About our school
Sonshine Performing Arts Academy opened its doors in 1976 with one room and 36 students. After many moves and growth opportunities, we now boast nearly 500 students at our 8,400 square foot facility that includes movable walls and fully operational stage. Sonshine offers classes in classical ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical, musical theater and technique/conditioning. Opportunities for private lessons are available in all of the above dance disciplines as well as pageantry, liturgical, dance team, and many more. Call to see how we can assist you with your group or individual needs. Sonshine’s Royal Ballroom, run by Don McCarty, teaches classes and private lessons in all forms of ballroom dance including swing, latin, salsa and country/western.
Sonshine Performing Arts Academy opened its doors in 1976 with one room and 36 students. After many moves and growth opportunities, we now boast nearly 500 students at our 8,400 square foot facility that includes movable walls and fully operational stage.
Sonshine offers classes in classical ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, lyrical, musical theater and technique/conditioning. Opportunities for private lessons are available in all of the above dance disciplines as well as pageantry, liturgical, dance team, and many more. Call to see how we can assist you with your group or individual needs.
Meet The Team
Miss Debbie is the Owner and Director of Sonshine Performing Arts Academy. She has been with Sonshine for over 40 years, first as a student, then as a teacher and now as the owner. She is a talented choreographer and has won numerous choreography awards for her amazing tap pieces! She has a passion and drive for working with students and enriching their lives with positivity. She values each and every student.
Don McCarty is the Owner and Director of Sonshine Royal Ballroom. Mr. Don has 28 years of teaching and coaching experience and is known as the “teacher’s teacher” throughout the Midwest. He has worked as a professional judge, choreographer, and competitor on both the ballroom and country western circuits. He has been a choreographer for numerous Branson shows including The Osmonds, Dino, and Yakov. Mr. Don does it all! He does private lessons for wedding choreography or any kind of dance you want. “WALK IN — DANCE OUT!”
Miss Meghan is the Executive Director of Sonshine Performing Arts Academy. Meghan has been with Sonshine since 1978, as a student and company member. She performed professionally in various Branson shows before returning to Drury University for her bachelors degree in Business Administration, while also starting her teaching career at Sonshine. She has a special place in her heart for working with the younger kids in the studio. She enjoys seeing the students grow and experience the beauty and joys of dancing. Her patience and gentleness make her a favorite teacher for dancers of all ages.
Miss Kayla is currently the Creative Director of Sonshine Performing Arts Academy. Kayla has been a part of the Sonshine family since 2002. She performed and competed with the Sonshine Dance Troupe from 2007-2012. Kayla graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2017, during her time at MSU she took many dance courses and performed in the dance program’s recitals. Kayla loves to watch all her students grow, develop self-confidence and flourish inside and out from dance!
Miss Ali has been a Sonshine dancer her entire life. She was a member of our Company, as well as our very first Sonshine Dance Troupe. She attended Oklahoma City University where she performed with the American Spirit Dance Company and received a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. She went on to perform for 10 years onboard various Holland America Line Cruise Ships, where she had various opportunities in main stage production shows, an aerial artist, and a magician assistant. Ali is extremely excited to be back at Sonshine and have the opportunity to pass on her dance knowledge to students.
Miss Misty became part of the Sonshine family in 1986. She started her passion for teaching as an assistant for numerous tumbling classes. With many years of training and over 10 years of competing with Sports Acrobatic National Championships where she also won 1st place, she has a lot of insight to offer students. She is currently head of the tumbling department at Sonshine Peforming Arts Academy and teaches both intermediate and advanced tumbling. Misty is also a certified Zumba instructor to add to her many genres of training. She is looking forward to an exciting new year with Sonshine!
Miss Amanda has been dancing with Sonshine from the time she was 4 until she was 10, and returned when she was 15. She joined the competition troupe and fell in love with tap, musical theatre, and performing! While dancing in the upper levels, Amanda was given the opportunity to demonstrate for younger classes. Since then, she has fallen in love with teaching kids how to grow as people through dance! Amanda is currently attending Ozarks Technical Community College to earn her Associates of Arts in Business as well as working at a local law firm as an administrative assistant. Amanda is so excited to have the opportunity to show students what makes dancing at Sonshine so special!