Meet PAWs Team

Cheryl Appleman
Founder and President

Ms. Appleman has been working in the summer camp and after school enrichment industry for over thirty years.  By the time she launched Performing Arts Workshops in 1998, Cheryl had already compiled a long and varied list of accomplishments: she was a ballet teacher, ran children’s theater programs at UCLA, owned and operated the after school enrichment company Kids In Motion, assisted the Los Angeles Unified School District in developing the first district-approved licensing procedures for enrichment companies working on LAUSD campuses, volunteered at the surgical recovery ward of Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.  She founded the Academy of Children’s Services – the first state-registered vocational school for enrichment teachers, which later evolved into the National Enrichment Teachers Association, which developed best practices training and certification standards for instructors throughout the country working in this field.

Performing Arts Workshops began with after school drama, dance, vocal training and karate classes comprising the bulk of its services.  As a result of Cheryl’s vision and passion for expanding opportunities for children to experience the Arts, PAW has continued to grow and evolve to include full day Summer Camps, offering programs as varied as Musical Theater, Guitar, Dance, Photography, Filmmaking, Comedy, Magic, Stage FX Makeup, Vocal Recording, Language Arts and more.  Due to her constant innovation, PAW was named BEST Summer Camp, BEST Children’s Live Theater and BEST After School Program in the prestigious LA Parent Magazine.

PAW has served tens of thousands of children in communities all throughout the greater Los Angeles area, but for Cheryl, making a difference begins one child at a time.

“I always knew I wanted to work with kids.  I knew from a very young age.  When I was a teen and was apprenticing with my ballet teacher, Anita Newman, I could see when a kid’s eyes would light up because they ‘got it’, they had an ‘aha!’ moment, the light bulb turned on. And the lesson learned didn’t always have to do with just ballet. It was something bigger, more profound, a lesson they could carry with them for the rest of their lives, whatever their path may be. It made me feel good knowing that I had something to do with that. I never forgot it.”

Cheryl, age 10
With her ballet teacher and mentor, Anita Newman.

Timothey Fitzgerald
Vice President

Mr. Fitzgerald has been a teacher and educator for over 20 years. He has taught ESL classes in Korea, been an acting coach and martial arts instructor at dozens of public and private schools throughout Los Angeles, a guest artist in the Manhattan Beach Cultural Arts Department, and is currently a professor at Loyola Marymount University.

A lifelong student of theater, Timothey holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from UCLA, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from LMU. He joined Performing Arts Workshops in 1998 as an instructor, and has since expanded his duties to include being artistic director, adapting plays and musicals, creating new works, and developing curriculum for PAW’s summer camp and after school enrichment programs.

 “Teaching, teaching children especially, is an enormous responsibility. What you say and do, or the manner in which you go about it can profoundly affect how a child feels about learning and education in general.  I was very fortunate in that I had some wonderful teachers and mentors.  They set the stage for me.  When I’m teaching or developing curriculum, I’m standing on their shoulders. I’m thinking of the lessons they imparted to me, and how I might improve upon the design.”

Tim in college
Performing in a production of “Romeo and Juliet”.

Ms. Aaylin ~ Dance Teacher

Hey PAW Campers! My name is Ms. Aaylin and this is my sixth season with Performing Arts Workshops. I’ve trained in ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and African. I studied dance at El Camino College and graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills (Go Toros!) with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. I was part of a dance company for several years and I got the opportunity to travel with them to the Bahamas. In addition to teaching at PAW, I am currently a dance teacher for LAUSD and teach at LA Academy Middle School. My school students learn different genres of dance, put on showcases, and attend dance competitions. I am very excited for another great season at Performing Arts Workshops, and I can’t wait to dance with you all!

