Meet our Dancers
Liza is Founder and director of Ballet Excelsior of Houston, as well as the choreographer and Principle dancer for the company. Liza’s early ballet train-ing was in Australia and Canada (Sonshine Christian Ballet, Commonwealth Society Teachers of Dance, Christian Ballet Academy and Royal Academy of Dance), and she relocated to the United States at eighteen years of age. She has danced as a company member with Ad Deum Dance Company, as well as traveled extensively as a dancer to Russia, multiple trips to Europe, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Mongolia and throughout Central America. She has served as a teacher with Project Dance Sydney, Los Angeles, Atlanta, NYC & Houston, and is co-director of Excelsior School of Dance, Certified ABT Teacher (ABT Pre Primary through ABT Level 5). Liza is a mother of two (Andrew and Isabel) and a Pastor’s wife, to Scot.
“My passion is missions, and my gift of dance is my language. Trained in a Christian ballet school in Australia, and raised in a ministry family, my ballet was continually used in worship and evangelism. Dance was a part of life and developed naturally for me as a language to communicate to and about the Lord. On missions I have seen new joy in the eyes of the lost street children and little orphans, and deliverance of the tormented; this is the calling on my life and it led me to form Ballet Excelsior of Houston. Together, we as a company want to carry His name to the nations.”
Rebecca is a Principle dancer for Ballet Excelsior of Houston; and dance teacher/choreographer who completed her degree in dance (University of Houston) December 2008. Rebecca has studied and examined ballet through Sonshine Christian Ballet Syllabus since 1998. Her energy and strength have been an asset to Ballet Excelsior of Houston, as she has danced and traveled as a Company member nationally and internationally to Australia, multiple tours to Europe, also Russia, China, Japan, Mongolia and Israel.
“I am a “Christian performing artist” because I have found Jesus Christ to be the answer to the great “why?” of my art, just as He is the answer to the ultimate “why?” of my life. When I partner with God to communicate the things on His heart, the Holy Spirit will help the audience to receive it in ways that are beyond human comprehension. And so I must also ask myself what I can do that will last. If I am called to be a dancer, and simultaneously called to serve in worship and prayer forever, even in the age to come, why not spend this life increasing my skills in these areas and working towards these lasting goals? I am blessed to be a part of Ballet Excelsior, which has given me the opportunity to serve and worship in this capacity and share in these goals right now.”
Ashley is a Company dancer with Ballet Excelsior of Houston. She has been dancing since the age of five, and training with Excelsior School of Dance since the age of seven. Ashley is a Ballet Excelsior administration, and a teacher and the office manager to Excelsior School of Dance. She toured with the company to Bulgaria in June 2011.
“Ballet Excelsior is more than just a ballet group to me, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a role model, it’s a mentor, and most importantly it’s a ministry! My vision is to reach people who may have been hurt, turned away, or who have never even heard of God! When a piece of art is significant, it moves the person with joy, mourning, peace, clarity, and healing as it did me.”
Jenni is an accomplished dancer and dance teacher. Jenni has studied and examined through Sonshine Christian Ballet Syllabus for the past 25 years in Houston, TX. She is a senior company member with Ballet Excelsior of Houston and has traveled extensively nationally, and internationally to Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, China, and Japan with the company.
“God is speaking through me. What words just can’t describe, in any language, God is saying through His Spirit. Knowing that He is so much more than any message I could ever deliver, and having the faith to trust that He will do just that is the very reason that I want to do my part in this big picture of His. Training, preparing, learning, readying my heart and spirit and being prepared to go where He sends me… that’s my job. Our parts are so small when you look at what God is doing in the grand scheme of things, and with that, what we do we can only do because God has given us this skill, this desire, this passion… when I step onto that stage, it is to worship Him with my very best, it is to bring my best sacrifice, my best offering that I pray every time He will accept and use. He has put this calling on my life and for that reason, I work diligently at preparing myself to deliver His message.”
Peyton began her training at Excelsior School of Dance at the age of nine and has completed Grade 3 through Level 8 exams under Sonshine Christian Ballet Syllabus. She was accepted into the company Ballet Excelsior of Houston and traveled nationally as well as internationally performing with them in multiple tours to Europe, also China, Japan, Mongolia and Israel. While working towards a degree in English at Asbury University, Peyton taught a number of ballet classes at Wilmore Christian Ballet in Wilmore, Kentucky. After graduation, she returned to Texas and is now a Company member with Ballet Excelsior of Houston.
“Throughout the years of being a Christian performing artist, I have learned that dance is so much more than learning and perfecting steps to gain the approval of those watching. It is about training to be able to catch the eye of the observer, not so that they can appreciate my skill, but so that they can see Christ in me and the message that He is conveying to them through my movement. I am so blessed to be a part of Ballet Excelsior and have a role in sharing His message of salvation to the world.”
Christina has been dancing ballet since 1992. She has danced in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. She most recently danced with Willamette Apprentice Ballet and Corvallis Academy of Ballet, in Corvallis, OR for four years while attending veterinary school at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During that time, she also taught guest classes, choreographed, and performed as an alumna with MarLo Dance Studio in Bandon, OR. She spent four summers at Ballet West Summer Intensives; two summers as a student, and two summers as an RA. She is very excited to be dancing with Ballet Excelsior while also working as a veterinarian. Christina has toured with Ballet Excelsior of Houston to Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Mongolia.
“God has blessed me by giving me the opportunity to train and dance throughout my life, and now He is calling me to give back to Him using the training and experience He has given me. It is amazing to see how dancing for Him can be such a powerful tool. Dance reaches deep into people’s emotions and allows me to touch them for Jesus in a way I would never be able to otherwise.”