Extreme Ballet Program Founder/Director
Sharon Teague has 20 years of intensive training and professional performing experience. She began dancing in San Diego, California when she was nine. Her primary instructors were Sylvia Palmer, Mieczyslaw Morawski, and Lynda Yourth. She spent summers studying at Pennsylvania Ballet, School of American Ballet, and California State Summer School for the Arts. At sixteen, she was invited to train at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy on full scholarship and one year later, she joined the company as an apprentice. Ms. Teague was promoted to soloist in 2002 and then to 1st soloist in 2008. She has performed in numerous works by Stanton Welch, most notably the Neopolitan Princess in Swan Lake, the first pas de deux in Nosotros, the opening girl in Brigade, "Spring" in The Four Seasons and a pas de deux in Falling. She has portrayed comedic characters such as Swanhilda in Ben Stevenson's Coppelia, Lise in Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee, and parts in the Harlequinade pas de deux and The Concert by Jerome Robbins. Her more elegant work includes the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, the Winter Fairy in Cinderella, and both the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker.
"She danced with confidence and finesse, giving a crisp and technically perfect performance.
She really took charge with the Sugar Plum solo...super sharp in the legs and feet, lyrical in the arms and hands. I wanted to stand up and cheer, 'You go girl.'"
- Molly Glentzer (Houston Chronicle review of Nutcracker).
She also received critical acclaim for her fouette turns in Graduation Ball and Les Patineurs. Her favorite roles were Valencienne in Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow and the dramatic role of Olga in John Cranko's Onegin. Other major classical ballets in her repertoire include La Sylphide, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Manon, Peer Gynt, Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, The Snow Maiden and Madame Butterfly. Ms. Teague has also danced a variety of contemporary roles, including those in Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort; Lila York's Rules of the Game; Mark Morris's Sandpaper; George Balanchine's Serenade, Theme and Variations, La Valse, Western Symphony, and The Four Temperaments; Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria; Ben Stevenson's Four Last Songs; Harold Lander's Etudes; Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc; and Christopher Wheeldon's Carnival of the Animals. She has danced in several world premieres,including works by Matjash Mrozewski, David Parsons, Trey McIntyre and James Kudelka. On tour she has performed in many metropolitan cities such as Hong Kong, London, Toronto, Montreal, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Miami, and Dallas. At Houston Ballet Ms. Teague was known for her "impressive work ethic of reliability and dependability". Stanton Welch quotes "(she has) extraordinary freedom in the classical vocabulary, which is very hard and rare to find."
Ms. Teague is married to Stewart Teague, a high school biology teacher. They have a baby girl, Jenny Lou, and hope to have more children soon. Meanwhile, Ms. Teague could not be more thrilled to be on staff at Laeral Dance Academy & Performing Arts.
Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Ballet Education Director
Beverly Williams is a dedicated educator with a diverse background in the Fine Art of Dance. She holds a B.A. and a M. F. A. from the University of Houston / CL and has continued studies in Humanities at the University of Houston / CL and in dance at Sam Houston State University.
Ms. Williams is a high-energy teacher of dance in all dance genres and in all levels of dance education. She has taught in private and public schools, American Schools abroad, colleges, universities, private dance studios and dance companies. She was Director of Dance for the Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas for fifteen years. She enjoyed a long professional career in professional ballet, Broadway and films.
She is a well known choreographer and her latest projects includes: Sam Houston State University, ISAS Arts Festivals, City Ballet of Houston, London, Scotland and Wales Tours 2005, and a London study in 2011 with the Royal Academy of Dance. Most recently, she has been a guest teacher in New York, Arkansas, and Alabama. Ms. Williams has spent the last several summers studying with the Royal Academy of Dance in the United States and in London, England.. She is currently publishing Fine Art Education books to be used as textbooks in schools across the country.
Ms. Williams contributes the joys and successes in her life to the students and artists she has had the pleasure to work and share with. Their love and accomplishments are the driving force that propels her energies to always believe in the journey of discovery that the Fine Arts provide us all.
Primary Dance, Ballet Instructor
Primary Dance, Ballet Instructor
Primary Dance Instructor
Tiny Tot Funky Jazz
Bethany Earl brings her love of dance and passion for teaching to the LDA team. A native of Beaumont Texas, Bethany began dancing at the age of 6 with the Bonnie Cokino’s School of Dance. She was a member of the Beaumont Ballet Theatre where she was elevated to soloist and awarded a variety of major roles.
Bethany’s dance career includes two seasons as a cheerleader with the St. Louis Rams and performances with the Ashleyliane Dance Company of St. Louis, MO. She has also served as an instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association and taught adult dance classes in Belleville, IL. Currently, she teaches various dance classes and serves as the youth praise dance leader at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church.
In her spare time Bethany enjoys family outings with her husband and two young daughters. Bethany is excited about sharing her love of dance and technical expertise with her students.
D'Ann Shaver Gimenez
D'Ann Shaver-Gimenez founded the Laeral Dance Academy in 2010 with a desire to establish a professional training facility for aspiring dancers and to enrich the overall atmosphere of the community. Having been involved in dance since the age of 3, D'Ann has trained under the direction of Lynette Mason-Greg during her primary years at Royal Academy of Fine Arts for 15 years.
D'Ann has danced in companies including Royal Ballet Theatre of Texas, Ballet San Jacinto and Lone Star Jazz Ballet Company. She has also coached Elite Level gymnasts for International Competitions and High School Dance Teams. D'Ann is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Missouri City Ballet Company.
Ballet, MCB Rehearsal Assitant, YAGP Coach
Native Houstonian Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars.
In January 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role of outreach associate in Houston Ballet’s education department where she teaches ballet classes at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career as one of America’s most distinguished African-American ballerinas.