Mr. Alan ~ Guitar Teacher

Hi! My name is Mr. Alan! I first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and I’ve never looked back. I am classically trained on the guitar and am currently attending California State University Dominguez Hills and working on obtaining my bachelor’s degree in music education. While this is my second year with PAW, I have been teaching kids and adults guitar and music for 5 years. The guitar has opened whole new worlds to me, and I think it can for you, too! I’m very passionate about teaching and think that anyone can learn if they want to. I hope everyone has fun learning not just guitar but everything PAW has to offer!

Ms. Angela ~ Director & Acting Teacher

With her high energy and awesome activities, Ms. Angela has been a long time favorite of PAW’s campers. Ms. Angela has been the Director and Acting Teacher at PAW’s West LA location for the past 5 years and has loved every minute of it! During the school year Ms. Angela is a resident stage manager for the 24th St. Theatre in Los Angeles and is also a guest lecturer/professional mentor for UCLA’s Theatre Department. When she is not working in live theatre, Ms. Angela loves to go out for brunch and sing karaoke, but for now she enjoys spending her days with her one year old daughter and going for walks at the park.

Ms. Arielle ~ Singing/Vocal Teacher

Ms. Arielle is a professional vocalist and teacher who specializes in musical theater and operatic style singing. She received her undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Azusa Pacific University. Recently, she performed in Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” with Mission Opera Company, and starred in a new musical, “The Boggs and Maschmeyer Funeral Home,” which premiered in Los Angeles this past February. This is her second year with PAW, and she looks forward to seeing her students in-person and over Zoom…making music and making memories!

Mr. Brendan ~ Voice & Guitar Teacher

Mr. Brendan is an actor, singer, musician and teacher. He holds his BA in Theater Arts from Loyola Marymount University. Upon graduating, Mr. Brendan organized 100% online lesson programs to teach kids across the country about the wonderful world of music and performance. With a background in musical theater and stage performance, teaching has allowed Mr. Brendan to share his knowledge of performing arts, but on top of that, he constantly is learning from his students. This is his third year with PAW and he looks forward to sharing his passion for education through the performing arts.

Ms. Chelsea ~ Singing/Vocal Teacher

Ms. Chelsea has been the Vocal & Singing Coach for PAW’s El Segundo camp location and has taught our Online Vocal workshop to kids from all over the country. She is a firm believer that the arts are essential to every child’s education. Ms. Chelsea is currently majoring in Public Policy and Music Industry at the University of Southern California and has been performing since she was three years old! She has been singing and acting professionally in Los Angeles for twelve years and is thrilled to be sharing her love for the arts with every student.

Ms. Cynthia ~ Dance & Drill Team Teacher

Originally from Sacramento, California, Ms. Cynthia began dancing at the age of 3. Her classical ballet training helped her land a lead role as “Clara” in the Sacramento Ballet’s Nutcracker at the age of 10. She began choreographing for the stage at the age of 13 and since then has worked with hundreds of children in numerous theatre productions. She worked at Disneyland as a dancer in the “Parade of Dreams”, “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, “Fantasmic!,” and at Universal Studios Hollywood in the “Character Bash” show and tap dancing as part of the “TapWorx” cast. She has choreographed twice for the Rose Parade for the San Antonio Winery’s float with KC and the Sunshine Band and Kool and the Gang. This is Ms. Cynthia’s 8th season with PAW as a dance teacher and she is looking forward to Zooming with you this summer!

Mr. Daniel ~ Guitar Teacher

Mr. Daniel is a long-time favorite here at PAW and is a classically trained guitarist. He received a BA in classical guitar and composition from Loyola Marymount University. Prior to this, Daniel has played in several jazz and rock groups and holds a soloist award at the Reno Jazz Festival. Today he is a composer, performer as well as a teacher. Daniel started teaching with PAW in 2013 and has been teaching summer camp ever since. His passion for music has helped him inspire students of all ages to pick up the instrument he loves and learn to play their favorite music!

Ms. Haley ~ Singing/Vocal Teacher

This will be Ms. Haley’s fourth year at PAW and she is so excited to see both new and familiar faces this summer and is so excited for all of the summer fun that is to come! Ms. Haley is currently a theater and screenwriting major at Loyola Marymount University and has been doing theater since she was 7 years old! Growing up, she did lots of camps similar to PAW that sparked her love and passion for theater. She hopes PAW will help you find that same love for the arts that she did!

