Destin School of the Arts (DSOTA) is a Christian faith-based ministry of Destin Methodist Church, providing a safe, positive environment to learn different artistic mediums/skills by empowering students’ self-expression and utilizing their gifts to impact their lives, families, and communities. We believe that God made us to worship him and to create, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are.” Psalm 139:13-14. With group classes or private lessons, DSOTA strives to provide professional art enrichment programs (including musical, visual and performing arts, dance, theatre) for all ages.

Our Vision

To ignite the creativity in every student in our community and beyond.

DSOTA also offers scholarships for these programs based on familial need. We have a scholarship program to lift the financial burden and offer students a creative outlet that may be having a personal difficulty in their life, such as the death or illness of a loved one or an absent parent due to military deployment. We have a “play it forward” fund designated for helping others.



Meet The Team

Nicole Scott - Interim Director

Nicole Scott serves as DSOTA’s Interim Director through May 2024. She has been married to her husband, Dustin, for 13 years and together they have three kids, Ava (age 10), Archer (age 8) and Arlo (age 4). She has over 10 years of experience in Marketing, Communications and Public Relations and is very excited to see DSOTA grow! When she's not at the ball field or swim practice, she and her family love to travel and go exploring!

Maya Melton - Administrative Assistant & DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Maya Melton is from Scarborough, Maine, but now calls Destin, Florida her home. Her second home is the dance studio, starting lessons at age three and competing internationally for twenty years after. Maya has studied with American Dance Training in Vermont, Urbanity Dance Company in Boston, Millenium Dance Company in Los Angeles, and has attended both Bates College Young Dancers Intensive, and Bates College Professional Dance Training Program for many summers in a row! Maya studied dance at The Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts and Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Maya has just recently graduated college and is extremely excited to be able to teach the next generation.  

Anne Hinze - Art Instructor

Anne Hinze grew up a military brat and was fortunate to spend half of her childhood in the United Kingdom before her dad ended his military assignment in Montana where she spent the rest of her school days until high school graduation. Ever the traveler, she eventually found herself on the emerald coast of the Florida panhandle and has lived here for the past 23 years. A writer, artist, prolific reader, and mother to three children – Anne has spent years studying French, writing, community leadership, and the humanities. She has degrees from Northwest Florida State College and the University of West Florida and eligibility to teach English grades 6-12 in Florida. In her spare time, she loves to garden, travel, visit the mountains and spend time playing board games with her friends and family.

Christy Larsen - Instructor & Recording Artist

My name is Christy Larsen, and I am from a small town called Munising, MI. I have an elementary teaching degree from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. After starting a family up north, God lead me and my family to the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast 7 years ago. I have been married to my husband Paul for 15 years and am a mother of 4 children: Jacob (14), Autumn (12), David (8) and Tanner (2). In Destin, I have helped with worship and children’s ministry as well as teaching preschool at Santa Rosa Beach Community Church for the past 4 years. Not only do I love to teach, I love to play music! I sing and play guitar at local venues around the area and am also recording at Dry Bones Studio! I am so very excited to encourage the love for creativity in the arts at Destin School of Arts!  

“Art is a place for children to learn to trust their ideas, themselves, and to explore what is possible!”

Kailey Madison - Instructor, Actress & Producer

Kailey was born and raised in Fort Walton Beach. After high school she attended and graduated from the New York Film Academy where she studied Musical Theatre and Film Acting. After graduation she lived in NYC and worked professionally in the Musical Theatre business starring in numerous productions in the city and around the country. Since being back in the panhandle Kailey has grew her passion in teaching voice and children’s theatre. She now is one of the executive directors of the Non Profit Theatre Company , Mosaic. She’s here to help her students find THEIR voice and THEIR passion in music.

Kim Cannon - Instructor, Musician

From the church house to the White house, Kim Cannon’s true joy and calling is leading congregations in worship, either from the organ in traditional or from the piano in contemporary settings. Kim Cannon has an Organ Performance Degree from Bob Jones University and studied piano privately with such great teachers as Don Hurless and Saul Roas. He has sung with the Paul Hill Chorale in Washington, DC which still performs at the Kennedy Center for the Pe rforming Arts. While living in the Washington D.C. area, Kim provided musical programs for many Congressional events, including being selected as the choral director of the U.S. Navy Band concert of I Love America. Kim has also played piano at The White House multiple times. He feels the pleasure of God when he plays the piano.  Kim is married to Jean and they live in Destin, Florida. Kim has been Minister of Music and Worship at Destin Methodist Church since 2006. Their children live in Birmingham, Al ,Charleston, SC. And Los Angeles, CA.

