Founder / Director
Liza Pollok 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.
Sonja Peder Staines
Ms. Staines is the Artistic Director for Ballet Excelsior of Houston. Ms. Staines was the founder of Sonshine Theatre Company in 1996, and instrumental in the commencement of Ballet Excelsior of Houston as a subsidiary in 2002. She also functions as President, and creates ballets for the company’s local and international mission work, which has included, multiple tours to Europe, and tours to Russia, China, Japan and Mongolia. Her involvement in the performing arts spans over three decades, starting in Australia, Canada and USA, where she produced musicals, variety shows, and ballets. Ms. Staines is also committed to dance education and co-author the Sonshine Christian Ballet Syllabus; and now is a Certified ABT Teacher (ABT Pre Primary through ABT Level 5). Ms Staines is the owner and director of Excelsior School of Dance.