COMPANY DANCER Layla Brent-Tompkins was born in Dallas, TX and began training in dance at the age of four. She received her training from Ozsoy School of Ballet under Ceyhun Ozsoy, Texas Ballet Theater Dallas under Jan Miller, and Dallas Ballet Center under Brent and Judy Klopfenstein. She is a graduate of Booker T. Washington HS for the Performing and Visual Arts, an artist with Beckles Dancing Company, and a former member of Texas Ballet Theater Dallas Ensemble and Dallas Black Dance Theater's Allegro Performing Ensemble. Layla has spent her past summers training at Texas Ballet Theater School Senior Summer Intensive, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School Summer Intensive, and Oklahoma City Ballet Summer Intensive. Layla performed with the Oklahoma City Ballet from 2016-2018 and Texas Ballet Theater's Professional Division from 2018-2019. Layla is very excited to begin her first season with Ballet Dallas.
COMPANY DANCER Originally from Riverside Connecticut, Diana began her ballet training at a very young age at the Ballet School of Stamford. When she was 13 she was accepted to study year-round at Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto, where she continued her professional training through the age of 18. As a student, she spent summers at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, and received scholarships to three summers with the Chautauqua School of Dance. Professionally, Diana has danced with Tulsa Ballet, the National Choreographic Initiative in Irvine CA, ARC Dance in Seatle, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater, as well as several guest performances and projects throughout the Dallas area. Over the course of her career, she has performed works by Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, George Balanchine, Glen Tetley, Ohad Naharin and Ben Stevenson. Diana is a founding member of Ballet Dallas since its launch in 2018. With Ballet Dallas, she had the opportunity to perform in the revival of George Skabine's Romantic Encounters, as well as several world premiere works by choreographers such as Durante Verzola, Kevin Jenkins, Silas Farley, Artistic Director Carter Alexander, and Resident Choreographer Hailey von Schlehenried.
COMPANY DANCER Whitney Hart is a founding member of Ballet Dallas. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University earning her Bachelors of Performing Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in History. Previously with Ballet Dallas, Hart has danced in Carter Alexander’s Oratorio (Inspired Voices 2019), Petit Danses en noir et blanc (Bloom 2019), Deux Poémes (Launch 2018), plus resident choreographer, Haley Von Schlehenried’s Subconscious Motion (Launch 2018). and . Throughout the year she also performs as a guest artist and freelances at different entertainment Industrials. Whitney’s previous concert dance credits include: First Soloist with the former Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, directed by Emilie Skinner. She previously appeared as a guest artist with: Festival Ballet of North Central Texas (Rose Queen, Spanish Lead), Dance Studio Network (Sugar Plum Fairy), and with Collin County Ballet Theatre (Snow Queen). She returned for her seventh summer with Fort Worth’s Ballet Concerto in their annual Summer Dance Concert, where she performs classical ballets, original Spanish Flamenco ballets, and original contemporary ballet premieres. She has also performed in industrials for companies such as: Mary Kay, Sally Beauty, Norwex, Amway and Lightwire Theatre. Hart appeared as the principal ballerina in Polyphia's music video, Nightmare, and played Melanie in Stuck, an independent film directed by Jenni Tooley and filmed in Dallas. She also teaches and choreographs in DFW. Whitney is the Ballet Director and Ballet Company Director at Lifesong Studios in Grapevine, TX.
COMPANY DANCER Kaley Jensen was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a major in dance and minor in business. While there, she performed and toured with the Theatre Ballet Company all four years. Kaley has had the privilege of training on scholarship at programs such as the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Ballet West, as well as achieving academic and international talent awards at the World Dance Movement in Italy. Kaley then completed her MFA in Dance at University of Arizona, where she deepened her passion for performing, educating, and choreographing. Since moving to Dallas in 2017, Kaley has enjoyed dancing professionally and teaching as a Qualified Fletcher Pilates, Dance and Ballet Burn Instructor. She has performed with companies such as Bruce Wood Dance, Zion Dance Project, Ballet North Texas, Collin County Ballet Theatre, as well as Ballet Dallas. Kaley has also had the privilege of performing and choreographing locally for dance departments such as Richland College and the national AGO conference for the last two years. As a first full season company member with Ballet Dallas, she has been grateful to perform in original works by Artistic Director, Carter Alexander and Silas Farley of New York City Ballet and looks forward to many more to come.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Laura Pearson is a local Dallas dancer, teacher and choreographer. Growing up in DFW, she trained at Texas Ballet Theater School. She attended numerous summer intensives with companies such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Texas Ballet Theater, and Dallas Black Dance Theater. Laura graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. 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 dancing for The Dallas Opera in “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. She has choreographed works for Ballet Dallas, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, 6 o'Clock Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater School and Richland College Dance Department. She teaches at Texas Ballet Theater School as well as master classes around the metroplex.
COMPANY DANCER Lea is originally from Northern New Jersey. She has had most of her ballet training from Master Gabriella Darvash, as well as the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Her career has had her dancing with various classical and contemporary ballet companies such as Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Ballet Concerto, Dayton Ballet, Roxey Ballet, and Repertory Dance Theatre. Some of her favorite repertory include principal and leading roles in Scheherazade, Paquita, Bolero, Gaite Parisienne, Le Train Bleu, Walpurgisnacht, Les Sylphides, Christopher Fleming’s The Three Musketeers, Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, as well as versions of Dracula, Othello, and too many Nutcrackers to mention. Lea is a founding member of Ballet Dallas since it’s launch in 2018. In this time has had the joy of being part of the revival of George Skabine’s Romantic Encounters. Lea has danced in Carter Alexander’s Oratorio, Petit Danses en noir et blanc, Deux Poems, plus Haley Von Schlehenried’s Subconscious Motion. She is excited to be part of the future with this company.