American Fork Team

DIRECTORS

Mindy Robbins, Owner & Artistic Director Musical Theatre  (AF)
Mindy started performing when she was 4, taking private voice lessons at 6, worked professionally at the age of 16, and started teaching voice at 19. Mindy most recently played the role of Miss Honey the 2018 production of Matilda at Tuacahn. She has also played Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins at Tuachan in 2013, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in 2007, Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun in 2002, and Liesl in The Sound of Music in 2001. Previously, Mindy toured with the Broadway Company of Les Miserables, covering the role of Eponine played by Sutton Foster and starring Colm Wilkinson. Other credits include Walt Disney World’s Hoop Dee Doo and Kids of the Kingdom, Tokyo Disney’s Peco’s Goofy, BYU’s Young Ambassadors and Lagoon’s Music USA. She has been a guest performer for the opening ceremonies of the Olympic World Senior Games. Mindy has recorded for Disney, with Mandy Moore, karaoke itunes songs and on numerous radio commercials. She has performed with Colm Wilkinson, Jason Alexander, Sutton Foster and Sam Harris. She has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Lex DeAzevedo’s work, Gloria, The Life of Christ as Mary. Mindy guest-starred on the national television series, Touched by an Angel, and has been seen on national television commercials. She graduated with a BFA in Music Dance Theatre from BYU where she has taught voice in the school of music. She loves sharing her passion for performing with her students. Mindy is an owner of COPA which currently has three locations in Utah and over 750 students. She is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association.

Nathan Balser, Artistic Director & Consultant (AF)
Nathan is a graduate of BYU with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation and The University of Utah with a Masters of Fine Arts. He has performed on Broadway in the original cast of Promises, Promises with Kristen Chenoweth, 9 to 5: The Musical with Allyson Janney, Damn Yankees with Cheyenne Jackson, and Legally Blonde. You may have seen Nathan on CBS in the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009, 2010, and 2011 honoring Mel Brooks, Jerry Herman, Meryl Streep, and Barbara Cook or on the Tony Awards in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 with Mamma Mia!, Promises, Promises, and Neil Patrick Harris, respectively. He also performed in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade with the cast of Legally Blonde in 2009 and is on the MTV recording of the same show. He was also in the world premiere of Minsky’s in the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and in Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas. Nathan played the role of Craig in R.R.R.E.D. at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2010 and participated in several workshops and readings in NYC including Promises, Promises with Anne Hathaway, Brigadoon directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, Ever After with Dough Hughes, and Leap of Faith starring Sutton Foster and Raul Esparza. Nathan also toured internationally with Bianca Marroquin in Solo Pido, and nationally with Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan. Nathan is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA.

Suzie Balser, Owner & Artistic Director for Dance (AF)
Suzie graduated from BYU with a BFA in Music Dance and Theatre where she performed as a Young Ambassador and won the Theatre Department’s award for Best Supporting Actress and an Irene Ryan Nomination for Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me. Acting credits include Aheh in Sunfish at the New York ASCAP foundation musical theatre workshop with Stephen Schwartz, Stephanie in the New York production of Katie Thompson and Patrick Livingston’s R.R.R.E.D., Sophie in the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia!, Nellie Forbush in Tuacahn’s South Pacific, Molly in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Winnie Tate in Annie Get Your Gun, Laurie in Oklahoma!, Maude in Funny Girl, Lorena Bobbit in Odyssey’s Thriller, and Demeter in CATS. In addition to the stage, Suzie can be seen in local and national commercials. In conjunction with performing Suzie has taught music, dance, and theatre around the country. While at BYU, Suzie was a student teacher in the dance department. She has also instructed at institutions such as BYU Childrens’ Creative Dance, Encore Academy, Musical Theater in Las Vegas as well as the West Orange, New Jersey Metrowest JCC Theater Arts Program. Most recently, Suzie has taught as adjunct faculty at Western Wyoming Community College Department of Theatre and Dance where she directed Flowers for Algernon and choreographed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Desert Dance Company. Last summer, Suzie was the Assistant Director of Tuacahn’s production of Grease and was on the creative team for the Nauvoo Historical Pageant in Nauvoo, IL. Suzie is also a member of the Actors Equity Association.

