Meet our Dancers
Liza has been dancing for 43 years, since the age of five. She grew up in Australia and moved with her family to the States at age 18. Before founding Ballet Excelsior of Houston, Liza danced professionally with Ad deum Dance Company and other Houston-based companies for many years. Pollok has also studied extensively with RAD, CSTD , ISTD , SCB and ABT.
She has attained certifications from several dance institutes and most recently with the American Ballet Theater teaching program. Liza has been dancing professionally nationally and throughout the world for many years. Her commitment to artistic excellence has opened the door to many performances in Australia, South America, Mongolia, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic, China, Japan, Canada, Greece, Bulgaria and many other nations as well as many performance halls across the USA. Liza says, “I am so excited to continue this work and pour out our gifts into our community for this season of 2023.” As Co-owners of Excelsior School of Dance, Liza and mother, Sonja Staines, (founder of Excelsior School of Dance and Artistic Director of Ballet Excelsior), both consider it an honor to team together with a single goal in mind… to Carry His Name to the Nations. It is our calling and we couldn’t be more humbled and honored to follow His lead.
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.
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.
Amy began dancing at the age of five and began her dance 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 numerous locations nationally and internationally. Amy earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in dance with a concentration in ballet and dance pedagogy from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. While at Point Park, she preformed in pieces set by Joysanne Sidimus, Ernest Tolentino, Daniel Karasik & Susan Stowe. After graduating, Amy joined Ad Deum Modern Dance Company and began teaching and choreographing for many dance studios in the Houston area. She is now dancing with Ballet Excelsior of Houston as a Company Member and Choreographing for the Ballet Excelsior Trainee Company.
Isabel has been dancing since the age of three at Excelsior School of Dance. Her heart for missions through dance started at an early age. In 2016, at the age of 11, Isabel had the opportunity to travel with Ballet Excelsior, dancing the role of Lucy in the ballet of The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe throughout Poland, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. In 2018 she was cast in Saviour on tour in Mongolia. Currently, Miss Izzy is teaching 5/6 year olds at Excelsior School of Dance. Isabel is a senior in High School and knows God is calling her to continue dancing and to use her gifts for His glory.
Carlee Wiggins has been training with Ballet Excelsior since the age of three and has passed exams for Grade 1 through Level 7. She now is a company dancer with Ballet Excelsior and has participated in mission trips to both Missouri and Dallas. She participates in modern, ballet, pointe and occasionally hip hop classes at Excelsior School of Dance. She loves her community of dancers and is excited to continue dancing with the company.
Ashley is a project 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. In June 2011, she toured with the company to Bulgaria. Ashley is a Ballet Excelsior administrator, teacher, and the office manager for Excelsior School of Dance.
HALEIGH VAN KIRK
As a Christ follower and lover of the Lord, Haleigh is always trying to answer God’s calling and live in His purpose. Haleigh trained with Excelsior from 2001-2011 and was able to tour with them to Bulgaria before leaving to study fashion at the Art Institute of Houston. In 2017, God called her back to dance, and she obeyed not knowing what He had in store. Since then Haleigh has had the opportunity to tour with the company again nationally, and internationally to Mongolia. She has also discovered a new passion for character acting in Excelsior’s recent productions, including Jacob Marley in “Scrooge,” The Jester in “Esther,” and Stanley Tutter in “The Birthday Party.” Haleigh says, “I am always seeking to rest in the grace of God’s plan for my life, and I’ve been so thankful for this season. I am blessed by this community of Christian women, and I hope to always bring joy and passion to the company, and glory to God. What a privilege it is to worship Him through dance.”