BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Natalie Klein Hudson Director of Performance
(Private Acting, Dance, Piano, and Voice)
Natalie Klein Hudson was born in Tustin, California and started taking her first dance class at age four. Her parents being musicians, she grew up dancing, singing, and acting. At age ten she was a featured vocalist on The Young American’s Once In a Lullaby album, and at eleven got to perform in the album’s two hour, filmed production.
In 1998, her family moved to Gallatin, Tennessee. She continued to dance, studying ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballroom dance. She competed in solo, duet, trio, and group number with Silhouette Dance Studio. She finished her training at American Academy of Dance in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 2004.
She graduated from Cumberland University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Dance and Choreography.
In 2007, she moved back to Southern California, where she was accepted into the performance and education organization, The Young Americans. She has performed and educated children all over the country and all over the world. Her experience includes voice, theatre, and dance education, casting for productions, and business managing for five, three month tours. Two national tours and three international tours covering the countries of Japan, Russia, Siberia, Spain, Italy, Gibraltar, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, England, and Scotland. One of her career highlights, has been to work side by side with Broadway stars such as Hugh Panaro, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Kevin Odekirk, in an abridged performance of Les Miserables.
Natalie is passionate about teaching, and has been the choreographer-in-residence and director for several locations across middle Tennessee. She still performs and does film in her spare time, her most recent role was Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ SuperStar. She has also continued her dance education studying with schools such as Nashville Ballet and Vanderbilt University. Natalie graduated with a Master of Arts in Theatre from Regent University in Virginia in August of 2014.
She and her new husband, Daniel, began their married life in Charlotte, North Carolina. Natalie served as a dance, voice, acting, and piano instructor there. She was also a competitive choreographer, winning many awards including “Best Choreography” and “Best Teacher” award. Natalie is thrilled to be returning home to Gallatin, and is excited to be offering Sumner County opportunities to perform!
Kayla Witty Director of Education
(Dance and Voice teacher)
Originally from Minnesota, Kayla Witty moved to Nashville in 2013. She started performing at the age of six and developed a fast love for music and the arts. Her favorite roles include: Kathy Selden in “Singing in the Rain,” Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Zaneeta” in “The Music Man” where she performed alongside Broadway stars Hugh Panaro, Kelly O’Hara, and legend Shirley Jones (of The Partridge Family).
In 2005, she moved to southern California to join The Young Americans, an international performance and education organization. She trained and performed for 6 years in voice, choral singing, tap, ballet, and lyric dance, as well as various acting and performance modalities.
Four national tours and six international tours took her to four continents and fourteen countries including: Japan, Spain, England, France, Gibraltar, and Morocco. Though specializing in one on one training, she also cast and directed several tours and shows with the group, overseeing and ensuring the quality of almost 100 shows. Her final endeavor with the group was pioneering a new theatre project in Germany, “Dinner Theatre Europe” south of Kassel.
Kayla has judged several voice and dance auditions/competitions in the U.S. and is looking forward to working with the Tennessee talent for the first time.
Nathan Schneider Director of Music
(Voice, Guitar, and Piano teacher)
For over 15 years, Nathan Schneider has been performing in professional stage productions. He trained for seven years as a vocalist, dancer, and instrumentalist in the California based company The Young Americans. Across four continents and 15 countries, he performed on 12 international tours, and spent 3 summers at the longest running private dinner theater in the United States.
Nathan not only performed in over 400 productions, but also served as sound engineer, company manager, stage director, and casting director. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from Cumberland University in 2013.
Nathan’s favorite experiences in the arts are from his time spent in The Young Americans, where he was able to work with young students all over the world using music and the arts to inspire them to their greatest potential.
(Voice, Guitar, Cello, Bass, Drums, Mandolin)
Gideon Klein has been studying all things music his entire life. While in high school, Gideon played cello with the Nashville Youth Orchestra at Blair School of Music. He also was in a family band that produced a self-titled album, “Flamingo,” and won Battle of the Bands two years in a row!
Although he is passionate about musical instruments, Gideon is no stranger to the musical theatre world. His recent roles include the Wolf in Into the Woods and Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. In 2014, he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Arranging and Composition.
While he was a student, Gideon was involved in the university’s orchestra as a cellist, was a vocalist in the men’s choir, and helped start many student-affiliated bands.
Gideon has spent the past two summers in beautiful Harbor Springs, Michigan as a performer and band leader for the Young Americans Dinner Theatre. He also just finished a three month tour of Japan this past winter. While on tour, not only did he perform, but Gideon taught music to Japanese students as well.
When in town, Gideon tours with country artist Lucas Hogue as a guitarist and plays cello for Gallatin First United Methodist’s Church’s annual Christmas Cantata. Gideon is excited to be back in his hometown of Gallatin and looks forward to working with the Sumner County talent.
(Cecchetti Ballet, Tap, Tumbling)
Joyce Kacar is enjoying her 25th year of teaching dance. She and her husband, Milan, both natives of Youngstown, Ohio, have 6 adult children and 7 grandchildren. Trained in the Cecchetti graded system of classical ballet, she is certified with the Cecchetti Council of America as a grade 4 instructor. She received her ballet training as well as training in Al Gilbert tap and Luigi jazz at Kathi's Dance and Gymnastics Center in Springfield, Ohio where she began teaching and choreographing both dance and gymnastics at age 16. After 15 years with Kathi's, her move to Tennessee in 1990 eventually led her to CenterStage to continue her love of dance through teaching. Joyce believes that the discipline and beauty of dance gives both teacher and student opportunities to grow in virtue and graceful confidence.
