Our Story

Sonshine Theater Company

Sonshine Theater Company (STC) was founded in 1996 by Sonja Staines with the vision to promote full time Christian theatre and provide both training and performance opportunities for Christian performing artists. This calling led to the formation of Ballet Excelsior of Houston, in 2002 [a subsidiary of Sonshine Theater Company (501 © 3].

Ballet Excelsior of Houston

Ballet Excelsior was formed in 2003 and directed by Liza Pollok, along with Artistic Director, Sonja Staines. The company provides training, ministry and mission opportunities both within the U.S. and with international tours. Acceptance and placement is via application and audition. We are a subsidiary of Sonshine Theater Company (501©3).

Ballet Excelsior consists of the following:


Professional level dancers, minimum age is 18 years. Dancers are issued annual contracts. Dancers attend classes Monday and Thursday evenings, and rehearsal and classes Wednesday evening, with full day Fridays. Company dancers are paid according to their individual contract.


Apprentice opportunities are sometimes available for suitable dancers who are 18 years or older. Dancers are issued an annual contract. Dancers are not paid, but have no rehearsal or performance expenses.


Trainee opportunities are sometimes available for suitable dancers who are 18 years or older. Dancers are issued an annual contract. Dancers are not paid, but have no rehearsal or performance expenses.

Ballet Excelsior Trainee (BET)

BET Senior — Ballet Excelsior offers the opportunity to suitable students from Excelsior School of Dance to work with the company, often in their senior year of school. This opportunity gives them valuable experience regarding work with a dance company, and Christian missions and ministry. Entry is via audition; a monthly fee and costume rentals apply.

Excelsior School of Dance

Excelsior School of Dance (ESD) provides the training classes required for Ballet Excelsior of Houston dancers. Excelsior School of Dance is owned and directed by Sonja Staines. The school, when possible, provides employment for company dancers; houses the company with rehearsal and office space; holds fundraiser’s for Ballet Excelsior of Houston; provides and stores costumes and BE stage props.

The Excelsior School of Dance and Performing Arts provides an opportunity for many of our advanced dancers to become a part of the work of our professional Christian ballet company, Ballet Excelsior of Houston.

Excelsior School of Dance also offers thorough ballet, modern, Hip Hop and tap dancing for children from 3 years of age to adults at the pre-professional level.

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