Meet our Dancers

company members

LIZA POLLOK

Liza Pollok

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 LUPNITZ

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 WHITE

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.”

PEYTON SHELL

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.”

AMY DALANSKY

Amy Dalansky

Amy began dancing at the age of five and began her training with Excelsior School of Dance at the age of eight. Amy is trained in RAD, Cicchetti, Horton, Graham, Dunham, Tap and various styles of character dance. She has toured with Ballet Excelsior to many places nationally and internationally to Bulgaria and Japan. Amy earned a bachelor of fine arts degree with a concentration in ballet and dance pedagogy from Point Park University in Pittsburg, Pa. After graduating, Amy danced with Ad Deum ll and began teaching and choreographing for numerous studios in the Houston area. She is now dancing with Ballet Excelsior as a company member.

GRACIE SAWYER

Gracie Sawyer

Gracie has been training with Excelsior School of Dance since the age of four. Studying under the Sonshine Christian Ballet syllabus, she has completed her Primary through Level 8 ballet exams. Gracie’s zeal for dance and the gospel become evident in her enthusiastic instruction of Excelsior’s beginner students. Gracie joined Ballet Excelsior of Houston as a company member in the Fall of 2020, and has performed with them in Mongolia, Dallas, and Missouri as well as in various local ministry opportunities such as Project Dance Houston.

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