Mende Taylor currently resides in Gallatin, TN with husband Lance and children Landon (17), Morgan (13) and Brennan (9). Mende discovered dance as an elementary student which brought her to student teaching at the age of 15. She has been dancing for approximately 23 years. Mende enjoys sharing the art of dance with her students and feels it is such a joy to work with children and watch them grasp dance technique. Mende is a Certified Zumba instructor and also currently teaches at Organic Fitness Factory in Gallatin.
Katrina's passion for dance began as a student at the age of three. Her dance background includes ballet, pointe, modern & lyrical, tap, jazz, hip hop, and experience competing with dance schools over the years as well as ushering her students to competition in the past. Katrina has studied and continues to pursue a variety of artistic avenues to include theatre, modeling, studio art, and photography.
She enjoys challenging her students with a blend of choreography and encourages individual flair so students will evolve his or her own style. Katrina's other great passion in life is helping people smile and is able to do so as a dental assistant in Belle Meade. She currently resides in Nashville with her husband, John, and two cats, Achilles and Conan.
Rebecca first discovered her love of dance at age nine when her family moved to Lebanon, Tennessee from New Jersey. What began as simply a fun after-school activity for Rebecca and the cousin who introduced her to it, quickly grew to be her greatest passion. Rebecca’s training began in 2005 at The Dancer’s Studio. During her time there from 2005 to 2011, she studied ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, pointe, tap, and acrobatics. She was also a member of the studio’s nationally-ranking competitive dance team from 2006 to 2010 and performed dances in jazz, hip hop, lyrical, and musical theater. In 2010, her lyrical solo won third place overall at a national competition.
On top of the regular classes Rebecca took at The Dancer’s Studio and her dance team commitments, she also had many roles in the studio’s three annual productions of “The Nutcracker”, including Dancing Doll, maid, snowflake, Snow Queen, Spanish, Arabian, Marzipan, flower, Dew Drop Fairy, and finally, Sugar Plum Fairy. In 2011, the studio decided to perform Cinderella instead of The Nutcracker, and Rebecca was cast as Cinderella at the age of 15. The first summer intensive by a professional ballet company that Rebecca ever attended was Nashville Ballet’s 2-week intensive in 2009, and her second was Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s 5-week intensive in 2011, to which she earned a partial scholarship. At that intensive, she took classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and character, and she also enrolled in classes for the academy’s fall and spring semesters. During her year and a half at Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Rebecca studied ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, and modern alongside company members and apprentices and even had the chance to take weekly ballet and pointe classes from the world-renowned ballet mistress, Elaine Thomas. After her time at Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Rebecca continued her training through the dance courses at her high school until she graduated in May of 2014.
Rebecca’s teaching experience began when she was given the opportunity to substitute assistant teach classes in various styles at The Dancer’s Studio. She then began assistant teaching ballet and jazz classes full-time and substitute teaching styles such as tumbling, hip hop, and contemporary at The Dancer’s Studio in 2010. She also had many opportunities to help choreograph dances in various styles for the studio’s spring recitals. After moving on to Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Rebecca was able to substitute teach ballet classes with a company member on a few occasions. Then, in 2013, her teaching opportunities continued when she was given her own weekly ballet and tap classes at Adonai, International. She loves to dance, teach, and choreograph whenever she has the chance to do so. Rebecca is currently a student at Cumberland University and is very excited to be a part of the team at CenterStage Performing Arts Academy to continue fostering creativity, personal growth, and a love of the arts within her students!
(Voice, Piano, Guitar)
Ellie graduated magna cum laude from the prestigious Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, where she majored in classical voice performance and also studied songwriting and performing. At USC she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
Since she was a child, Ellie has performed in musicals, operas and concerts. While still in high school, she was part of a company invited to perform an original opera and other shows at the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. The Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, where, from ages 10 to 16, she took the stage in more than a dozen musicals, holds a special place in her heart. Her roles there ranged from Marian the Librarian in The Music Man to Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, among many others.
Also an experienced choral singer, Ellie performed with the Southern California Vocal Association Honor Choir and the Idyllwild Arts Festival Choir, which performed at Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Ellie can also be seen on TV in Andrea Bocelli’s choir in his holiday special “My Christmas.”
Her newest passions -- popular music and songwriting -- brought her to Nashville, where she has been teaching as well as performing. An accomplished guitarist, she learned the instrument from her father. She also accompanies herself on piano, which she studied in college. Her latest endeavor is the mandolin.
Here in Nashville, Ellie has performed at The Bridge Bar, the Back Alley Diner and other local venues. She has been a featured soloist at The Temple, and she was honored to sing the national anthem at Greer Field before a Sounds game.
Ellie has taught a variety of subjects to students of all ages, and loves to spread her knowledge, experience, and love of music to others. She feels that working with the next generation of young performers is the perfect way to give back.