Instructors

The Lab hosts all kinds of fun classes, including tango, flamenco, children's art, fiddle, puppetry, and theater. Here are some of our amazing instructors!

 
 

NANCE HOEFT

Nance teaches tango classes for adults.

After 16 years of dancing and studying the language of Tango, Nance is still wondering what makes the dance so irresistibly addictive. Is it the human embrace?...the pulse of the music?...or the soulful connection between two people?

Having a background of choreographed movement in ballet, modern, jazz & tap, perhaps the attraction to Tango comes in the spontaneous movement created by two people in each moment of the dance.

Besides dancing on the Monterey Peninsula, Nance’s Tango travels have taken her throughout the United States, Taiwan, Korea and Argentina. 

 
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Jessica iglesias

Jessica teaches flamenco classes for adults.

She began her flamenco training in Carmel in 1994 with dancers Catalina and La Romera and continued her studies in California with Yaelisa of Caminos Flamencos in the Bay Area, and with Spanish artists such as Concha Vargas and Pastora Galvan.

She has lived and worked in Spain, studying in many locations, notably Academia Carmen de las Cuevas in Granada and Jose de la Vega in Barcelona. 

In recent years she has brought her troupe "Azahar Flamenco de Monterey" to local stages such as Christmas in the Adobes,  Pacific Grove Good Ol' Days, the Language Capital of the World Festival, Dali 17 Museum, and Esteban restaurant A Taste of Spain. 

Jessica strives to make learning authentic flamenco dance fun and accessible to everyone.

 
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RUBY BROWN DUDLEY

Ruby Brown Dudley teaches children's art classes on Tuesdays.

She has been an artist all her life; being constantly inspired by natural beauty, investigating new materials and techniques, and loving the artistic process.

Although she is interested in all media, she uses mostly oils on wood or glass, and acrylics, resins and found objects for assemblage. Her present work is an introspective study into the creative process; especially how artists see the beauty of the natural world through our human lens, and how that evolves into personal expression.

 
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JOHN WEED

John teaches children's fiddle classes. 

Fiddler for Molly's Revenge, One Lane Bridge, and Little Black Train, John has spent the last 20 years immersed in various fiddle styles. John lived in Ireland in 2000 and taught fiddle workshops at the Flowing Tide International Music School in Doonbeg, County Clare.

Having an affinity for American fiddle styles, bluegrass and old time, John explores the connection between Irish, Scottish, and old time fiddle.

John teaches a variety of styles from classical repertoire to Celtic fiddle tunes. Trained classically, John introduces his pupils to the violin by emphasizing sound, fundamental technique.

 
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Audrianne Taylor

Audrianne teaches children’s puppetry classes.

She is a LifeWays graduate and instructor who opened her own preschool program on the Monterey Peninsula for many years.

She offers workshops in felting and puppetry for children and adults.

 
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River Navaille 

River teaches children's theater classes.

River is an alumnus of UC Santa Cruz's Theater Arts Masters Program, where they graduated with honors in 2015. River is adjunct theater arts faculty at MPC, running the early college dramatic arts program at Seaside High School since 2016.

River is nonbinary transgender, and their gender-fluid identity is part of what shapes their philosophies around teaching, acting, and theatrical collaboration, by giving focus to inclusion, diversity, and equal representation.

River has directed plays since 2013, and has written and developed original works including the two-act collaborative play On The Verge. They are also a working actor, having been seen in numerous local productions, at Pacific Repertory Theater in Fun Home (Alison), Mary Poppins (Mary), Heathers (Heather Chandler), and at The Western Stage inThe Liar (Clarice), You Can't Take It With You (Alice).

In addition, River is a classically trained vocalist who also plays baritone ukulele and writes and performs original music.

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Cherie Rousseau

Cherie teaches children’s art classes.

Educated at Syracuse University with a BFA in Design and MS in Art Ed., she is a local artist and art educator.

Cherie has a wealth of teaching experience ranging from preschool through college level in New York, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Southern and Central California.

She has taught art enrichment classes in the Carmel/Monterey area for the past 15 years, in both private and public schools, as well as at the Monterey Museum of Art and Pacific Grove Arts Center.

Relating well to all ages is one of her specialities. Cherie encourages creative solutions with experimentation, as trial and error is part of the creative process. She views herself as more a facilitator than instructor.

Cherie has also sculpted wood for nine years as an apprentice/assistant to Paul Wilson in Carmel Valley, and has developed a line of photographic and hand-painted note cards which are currently available at the Monterey Tin Cannery.