Miss Pam has been teaching dance and piano since 1970. She is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College where she majored in piano and voice and earned a B.S. in Music Education. Miss Pam opened Parkside Academy in 1986. She both has studied and incorporates the Vaganova Method of ballet in her teaching and is a member of Dance Educators Association. Miss Pam is also a member of the Brandywine Harp Orchestra, which has performed both locally and abroad. Miss pam has been on staff at the Rocky Run YMCA since 2008 where she teaches Senior Strut and Silver Sneakers classes. She is also an avid wildlife photographer and presents lectures in the Tristate area. Miss Pam teaches Dance with Mommy, Kinder Dance, and Elementary 1 at PAMD. She resides in Delaware County with her husband Scott, her Mother in Law Miss Kit, her collie Ollie and her 3 cats. Her grown daughters, Kota and Crystal, both help with the production of PAMDs recitals in June.
Owner & Director of PAMD / Dance and Music Instructor
Miss Laura graduated from Virginia Intermont College in 1988 with a B.A. in Ballet. At college, Miss Laura was a member of the Bristol Ballet Company. She has been a full time instructor at the Academy since January of 1988. She has traveled abroad with Missionary Outreach Fellowship to Barbados (2003) and London (2004) where she taught worship dance. Miss Laura founded The Parkside Performing Arts Company which performs the Nutcracker annually. Under her direction the competition team has performed several times in Disney World and on cruises to the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the western Caribbean. The competition team has been awarded the title of ‘Best Debut School’ at Access Broadway, Valley Forge in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. It also won the title ‘Best Debut School’ at Access Broadway’s National Competition in 2019. Miss Laura has choreographed for Hedgerow Theater and The Media Theatre. Miss Laura teaches Kinder Dance, Elementary 1, Elementary 2, Elementary 3, Ballet Levels 1-3 and Teacher’s Course.
Founder & Director of PPAC / Dance Instructor
Dance Instructor: Kinder Dance & Elementary I
Miss Debbie has over 40 years of experience in dance, musical theater, and drama. She holds a Masters Degree and a Doctoral Degree in Developmental Psychology from Temple University with a concentration in the study of developmental aspects of learning and memory in children and adults. She has taught for Penn State, Rowan, West Chester, Villanova and Widener Universities, and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Education at Widener University. Miss Debbie is a former consultant for The Educational Information and Resource Center in New Jersey. She is also the author of 20 professional publications on topics such as teaching strategies, discipline, cognition, critical thinking, moral development and moral injury. In the past, Miss Debbie has taught our musical theater class and country line dance classes. She often teaches father-daughter, mother-son wedding dances upon request. She is the choreographer of PAMD’s annual Daddy-Daughter Dance and has been teaching at PAMD since1995. Miss Debbie was a finalist for the Widener University College Excellence in Teaching Award. She was also recognized as Parkside’s Outstanding Citizen in 2012. She is the mother of 4 PAMD alums: Renee, Aaron, Kaylyn and Kristin.
Tap Dance Instructor
Miss Tamera has been dancing at Parkside Academy since 2004 and teaching at Parkside Academy since 2009. She is a dedicated tap dancer who specializes in rhythmic tap. Miss Tamera has choreographed several award winning dances. In her spare time, Miss Tamera enjoys traveling to tap festivals all over the east coast. Miss Tamera graduated from West Chester University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree. She is a first company member of the Lady Hoofers, a professional tap dance company, and also serves as the youth company rehearsal assistant. She is the proud dog mom of her German Shorthaired Pointer, Maverick.
Intro to Modern Instructor
Miss Rachel Dutton is a 2020 graduate from Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School. She has been dancing at Parkside Academy since she was 2 years old and she completed PAMD’s 3 year teacher training course in 2019. She has assisted with all levels of classes and has choreographed for both class dances and competition dances. She won the All Star Performer Award at Access Broadway, Valley Forge in 2017. Miss Rachel is excited to be teaching the Intro to Modern class again this year!
Director of Student Relations / Asst. Director of P.P.A.C. / Jazz and Modern Dance Instructor
Miss Sarah teaches Level 1, 2 & 3 Jazz and Modern classes. Miss Sarah has a B.F.A. in Dance with concentrations in modern and jazz from Temple University and an M.S. in Higher Education from Drexel University. She is currently an Undergraduate Admissions Counselor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she recruits students from the city of Philadelphia and the West Coast! Miss Sarah is an alumna of PAMD and began instructing in 2007. You will also find her working closely with Miss Laura as the Assistant Director for Parkside Performing Arts Company. In 2017 Miss Sarah won “Best Choreographer” at PPAC’s Access Broadway Competition. She has helped lead the way to PPAC’s multiple ‘Best Debut Dance Studio’ Regional Division titles and a ‘Best Debut Dance Studio’ National Division title! Miss Sarah appeared in various lead roles for both PPAC and PAMD productions while she was a student. She has also performed with PPAC on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines sailing to Bermuda and at Walt Disney World. Miss Sarah has performed professionally in multiple Philadelphia Fringe Festivals as well as in New York while a member of Infatuation Dance Company.
Irish Dance Instructor
Miss Jamie McPeak is our instructor of Irish Dance. Miss Jamie is a graduate of Rosemont College and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She currently holds a PA teaching certification for grades K-6. She has been involved in Irish Dance since age 6. Jamie has competed on both national and world stages with the McDade Cara School of Irish Dance and has been teaching with McDade Cara for many years. Miss Jamie is very excited to be back at Parkside Academy!
Musical Theatre Instructor
Miss Elizabeth Mercier graduated from the Center for Performing and Fine Arts in 2020. She completed the 3 year teachers course program at Parkside Academy, and has worked with students of many different ages. Miss Liz has been in voice training since she was 5 years old and continues her training at her performing arts school. She won the Broadway Star for “Best Vocalist” at the Valley Forge Access Broadway competition in 2018. Recently, she has had lead performances at both her school and regional theaters around the area, such as MainStage Center for the Arts. Miss Liz plans to continue her education in college next year, majoring in theatre and minoring in business. Along with her passion for musical theatre, Miss Liz also loves dancing and the color pink.