ARTISTIC LEADERSHIP

Laura Pearson

Interim Artistic Director

Laura became the interim Artistic Director in October. She is a founding member of Ballet Dallas, where she has performed works by Carter Alexander, Durante Verzola, Hailey Von Schlehenried, Takia Hopson, just to name a few.

Laura grew up in the DFW area and trained at Texas Ballet Theater School. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. During her time at UA she had the privilege of performing works by George Balanchine, Martha Graham, James Clouser, Sherry Zunker, Amy Ernst, Doug Nielsen, Sam Watson and Michael Williams. Her professional dance credits include Ballet Dallas, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, Bruce Wood Dance Project, 6 o'clock Dance Theatre, Zion Dance Project, and Wanderlust Dance Project. Other credits include Dance Captain and Principal Dancer for The Dallas Opera’s “Carmen,” an international tour to China with Art.if.Act Dance Project, Larrwell Productions, On the Fly Productions, and back-up dancing for bands Kaleo and Duelo. Her choreography credits include setting works on Ballet Dallas, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater School and the Richland College Dance Department. 

Photo by Brian Guilliaux

Carter Alexander 

Artistic Advisor

Photo by Brian Guilliaux

Carter’s association with Ballet Dallas began as a guest choreographer in 2018 when he created Duex Poémes to an original composition by Martin Morgan. In addition to Duex Poémes, Carter has created three premieres for the company: L’Inverno, Petites Danses en Noir et Blanc, and Oratorio. Since starting with Ballet Dallas in 2019 as Co-Artistic Director, Carter has commissioned works for the company by Durante Verzola, Hailey Von Schlehenried, Takia Hopson, Lauren Gonzales, and Silas Farley. Carter was instrumental in bringing about Ballet Dallas’s revival of George Skibine’s Romantic Encounters. Carter later went on to become the Artistic Director of the company.

 

Carter began his dance training with his mother Amanda Stone in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He continued his training at Arts Magnet, now Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and the Dallas Conservatory of Ballet, formerly the Dallas Ballet Academy. Carter performed the role of The Poet in Les Sylphides for the premiere performance of the original Ballet Dallas in 1989/90. After graduating from BTWHSPVA, Carter danced with the Hartford Ballet. At Hartford Ballet, Carter studied with internationally renowned teacher Truman Finney. While dancing with the Hartford Ballet, Carter also met his wife Jeanne Elser. Carter continued his career with the Kansas City Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet and he taught on the school faculties of both companies. 

 

After retiring from dancing, Carter was the principal teacher at Ballet Workshop New England, and Associate Artistic Director for the Massachusetts Youth Ballet (MYB). With MYB he choreographed new works as well as restating masterworks by Bournonville, Petipa, and Fokine. He then reunited with his mentor Truman Finney at the School of Ballet Arizona where Carter was the Assistant School Director. 

 

From 2006-2013, Carter was Senior Faculty at Miami City Ballet School, as well as serving as the School Principal. While at MCBS, Carter's work with the pre-professional students was instrumental in helping over 70 students to gain professional work. He currently has students that are principal and soloist dancers with the New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Northern Ballet (England). His students are currently dancing in the Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, as well as many others in the U.S. and abroad. 

 

Since returning to Dallas, Carter has been Associate Artistic Director of Chamberlain Ballet and Artistic Director of Dallas DanceFest/Dallas Dances (’16, ’17, ‘18). In 2018, Carter organized aka:ballet, a summer choreographic project with Hailey von Schlehenried and Albert Drake. This project created six world premiere ballets in three weeks. For the project, Carter created two works Sarabande and Nestemäisyys. The project culminated in a very successful public performance at the Latino Cultural Center. 

 

Carter is currently a Visiting Artist-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts (Division of Dance). In the Fall, Carter created Luisant to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 for the Meadows Dance Ensemble at SMU. Carter has been a guest teacher at Ballet Austin, Indiana University, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Portland Ballet, to name a few. He has also served as a ballet consultant for Booker T. Washington HSPVA.