Mr. Jace ~ LOL Comedy Teacher

Mr. Jace a fan favorite of PAW campers, earned his BFA in film and television at Studio School LA. While attending school, he continues to purse acting and comedy professionally. He has performed stand up, improv, and immersive theatre all over LA and has even started doing comedy shows back in his hometown in Texas whenever he visits. PAW students adore Mr. Jace for high energy, enthusiasm, and his dynamic approach to teaching. He is extremely excited to share what he knows with the next generation of young comics!


Mr. Jake ~ Theatrical Makeup Teacher

Jake is a graduate of the Master Makeup program at the renown Makeup Designory School (MUD) in Hollywood.  He has worked on feature films such as ‘Ghostbusters: After Life’ (2021), and ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ (2019). He has received makeup awards for ‘Best 5×5 Film,’ from Life Fest 2017 and ‘Best Thriller’ from Telos Awards 2015. As well nominations for ‘Best Makeup’ in Utah Film Awards. This will be Jake’s third season with Performing Arts Workshops. In class, he will be teaching the fundamentals of Movie Makeup, Theatrical and Aging, Character Makeup, Pop Art, Commercial, High Fashion, Glamour, Fantasy, and Dia de los Muertos Makeup!

Ms. Kelly ~ Singing, Acting & Dance Teacher

Ms. Kelly is so excited to be teaching a third year for Performing Arts Workshops! Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Ms. Kelly traveled to New York City for college, where she attended American Musical and Dramatic Academy and then continued on to The New School where she received her BFA in Musical Theatre. Kelly is the triple threat…a talented singer, dancer and actor! She has been performing in musicals for 30 years, and her favorite part is Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. She now enjoys improv classes at Second City. Ms. Kelly’s favorite TV show is I Love Lucy, her favorite band is The Beatles, and she always ALWAYS has unsweetened iced tea with her.

Ms. Kelsey ~ Singing/Vocal Teacher

This is Ms. Kelsey’s third year teaching with Performing Arts Workshops and she is thrilled to be back with us on Zoom! She received her BFA in Contemporary Musical Theatre and Film from Hussian College Los Angeles, and is currently working towards a Certificate in Business and Management of Entertainment from UCLA Extension. Ms. Kelsey taught the Rock the Mic Specialty Camp for 2 years and has mentored students for 3 years. As a big musical theatre nerd, Kelsey’s goal is to teach her students how to bring out their inner sparkle and share their stories.

Mr. Kelvin ~ Guitar Teacher

Mr. Kelvin is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where he studied classical guitar performance. He has also studied jazz arranging and classical composition at Los Angeles Valley College. Mr. Kelvin has been working with PAW for 10 glorious years and loves working with all the children he has met along the way. Having studied his entire life, he is very passionate about educating children in music and the arts. He has given this gift back to hundreds of children and is looking forward to expand that number to thousands. Mr. Kelvin is one of PAW’s true rock star teachers and has been a long time favorite of our students. He has created a beautiful blend of arts and technology teaching children guitar on Zoom in group and private lessons for the past several years.

Ms. Kristy ~ Director & Acting Teacher

Ms. Kristy has been working with PAW for over 7 years and is one of our most beloved camp directors. Ms. Kristy loves living in Los Angeles and teaching acting to kids! She holds a BFA from Chapman University and is a middle school teacher at Bridges Academy. Her favorite role to play is Miss Hannigan in Annie! She can’t wait to act and play improv games with all of you theatre zoomers! “My old students, my new students, my giggly students, my funny students…I’m looking forward to having an amazing summer with you all. Let’s kick the quarantine blues and act our way through the amazing world of theatre!”

