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Gymnastics Coaches

Coach Jerit

Coach Jerit

Coach Sarah

Coach Sarah

Coach Jackie

Coach Jackie


Coach Eric

Coach Eric

Coach Tyler

Coach Tyler

Coach Taylor

Coach Taylor


Coach Amanda

Coach Amanda

Coach Kiera

Coach Kiera

Coach Zach

Coach Zach


Coach Rayne

Coach Rayne

Coach Rene

Coach Rene

Coach McKenna

Coach McKenna


Coach Mady

Coach Micaella

Coach Micaella

Coach Kriszti

Coach Kriszti


Ms. Jenn

Ms. Jenn

Ms. Michelle

Ms. Michelle


Dance Teachers

Kristen Edmunds, PT

 

Advanced Ballet and Pointe, Ballet, and Jazz

Kristen has been involved in the arts from a young age. She was a gymnast early on, medaling at state a number of times. Later, Kristen was a professional ski instructor during her high school and college years. She also was a dancer with her High School Drill Team, serving as co-captain her senior year. After graduation, she auditioned for West Texas State University Dance Ensemble under the direction of Neil Hess. She was awarded an apprenticeship her first year, and after joining the ensemble as a company member, she was immersed in the world of performance. Their schedule was rigorous, with multiple monthly performances locally and state / region-wide. They were awarded honors multiple years at the American College Dance Festival and even received an invitation to dance at the State Capital. Subsequently, she became a core company member of Lone Star Ballet under the direction of Mr. and Mrs. Hess during this time, dancing numerous roles as a soloist her last two years. She was moreover a dance cast member of *TEXAS*, the Musical Drama, in the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon, dancing one of the two soloist roles her last year. Due to an injury, she had to step aside from dance, and attended Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, earning her advanced degree in Physical Therapy. In Houston, she resumed dance training with Houston Ballet company members in HB's adult advanced class program. She also trained at The Met, and with Kathleen Lobue and Randall Flynn of Ad Deum Dance. She is well-trained in ballet, pointe, partnering, lyrical, and jazz. She also joined Sugar Creek Baptist Church Dance Company and was Co-Director for three years. In addition to her dance training, Kristen gained advanced certifications in PT, including becoming a fully trained PHI Pilates Mat Instructor, a certified Core Barre Instructor, and recently gained her certification in Kinesiotaping. Through her training and extensive research, Kristen has developed an Injury Prevention Workshop for Dancers, presenting to local dance companies. She has continued teaching and training locally from elementary age through advanced level ballet and pointe technique, and her passion for promoting health in the dance industry fuels her enthusiasm in dance education, particularly with the advanced dancers. She has been able to use her knowledge and skills as a physical therapist to train dancers in kinetically sound movement through promotion of pure alignment, safe and effective strength and flexibility training, and fluid and graceful movement from a sound, stable core.

Estheysis Menedez

Advanced/Pre-Professional Ballet

Cuban born, raised in the province of Camagüey, Estheysis began her ballet training in the Vocational Art School "Luis Casas Romero", in 1999, continuing onto the Academy "Vicentina de la Torre”.  

In 2007 Estheysis was invited to join the National School of Ballet, under the guidance of Ramona de Saá and other outstanding professors. She quickly became worthy of important distinctions in competitive events, among them:

  • 1st Place Category, Variations (2005),

  • 1st Place Category, Pas de Deux (2008), in the International Encounters of Academies for the Teaching of Ballet Competitions, Havana, Cuba.  

In 2008 she was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury in the Competition Rome Award, Italy, and the Prize to the Best Couple, in the Competition of Reggio Calabria, Italy.  

In 2009 she was Guest Artist to the Festival "Women in the Dance", Quito, Ecuador.  

In 2012 Estheysis was promoted to First Soloist of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

In 2014 she was invited to work under Alicia Alonso's artistic-technical direction, during which time, she performed a repertoire of classical and contemporary works. She danced the principal roles in traditional collections such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppélia, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

In 2015 Estheysis was promoted to Principal Dancer of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba and she was awarded the UNEAC, Female Interpretation Prize 17, National Choreographic Concourse from Cuban National. 

Beverly Williams

Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Ballet Education Director

Beverly Williams is a dedicated educator with a diverse background in the Fine Art of Dance.  She holds a B.A. and a M. F. A. from the University of Houston / CL and has continued studies in Humanities at the University of Houston / CL and in dance at Sam Houston State University.

Ms. Williams is a high-energy teacher of dance in all dance genres and in all levels of dance education.  She has taught in private and public schools, American Schools abroad, colleges, universities, private dance studios and dance companies.  She was Director of Dance for the Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas for fifteen years. She enjoyed a long professional career in professional ballet, Broadway and films.

She is a well known choreographer and her latest projects includes: Sam Houston State University, ISAS Arts Festivals, City Ballet of Houston, London, Scotland and Wales Tours 2005, and a London study in 2011 with the Royal Academy of Dance. Most recently, she has been a guest teacher in New York, Arkansas, and Alabama. Ms. Williams has spent the last several summers studying with the Royal Academy of Dance in the United States and in London, England..  She is currently publishing Fine Art Education books to be used as textbooks in schools across the country.

Ms. Williams contributes the joys and successes in her life to the students and artists she has had the pleasure to work and share with.  Their love and accomplishments are the driving force that propels her energies to always believe in the journey of discovery that the Fine Arts provide us all.

