed at Red Rocks, the Arvada Center, and the Bluebird. Their shows usually include dancers, actors, projection and comedy. In 2015, they wrote the full length ballet Boomtown with Denver based dance company Wonderbound. This year, Chimney Choir received the Career Advancement Award Grant from the Colorado Creative Industries and performed at the Governors Award Ceremony.
When not teaching or playing with Chimney Choir, Kevin produces electronic music and likes to go camping in the mountains. He loves Westerns and books about science. Most of all, he loves sharing music with anyone, anytime, and anywhere!
Margo Grieve - Dance Instructor and Director of Education
Ms. Margo began dancing at the age of 6 in her home town of Arvada, Colorado. From the moment she stepped foot into the dance studio, she fell in love with the art. She then began to teach and train in 1994 at the studio where she took lessons as a child. She was able to study under exceptional choreographers like, Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Marguerite Derriks and many more in the industry. While teaching full time Margo received a Bachelor degree in Psychology with a minor in Holistic Health. Margo also choreographed regional and national level routines in Lyrical, Tap and Jazz. She has also coached and choreographed for many local high school pom and cheer squads and performance groups in the area. She only stopped teaching briefly when she and her husband, Joe, had their three beautiful children, Joey, Grace and Wyatt. When Grace began to dance, Ms. Margo jumped, enthusiastically back into the Dance world and hasn’t stopped bringing her energy to WCPA since she entered the doors.
Melissa Cooper - Dance Instructor and Marketing Director
Melissa Cooper was born and raised in Santa Clarita, California where she started dancing at the age of three. Her love of dance grew quickly and she began competing on the highly competitive company at Dance Studio 84 and went on to dance for the national champion Hart Dance Team. In 2009 Melissa moved to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder where she received a degree in History. After getting settled in Colorado, Melissa knew there was a hole in her life where dance should be and she began teaching as much as possible. She has taught at many studios in Colorado, is a staff member at National Dance Alliance, and has been coaching poms for 3 years. After years of teaching, she has developed a passion for helping dancers understand how to use their body in a way that makes sense to them. Melissa loves to challenge dancers to constantly improve and work hard while still empowering them and allowing them to develop their confidence. As a teacher, she has come to understand that each dancer learns differently and has worked hard to develop techniques that her dancers can relate to. In 2013 Melissa's hard work paid off when she was recognized with NDA's “Best Teacher” Award after her first season with the company. Though she loves to perform and fine tune her own craft as a dancer, Melissa has a true passion for teaching that she loves to share with dancers of all ages. Melissa is so excited to be working at WCPA!
Miranda Meyer - Dance Instructor
Miranda Meyer is a native of Colorado and has been dancing competitively since the age of 3. She attended Arvada West High School where she was on the Varsity Poms team for 4 years. She danced in college at Avila University in Kansas City, MO where they placed 3rd at UDA Collegiate Nationals. Miranda was a Denver Nuggets Dancer for 3 years and traveled to Europe & Asia to dance and represent the NBA. Miranda was a member of two local professional dance teams: Dream Project and Rockstarz. Miranda has been an instructor for the National Dance Alliance for 10 years and was a company representative in Tokyo, Japan during the summer of 2010 where she taught dance for 3 months. Miranda previously coached the competitive dance teams at Peak Athletics. Outside of the studio, she enjoys choreographing competition routines for local High School Pom teams. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her fiancé Thomas and traveling.
Jaren Dietsch - Dance Instructor
I am highly passionate about dance in all aspects and have always aspired to teach and foster the love of dance. I also find a strong technical base to be immeasurably important and find joy in teaching others how to correctly perform skills. I am beyond excited to be a member of the amazing Westwoods Center of Performing Arts staff and to teach these amazingly talented students.
