Kathy Martinez : Artistic Director, Founder, Owner

Kathy Martinez

Artistic Director, Founder, Owner

Kathy Martinez has studied all forms of dance for over 25 years. She has worked with many well-known choreographer and  travels throughout the U.S. as a National Talent Competition Judge. Her performance company (competition) students and groups consistently place in the top 10 at National Talent Competitions. Many of her students have been chosen to perform in the Muny Opera, the State Ballet of Missouri, Commercials and National Television Shows. Many have won local and National Beauty Contests, as well as scholarships from Colleges and National Dance Camps. Ms. Martinez is one of the areas Top Choreographers and the dance studio is considered one of the best-run studios in the region. She is known throughout the community for her commitment and dedication to educate children and for her successful business strategies.

She opened St. Peters Academy of Dance in 1988 and recently received an award from the City of St. Peters for operating a business in St. Peters for over 25 years.

Steven Martinez : Owner

Steven Martinez


Steve Martinez has a masters degree and over 25 years of sales, marketing and fundraising experience.   He is currently the Chief Development Offices for the National Council Society of St. Vincent dePaul, raising over $6M annually.  His strong business and marketing skills has assisted in building a stronger business.  Mr. Martinez joined the buisnsess in 1988 and continues his active role.

Lynda Collins : Office Manager

Lynda Collins

Office Manager

Mandy Moore Julie Opperman Steven Martinez Wendy Eggleston, Retired

Macie Breiding : Instructor

Macie Breiding


Macie grew up dancing at St. Peters Academy of Dance. She danced for over ten years and was a member of our competition team for many years. After graduation she continued as a teacher’s assistant and then teacher. In addition to her job at SPAD, Macie is currently majoring in Occupational Therapy at Maryville University.

Kaitlin Nelson : Instructor

Kaitlin Nelson


Kaitlin has been dancing for over 20 years and grew up at St. Peters Academy of Dance. She has trained not only here but also in LA. She has trained in all forms of dance in addition to her experience competing, performing, judging and choreography.

Stephanie Hogan : Instructor

Stephanie Hogan


Stephanie has been teaching dance in the St. Louis area for over 35 years. After operating her own studio, The Turning Pointe Ballet Arts Academy, she joined the faculty at Saint Louis Ballet School in 2003 and has been the Children’s Cast Ballet Mistress for Saint Louis Ballet Company productions since 2006. For the past several years, she has expanded her teaching to include coaching several synchronized ice skating teams in ballet technique. Her performance experience includes leading roles in St .Louis Civic Ballet’s The Nutcracker and Kinder Konzerts at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony, lecture demonstrations, and representing the United States at the International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland, dancing throughout Scotland and in London. She is a graduate of University of Missouri-Kansas City with a degree in Biology and a minor in dance with ballet emphasis; during her college years, she taught ballet in the Kansas City area, and performed with the UMKC Dance Ensemble and Kansas City Ballet under the direction of the late Tatiana Dokoudovsky. More recently, she has performed as character artist in Saint Louis Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet.

Stephanie is thrilled to be able to share her knowledge and love of ballet with the students at St. Peters Academy of Dance.

Jenna Martinek : Instructor

Jenna Martinek


Jenna has been trained in all forms of dance for more than 20 years. She has competed for 10 years. Jenna graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Bethany Puzzella : Instructor

Bethany Puzzella


Bethany began her early training at SPAD before dancing and training professionally with early St. Louis Ballet .Bethany also attended Vail International's Summer Intensive with the Bolshoi Ballet for two summers on scholarship; She also attended Houston Ballet's summer program and graduated from the University of Kansas in 2003 with a B.S. in accounting and business administration and received her MBA from Lindenwood University. Ms. Bethany is excited to be back in the studio and teaching at SPAD!

Gretchen Kassel : Instructor

Gretchen Kassel


Gretchen was trained by the late Judy Evans of Gou-Jon Academy of Dance in St. Charles, Missouri.  She performed for over 13 years while attending Gou-Jon in the styles of Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Lyrical.  While attending St. Charles West High School, Gretchen was a member of the JV Poms and Varsity Dance and Drill team under the direction of Karen Bahr.  After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor's in Science-Education, Gretchen coached the Junior Varsity Pom squad at Parkway Central High School. She previously taught at Dance Experience Performing Arts Studio, choreographing dance routines for recital performances and competition.  Her students have won top awards while her choreography has been recognized at numerous competitions.  Gretchen has also guest choreographed for several high school dance teams in the area. She currently teaches Second Grade in the Wentzville School District and has her Master's Degree in technology from the University of Missouri- Columbia.