Ms. Maddie ~ Director & Acting/Dance Teacher

This is Ms. Maddie’s fourth year with PAW and is so excited to be back for another summer. Ms. Maddie holds her BFA in musical theatre from Rider University and is an LA-based actor/singer/dancer with over 20 years of training. Some of her past credits include: Annie, Cindy Lou Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas at the Pantages Theatre, Young Frankie Heck in ABC’s The Middle and Young Cosette in Les Miserablès at the Hollywood Bowl. She is an awesome teacher who knows how to bring out the best in every child.

Ms. Natasha  ~ Director & Singing/Acting Teacher

Ms. Natasha has been working with PAW for over 15 years and is one of our most beloved camp directors and vocal teachers. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Since then, she has performed all over the U.S. & overseas, performed on R&B tracks for River City Music’s released in Japan, spent several years fronting showbands for Carnival Cruise Lines, performed with Regional Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Champions, Top Shelf Vocal, and released her own first full-length album, Full Circle. Ms. Natasha currently resides in Torrance, CA, and has been teaching and directing in South Bay for over 16 years! Her teaching focuses on technique, appropriate stylistic singing per genre, and emoting/stage presence.


Mr. Omar ~ Magic Teacher

Since 2013, Mr. Omar has been teaching and performing for PAW campers. Straight from the world famous Magic Castle, Mr. Omar has been amazing children and adults through his creative and original performance & teaching style. Throughout the years he has performed for companies like Ubi SOft, has consulted and hand doubled for movies, performed for live audiences in Las Vegas as well as created original pieces of magic for other professional magicians, and has even produced his very own playing card deck based around his art. He believes in passing on the secrets of magic to the next generation and loves sharing his knowledge and passion for magic with the PAW campers he teaches!


Mr. Paris ~ Karate Teacher

A native Los Angeleno, long time PAW favorite, and lifelong practitioner of the martial arts, Sensei Paris has been teaching and competing for over 30 years. He has expertise in a variety of disciplines, including holding black belts in Kyokushin Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Brazilian Jujitsu. He has taught all age groups, from tots to seniors, as well as all experience levels from novices to professionals. “I love karate for what it gives to kids. Fun, direction, confidence, discipline, humility, and compassion.” Mr. Paris looks forward to seeing his future black belts in-person and over Zoom!

Ms. Shaindi  ~ Debate Teacher

This is Ms. Shaindi’s fourth summer leading PAW’s Debate Camp for Kids! Ms. Shaindi was captain of Santa Monica College’s Speech and Debate team before transferring to UCLA and winning medals at several competitions including the Gold award at the annual Phi Rho Pi National Forensic tournament, where she placed first overall in IPDA (International Public Debate). When she is not teaching debate, she is a full-time student at UCLA pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in Professional Writing. She also works as a writing tutor at SMC, and previously volunteered with Reading Partners of LA as an elementary school reading tutor. Ms. Shaindi believes that everyone, no matter their age, has something worthwhile to say; sometimes they just don’t know how to say it! She loves teaching PAW’s in-person classes and has found it rewarding incorporating her Zoom expertise making Debate educational and FUN for kids learning online!

Ms. Tori ~ Acting & Dance Teacher

A graduate of the prestigious Pacific Conservatory Professional Acting Training Program, Ms. Tory is a favorite of PAW Campers and thrilled to be teaching at PAW once again. She is a trained dancer and performer, having studied under Cathy Rigby.  As an actor and teacher, Ms. Tori encourages her students to explore all aspects of the theater. She herself has been an actor, singer, dancer, playwright, clown, producer, stage manager, set painter, and costume designer. Ms. Tori can’t wait to meet her students and pass on her love of the acting to the next generation of young artists!


Performing Arts Workshops is committed to ensuring that all school-aged children are provided the opportunity to experience a quality arts education through affordable after school enrichment and summer camp programming.  The development of character and life skills which children can apply to school and beyond is a core principle of our mission.
PAW’s faculty and staff are dedicated to fostering a safe, non-competitive environment,
where children can use the arts as a medium with which to learn communication,
compassion, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

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