Monica Gómez

Monica Gómez is a native of Cuba where she graduated from the National Ballet School of Cuba under the direction of Ramona de Saa. Having studied under such renowned teachers as Fernando, Alberto and Alicia Alonso, Marta Iris Fernandez, Esvetlana Ballester, Loipa Araujo, she went on to compete and receive several 1st place awards as both soloist and partner in such competitions as National Competition for students of ballet Havana 2009 and XI International Ballet Competition for students of Havana.

 

From 2014 to 2015, Ms. Gómez danced professionally with National Ballet of Cuba (Nacional Ballet de Cuba), where she has danced various works and performed internationally. Some of her professional experience includes roles such as Cupid in Don Quixote, Variation in Paquita, Clara and Arabian Pas de Deux in The Nutcracker as well as performing in several new works created with National Ballet of Cuba. In 2015, Ms. Gomez joined Houston Ballet as an apprentice.

 

Since joining Houston Ballet, Ms. Gómez has performed in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker (Clara, Snowflake, and Flower); Stanton Welch’s Brigade and Tapestry; and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon.


D'Ann Gimenez

Founder

D'Ann Shaver-Gimenez founded the Laeral Dance Academy in 2010 with a desire to establish a professional training facility for aspiring dancers and to enrich the overall atmosphere of the community. Having been involved in dance since the age of 3, D'Ann has trained under the direction of Lynette Mason-Greg during her primary years at Royal Academy of Fine Arts for 15 years. 

D'Ann has danced in companies including Royal Ballet Theatre of Texas, Ballet San Jacinto and Lone Star Jazz Ballet Company. She has also coached Elite Level gymnasts for International Competitions and High School Dance Teams. D'Ann is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Missouri City Ballet Company. 

Lauren Anderson

Ballet, YAGP Coach

Native Houstonian Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars.

In January 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role of outreach associate in Houston Ballet’s education department where she teaches ballet classes at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career as one of America’s most distinguished African-American ballerinas.

She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 and in 1990 became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at Houston Ballet – and one of the few African-American ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world. In addition, Ms. Anderson received the Special Jury Award at the 1990 International Ballet Competition as well as the International Critics Award in Chile.

Ms. Anderson danced leading roles in numerous classical ballets. Her repertoire included works by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Christopher Bruce, James Kudelka, and Trey McIntyre. Ms. Anderson created the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cleopatra, and her performance as Cleopatra received accolades from international critics. Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times compared her to the great Italian actress Eleanora Duse, and Christine Temin of The Boston Globe pronounced her "a powerhouse in interpreting the role that Stevenson created on her." Ms. Anderson performed across the world as a guest artist, appearing in New York, Chile, Moscow, and Chicago.

In April 1999, Ms. Anderson was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She has also been featured in the magazines People and Pointe, as well as on the television programs "A&E Breakfast With the Arts," "CBS News Sunday Morning," and the game show, "To Tell the Truth." She has been honored by The Martin Luther King Foundation, Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, by the Urban League, Delta Gamma Foundation, Texas Woman’s Chamber of Commerce, Houston City Council, and the Texas Legislature. Ms. Anderson is also an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Ms. Anderson was awarded the Jefferson Award for Community Service in 2011.

Ms. Anderson is the proud parent of Lawrence Bell Fitzgerald Turner.

Sinclair Sledge

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop

Graduate of Morton Ranch High School, student at the University of Houston, involved in drill team and musical theatre; dance has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember; attended numerous competitions and conventions. Classically trained in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, pointe, tap, and acrobatics; certification in acro/gymnastics. In order to pay for dance, she began teaching at only 14 and quickly discovered her love of it. She has worked with guest artists: Travis Wall, Tokyo, and Houston Ballet’s Janie Parker. She danced for University of Houston and recently made her Broadway debut on Wicked in New York City and NCAA March Madness Tour, where she opened for Jason Derulo, Conrad Sewell, and Twenty One Pilots. She is excited to be part of the Athletic and Performing Arts Center!

 

Herman Charles III

Hip Hop

Herman Charles III has worked for the likes of Mathew Knowles, manager of Destiny's child, and Kim Burse, Beyonce's creative director, as a choreographer & creative director @ Music World. He has worked with artists such as Frankie J., Solange Knowles, Tri-ni-tee 5:7 and J. Holiday to name a few. Herman has also choreographed for Pro Teams: Houston Rocket Power Dancers, Comets Aeros and Dynamo Girls.

Herman has also staged and choreographed musicals such as The Wiz, Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, Annie, The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella.

He is in current production of his latest piece, A Tribute to Michael Jackson, whom he credits as his greatest inspiration!

Chasity Moore

Jazz,  Tap,  Leaps & Turns

With 17 years of teaching experience, Chasity Moore joins our dance family.  A former company member of Reni Antley School of Dance (Sugar Land, TX) Chasity began her dancing career at the age of 5, and studied ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical.  She is a graduate of University of Houston, Honors College. After college, Chasity moved to Atlanta, GA.  There she began teaching and choreographing for numerous studios and has won many awards for her creative choreography. Chasity realizes it is very important to keep up with the ever changing moves of dance. She has studied with Chuck Maldonado, Mia Michaels, Tabitha & Napoleon, Mandy Moore, WildaBeast and many others.

You can also see many of Chasity’s former students performing as back up dancers for Usher, Katy Perry and Lady Ga-Ga, also performing on TV including Glee, the Emmys, Superbowl as well as performing in Cirque Solei Michael Jackson One show in Vegas!  

Since returning home to Houston Chasity has continued to share her love of dance and choreography with her new students eager to see where dance will take them! Chasity teaches ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical/contemporary dance. Her favorite styles to teach are Lyrical/Contemporary, Jazz and Tap or in other words pretty much everything.