Cherie Call, Artistic Director Pop Music (AF)
Cherie Call has been writing songs since her early teens. She has released nine full length albums of her own songs. Cherie is a two time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville Newfolk Songwriting Competition. She’s played “in the round” at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Her songs have been featured in independent films, including the Banff Award winning “True Fans”. Cherie’s most recent album is a children’s album called, “The Buddy System”, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Lyndy Butler. From this album, their song, “The Astronaut and The Mermaid” recently won the grand prize in the children’s category of The John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Cherie is a member of the Utah supergroup, The Lower Lights. She teaches songwriting at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah and is the artistic director of the Pop Music Company at Utah Conservatory of Performing Arts. Cherie is married and has four children.

Brooklyn Cottle, MDT Faculty (AF)
Bio coming soon…

Tyne Crockett, Dance Academy Director (AF)
Tyne Valgardson Crockett began her dance career studying ballet, jazz and contemporary here in Utah. She then attended UVU in Modern Dance, where she was a member of the Nationally ranked UVU Dance Team and completed a Disney College Program at Walt Disney World in Entertainment. Tyne has served as Choreographer for Nebo School District where she choreographed over 15 musical theater productions and concerts. She also served as the Jazz Department Director at Academy of Ballet and Academy Director at The Performers Place. In 2013, she teamed with Karen Jensen of BYU and founded the Utah Dance Film Festival, MOVE: A 24-Hour Film Competition and ACTION! Dance for Film Workshops, where she currently serves as Director. Tyne has choreographed productions at the SCERA Center for the Arts, including Footloose, The Musical and My Fair Lady. Tyne has a passion for helping her students reach their potential and become true artists. She been with Utah COPA for over two years and she has loved every minute of it. 

DeLayne Dayton, Faculty & Director Prodigy Performing Company (AF)
Delayne has a passion for music and theater. She received her BA from BYU in Family Science with a minor in Music. She has taught piano for 10 years and directed the Dayton Singer’s Company performing group since 2008. DeLayne loves being a part of our great community theaters. She has performed at the Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy, Hale Center Theater in Orem and the Scera. Her performing credits are: Pirates of Penzance, Oliver, Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Disco Inferno, Funny Girl, and most recently the enjoyable part of Miss Hannigan in Annie and M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias. DeLayne loves performing with her children and loves being a wife to husband, Brendon, and mother to Jaxson, Brinley, Bailey, Bridger, Olivia, and Millie.

Adam Holdaway, POP Academy Director and COPA Managing Director (AF)
Adam graduated from Brigham Young University with a BM in Music Education. He has over 20 years experience in teaching, both privately and in the public schools. Adam is also a free-lance musician and producer. Adam has had the opportunity to share the stage with many talented artists, including Grammy winning artist Randy Bachman, Steve Smith from Journey, session drummer Gregg Bissonnette, and local artists Jericho Road, Cherie Call, and Sam Payne. He is proficient on both drums and bass and has been performing for over 25 years. He got his start playing in local bands. His first major band, Nectar, took the local market by storm back in 1992. Shortly after that, he joined the band Mulberry Drive, which also became a big success both locally and in college markets throughout the country. Their first single, “Thousand Years” reached all the way to #14 on several Indy radio charts. He has also performed with several other local acts, including Lewis, Wave O’ Blues, Steam Donkey, Bobo’s Revenge, Phat Daddy, The Brother Chunky Band, and the Stewart Dodge Band.

Katie Higbee, Academy Director Musical Theatre (AF)
Katie made her performing debut at 7 years old in The Music Man (unless you count the Sunday evening concerts on the fire place hearth). She participated in musical theater consistently all through her childhood, studied dance and gymnastics, and started voice lessons at 14. She attended BYU majoring in Music Dance Theater and has performed in community and professional theaters throughout Utah and California. Katie discovered early on in her career that she had a knack for teaching and choreographing. Katie has choreographed for numerous high schools and junior high schools, as well as community and professional theatre companies throughout the west. She has also taught dance and choreographed for singing groups at The Academy of Ballet, Encore and Center Stage, where she directed all of the vocal companies from 1997-2000. Katie has choreographed for Lagoon under the direction of Mark Huffman and has also had the opportunity to be on production teams for large events like the Pioneer Sesquicentennial Celebration at the LaVell Edwards Stadium and the Newport Beach Temple Youth Celebration featuring 4,000 youth from 16 different Southern California LDS Stakes. Katie’s students have gone on to star in feature films, perform in lead roles on Broadway, in National Broadway tours, and in professional theaters all over the world as well as on TV’s Dancing With the Stars, So you think you can Dance, and Dance Wars. Katie has also used her talents to serve her community and church as Stake Arts Council Chair an starting an Arts Council in Saratoga Springs Utah. Katie thrives on helping students grow as artists and people and finds great joy in their accomplishments – both personal and professional.