Ashley Oshel : Instructor

Ashley Oshel


Ashley was born and raised right here in St. Peters. She studied dance for over 15 years. She performed solos, duets, trios, and group routines. She studied all different forms of dance and especially enjoyed lyrical, hip hop, and jazz. She went onto Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Where she was on the nationally ranked dance team. She served as captain and assistant coach while being a part of the Raven Dance Team. While getting her Bachelors in Athletic Training and minor in dance, she was part of a student run dance studio called the Raven School of Dance. She taught preschool as well as choreographed and danced in student pieces. During the summers in college, Ashley was a guest choreographer at the Dance Arts Center and Missouri Western State University. When Ashley graduated in 2010, she got a job offer to teach at the Dance Arts Center in St. Joseph, Missouri, She worked at the Dance Arts Center for 1 year before she got married and relocated back to St. Peters in the fall of 2011. Since then, she has been a personal trainer at Curves in St. Peters and raising her son Bryce. She is beyond ecstatic to be back in the dance world and ready to share her passion and talent of dance to the students at St. Peters Academy of Dance!

Jill Shadden : Instructor

Jill Shadden


Jill Shadden graduated from Truman State University in 2002 with an MA in Elementary Education. Jill has taught ballet, tap, and jazz for over 15 years. She has competed regionally and nationally through the collegiate level. Jill also danced for the River City Rascals Diamond Girls and for the Truman State Showgirls. She is proud to be an instructor at St. Peters Academy of Dance, where she was one of Ms Kathy’s first students, 21 years ago. Ms Jill enjoys working with our dancers and is proud to ensure that they receive a solid dance education.

Heidi Bennett : Instructor

Heidi Bennett


Heidi Bennett holds a BA degree in dance from Mercyhurst College in Erie PA under the direction of Tauna Hunter. Prior to college, she trained at Alexandra Ballet in Chesterfield, MO under the direction of Alexandra Zaharias. She has also studied with many local teachers including Amy Scheers, Norma Gabriel, and Nathalie LeVine. She attended summer programs including The Rock School, North Carolina Dance Theater, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. After college, she performed professionally with Ballet Theater Midwest in Cincinnati, OH under the direction of Daniel Simmons. In 2012, she returned to St. Louis and began teaching at St. Peters Academy of Dance.

Allyson Leyen : Instructor

Allyson Leyen


Allyson Leyen started dancing at the age of six at St. Peters Academy of Dance. She joined that competitive dance team at SPAD and danced there for over ten years. During her time at SPAD she participated in multiple recitals, numerous dance competitions, and studied various styles of dance. She performed in solo numbers, trios, large groups, small groups, and production numbers. During the week she took on average of 12-15 hours of class in several different styles including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, pointe, tap, modern/contemporary, and musical theater. She got the opportunity to take class from some amazing professional dancers such as Alex Blitstein, Justin Tyda, Gil Mata, Matt Boyce, and many more. In 2005-2007, Allyson became a part of the River City Rage mini and junior “Ragettes” dance team where she performed pre-game and half-time routines at the River City Rage Arena Football League games. In 2007 Allyson was selected to perform with the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church National Youth Gathering Dance Troupe performing in New Orleans at the Superdome. In the years of 2009-2012 Allyson was selected to be member of the Fort Zumwalt North Varsity Panther Prideline Dance Team and was team captain for two years. While dancing at Fort Zumwalt North High School, Allyson performed at football and basketball games, as well as competed in regional and state dance competitions. Since graduating high school, Allyson now teaches classes at SPAD in tap and jazz with students ranging in ages from seniors in high school to three year olds. While teaching at SPAD and being on her high school dance team, Allyson has been responsible for choreographing routines, selecting and cutting music, selecting costumes, etc.

Tera Perkins : Instructor

Tera Perkins


Tera is originally from Florida and started dancing at the age of 5. She trained and danced competitively at Deltona Dance Academy. During this time she also trained under many well-known teachers and choreographers all across the country. Tera spent several summers on scholarship at The Edge and Broadway Dance Center. She also held many titles including Jr Miss Dance of Florida.

Tera began teaching in 2001 and took over as owner/director of Deltona Dance Academy aka The Dance P.A.D. in 2003. Her students consistently placed in the top ten at regional and national competitions nationwide. During this time she also received numerous awards of recognition for her choreography. For the last 6 years, Tera also has been judging for several large competitions across the country. She recently sold her studio after 9 years and relocated to the St. Louis area with her husband.