About Us

Excelsior School of Dance and Performing Arts facilitates The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, and surrounding areas of Houston, Texas. The studio is situated centrally two miles from The Woodlands Mall, yet in a beautiful country setting. 

ESD is directed by a mother and daughter team, Sonja Staines and Liza Pollok, who relocated from Australia in 1993, bringing with them a love for dance education and a caring about the individual student along with the Sonshine Christian Ballet Syllabus.  Since 1993, ESD has grown immensely, we have built our own building, have an amazing staff of committed, qualified and talented teachers and enjoy around 200 – 300 students each year. 

Staines and Pollok are also Certified ABT Teachers (ABT Pre Primary through Level 5) and are proud to include the AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE National Training Curriculum, a break through 8-level program that combines high quality artistic training with basics of dancer health and child development. It consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill levels.  ESD holds classes in each ABT Level including Pre Primary, Primary,  Level 1 A and B, Level 2 A and B, Levels 3, 4 and 5.

We also cater to a large portion of the Home School community, often times assisting and providing a ‘social network’ for these students who develop close friendships as they work together.

We love the theatre!  Ms. Sonja, as the students call her, has been producing theatrical performances for the past 30 years, in Australia, Canada and the USA, as well as recently taking performances to Bulgaria and China.  Mrs. Liza, a gifted choreographer, is much loved as a dancer and an advanced teacher, teaching and leading scores of young women, here and with international mission trips. 

E.S.D. is also the U.S. base for the Sonshine Christian Ballet Syllabus.  Ms. Staines and Mrs. Pollok both are co-writers of the syllabus, examiners, and organize examiners for participating studios.  In addition, they hold an annual S.C.B. Teacher Seminars here in The Woodlands.  The S.C.B. Syllabus is based on the European and Australian technique and provides the traditional building blocks to assist and develop a dancer, therefore provides very sound Teacher Training opportunities.