Sarah Tallman - Dance Instructor
Sarah Tallman was born and raised in the state of Colorado. With a passion and a flair for the dramatic, her early training pushed her through the rigors of classical ballet, delightfully exposed her to music and theatrics. Sarah has studied with Cheri Noble, Lizanne McAdams-Graham, Arthur Leeth, and Jeff Rockland. Sarah holds a BA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Northern Colorado. She has participated in the Inside ODC workshop, Baardar Danse Akadamiet in Oslo, Norway and Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School. Sarah has danced with David Taylor Dance Theatre, Kim Robards Dance, Lynn Barr, Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet and Ballet Nouveau Colorado. Under the general and artistic direction of Pelham Pearce, Sarah has danced as a Principal Artist with Central City Opera. She has powerfully performed to critical acclaim in Danny Pelzig's Carmen, as “Anna II” in Ken Cazan's Seven Deadly Sins and “Dream Laurey” in Ken Cazan's and Danny Pelzig's Oklahoma!. Currently in her 13th season with Wonderbound she has danced numerous leading roles by award winning Artistic Director and Choreographer Garrett Ammon. Her experiences at Wonderbound have allowed her to work and collaborate alongside musicians, poets, mentalists, and visual artists. Since joining Wonderbound, her technical prowess and performance has been guided and largely influenced by Producing Director and Ballet Mistress, Dawn Fay. Sarah has been featured in world premiers by Robert Mills, Alex Ketley, Maurya Kerr, Amy Seiwert, Mark Godden, Ma Cong and Lauri Stallings. An accomplished choreographer, she has created several works for Wonderbound including See Yourself, In Between Seams, Intimate Letters, Son of Man and Peering Through Cracks and Knotholes. Her newest work, If These Walls Could Talk premiered in April 2017 for Oklahoma City Ballet. Sarah was the 2015 recipient of the National Choreographers Initiative where she created The Door in the Wall. She has collaborated with visual artists Laura Merage, and Virginia Folkestad, as well as the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, the Denver Confluence String Quartet, Denver’s Playground Ensemble, The Colorado Symphony and Denver’s super group comprised of Ian Cooke Band and Chimney Choir. Her work, much like her performance, is influenced by the theatrical and is guided by the humility that permeates the human spirit. She believes art and the stimulus of music and movement can awaken the senses in such a way that our reality can be that of a dream. It is through this symbiotic synergy that her unique joie de vivre and her intense physical expression creates a massive canvas for unleashing matters of the heart, mind and soul. At this juncture we see that her work is motivated by a certain savoir- faire that serves as information to encapsulate the body and spirit. These aspects, alongside the power of the physical body, is where Sarah sees the core of artistic expression and personal experience. The simple things that make Sarah smile include twinkling lights, and the color orange. She resides in Denver with her loving husband, and their pets.
Gabe Holt-Jones - Dance Instructor
I have been dancing my entire life, however within the past two years I have explored the world of stage and urban dance by going more in-depth in each style. My senior year of high school, I joined COhe One Motive, a choreography-based competition crew in Denver, Colorado. I grew up in Aurora, where I later participated in several sports and extracurricular activities at Regis Jesuit High School. I have two cats, and enjoy making music as well as spending time with my family. I believe that dance is not just an art form, but also a way to creatively tap into one's self.
Lindsey Judd - Dance Instructor
Lindsey Judd is an energetic teacher and motivated dancer. With a BA in Human Development and minor in Elementary education, accompanied by several years of professional dance experience, she has found a passion in teaching dance for the last 11 years. Lindsey enjoys teaching jazz, pom, contemporary, vinyasa and restorative yoga. Her professional experiences include Colorado Crush Girls, Denver Nuggets Mob Squad, Wild Bunch, Dream Project, Rockstarz, A'dore, National Dance Association and Rogue Co. Other professional positions include choreographing game dances for the Denver Outlaws Dancers and coaching the Broomfield High School Junior Varsity Poms. During the day, Lindsey does inside sales for Glo Skin Beauty helping people achieve their most beautiful skin and in her free time, she enjoys trail running when its warm, snowboarding when it's cold, traveling and spending time with her adopted pup Scruffs.
