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Penny Leto


Owner/Director of CoffeeMill Dance Studio 

Choreographer and Instructor of Ballet, Modern, African, Musical Theater, Zumba


Born and raised in the Bronx, Penny relocated to Key West in 1977 with a B.A. in Dance Education from Herbert H. Lehman College. Penny purchased the CoffeeMill property (known for it’s El Brazo Fuerte coffee) in the mid-eighties, co-founded the Key West Dance Theatre and became an original member of the Fabulous Spectrelles (Toni). In 2016 she moved the CoffeeMill Dance Studio and expanded into 2 new dance spaces.


Penny is managing director of the the CoffeeMill Young Dance Collective, Monroe County’s only pre-professional, student dance company, made up of 24 talented and hardworking young dance artists under the umbrella of the non-profit Merging Ideas Developing Arts (MIDA).

Penny has performed in and choreographs for all the theater groups in Key West including Keys Kids (credits include: Music Man, Mary Poppins, Bye Bye Birdie, Annie, Peter Pan, King & I, High School Musical, Footloose, Wizard of Oz, Little Mermaid, Oliver, Wanda's World) the Waterfront Playhouse (favorites include: Young Frankenstein, Avenue Q, The Producers, Spamalot, Xanadu, Drowsy Chaperone, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Reefer Madness, Urinetown) and the Red Barn Theatre (credits include: Bingo, Sister Robert Anne's Cabaret Class, Forbidden Broadway, Bat Boy, Rocky Horror Picture Show) and produces DanceWorks! (this year  May 19 & 20, 2023 at TWT) and Walk on White's 'hiPSo fActO' - an informal live dance performance series.


In 2009 the CoffeeMill was awarded an ‘Art Reach’ Grant to present Peter and The Wolf to school aged children. Penny is also interested in promoting dance in our schools through the CoffeeMill Dance Outreach and Scholarship Program bringing dance to children who cannot get to the studio, and to offer classes to those who cannot financially afford them. She is also a recipient of two ‘Artist in Schools’ Grants.

This past year she helped mount Nutcracker Key West at the Tennessee Williams Theatre and directed/choreographed Rent the Musical for the Key West High School Drama Club.


Every summer Penny is proud to be a part of Camp Bravo! A musical theatre camp for children in collaboration with Keys Community School of the Arts (credits include: Moana Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr., Seussical Jr.,  Aladdin Jr., Annie Jr., Lion King Jr., Once On This Island Jr., The Aristocats Jr.), and the newly formed Waterfront Youth Theater program choreographing Frozen Jr., Matilda, Shrek The Musical Jr., Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

This year the CoffeMill Dance Studio celebrates 40 years of dance in Key West!

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