Martin Morgan

Resident Composer

A native of North Texas (he grew up in Plano), Martin began his classical piano lessons at around the age of seven. Even with this early start in music, Martin spent the majority of his childhood focusing on activities other than music! In 2015, Martin graduated with a Bachelors of Music in Composition from the University of North Texas. Since graduation, Martin has become a highly sought after collaborative artist which has led him to freelancing all over the DFW Metroplex. While classical music is the starting point of his musical and compositional roots, as a performer and composer, Martin’s strongest influences come from his love for, jazz, soul, R&B, and gospel music. As a musician that strives to contribute musical material to numerous mediums, Martin’s musical range as a composer is extensive and compelling. Martin is also currently a pianist for the Division of Dance at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. As the Resident Composer/Music Director for Ballet Dallas, Martin is excited to reunite with his co-collaborators from the aka:ballet project, Artistic Director, Carter Alexander, and Resident Choreographer, Hailey von Schlehenried. On a personal note, Martin is married to the talented singer, songwriter, performer Kaï Morgan.

2020-2021 Board of Directors

Morag (“Mo”) Thompson - President

Photo by Brian Guilliaux

Morag (Mo) Thompson joined the CBD board of directors in 2012. She currently works for Sabre Holding – Car and Limo Product Manager.  Mo, a Canadian, raised in Toronto, relocated to Dallas to accept a position with Sabre. Having lived in Barbados for many years, she worked as an audit assistant for Allison Associates, a public accounting firm.  Upon returning to Canada, she joined Sabre as a Travel Agency Accounting Consultant and road warrior - traveling through North America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Performing Arts is available anywhere in the world. Mo, exposed to many art forms quickly developed a passion for Dance. As a byproduct of this love of Art, both visual and performing, realized that this is the quickest way to learn about any society and the environment in which they come. Mo enrolled with CBD School of Ballet as an Adult dancer and still takes classes weekly. When an opening presented itself, to join CBD as a board member, she naturally leapt (grand jete) at the chance. Bringing both finance and business skills, natural creativity and style, along with a strong sense of community make Mo an asset to the board. “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” ― Twyla Tharp

Katie Anderson - Vice President

Katie Anderson’s love of the arts began when her parents exposed her to lessons in music and dance as a child.  She marched in the Longhorn Band at UT, and is a proud graduate of Baylor Law School. Katie is a counselor and litigator passionate about representing governmental entities, including primarily educational institutions and housing authorities. Katie is passionate about serving on the CBD Board because she has watched the company’s growth over the last decade and wants a wider audience to enjoy the innovative and creative contemporary works from choreographers across the state and nation.

Christie Sullivan - Director of Outreach

Christie Sullivan holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University, a MA in Education (Dance Teaching) thru the Royal Academy of Dance/ University of Bath, and Registered Teacher status with the Royal Academy of Dance. She was a company member of Bruce Wood Dance Company from 1999 to 2006 and Rehearsal Director for the Bruce Wood Project from 2010 to 2012. Additionally, she performed with various independent projects including Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, Pointe Dance U.S.V.I, and the Barney Home Video Let's Make Music. She has choreographed events for Crystal Charity Ball, DIFFA: Dallas Collection XV, Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops, and Repertory Company Theatre. She has served on the board of Dance Council of North Texas and was awarded their Curtain Call Costumes Rising Star Teacher Scholarship award. Since 2007, Christie has been a member of the Fine Arts faculty at The Hockaday School and was awarded the Ackerman Award for Character in Education in 2013.

Rusty Hann - Director of Media

A native Texan, Rusty Hann’s education and background comprises a mixture of film, video and theatrical production. Semi-retired after an award-winning career in freelance film/video and corporate communications, Rusty now devotes significant time and energy to exploring creative pursuits in dance video and photography. It was this pursuit that brought him to partner with Ballet Dallas on numerous dance video projects and collaborate with J.D. Miller at Samuel Lynne Gallery. Work with the Ballet Dallas led Rusty to join their board of directors in 2021 where he provides production support and expertise for ongoing projects.

Erika Halasz Lemmons – Director of Events

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Mailing Address

3630 Harry Hines Blvd., Box 34

Dallas, TX 75219