Kyle is the proud owner and director of Seven Directions! Kyle has been working with children for over twenty years in a wide variety of formats including: Art teacher, preschool teacher, nature educator, youth theater director, dance instructor and mindfulness instructor. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education with specialization certificates in Anti-Bias Education, Literacy Development, Working with Children with Special Needs & Curriculum Development. She is also an artist and a muralist, a professional makeup artist, a Certified Meditation Instructor and has led workshops and presented at conferences around the central coast on the subjects of mindfulness, children's literature, peace education, social justice and conflict resolution.
Haylee is a Santa Cruz born and raised local. She grew up with alternative education through independent studies and being involved with the Santa Cruz community through art and theatre.They hold an Associate Degrees in Studio Art and Liberal Arts from Cabrillo College. Haylee held the position of Demo Arts Coordinator, Lead Artist and head Painting Instructor at Palace Art and Office Supply for five years and has thoroughly enjoyed working multiple summers at Seven Directions. Haylee has traveled to twelve different countries in the last two years including living in Australia for three months and also traveling all over Europe and South America. They are an artist with a special love for illustration, animal and fantasy art, as well as storytelling, music, and really anything creative they can get their hands on. She has held private classes for both youth and adults and is passionate in the pursuit of bringing out creative spark in all their students.
Kira began teaching at age 18 in Israel during a gap year, teaching English to middle school students. where she teaches elementary science at Black Pine Circle School, and UC Berkeley's Academic Talent Development Program. In college, she discovered a deep love of Environmental Studies, which eventually became her major at Miami University. After graduating, she discovered the world of Environmental Education, where her passion for ecology and environmental stewardship was able to combine with her love for teaching. Kira has now taught at four different science camps and environmental education organizations throughout California spanning 16 years. Before becoming a mom 6 years ago, she started exploring other interests and got certified as a yoga instructor, Master Practitioner of NLP and Life Coach. In recent years, she has developed transformational hikes for adults and preteens, focusing on mindfulness, connection to nature and gratitude.
Ana is so excited to be joining Seven Directions as Office Manager! Ana grew up in Santa Cruz doing local theatre and choir. She has been involved with theatre her entire life and performed/worked for theatre companies all over Santa Cruz. She is an actor and social media manager for Mountain Community Theatre in Ben Lomond. Ana has assisted and taught kids of all ages in theatre, art, and sports. Her favorite age group to teach is teens as they are incredibly creative and goofy. Ana's passions lie in the theatre, science, traveling, and animals. While not Studio managing, Ana is a student majoring in Anthropology. In her free time, you can find her outdoors soaking up the sunshine and spending time with her cat, Charlie.
Jorge Torrez grew up in Salinas where he attended Salinas High School. After graduating, he studied Choral Directing and Vocal Performance under Cheryl Anderson at Cabrillo College. He graduated from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music with a bachelor of music in Vocal Performance where he specialized in Baroque and Classical performance. He is currently the director of choral activities at both Soquel High School and Santa Cruz High School where he directs the Jazz Singers, Mixed Chorus, Concert Choirs and Mariachi Ensemble. He has music directed Seussical and Little Shop of Horrors for Harbor/Soquel High and Mean Girls for Santa Cruz High.
Miss Melanie is excited to be working with Seven Directions! She has been singing since 1988, playing piano since 1992, acting since 1996, and performing/ teaching music/ theatre with various (children’s) theatre companies across North America since 2001. She has a B.A. in drama from Washington University in St. Louis, and musical theatre has long been one of her greatest passions. She’s taught and performed locally with All About Theatre, Cabrillo Stage, Actor’s Theatre, Theatre in the Mountains, and Christian Youth Theatre. Miss Melanie also teaches private piano and voice lessons, and occasionally provides childcare.
Spike has been gaming since his dad introduced him to computer games in the early 80's, and not long after he discovered TTRPGs and was immediately hooked for life. He has run thousands of sessions across a variety of editions and game systems. He works as a professional therapeutic gamemaster with a focus on higher needs children and has contributed to a number of third party 5E Dungeons & Dragons publications. His clients include tech companies (Google, Facebook, others), schools, the Wounded Warrior Project, and parents hosting private therapeutic games for their children. Spike brings a passion and depth of knowledge for RPGs that is enriching and infectious, helping players to learn how to play as they become immersed in the game experience.
A native to Santa Cruz, Mara Frey grew up dancing and taking classes of all styles around town. At age 6 she started with tap and ballet until she found Synergy Studios at age 11 and began to train with Joy Smith in Hip Hop and Street Jazz. Mara found her love for choreography during her involvement with Harbor High's dance team, Escapades. She began to focus more on contemporary jazz and choreographed several numbers for the team. Today she continues her involvement in dance over at Motion Pacific taking either Hip Hop or Contemporary Jazz. She currently lives in Santa Cruz with her husband Chris and their 2 year old son James.
Kara is currently a registered and practicing associate therapist, but prior to that spent nearly a decade working with/teaching children and teens in various capacities. She taught theatre for 8 years, working on all aspects from directing, stage managing, makeup/costumes, and vocal coaching. She performed in her early childhood all the way up until the collegiate level, stopping to continue pursuing her masters in Clinical Counseling. Kara is thrilled to be involved with Seven Directions' wonderful staff and the incredible community that has been created.