Our Philosophy

APA is committed to providing students with an education in performing arts while establishing discipline and self-esteem. We offer every student the opportunity to perform in both a professional and recreational environment while showcasing the performing arts throughout our community.

Our Mission

The success of education depends upon the cooperation between teacher, student, and parent. Regardless of why our students are enrolled, be it for poise, health, enjoyment, a creative outlet, or the pursuit of a career, only a solid training program will bring the proper results.

It is our goal at APA to help each student develop discipline of the mind and body, build self-esteem, and help define each student’s individual character.

With the proper training and strong curriculum, our students will form a love for the art of dance and theater and build confidence that will be rewarding throughout their lives. 

Abernethy Performing Arts is family-owned and operated right here in Oregon City, OR. Since our company opened in 2007, we’ve treated every customer like they are a part of our family. Other companies may offer similar services, but our services make you feel right at home because we truly care about all of our students.

 Photo by Whitney Stevens - Bliss Studio

Photo by Whitney Stevens - Bliss Studio

Our Director -
Keith Walls

Keith Walls is a graduate of Missouri Valley College where he majored in Education with an emphasis in Theater & Dance. He began his dance training under Patricia Downey, and with her encouragement he continued on and received a full scholarship to the Summer Dance Lab, a program created by professional dancers drawn from the Joffrey Ballet, New York City Ballet, and American Ballet Theater.

After college, Keith moved to Portland where he continued this training in ballet and theatre. He has performed leading roles in ballets such as; The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, the White Haired Girl (a traditional Chinese Ballet) & Sleeping Beauty. In 2003, Keith moved to New York City where he danced with renowned Russian teachers, Andrea Silantiev of the Bolshoi and Natalia Stavro of the Kirov. Keith’s theatre and musical theatre credits include Sugar, Grease, Once Upon a Mattress, The Hostage, See How They Run, and many more. Keith has trained in musical theater with Diana Laurenson, Amanda Turner, and Andy Blankenbuehler.

In the Fall of 2007, Keith began the adventure of opening Abernethy Performing Arts. Now in its 10th season, APA has staged and produced over 17 ballets, 3 musicals, 2 traveling troupes, and a mirage of other performances and community productions. It has trained hundreds of dancers, actors, and performers and continues to offer superior training and education to all who dance, leap, or push their way through the doors.


Our Instructors

Melissa Grant

Int/Adv Ballet and Pointe


Kaytee Horton

Kaytee began her dance education at Northwest Conservatory of Dance in Hillsboro, OR in 1997 and trained under Anita Mitchell in ballet and Danny Black in jazz and tap, as well as starting modern dance at age 11.

Kaytee was a member of her high school competitive dance team, placing 2nd and 3rd at the OSAA State Championships. She has since coached DDCA State Champion youth teams with Dolce Dance in Molalla, performed lead roles with APA, and holds various fitness and training certifications.

Kaytee teaches Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, and Ballet at APA, and coaches/choreographs for YAGP competitors in APA Elite Prep Program. She is also head of Marketing and Communications at APA.


Moriah Kearney

Moriah has been teaching as long as she can remember, and has been teaching at APA since 2014. She has studied under Artur Sultanov at Russian Ballet Academy, where she also taught. Moriah has been with On Your Toes, The Portland Ballet, The Jacquie Kunsman School of Ballet, and Joy of Dance. She also helps with costumes, set/props, and rehearsals. She teaches Intermediate Ballet and Strength & Stretch.


Christine Wright

Christy first began ballet in 2010 under the teaching of Jackie Kunzman at the Kunzman School of Ballet in Oregon City. In 2012 she joined APA where she has since danced many roles both in the corps and as a soloist. She has attended summer dance intensives with both the State Street Ballet in 2014 and with the Walla Walla Summer Dance Lab in 2015. In 2013 She joined the APA teaching staff and currently teaches Pre and Basic ballet classes.


Peace Petitmermet

Pre-Ballet and Basic Ballet

Guest Instructors


Cynthia Tosh

Cynthia teaches ballet at Jefferson. She began her career at Ballet Pacifica under Lila Zali, she was the youngest to receive a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet in New York City. Cynthia also received full scholarships to attend with Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and The San Francisco Ballet. 

Cynthia was a principal dancer with Chicago City Ballet and Chicago Lyric Opera under Maria Tallchief before joining The Boston Ballet as a soloist under the direction of Violette Verdy. There she partnered with Rudolph Nureyev in his production of Don Quixote. Her repertoire includes classical ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Paquita, The Four Seasons, Les Sylphides, La Sylphide, Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Graduation Ball, La fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote, Prince Igor, The Stone Flower, Sylvia, Pas de Quatre, Carmina Burana and numerous Balanchine ballets such as The Firebird, Pas de Dix, Who Cares, Symphony in C, Concerto Barocco, Jewels- Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Faust, Valse Fantasie, Donizetti Variations, Afternoon of a Faun, Divertimento No. 15. 

Cynthia has been teaching ballet, coaching and doing choreography in the Portland area for 28 years, including ten years as Artistic Director of Portland Community Ballet. She teaches all levels of ballet.


Draven Carrere

Draven started dancing in high school with Journey Theater Arts Group, and since then has pursued many different styles of dance including musical theater, ballet, partnering, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and his favorites - tap and swing dancing. He is excited to be now teaching with APA.