Established in 2002, our mission at Moss Performing Arts Academy is to train the triple threat. What's the triple threat? In the entertainment industry, a triple threat is a performer who is trained and confident in dance, acting, and voice. At Moss, we emphasize the importance of being a well-rounded performer and offer professional instruction in all three disciplines. Joe and Amy Moss have trained students who have gone on to perform on Broadway, with the Radio City Rockettes, on cruise ships and with the Walt Disney World Company. They have also helped students audition and get accepted into top musical theater universities across the country.
Scroll down to meet our instructors.
Ms. Amy has been dancing since the age of two when her aunt opened a dance studio - she hasn't stopped since! At age 16, she got her first professional job as a dancer/singer in a Summer Stock in California. She attended the University of Utah and studied Dance and Musical Theatre. She studied with the Sacramento Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West and the Minneapolis Dance Theatre. Ms. Amy got hired on with Disney where she performed as a "Kid of the Kingdom", in the Diamond Horseshoe Revue, Mickey's Toon Town as well as the very first Disney Cruise Line. She also traveled with Disney to Tokyo, where she performed for over a year. While she loved performing, she discovered her true passion was teaching.
OWNER, VOICE & DIRECTING
Affectionately called "Mr. Joe", he has loved the performing arts from a very young age. He attended James Madison University where he sang with the "Madisonians" - one of the top college choir groups in the country. His resumé could go for days, but he has had the privilege of performing at Kings Dominion, Kings Island, for the USO, on Regency Cruise Lines, with the touring company of West Side Story and finally Disney with the Diamond Horseshoe Revue and the Hoop De Doo Revue. His passion continues to show as he teaches private voice lessons and helps direct our various shows. Mr. Joe and Ms. Amy have been married for 25 years and they have six kids.
DANCE, ACTING & DIRECTING
Graduating from WKU with her BFA in Musical Theatre, she first went on to perform and choreograph at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. From there, she moved to NYC to pursue her dream and landed the national tour of 42nd Street, where she danced in the ensemble and understudied for the lead, Peggy Sawyer. She has returned home to pass on her passion and knowledge of what it takes to make it in the industry. Jocelyn teaches dance (hip-hop, tap, jazz, musical theatre dance), acting, choreographs for our dance teams and is directing our show for Junior Theatre Festival as well as our Audition Only show in the Spring.
VOCAL COACH & PIANO
Miss Donna has over 30 years of professional singing experience and over 15 years as a vocal instructor. She attended NKU where she dual majored in Vocal Performance, with an emphasis on Vocal Pedagogy and Broadcast Communications. While attending NKU, she was cast as Fiordiligi in Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutti", Susanna in "Marriage of Figaro" and Gretel in Humperdink's "Hänsel und Gretel". She was a four time 1st place finalist in NATS Regional Competition (National Association of Teachers of Singing). In addition, Miss Donna has performed with the Cincinnati Byzantine Singers, Cincinnati May Festival Chorus, Northern Kentucky Symphony Choir, Andy Williams and Amy Grant. Miss Donna is also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a board member for the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame. Voice lessons with Miss Donna can focus on musical theater and/or classical repertoire in Italian, German or French depending on student's goals.
Amanda has over twenty years of dance experience in a variety of dance styles. She has been teaching at Moss since 2006. Growing up, she studied ballet, tap and jazz and was a cheerleader at McNicholas High School. She attended Eastern Michigan University where she received a Bachelors in Dance Studio Management and Arts Management. While in college, she began studying modern dance and worked with choreographers Joann McNamara, Julianne O'Brien-Pederson, Holly Hobbs, Bill Evans, and Becky Jung. Amanda is a certified Zumba instructor and helps choreograph many of the numbers for our various dance teams.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre Performance, as well as Secondary Theatre Education, from Ball State University. During her undergraduate tenure, she performed in shows such as Camelot, Damn Yankees, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys & Dolls, Into The Woods, The Great Gatsby, Gypsy and many more. Her favorite roles were Roxie in Chicago and Marie-Ange in Les Belles Seurs. Lisa was a part of the BSU award-winning improv troupe, Reflex, and a twice member of their professional summer theater company. She was a singer/dancer for The Great Escape theme park in New York, as well as The Medora Musical in North Dakota and Troupe America Productions out of Minneapolis. After graduating and moving to NYC, life quickly took her in another direction that involved international travel, MBA studies and a law degree. She now practices law in NKY with her own firm and teaches at Moss to keep her toes in the musical theatre world!
Christy Taylor was born and raised in the Cincinnati area and has been involved in performing arts for nearly 30 years. Christy holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Western Michigan University and a B.M. in Vocal Music Education from Miami University. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, she served as Director of Choirs in the St. Marys City School District in St. Marys, OH for four years, her final year including a Superior Rating at State Contest. Christy performed with David Foster on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and was also a member for the grand champion Team Cincinnati Choir directed by Nick Lachey on NBC's "Clash of the Choirs." Additional performance credits include: Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute; Adele in Die Fledermaus; Grammy-nominated "Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin 1610" album with Seraphic Fire; Polyfollia Vocal Jazz Festival in France; Hollywood Bowl with A.R. Rahman; WMU Gold Company with Dr. Steve Zegree; World Choir Games in Cincinnati; May Festival Youth Chorus with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Christy currently sings in a local band for charity galas and serves on the worship team at Crossroads Church. She and her husband, Matt, live in Erlanger with their two children.
