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How it all began...

EXCEL Academy is a development center that has served Arkansas since 1986.

Our international award-winning curriculum was created from over 45+ years of experience in the entertainment and business industries. We teach our students effective skills & techniques to be successful in any industry they choose to pursue.

Online Courses

Online Courses

We have taken our international award-winning curriculum and put it in a format that fits not only your schedule, but also your wallet! EXCEL's program has empowered countless models and

actors to excel both personally and professionally. Whether your goal is personal development or a firm foundation for a career in modeling or acting, our academy will enable you to focus on your technique while at the same time enrich your life with newfound confidence!

In-Person Classes

In-Person Classes

After you have completed the Online Courses we invite you to work through all that you have learned with other students in our bi-weekly in-person classes each month at the Innovation Hub in Argenta, Arts District.



2nd & 4th Tuesdays

2nd & 4th Thursdays

  • Character Development

  • Monologue Critique

  • Dialogue Critique

  • Auditioning Skills

  • Industry Study

  • Runway Technique

  • Walk Technique

  • Dialogue Critique

  • Casting Calls Skills

  • Photographic Modeling

Meet Our Team

Our founder, Melissa Moody, has over 45 years of experience working in the modeling and entertainment industries. Melissa started EXCEL in 1986 to share her knowledge and then 14+ years of experience with aspiring models and actors.

Melissa has written an international award-winning curriculum that has been updated every 6 months with real-time industry information. We have had the privilege of teaching our students’ children and even grandchildren.

Our owner, Summer Moody, was raised in the entertainment industry. Summer has studied under top industry professionals since she was 8 years old, she attends conferences all over the world to stay on top of the latest industry standards, received her Bachelor’s in Business Management, as well as earning her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to make sure EXCEL’s students have a well-rounded, mind/body/spirit education.

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Audra (left) and Taryn (right) have been an integral part of the development of this program. They have taken their expertise of not only what they have learned after spending $60,000+ on their educations, but also from their years of experience in the entertainment and business industries, to bring the most important aspects to you!

Audra McAnally-Parsons has been around EXCEL since she was 3 years old. She took classes at EXCEL when she was in her teens and has helped many students EXCEL grow their confidence and fulfill their potential in pursuing their dreams. Audra graduated from UALR with her bachelor’s in business administration with a focus on marketing. She now owns her own business in downtown Benton, Retro Rose, which is a rad record store that sells records, turntables, and band t-shirts.

Taryn Gaston started with EXCEL when she was around 12 years old and came back to take the classes again when she was ready to graduate high school. She attended the International Modeling and Talent Association in New York City with EXCEL, signed with TRUE Model Management and CESD Talent, and worked in NYC as a model and actress for many years. During her time in NYC, she received her bachelor’s at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, to add to her bachelor’s in communications she received from the University of Arkansas.

Daniel Moody is an international award-winning photographer that was raised in the entertainment industry. His number one priority is building relationships.

"I really want to see people do well."

Daniel specializes in making things easy and relaxed for his subjects from the moment they walk in the studio so they can look and feel good on camera.

"My dad gave my first camera at 15, and I grew up learning the ins and outs of lighting, posing, and storytelling. I grew up performing and learned lots of tricks to get you past the awkward phase and into being natural."


Our Founder, Melissa Moody, and our Owner , Summer Moody have traveled to NY, LA, Miami, and Paris for over 35 years to nurture positive relationships with national and international agents to further the successes of our students who desire to work on a national or international level.

EXCEL is the only Modeling and Acting Academy in Arkansas to maintain a license with the Arkansas State Board of Private Career Education and has been a member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau of Little Rock maintaining an A+ rating for 30+ years.

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The name EXCEL was taken from Proverbs 31:29-30.

We give God the glory.

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