Administrative Director & Performance Team Coach
Jazz & Ballet Instructor

Amanda Rice

Amanda has been teaching at Applause Studio since August 2013. She has been dancing since the age of 4, starting her practice at Barclay Shelton Dance Centre in Edmonds. In 2004, Amanda started taking dance classes at Applause Studio and has been here ever since. Growing up at the studio, she studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, and Tap, as well as participated in both the Performance Team and Applause Players. For 6 years, Amanda was the Director and Assistant Director of Applause Players. In 2015, she received an AA in Digital Film Production and in 2020, she received an AA in Early Childhood Education, both from Shoreline Community College. Amanda was an Early Childhood Educator for 3 years and while working for Kiddie Academy of Mill Creek, she was nominated by the Director as 2021 Teacher of the Year. Amanda is very passionate about the performing arts and bringing it into children’s lives. She is honored to serve you as Applause Studio’s Administrative Director!

Artistic Director

Erin Smith

Erin Lee Smith is a local actor, singer, and creator whose roots began here at Applause Studio! After graduation, she got her bachelor’s degree in musical theatre at the University of Washington and spent one year in NYC taking Atlantic Acting School’s conservatory program. Spanning from coast to coast, Erin’s been in a multitude of theatre productions, with an emphasis on challenging gender roles with characters such as Sebastian in The Tempest, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Molokov in Chess, along with many others! Erin loves being back home at Applause. She spent years here directing and managing the Performance Team, choreographing productions for Applause Players, running summer camps, and, of course, teaching classes! It’s like being back home. To learn more about Erin, be sure to check out her website

Applause Players Director
Musical Theatre & Tap Instructor

Oceana Marie Dunsire

Oceana Marie Dunsire teaches ballet, tap, and theatre classes, and is the director of The Applause Players. She has been involved with Applause Studio for 16 years, being a part of numerous musical theatre and dance performances, and studying tap, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, and the voice. For five years she went on to study theatre and dance at Western Washington University, acting in faculty directed shows, working in their summer repertory, devising with the New York company Blessed Unrest, and directing multiple shows of her own. She graduated with honors with a Bachelors in theatre in 2019. Beginning her third year as director of The Applause Players, it is her goal to create accessible theatre for all ages, while encouraging a love of the performing arts in her students and providing them with opportunities to express themselves both in the studio and on the stage.

Voice & Piano Instructor

Payten Redwood

Payten Redwood is a Seattle-based vocalist & pianist. A diverse performer, Payten sings and plays in many different styles. Payten has roots in gospel and classical music, and has since moved on to singing jazz, R&B and soul music. Payten studied at Cornish College of the Arts with a focus in vocal performance and songwriting/composition. She has appeared in a wide range of venues around Seattle including The Royal Room, The ShowBox, and Barboza.

Ballet Instructor

Kelly Smith

Kelly teaches the advanced ballet classes at Applause. She has taught at various studios in the Puget Sound area since 2001 and has been at Applause since 2006. She has trained in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary/lyrical and hip-hop. Her main focus has been ballet with training in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) method.  She holds a minor in dance from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health. She also has a registered nurse degree but is currently taking time away from nursing to care for her family. 
Kelly looks to instill a love of dance in her students and thinks it is important to be a positive role model in her students’ lives. Her favorite part of teaching is watching students grow into confident dancers and amazing people! 
When Kelly is not teaching, she enjoys reading, being outside and spending time with her family.
Tap Instructor

Candace Larson

Candace is a tap, jazz, and musical theater instructor. She has taught dance across ages and levels for 20 years throughout Utah and Washington. She especially loves choreographing musicals. Candace is the daughter of a dance teacher and began classes as soon as she could walk. She has an appreciation for all dance styles, but is a tapper at heart. Candace finds joy in dance, and relishes the opportunity to share that joy with her students every year.

Hip Hop & Contemporary Instructor

Sarai Rydstedt

Born in Mexico City, Sarai has been able to enjoy and learn different styles of music. From the age of 7, she began to dabble in ballet and later in folk styles of her country. Sarai studied at Gmartell, a music school, and participated in intercollegiate dance choreography. For 6 years, she studied in different hip hop and jazz academies, as well as recorded an album of music and lyrics inspired by her. Sarai has had experience as a personal trainer and functional training, so she likes to add a touch of exercises during her classes.

After working for more than 3 years in different universities in Mexico, Sarai found her passion teaching dance to teenagers and university students. Dancing is a gift and she believes that when words are missing, the music speaks. Sarai is grateful to be able to be a part of the Applause team, and to be able to grow and learn more.

Acting Instructor

Michael J. McGraw

A native of Corpus Christi, TX, Michael graduated from Texas A&M University-CC with a degree in both Communications and Children’s Theatre and has over 20 years’ stage experience. A former member of the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse Board of Directors in California, he built a reputation for himself through his work with young performers in the area. Most notably he created the Stage Door Players, an all-youth acting troupe dedicated to the artistic growth of local youth. Through ensemble team building, the group sought to create a thriving community of young, energetic performers. He hopes to create a similar safe space at Applause Studio in which all young actors can reach their potential while having fun.

Bollywood & Hip Hop Instructor

Neha Gupta

Neha has a solid understanding of dance expressions and different Bollywood dance styles, such as Contemporary, Bollywood film dance, Rajasthani folk dance, Bhangra, and many more. She left her successful IT career to pursue her passion in dance. In addition to being a dancer, Neha has a passion for teaching and sharing what she has learned over the years. She enjoys, feels, and lives dance. In Neha’s class, you will learn step by step dance to your favorite Bollywood songs.

Guitar Instructor

Morgan Wick

Morgan Wick is a Guitarist, Composer, Bandleader, and Arranger. He has played, toured, and recorded as a hired gun across the Pacific Northwest.

Morgan received a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2010 from the Lionel Hampton School of Music. He has been teaching guitar for over 15 years both privately and in classroom settings.

Morgan is also a prolific composer, having released multiple albums over the last 10 years, fusing the Classical, Jazz and World music he learned at University with his love of Rock and Metal.

Applause Players Assistant Director

Ciara Miller

Ciara Miller leads in acting technique and voice coaching for Applause Players productions. She has been with Applause Studio for ten years now, starting with Homeschool Theater and eventually working her way up to joining the Applause Players team. Not only has she participated in theater, she has also been a student in voice and dance classes. She completed an Associates degree for theater and acting, and has performed in numerous shows outside of Applause Studio as well. She believes that it’s important to inspire a passion for creativity and imagination.

Events Coordinator

Laura Garber

Laura has been a part of the Applause family since conception as an instructor for multiple dance styles, private voice/piano lessons, and founder of Applause Players musical theatre troupe. She took a sabbatical to focus on Events Management / Coordination and Entertainment Direction. Laura has returned to Applause as Events Coordinator and is excited to expand our community connections and performance possibilities.