Tiffany Nutter, MDT Company Director and PM Company Director (AF)
Tiffany Nutter spent the majority of her formative years fronting her family band with her siblings, singing at events all over Southern California.  She began training in classical piano at the age of 4 and received superior marks multiple times in both Certificate of Merit and The National Piano Guild.  She trained in ballet, tap, and jazz for over a decade and began choreographing professionally for show choirs before graduating high school.  She spent two summers performing in and accompanying shows at the beloved Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone, Montana.  Tiffany then traveled to Osaka, Japan, where she was a member of the inaugural cast of Universal Studios, where she met her husband.  She received a scholarship from the MDT program at BYU, where she would later graduate with her BFA.  She played multiple lead roles in, music directed, and choreographed many shows around the Utah Valley at the SCERA, Hale Center Theatre, and the short-lived Grove Theatre.  She headed the choral department at Lehi High School before graduating from BYU and starting her family.  She has spent the last decade in California, raising her 4 children, teaching private voice and piano lessons, singing with the Orange County Millennial Choir Organization, and creating and directing musical revues for the community.  She is happy to be back in Utah where there is an unsurpassed love and appreciation for the performing arts.

Cori Ollerton, POP Co-Academy Director (AF)
Cori is honored to be directing Fusion as well as teaching our Contemporary Vocal Tech classes. She has been performing for years, most recently in the car with her 4 kids. Cori received an MDT degree from BYU in 1992 and has taught voice for 24 years. Her performing has led her to over 16 different countries and given her opportunities to sing for commercials as well as video and stage productions. Although she loves her job and performing some of her favorite roles are just make-believing in her own living room. It’s amazing what we can become when we just believe.  Pop music and styling are all about the person creating the story. Let’s live what we know!

Jake Suazo, Acting Company Director (AF)
Jake Ben Suazo has a BA from Utah Valley University and a MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University where he specialized in Meisner technique. He has twenty years of professional theatre, film and television acting experience, he recently played Higgs on the WB’s The Outpost, is a cast member on BYUTV’s Showoffs and played King Noah in the Book of Mormon Videos. He has twenty years of stage directing and producing experience. Was a founding member of the Warboy Theatre Projects and Thrillionaires Improv Musical Theatre. He has 20 years of improv teaching experience. Was a member of Comedysportz for 15 years and has studied improv with Improv Olympic, The Groundlings. The Impro Theatre and Second City. He currently adjuncts at Utah Valley University where he teaches acting for stage and film and has developed and established their improv courses and improv team.

Julie Suazo, Acting Company Director (AF)
Julie has performed and created theater for over 20 years. She holds a BS degree in Theatre Arts from Utah Valley University. While at UVU, Julie was nominated for an Irene Ryan Award 4 times and competed at regionals. She concluded her time at UVU with her Senior project performance of Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice). During her time at UVU she taught youth theatre and directed youth full stage productions for 5 years at Scera Youth Theatre and Utah Valley University summer youth programs. Film credits include Voteutah.gov commercials (wife) and Love, Fall and Order for the Hallmark Channel (mayor). Her favorite role of all time was Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility at the Orem Hale Centre Theatre. Creating and teaching acting is my passion!