“I am so grateful for every day of life. The ultimate gift is eternal life found in Christ. I am extremely grateful that Jesus is the friend of sinners and that I am a product of His amazing Grace."

Megan Sanders - Theater Instructor & Artist

Megan Sanders is a former member of the International Thespian Society and Choctawhatchee Style Marchers. Her principle instrument is the Euphonium or Baritone. She also has experience in voice and musical theatre and has been in many productions such as: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Guys and Dolls, and Blithe Spirit. She has been around children her whole life and has two little ones at home. She is passionate about instilling a love for the arts in children at a young age so that this love stays with them for life.

Parker Sexton - DSOTA Intern

I’m a 2023 graduate of Destin High School. I am currently attending Northwest Florida State College and am a member of the Raider Rep program. I’m currently studying law and working to get my Paralegal certification. I am originally from Tuscaloosa Alabama (Roll Tide) and have been living in Florida for 3 years now. A fun fact about me, I can play Alto, Tenor, and Bari Sax. Also at Christmas you can usually see me dressed up as Buddy the Elf.

Rachel Richey - Instructor, Singer & Dancer

Rachel Richey was born and raised in Destin, graduated from Northwest Florida State College, and now lives in Destin with her husband (Zachary Richey), two kids, and one on the way this spring. She has always been an advocate of musical theater since she first started tap, jazz, ballet, and voice lessons at the age of five. She joined the "All-American Dolls" dance team with the Vikings' Marching Band for her first two years in high school followed by the "Lady Knights" community dance team during duel enrollment at the local college. Rachel found her love of ballroom dance at the age of sixteen and began instructing at Fred Astaire Studios throughout northwest Florida at the age of nineteen. After a decade of competing in Ballroom dancing competitions throughout Florida she decided to share her love of dance by teaching continuing education courses at UWF and NWFSC, where she was also singing and dancing with the NWFSC Jazz band. Nowadays, Rachel enjoys teaching tap, jazz, and ballroom dance through DSOTA as well as performing locally as a vocalist for the swing band known as "Hashtag Swing".

Rebekah Lewis - Instructor & Recording Artist

Rebekah Lewis is a native of Northern Virginia in the DC area and joined the Destin School of the Arts in April 2022. Growing up surrounded by music and the arts, she had an early love of music, and began taking music lessons at a young age. Years later she went on to receive her Bachelor of Music from George Mason University. Creative work in college solidified her affinity for songwriting, and she has continued to write and record since then.

Her musical experiences include starring roles in the GMU Opera, active participation in numerous vocal ensembles, performing sacred music and leading congregational worship at various churches and events, weekly piano performances, and participating in music videos and professional recordings. Favorite career highlights include performing in ensemble with internationally known maestros, solo artists, orchestras, and Grammy award-winning director Robert Shafer at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Wolf Trap, the National Cathedral, National Presbyterian Church, and the Lincoln Center in New York City. Rebekah has had the joy of teaching piano for over fifteen years and has truly enjoyed joining the Destin School of the Arts and working with the students here.

Rob Gilmore - Producer, Dry Bones Records

Rob is a life-long musician (base guitarist and drummer) with a deep passion for writing, recording, and performing music, for professional audio production; for discovering new artists/music; for helping new artists achieve greater exposure, recognition, and growth/development as songwriters, musicians and performers and encouraging “persistence” and “hard-work” in their pursuit of music as a career.

Rob’s personal passion has always been writing, recording, and performing music. As prior owner of the one of the area’s first 16-Track Digital Recording Studio, Rob produced, recorded, and mixed multiple independent albums, Eps, and single releases in the 90s. After the turn of the century, Rob developed his passion for discovering and helping other artists in their music career.