She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 and in 1990 became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at Houston Ballet – and one of the few African-American ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world. In addition, Ms. Anderson received the Special Jury Award at the 1990 International Ballet Competition as well as the International Critics Award in Chile.
Ms. Anderson danced leading roles in numerous classical ballets. Her repertoire included works by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Christopher Bruce, James Kudelka, and Trey McIntyre. Ms. Anderson created the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cleopatra, and her performance as Cleopatra received accolades from international critics. Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times compared her to the great Italian actress Eleanora Duse, and Christine Temin of The Boston Globe pronounced her "a powerhouse in interpreting the role that Stevenson created on her." Ms. Anderson performed across the world as a guest artist, appearing in New York, Chile, Moscow, and Chicago.
In April 1999, Ms. Anderson was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She has also been featured in the magazines People and Pointe, as well as on the television programs "A&E Breakfast With the Arts," "CBS News Sunday Morning," and the game show, "To Tell the Truth." She has been honored by The Martin Luther King Foundation, Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, by the Urban League, Delta Gamma Foundation, Texas Woman’s Chamber of Commerce, Houston City Council, and the Texas Legislature. Ms. Anderson is also an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Ms. Anderson was awarded the Jefferson Award for Community Service in 2011.
Ms. Anderson is the proud parent of Lawrence Bell Fitzgerald Turner.
Herman Charles III has worked for the likes of Mathew Knowles, manager of Destiny's child, and Kim Burse, Beyonce's creative director, as a choreographer & creative director @ Music World. He has worked with artists such as Frankie J., Solange Knowles, Tri-ni-tee 5:7 and J. Holiday to name a few. Herman has also choreographed for Pro Teams: Houston Rocket Power Dancers, Comets Aeros and Dynamo Girls.
Herman has also staged and choreographed musicals such as The Wiz, Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, Annie, The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella.
He is in current production of his latest piece, A Tribute to Michael Jackson, whom he credits as his greatest inspiration!
Primary Dance Instructor
Kristen has been involved in the arts from a young age. She began as a gymnast at age 9 in New Hampshire, and at age 11 was part of Majestics Gymnastics in Alabama. They won gold in the state team finals, with Kristen taking the bronze in the All-Around Finals. She continued gymnastics in Colorado, making her school gymnastics team as the only 7th grader awarded a place on the A team and was honored to be team captain her freshman year. In New Mexico, Kristen was a professional ski instructor during her high school and college years, and she made her High School Drill Team, serving as co-captain her senior year. To help a friend, Kristen entered the Miss Northern New Mexico pageant and ended up winning the title. From there, she trained and was a finalist in the Miss New Mexico-America pageant. It was this circumstance that propelled Kristen into the world of dance. The stage technician encouraged her to audition for West Texas State University Dance Ensemble. She was awarded an apprenticeship, and has been involved in the dance world ever since. As a dance major, she was as a member of the West Texas State Dance Ensemble under the direction of Neil Hess. She also danced with Lone Star Ballet in the core, as well as numerous roles as a soloist her last two years. She was moreover a cast member of *TEXAS*, the Musical Drama, in the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon, dancing one of the two soloist roles her second year. Due to an injury, she had to step aside from dance, and during this time attended Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, earning her degree in Physical Therapy. In Houston, she resumed dance training in such venues as Houston Ballet's adult advanced class program, The Met, and with Kathleen Lobue at Sugar Land Dance and Randall Flynn of Ad Deum Dance. She is well-trained in ballet, pointe, partnering, modern, jazz and lyrical. In addition to her dance training, Kristen sought certifications in PT, including becoming a fully trained PHI Pilates Mat Instructor, and a certified Core Barre Instructor. She also joined Sugar Creek Baptist Church Dance Company and was Co-Artistic Director for three years. She has continued teaching and training locally, and her passion for promoting health in the dance industry fuels her enthusiasm in dance education. She has been able to use her knowledge and skills as a physical therapist to train dancers in kinetically sound movement through promotion of correct alignment, safe and effective strength and flexibility training, and graceful movement from a sound, stable core.
Leaps, Turns, and Transitions Instructor
Christa Widjaja is from Dallas, TX where she grew up learning numerous styles of dance starting at the age of four. As a child and teenager, she spent most of her competitive dancing career at Dianne Cole Johnson’s School of Dance in Carrollton, TX. Here she developed her passion for dance. From there, she decided to widen her knowledge of the dance world and branch out of the studio system by joining the Hebron High School Drill Team. While spending four years on the team, she held positions of Sophomore Lieutenant, Junior Lieutenant, and Senior Captain. She received multiple All American dance team honors from ADTS, team national championships from HTE and ADTS, and a solo national championship from ADTS. The most memorable dance opportunity in high school was performing in the Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show at Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium. Each competition team setting instilled more dedication to the sport and led her to audition for the Texas Tech University Pom Squad in Lubbock, TX. Christa spent all four years of her undergraduate career as a member of the Texas Tech Pom Squad. Her Senior year, the team received second place in Division 1A Jazz at the National Dance Alliance competition in Daytona Beach, FL. This is still the highest placement in program history. In May of 2016, Christa graduated Cum Laude from Texas Tech with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. Aside from dance, she is now following her second passion of optometry at the University of Houston School of Optometry.
Jenny Cubias has many years of experience in business administration. After many years in the medical field, she decided to embark on a new journey and joined the Laeral Dance Academy in the Summer of 2010 and has been apart of the staff ever since. Jenny has performed in several Recitals and Productions for LDA and danced for several years in local Latin Dance Companies. Her daughter is currently and Officer on the LDA Fierce Factory Dancin Divas and has attended Laeral Dance Academy since the age of 3.