FACULTY

Emma Austin, Dance Faculty (AF)
Originally from Alpine, Utah, Emma’s love of performing started at the age of 3. She’s danced for 21 years (competitively since the age of 11), and is trained in jazz, ballet/pointe, contemporary, hip hop, musical theater, and tap styles. She also has 12 years of vocal training and has performed in community and school musical productions throughout her elementary, middle school, and high school years. Emma continues her training as a Music Dance Theater student at Brigham Young University. She is a current member of BYU’s Young Ambassadors and serves as the Assistant Dance Captain. Emma has performed across the country—from California to New York City—with other elite performing groups including Manhattan Concert Productions, the Young Performing Missionaries of Nauvoo, Illinois, and COPA’s Principal company. Some of her favorite credits include Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Laurie in Oklahoma, Alice in The Secret Garden, and featured dance roles in West Side Story and Sunset by the Mississippi. Emma has taught and choreographed all over Utah County, including at the Utah Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Lone Peak High School’s drama department, and Timberline Middle School’s drama department. She cherishes the opportunity to share her passion for the performing arts and hopes to help every student find confidence in all their personal and performing endeavors.

Courtney Byrom, MDT Faculty (AF)
Coming soon…

Sarah Chaffin, MDT Faculty (AF)
Coming soon…

Megan Mack Christensen, MDT Faculty (AF)
Megan is excited to be back in Utah after almost 20 years in the Los Angeles area. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BFA in Music Dance and Theatre and Theatre Arts Education. While at BYU, she had the pleasure of performing with The Young Ambassadors and throughout the school and community in shows such as Children of Eden, Brigadoon, The Taffeta’s, as Millie in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, and as Calamity Jane in Calamity Jane at the Jackson Hole Playhouse. Upon graduation, she taught Theater at AFHS and was Adjunct Faculty at BYU as a Vocal Instructor. During her time in California, Megan shared her love of performing arts, choreographing and directing her Children’s Performing Group “Sing With Me”, teaching throughout the local school districts as a Music Specialist, and directing a local church and community children’s choir for over 11 years under the direction of Film Director and Music Composer, Richard Rich. Megan has been a Private Vocal Teacher and Dramatic Coach for over 22 years and loves seeing the personal confidence and growth that comes through participation in performing arts.

Brooklyn Cottle, Dance Faculty (AF)
Brooklyn has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Her passion for dancing inspires her life! She loves sharing that inspiration with young dancers, helping them ignite their passion for the art of dance and watching them develop into the expressive, confident artists she knows that they can be. She is an energetic technically trained performance based dancer trained in Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Voice, Musical Theater, Clogging, Irish and World Dance styles. She grew up training at studios in Utah Valley participating in many competitions, performances, tours, and conventions winning many individual and team awards. Brooklyn absolutely loves everything Disney and has especially loved her many opportunities to perform at Disneyland. She was a member of Pleasant Grove High School’s Dance Company where she served as President, Historian, and Choreographer. As a member of PGHS Drama Club she won State Competition awards for her choreography and participated in many musicals and competitions. She was accepted into BYU as a dance major where she continued her training in ballet, jazz and contemporary styles and expanded her training into Clogging, Irish, and World Dance for the past 2 years. She loves being a part of BYU’s Folk Dance Team where she has learned and performed many dance styles from around the world. Throughout her journey at BYU, Brooklyn found a love of biomechanics and kinesiology. Combined with her desire to help others optimize their movement and improve their way of life she has decided to pursue becoming a Physical Therapist, changing her major to Exercise Science with a minor in Dance. Her passion and desire for understanding biomechanics and kinesiology helps her support dancers in a healthy foundational training. 

Lindsay Folkman, Dance Faculty (AF)
Lindsay graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in World Dance and Modern Dance, as well as being awarded various Dance Department honors which included Dancers’ Choice, Excellence in Teaching, and the Cherrill Brown Liptak Citation (“awarded to one who through dancing will give and receive joy as well as inspire others to dance”). Lindsay has established and coordinated Contemporary, Jazz, and Tap programs with ballet schools throughout Utah Valley, as well as direct studio companies that would fine tune her choreographic voice. While with Classical Ballet Academy (2009-2014), Lindsay directed the studio Contemporary program and served as resident choreographer for the premiere pre-professional company, Provo Civic Ballet. There she created four full contemporary ballets: “Hansel & Gretel: The Revision” (2010); “Ballet Cirque”(2011); “The Land of Oz” (2012), and “Pinocchio: Awake My Soul”(2014). Her repertoire work with Provo Civic Ballet earned attention at dance festivals and competitions – including “Judges Choice” at the Utah Dance Festival (2012, 2013, 2015), and “Outstanding Choreographer” for her solo and ensemble pieces participating in the world renowned Youth America Grand Prix (2013). Most recently Lindsay Folkman has been awarded the prestigious honor of Utah’s Best of State Choreographer in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Lindsay continues setting both her new and restaged contemporary repertoire at festivals and competitions for dance studios, high school dance companies, and competitive soloists throughout Utah. With her extensive training in various genres, and her firm belief in “teaching you will learn”, Lindsay has created for herself a signature fusion of eclectic and visionary movement, collaborating with students in diverse individual style and emotionally-charged artistic freedom. 