Meghan Morelli - Dance Instructor
Meghan grew up in Arvada Colorado and graduated from Arvada West High School. Growing up, Meghan was a competitive dancer and has won numerous regional and national awards. Meghan has trained in ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz, musical theater and hip hop. Following high school Meghan attended the University of Northern Colorado where she obtained her teaching degree in Special Education. While at UNC Meghan was a four-year member of the Sugar Bears collegiate dance team. While on the team Meghan did team choreography and served as a team captain. The past four years Meghan has taught at WCPA over the summers and choreographed dances such as the recital opening number and Dads and Daughters. This fall Meghan will be teaching for Boulder Valley schools and is excited to be a part of the WCPA team on a regular basis!
Danielle Brunette - Dance Instructor
Originally from Michigan, Danielle has been involved in the dance world since age 2 when she began studying Cecchetti ballet at her local dance studio. From then on, she was hooked. At age 9 she was asked to join the competitive dance team, one that competed all over the country and specialized in jazz, tap, and contemporary. At age 13 she was asked to become a teaching assistant, and quickly progressed over the next few years to an instructor. Upon her high school graduation in 2005, after a tough decision to stay closer to home and pursue a degree in Psychology instead of Dance, she accepted a full time teaching position with Perry Woodard School of Dance. During that time, she worked in multiple roles as one of the head choreographers for the competitive team, the head of the acrobatic department, and instructor for hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, and tumbling. Danielle also has a great deal of experience on stage as choreographer, dancer, and singer for several largely acclaimed productions of shows such as Cats, Chicago, and Footloose, in which she performed in all. She is very excited to begin her tenure here at WCPA, and looks forward to bringing her teaching style and energy to a new studio!
Ben White - Music Instructor
Motivated individual with over a decade of guitar experience. Enjoy inspiring teens and kids to improve and continue growth in their musical abilities. Believes an energetic, low pressure learning environment brings the most out of the student. Ability to teach songs that the students want to learn. Experience with promoting creativity and creating exercises that keep students engaged and not bored. Competent in teaching a wide range of musical genres while promoting the passion of music to a younger generation.
Rekha Ohal - Music Instructor
Since 1995 I have made my living as a professional musician, playing and singing for diverse audiences ranging from governors and senators to best-selling authors and even rappers. I’ve taught vocal classes (How To Be A Nightclub Singer) at Colorado Free University, and recently completed training for Music Together, an early childhood music program. Last spring I auditioned for a role at the Bitsy Theater and after acting in two shows with them was asked to be the musical director. My primary goal with music instruction is two-fold: keep the love for music brightly burning, and assess each student’s musical aspirations in order to be able to most productively assist them on their musical journeys.
Vickie Morelli - Creative Director
Christie Piper - Financial Director
Hi I'm Christie Piper I am the office manager at WCPA. I have lived in Arvada all my life. I am married and have 4 kids 1 boy and 3 girls. My three girls have all danced at WCPA since the age of 3. I have worked at WCPA for 9 years and I love my job.
Vickie Morelli has been involved in all aspects of dance studio life. She is the proud mom of six, including two dancers. Her daughter Meghan is one of the captains of the University of Northern Colorado dance team, and of course Missy who owns WCPA. Vickie and Rick have been married for 26 years and also are blessed with two grandchildren. Vickie began dancing at the age of three and trained extensively in ballet, tap and jazz at the Andrej Palinsky Studio of Dance. At the age of 11 Vickie auditioned and was accepted into the Flint Ballet Theater. At the age of 15 Vickie began teaching dance and continued to teach for over 30 years. The challenge of teaching the youngest dancers has always been her passion. In addition she has taught ballet, tap, jazz and turns and leaps classes. Vickie has choreographed and trained mini and junior competition teams who were awarded numerous regional and national top ten high score awards. When her daughter Missy was young Vickie attempted to sew her first dance costumes and hasn’t stopped sewing for the last twenty years. Her costume designs have been seen on High School and College dance teams. She has sewn competition costumes for many Colorado dance studios and has even had the honor of winning the National “Best Costume Award”. Working at the front desk for Westwoods Center of Performing Arts is fun for Vickie who just enjoys being around the fantastic kids of WCPA!