In years of attempting to crack the recording industry egg for different artists, having successfully shopped three separate artists to major label recording contracts with Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, and InDeGoot Entertainment/Curb Records, Rob developed relationships with Major Recording Label A&R Representatives, managers, producers, engineers, independent recording labels, and other professionals in the music industry. In addition to assisting artists, Rob has represented Independent Recording Labels and Independent Publishing Companies in signing new artists to their rosters - including drafting recording, publishing, management, and licensing contracts.

Rob is husband, father, lawyer, drummer, recording studio nut, and a true Destin “local” having lived here since 1971. After dragging his wife Sonya from Miami to Destin, 30 years ago, Sonya can now claim authentic “local” status too. Rob and Sonya are members of the church and have been active in the Praise Band, Choir, and C.R. Ministry for many years now. The two are blessed with their (now 16-year-old) daughter, Presley, who grew up participating in the children and youth group programs at Church. In his professional career, Rob serves as “General Counsel” for VTrips, a multi-state vacation rental management company. Rob has practiced law in Florida since 2004, and is also licensed in Alabama (yep, two state bar exams!).

Rob Jollie - Instructor & Musician

Robert Jollie loves music and art. He showed at a young age, according to his teachers, a very good “musical ear” and a remarkable ability to draw and paint. At around 4-5th grade he started taking guitar lessons, but after his guitar teacher stopped teaching, he started taking organ and piano lessons. He also started singing in the church children's choir. A short time after, he was given a keyboard for a Christmas gift and began playing it in the Church band along with his mom, dad and brother...that sang, played guitar and the drums, respectively. Then, sometime in high school he was given an electric guitar that was a rebuild “project” from a friend. After fixing it up, he began practicing and playing the guitar again. 

He graduated from Okaloosa Walton Community College (now NWF State College) receiving an Associate Arts degree and then receiving a Bachelor of Studio Art with an emphasis in darkroom 1991 from University of West Florida. He met his wife at a church in the fall of 1991, and they married in 1992 and just recently celebrated their 31st year of marriage. They now have 4 children and 3 far. As soon as their honeymoon ended, he started airbrushing professionally and eventually owned seasonal airbrushing business and was a substitute teacher during the fall/winters seasons. He also built and painted another guitar. They moved out to Pensacola for a brief time and worked in a church ministry, doing art and music, and often traveled with the ministry. 

He and his brother also started a small recording studio, Relevant! Studios, in Pensacola and they were able to do a few albums for people, and also transferred cassette tapes to digital. He taught private keyboard and guitar lessons while there and became an Art teacher at Jubilee Christian Academy for a few years teaching K-12. He has done audio and video recording/editing and mixing, graphic design, and sound engineering from weddings to funerals. 


He's painted murals in Pensacola, for a few churches and private customers and at Ft Walton High school - “The Viking Mural”, at Beachside Church (next to Choctaw) “The Under the Sea" kids check-in area and another at Covenant Community Church – “The Outdoor Adventure Room and the Hallway to play”. 


Eventually, he plans to do a few long-distance motorcycle tours with his club Frontline Soldiers raising money for first responders and get his micro-farming business back up and running. 

Roberto Padron - Instructor & Musician

Roberto Padron has been a professional drummer since the age of 15. He has been a ministry drummer for 20 years. He has been teaching drums for several decades and from the inception of Destin School of the arts. He believes that every student has a distinct way to learn and creates a custom program for each student. Roberto is passionate about passing on his God given talents to the next generation.

Skylar Capri - Voice Instructor

Originally from Destin, Skylar Capri grew up taking vocal lessons on the coast and was heavily involved in the DUMC community and beyond. After releasing her first pop single and music video after graduating from Niceville High School and seeing her music gain significant traction, she moved to Los Angeles in 2022 and began working in the music industry as a pop artist and professional songwriter. In the past two years, Skylar has built up her reputation in the industry and has played live original shows in LA and London, worked closely with Grammy award winning producers, and has accumulated over 1.5 million streams on her original music. She sees the importance and value of vocal training and performance practice as a way to gain a special skill set and increase in confidence. Skylar, more than anything, has a big heart for seeing people find and pursue their passions and grow their confidence, and she is thrilled about taking kids under her wings!

Destin School of the Arts
200 Beach Dr.
Bldg. A
Destin, FL 32541

(850) 830-2021, ext. 230


join our team

Sign Up For New Class Announcements, Events, Workshops & More!

Destin methodist Church