DeLonne Hucks, MDT Faculty (AF)
Coming soon…

Marcie Jacobsen, MDT Voice Faculty (AF)
Coming soon…

Penny McCord, MDT Faculty (AF)
Penny began her study of voice, dance and piano in elementary school and continued through college. She was a Talent Award winner at the Miss Utah Pageant and was awarded Entertainer of the Year while attending Dixie College. Penny graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in music. Penny has always loved performing and has found a new love in directing. She has been Music Director for several Alpine Community Theater productions. Penny also directed, choreographed and produced several musicals for Westfield Elementary School. She has also taught voice lessons for over 20 years. Other favorite credits include Southern Utah Tour of “My Turn on Earth”, Sister Sarah in “Guys and Dolls”, Dolly in Hello Dolly”, Marian in “Music Man”, Grace in “Annie” and Tuptim in “The King and I”. Penny’s favorite role of all is that of wife to Rick and mother to Mason, Madison, Zackary, and Xander.

Jamie Sarmiento, MDT Faculty (AF)
Jamie Sarmiento began her performing and dance career as a young teenager in various performing groups and stage productions. She enjoyed featured dance roles in musicals such as West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, and Where the Wild Things Are. While in college, she was captain of the Utah Blitzz Dancers, performing at halftime shows at the University of Utah Stadium. She has been teaching performing groups and children’s dance classes for eighteen years. She has choreographed over a dozen children’s junior productions. Favorites include Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Seven Brides for Seven brothers, and The Little Mermaid. She also likes to “fly” as her favorite form of exercise is aerial arts. She especially loves aerial silks and Lyra, (aerial hoop.) Jamie has spent a good amount of time in the recording studio as a recording artist for Siafam Productions, recording various pop songs for The European and aerobic exercise market. Jamie graduated from Utah Valley University in 2010 and taught sixth grade for six years. She now stays home with her son Mace, as she plays her favorite role of all, “mommy.”

Brandalee Streeter, MDT Faculty (AF)
Coming soon…

Danielle Zimmerman, MDT Faculty (AF)
Danielle has been singing for as long as she can remember! When she was little, her family jokes that she sang more than she talked and always welcomed any opportunity to perform for whoever would listen! When she was eight years old, she was a featured soloist for the Steven Kapp Perry fireside, “Come to the House of the Lord,” at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitor’s Center. At the age of nine, she moved to Tokyo, Japan where she started her professional singing career as a featured soloist in various national commercials for companies such as Uniqlo and Biore Skin Care. She also secured a lead role in an English Language DVD series. When she was 10, she performed on stage as a backup vocalist for American country singer Pat Boone at his international concert tour in Tokyo. During high school, Danielle had lead roles in multiple musicals such as Kim McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, sang in various elite concert choirs, won first place in two community talent shows, and was a featured extra in the Disney Channel original movie High School Musical.

Danielle graduated with a BA in English from Brigham Young University in 2011, while also studying voice and dance on the side. She performed with the Young Ambassadors for two years under the direction of Randy Boothe and was able to travel internationally with them to Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. She continued her recording career as a featured soloist for companies such as LDS Motion Picture Studios and Highway Records and went on to be a featured extra in Disney’s High School Musical 3 as well. She was also invited to perform at the Governor’s Gala in 2011. Lately, her favorite role is that of “mom” to her three children (and one more on the way)! She is so excited to be part of the COPA family and help inspire her students to realize their full potential and become the best they can be!