Owner/Director and Ballet Instructor
Laurel has devoted her life to ballet and the arts. From the eight year-old little dreamer at Rochester School of Dance in Michigan, and on to summer programs with The Royal Ballet in London, New York City Ballet and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She enrolled full time at the School of American Ballet in New York at 16 years of age. By age 17, she was hired into the Cleveland San Jose Ballet, and was performing principal and soloist roles less than a year into her career. Her list of roles and performances is long, and includes well-known ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Apollo, Carmina Burana, Serenade, and many more. After retiring to have a family of her own little dancers, she has been teaching ballet for over 25 years. She is dedicated to helping others achieve their dreams, and is a passionate, hands-on teacher who inspires greatness in others, and leaves them excited to learn more
Ms. Laurel's experience on stage dates back to 1985 where she started just like your little "petite performer". Her advancements landed her on stage in front of thousands, sharing her talents with the world.
Her passion continues today in the form of hands-on, passionate teaching. Her goals for her performers are not only to improve their dancing, but to give them confidence, poise, and a drive to succeed.
Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz Instructor
Bonnie Gombos, former Director of the Darien Arts Center Dance Program, has been teaching for over 35 years in Queens and Fairfield County. She has been at DAC for more than 26 years working with students from ages three to adult; beginner to company, with a wide range of dance styles from classical ballet, to jazz and modern. She has also worked at the Connecticut Ballet for many years as a teaching artist; working with Kids in Crisis, Trailblazers and in Juvenile Detention Centers. Bonnie was a Dance Theater major at Queens College, N.Y. and received most of her training from Hannah Kroner, Finis Jhung and the New York School of Ballet, and has received a degree in Avionics from the College of Aeronautics. Bonnie is currently a teaching artist at Orlando Ballet.
Theater and Musical Theater Teacher
Ryan began acting, as well as directing plays, in his father’s basement from an early age. He originally planned to pursue a career in ministry which brought him to Dallas, TX to attend Christ For the Nations Institute after high school. After receiving his Diploma in Practical Theology and training in Cross-Cultural Communication from CFNI, as well as a couple theatre internships, Ryan graduated with his B.A. in Theatre Arts from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL and recently graduated with his M.F.A. in Acting at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Ryan has now settled in Orlando to chase his dreams of performance, writing/directing, teaching, and coffee! Ryan has a special appreciation for family theatre and theatre for young audiences. A highlight of his theatre career was playing the Big Bad Wolf in the 2012-2013 national tour of THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS with Dallas Children’s Theater. Besides being an actor, Ryan has also been an acting instructor, vocal instructor, dance instructor, modeling instructor, director, set designer, stage manager, production assistant, and talent scout. Ryan has been teaching since his early days at CFNI. He has a passion for the budding, artistic gifts of students and believes in challenging students to achieve their creative potential. He has taught acting, dance, and/or voice to students at Florida Atlantic University, CFNI Poland, A.D. Players Theatre Arts Academy in Houston, International Performing Arts Academy in Dallas, Dallas Children’s Theater workshops, The Dance Company in Arlington, Casa Manana in Fort Worth, and Orlando’s Truthbase Theatricals. Here in Orlando, Ryan enjoys producing his original shows, entertaining at Universal Studios, and dancing at Studio K on International Drive. Ryan is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
A local of the sunshine state, Kyra has spent her entire life as a performer. With her experience as a commercial and film actor including film credits for Disney as well as theatrical credits as a soloist in Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Miracle Worker, and many others. She went to school at the Rollins department of music and has a deep appreciation for classical repertoire, rhythm, and musical artistry which she applies in her teaching methods. Her years of dance training include competitive Irish Step Dance with the Watters School of Irish Dance where she took second place with her team at the 2015 World Championships of Irish Dance in Montreal and won a Solo Regional Champion Title in 2017 in Dallas, TX. Following Irish Dance, Kyra fell in love with ballet. She trained at the Russian Ballet in the Vaganova method with a heavy focus on injury prevention and expressive technique. She studied under the instruction of professional Vaganova dancers including Henry Hernandez, Vadim Fedotov, as well as guest soloists from the Ukraine. Her ballet performance credits include the Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, Cinderella and many others. Kyra is an enthusiastic teacher and choreographer who prioritizes technique and musicality and tailors her pace to her students’ individual needs. She loves working with students new and experienced and works hard to help her dance family grow and achieve their best in a friendly, fun environment.
Ballet and Contemporary Instructor
Casey started dancing 18 years ago and hasn’t stopped. She grew up in a creative, inclusive, performance-based studio where she studied contemporary, jazz, tap, and trained under the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. Casey went on to study at Dr. Phillips High School’s dance magnet program, under the direction of Kathy Follensbee. There, she was exposed to numerous professional residencies such as John Lehrer/Lehrer Dance Company, LINES Ballet, Holly Johnston, Gina Hatch, Pilobolus Dance Company, Paul Sadler and more. Casey also studied ballet and modern techniques through Valencia College’s dual enrollment program under Prof. Lesley Brasseux Rogers. She began her free-lance career shortly after high school; performing, teaching, choreographing, and also writing an original children’s production. Today, she is a teaching artist for Orlando Ballet’s Community Enrichment program, where her goal is to bring the art of dance to underserved communities who may not otherwise have access to performance opportunities. At Perform Orlando Arts Academy, Casey’s pursuit to share the passion of dance with the next generation continues.
Partnering and Ballet Instructor
Ian has been dancing for over 14 years. He took his first dance class at the age of 6. He has trained with notable teachers such as Vadim Fedotov, Vasile Petrutiu and Vladimir Bykov. He started partnering at age 14 and has danced in many ballets including The Nutcracker, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Carmen, Don Quixote and Esmeralda. He has been working with Ms. Laurel for the last two years and has helped the many young men become good partners.
Ballet and Contemporary Instructor
Nadia has been dancing for 13 years, and is already a blossoming choreographer. Nadia is currently a senior at Dr. Phillips High School (DPHS) and has trained through the dance program in ballet, modern, contemporary, and jazz techniques. Nadia loves various forms of dance, and exhibits a fun and enthusiastic style that her students love. She also has experience choreographing through DPHS, and has recently attended an emerging choreographers workshop though Brenau University. She has worked with choreographers and teachers including: Kathy Follensbee, Leslie Brasseux Rodgers, Jon Lehrer, Tiffanie Carson, Aretuza Garner, and Holly Johnston.
Acro and Conditioning Instructor
Kerrin has trained as a competitive gymnast for over 10 years and is a athletic supergirl. She is a favorite among all of our students as she is patient and encouraging to all of them when learning difficult skills, physically and mentally. Kerrin is rejoining us as part of our team after joining the US Marine Corps. She will challenge the kids and keep them modivated to achieve an amazing physical fitness and acrobatic level. She is cheerful and modivating with her students.