Meet Your Professional Instructors

Steven Areté / Contact

Steve has 35 years working in the theatrical/entertainment community providing professional lighting for theme parks, concerts, cruise ships, festivals and corporate events.  He holds a B.S. in Technical Theater.


Becky Couch / Contact

Becky was the owner and operator of Becky’s Dance World in Lakeland, Florida for 27 years.  She has choreographed shows for Disney and Epcot and has performed with the Radio City Rockettes and Bob McGraph.


Jim Eastin / Contact

Jim has performed as an actor, oral interpreter and storyteller for over 40 years.  He is currently the President of the Smoky Mountain Storytellers.


Kate Laciak / Contact

Kate received her professional dance training from Marymount Manhattan, the Broadway Dance Center, and Long Island University.  She has been a distinguished director, choreographer, coach, and teacher since 1992.


Elena Garcia / Contact

Elena has been a professional circus performer for over 25 years.  She has performed with Circus Circus in Las Vegas, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, the Shrine Circus, Circus Vargas, and most recently with Pigeon Forge’s own Pirate Voyage.


Jeremy Garcia / Contact

Jeremy is the trampoline and tumbling coach for Dolly Parton’s Pirate’s Voyage.  He is a 7th generation circus performer.


Kathy Leedy / Contact

Kathy studied piano for 13 years and has played for hundreds of professional, community, worship, and theatrical organizations.  She has instructed students from beginner to advanced.


Corkey Miller / Contact

Corkey has been training and handling animals professionally for over 40 years. She has worked with numerous animals for commercials, television, and stage including wolves, dogs, cats, parrots, horses, and a Siberian lynx.


Donna Nowak / Contact

Donna is an international instructor for the face and body art industry with over 15 years in the field.  She has developed her own line of airbrush makeup that is regularly used in movies, theme parks, and theatrical productions.


Amber Schultz / Contact

Amber has extensive experience working in and around theater.  She has served as Lead Costumer/Designer for multiple productions including Creative Theater’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Elf Jr., and the independent video series, Caraway Corners.


Ron Soloman / Contact

Ron has served as drama and children’s pastor at several churches where he incorporated puppetry into many of his productions.  He has extensive experience as a showrunner for shows from Maine to Houston to Pigeon Forge, to name but a few.


Rudy Uresti / Contact

Rudy graduated from Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey’s Clown College in 2012, where he eventually became one of the instructors.  He has worked for over 16 years in a variety of shows ranging from rodeos to theme parks, to Disney, and Ringling Brothers.


Christine Thompson / Contact

Christine received her undergraduate degree in Theatre and specialized SFX training through the Master Makeup Program at the Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles. She has over 7 years of experience providing special make-up techniques for opera, film, television, haunted houses, and photoshoots.


Christopher Wood / Contact

Chris has worked professionally as an actor, producer and director for stage, film, and television. He is continually striving to improve his skills having obtained his BFA in Theatre, a Masters in Production, trained with the Society of American Fight Directors, freelanced under such companies as AR Media, Regent Films, CBN, and Lone Tree Films, and served as professor/director for two North Carolina liberal arts programs.