Performing Arts
Bailey Pashia_edited.jpg

Department Head


Bailey, is a St. Louis native with over fifteen years of performing and teaching experience in musical theatre. She graduated from Western Illinois University where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre. After working at various, professional theatre companies as an actor, she decided to follow her heart and start her career as a theatre arts educator. Before joining DaySpring, she taught musical theatre and drama classes at STAGES Performing Arts Academy and Gateway Center for Performing Arts. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Arts Management and Leadership at Webster University. When Bailey isn’t teaching, she is spending time with her husband and daughter, running a successful photography business, and drinking plenty of iced coffee! 



April McCandless

Musical Theatre 2 & 3

April McCandless grew up at DaySpring training in musical theater, dance, and drama.  She graduated from Stephens College with a BFA in Theater Arts. During her time at Stephens College, April received training and experience in acting, directing, stage management, and technical theater. During college she spent a summer at a professional summer stock theater in Okoboji, IA working on 9 full productions in 10 weeks. Since graduating, April has found her passion directing musicals for children and teen performers as well as passing on her love of theater to her students. April has directed more than 12 musicals here at Dayspring but some of her favorites have been: Seussical (2013), Little Mermaid (2014), and Jane Eyre (2015)

Dianne Mueller

Drama, Musical Theatre | South County Coordinator

Dianne Mueller studied theater at Kansas University and later graduated from the University of Missouri St Louis with a BS in Biology and Chemistry. After working for 10 years in the biochemistry field, Dianne retired and pursued her first love, theater. Dianne began teaching youth choirs in 2002 at Green Park Lutheran School and Christ Memorial Lutheran Church. Dianne also formed a youth drama group at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church and has organized and taught various theater camps. Dianne is very active in St. Louis community theater and is currently the Creative Director of Christ Memorial Productions. She also sits on the Board of Family Musical Theater. In her “spare” time she likes to build and create things. Some of her favorite types of creations are doll houses, gingerbread houses and as of now she is planning to tackle furniture construction.

Kristi Gunther

Musical Theatre 1

Kristi Gunther has been teaching young actors to love theater for over 13 years. She has taught and directed students all over the St. Louis and New York metropolitan area, and is excited to begin her first year teaching at DaySpring!  Locally, she has taught at Stages, COCA, Rosati-Kain, St Simon Middle, and more. Besides directing students, Kristi is a video producer, actress, on camera host, and voice over artist. She holds a BFA in directing from NYU.  Her recent favorite productions include "Singin' In the Rain," "Batmania!" and "Beauty and the Beast." Currently you can find her at Kirkwood High School, directing the 2nd installment of "SW1X." When she isn't directing, Kristi loves to camp, garden, dance, sew, and just hang out with her 4 sweet kiddos.  She strives to grow and inspire every student she teaches, and appreciates each parent who entrusts his or her child to her classroom.

Claire Ward

Ballet, Pilates, Young Dancers | Performing Arts Taster

Claire Horrocks is a graduate with a BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma School of Dance. She has danced with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theatre, and in 2008 she toured nationally in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Arena Tour. Claire currently dances with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, and is a certified yoga and pilates instructor. She is thrilled to begin her third year teaching dance and musical theater at DaySpring! 

Eliana Steele

Performing Arts Taster

Eliana Steele is a senior at Missouri Baptist University, majoring in Theatre with minors in Accounting and Business Administration. She taught Drama and Musical Theatre at the STEAM camps this summer and will be teaching the PA Taster class on Saturday mornings during the school year. In the past, Eliana has volunteered as Assistant Director for two Take 3 Christian Theatre productions and is a current member of MBU’s drama ministry group, In Charactre. Eliana is a firm believer in the power of theatre to foster imagination, empathy, critical thinking, and confidence and she is so excited to share the magic of this art form with her students this year.

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Vanessa Waggoner-Zayas


Vanessa is a St Louis native with over 25 years of performance and teaching experience in all areas of the performing arts. She was homeschooled through high school and later studied theater, dance and music at Belhaven College, graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre, Summa Cum Laude. Vanessa has trained and performed with theatre and dance companies including St Louis Shakespeare, The Joshua Squad, Duncan Dance, Off-Kilter Comedy, WyCliffe Dinner Theatre, and PUSH Physical Theatre. She also has professional experience working on camera in commercials, short films and feature length productions.  In 2009 she co-founded Kinetic Tapestry Physical Theatre Company along with her husband, Jaime Zayas. Her performance and teaching have taken her all over the states as well as abroad in England, Scotland, Puerto Rico, Honduras and Spain.

She currently works as a Performing Arts teacher and freelance performer based in the St Louis area. Her desire is to be a high quality performer and to equip other artists of all ages. She has been teaching various performance disciplines since 2001 and loves seeing her students grow as artists and as people.

Jaime Zayas

Circus Arts | Engineering

Actor, mime and clown. Born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He received a B.A in Theater from the University of Puerto Rico. He has over 15 years of experience in professional theater, TV, film and commercials.  He studied mime and physical theatre in The School for Mime Theatre in Gambier, Ohio and clown theatre with the former Cirque du Soleil’s clown, Alex Navarro. He was contracted for specialty character work for the Walt Disney Company. His performances have taken him to the USA, Puerto Rico, Spain and Mexico. In St Louis, he has worked with Annoyarts, St Louis Shakespeare and Mustard Seed Theater receiving high reviews for his acting and lighting design work.

He is also the co-founder and executive director of Kinetic Tapestry, a physical theatre company and circus arts studio based in St Louis.

Allen Moore

Technical Theatre | DaySpring Academy Instructor

Allen Moore is a 1999 graduate of Evangel University in Springfield Missouri and a 2007 graduate of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. Allen received his Bachelor of Science in Speech and Theatre Education and his Master of Arts in Theatre Administration.

Allen taught Speech and Drama for a few years in St. Charles public schools then transitioned to Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School. In his ten years at Carr Lane, Allen taught drama, technical theatre, math and computers; and was the liaison for the building.

Outside of his employment, Allen has worked extensively with performers of all ages in church dramas in both Springfield, Missouri and the St. Louis area. Throughout his time working in church productions, Allen has written several monologues, scenes, and full productions. In addition, for 5 years, Allen ran Destination Theatre Company in St. Louis including directing 6 mainstage productions, several one acts and acting in several of the productions as well. He is thrilled to be bringing his knowledge into the class and continue to expand upon the foundation that has been laid.

Quentin Cockerham

Technical Theatre Director

Quentin J. Cockerham attended Parkway North High School and has been involved in Theatre ever since his first day of class his freshman year. He went on to be the Shop Foreman for two and a half years there and had the opportunity to design and construct during his time in High School. After graduating, Quentin continued his education as STLCC - Meramec where he again found himself in Theatre. There he finally had the chance to act on stage along with working on the technical side of shows as well. He acted in a number of plays there until he transferred to Lindenwood University. His time spent there was brief but rewarding. He continued to work in the shop and on shows as well as being cast in All My Sons as Joe Keller and Our Town as the Stage Manager. He graduated in 2019 with his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with a well-rounded knowledge of this wonderful art form.

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Our staff is currently working from home, therefore the building will not be open regular hours. The best way to contact us is through email, if you do not know who to send your email to please use


We are still accepting mail for payment or forms.  


2500 Metro Blvd.

Maryland Heights, MO 63043


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