Kody started dancing at the age of one at The Dance Company in Johnson City, TN. Throughout her studio days, she traveled, performed, and competed all over the US. She began teaching around the age of ten with her mom and studio owner, Kristy Pratt. She made the University of Tennessee Dance Team in 2008, and won Nationals in 2009. She experienced performing professionally in many different genres including commercial dance (NFL Monday Night Football opening in 2009), football and basketball sidelines and halftimes, and the vigorous nationals jazz and hip hop routines. She stayed on the dance team until 2010, when she decided to pursue a degree in Musical Theater. She danced and starred in productions of The Music Man and Kiss Me Kate, and was named Dance Captain in Kiss Me Kate at the Clarence Brown Theatre. She performed as an actor in a multitude of other plays while at UT. She was also the choreographer of the CBT's production of A Christmas Carol and Master Harold and the Boys. She went on to choreograph Mary Poppins and Rock of Ages for Encore Theater Company when she moved back to Johnson City, TN and eventually took over as the owner and artistic director of The Dance Company. She loves all styles of dance, but specializes in teaching and choreographing jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, tap and tumbling. She moved to NKY with her husband and 2 children, Jonah and Zoey.
Jon Caspian is a Cincinnati based dance teacher and business owner. He studied Dance at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, and went on to dance on Royal Caribbean and has traveled to over 30 different countries. Jon now loves teaching dance!
Hanna has been in the tumbling world since the age of three! Starting in gymnastics, then turning solely to cheerleading at the age of twelve and into college, her combined competitive gymnastics and cheerleading experience is seventeen years. Hanna studied Early Childhood Education at NKU.
Joshua has been a Music educator for 21 years. He has taught music for K-12 and has been at Campbell County High School since 2014. Joshua received a full scholarship for piano from NKU where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education. He earned a Masters of Music Education from the University of Kentucky. He was an accompanist for the Northern Kentucky Children's Ensemble from 1999-2004 performing in Canada, Walt Disney World, St. Louis and Carnegie Hall.
Matthew Nassida is a Senior BFA Musical Theatre major and Music minor at Northern Kentucky University. He has performed and music directed all over the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area for over three years. He attended Kentucky's Governor School for the Arts for Musical Theatre in 2014. Matthew has enjoyed working for and assisting Moss Performing Arts in their goal of enriching the lives of children with art and plans to do so until he moves to New York to attempt his hand at working in the business around the United States.
Born in Shanghai, China, Sirui Liu started her dance training with the Shanghai Dance School in the year 2000. After 7 years of training, Ms. Liu continued her studies at the Shanghai Theater Academy for four years. In 2011, Sirui started her professional career in the United States with the Cincinnati Ballet as a Corp de Ballet member. In 2016 she got promoted to Principal with the company. In 2009, Sirui won the gold medal in the senior division at the Ninth Taolibei National Dance Competition in China. She also won the gold medal in the senior division at the Beijing International Ballet Competition in China in 2010. Sirui was included in Dance Magazine’s Top 25 Dancers to Watch in 2017. In 2011 Sirui was invited to dance in the Hong Kong Ballet’s production of Swan Lake. In 2016 Sirui got invited to dance in the Gala “Night of Ballet” in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She has danced several Pas de Deux including Black Swan, Don Quixote, Esmeralda, Diana and Acteon, Le Corsaire, Paquita, Coppelia. She has also performed principal roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in Nutcracker, Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Waltz girl in Balanchine’s Serenade, Tall girl in Balanchine’s Rubies, The Chosen One in Rite of Spring, Pas couple in Minus 16, amongst other ballets. Ms. Liu has also worked with internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Yuri Possokhov, Trey Mcintyre, Alejandro Cerrudo, Ohad Naharin, Annabelle Lope Ochoa, Nicolo Fonte, Garrett Smith, Justin Peck, Septime Webre, Jennifer Archibald, Ma Cong, Travis Wall, etc.
Ria Villaver Collins
Ria Villaver Collins is a local actress, director, and instructor. She earned her B.F.A in Acting, emphasis in Musical Theatre, from Wright State University. She is the Director of Theatre at Ross High School, as well as a Guest Teacher and Director at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, the Madcap Education Center, the Musical Arts Center, and several local high schools. She has performed with numerous local and regional companies - Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre, The Carnegie, West Virginia Theatre Company, and Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta - but her favorite was with Royal Caribbean Productions, where she met her husband, Moss Dance Instructor, Mr. Jon. Featured performance credits include: Spring Awakening, RENT, 25th Annual...Spelling Bee, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Little Women, and Les Miserables. Ria's approach to acting combines her study of various acting techniques to help students find clarity of intention and a holistic understanding of character, while using physical techniques to help develop freedom of expression.
John has been acting and doing stunt work professionally for over 20 years. He has made a career in many facets of entertainment including professional theatre, theme park shows and film/television. You might have seen him in productions such as Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad at Universal Studios. Some of his Film/TV Credits are Goosebumps, Furious Seven, The Hate U Give, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Gotham.
Jenny Herndon started dancing at the age of 5, training in ballet, tap and jazz. She went on to her first professional performing job at 17 years old, singing and dancing at Dollywood. She went on to perform in various theme parks and dinner theaters in and around the Tennessee and Orlando area including Disney and Universal Studios. Musical Theatre is her main forté, but dance will always be her first love!
Samantha Keller spent her entire childhood at Moss dancing on competition team and performing with theater workshop. After high school, she continued to teach and substitute wherever Ms. Amy needed. While completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at the University of Cincinnati, in 3 years, she loved her new role at the studio. Sam’s love for dance and theater has brought her back to be a part of the staff. She teaches hip-hop along with subbing for teachers when need be. You will also find her managing our office, all questions to her! She is excited to be a part of the Moss Family for her 15th season and looks forward to meeting students old and new!