Our Team

Pernille Duckworth

Is the founder and Managing Director of The Academy of Dance and Art. Returning to Kenya after having lived for six years in South Africa, Pernille decided to open her own studio in Karen. Having enjoyed the Performing Arts and Dance world not just for herself but her daughter Juliet whilst in South Africa it became apparent upon their return to Kenya that this was sorely lacking here. Hence the decision to form The Academy of Dance and Art which opened its doors in September 2009 with our very first Royal Academy of Dance qualified graduate teacher. The Studio has grown from having 80 students the very first year, some of which are still with us, to 250 Students today attending the Studio in Rhino House.

Arnie Luna Umayam

Studied at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, School of Design and Arts Major in Technical Theater. He started his dancing career in Teatro Baile De Cavite in 1999 and took his formal training under Brezhnev Larlar. Awarded as one of the Most Oustanding Young Performing Artist of Cavite in 2002 and performed in numerous ballet productions and concerts. He was trained under the renowned ballet teachers namely Vella Damian, Nonoy Foilan, Anatoli Panasioukov, Victor Ursabia, Jeffrey Espejo, Dwight Rodrigazo, among others.
In 2004, he was a company member of Filipinescas Dance Company directed by Philippines National Artist for Dance; Leonor Orosa-Goquingco. Read More…

Rachel Njeri

With more than four years of intensive training at the Academy of Dance and Arts, Ms. Kinyanjui has studied under teachers from all over the world. Recently she took the Royal
Academy of Dance Intermediate Ballet passed with a high merit. She is currently teaching in more than eight schools throughout Nairobi, including the Academy. Rachel’s production performances include “Silver Screen” as Fairy Godmother, “The Nutcracker” 2014 as Arch Angel. She was one of the choreographers and performer for “Around the World in Eighty Days” in 2015.


Shugu is a certified yoga teacher with over six years experience in different styles and approaches, most notably Sivananda, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa flow. She learnt to teach under the guidance of Beverley Nolan, a senior yoga teacher at Camyoga, Cambridge UK, and completed her pregnancy and postnatal yoga teacher training in London.  Most recently, Shugu has added Yin Yoga to her portfolio and all of her qualifications are accredited by the Yoga Alliance Professionals. Read More…

Mozart Barnabas

He is a music scholar, tutor and a classical pianist by profession. He started playing since he was 8 years old and is our residential pianist. He graduated with a music degree from Kenyatta University, Nairobi and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Music at Kabarak University, Nakuru. He is also a grade 8 A.B.R.S.M (Associate Board Of Royal Schools Of Music – London) pianist as well as an R.A.D pianist and has accompanied ballet exams for the past 5 years. He plays during our ballet classes, Academy shows, and teaches musical theartre classes. He has also been a National pianist for the Kenya Music Festival for the past 7 years and is a private piano teacher.

Denis Edigar

Born in the slums of Nairobi, Denis Magero didn’t let his humble beginnings interfere with his dream of becoming a professional dance instructor. He studied dance, movement and theater at the Kenya Performing Arts Group before moving up the ranks at DanceSport Kenya to become a professional dance teacher and examiner. His expertise in ballet, African dance, hip hop, tap and ballroom has taken him to other east African nations as well as Central America and Europe, and today he gives back by teaching dance every week to hundreds of children in the very slums where he was raised. He also does art therapy for cancer patients in the pediatric ward at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Ann Kang'ethe

Based at the studio, Ann manages the administration of the Academy.  She is on hand to help prospective and current parents and students with any queries, uniform requirements, lesson details and general information about the school.  The best time to drop by and see her is between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday.