Kiera St. Laurent is dance instructor and company choreographer for Ballet North,
teaching ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, tap, and modern, and is also a Reading
Specialist at Barnstead Elementary School. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the
University of Hartford with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. Kiera
was originally a part of the Hartt School Ballet and Pedagogy Program. A knee injury
sidelined her dance career plans, but she was able to continue her love of teaching
by transferring into the education program.
In her late high school and early college years, Kiera had the opportunity to work
with outstanding instructors in the dance field and worked as a professional dancer
in Boston Dance Company’s Performance of The Nutcracker. While at the Hartt School,
she worked with the Division Director of Dance, Stephen Pier, as well as top faculty
members, Hilda Morales, Ralph Perkins, Katie Stevenson-Nollet, and Nina Watt. In
college she was able to expand her knowledge of modern and contemporary dance exploring
Graham, Horton, and Limón technique.
Her dance training began when she was four years old and continued through high school
and part of college. Her ballet training over the years has allowed her to become
familiar with Balanchine, Cecchetti, and RAD technique methods. During this time,
her main instruction was at New Hampshire School of Ballet with Director Jennifer
Beauvais-Rienert. There she danced many lead roles in the annual show and Nutcracker,
including Snow Queen, Dew Drop Fairy, Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow White, and Rizzo in
Grease. She was also a member of their dance competition team for nine years, during
this time her solos and duos/trios often placed within the top five at National Dance
Competitions. Kiera also studied with Edra Toth and John Ling, performing the lead
in Dracula, and at Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater.
Kris and Simon Hales Owners
Kris and Simon Hales opened Ballet North in July 2015 to serve the children, teens,
and adults of the Suncook Valley area. Both coming from a family business background
and participating in many different areas in the dance world for twenty years, they
have built a studio founded on offering the best instruction for a reasonable price
so all can learn.
Kris and Simon have worked in many areas in the dance world. Kris has a great deal
of experience working the wings, dressing rooms, costuming, communication, and managing
large groups of dancers before and during shows. Simon has worked in the areas of
music, sound, stage hand, website design and maintenance, and has participated in
shows on stage for over ten years including parts in the Nutcracker, Les Misérables,
and West Side Story. They are both skilled at prop building.
Kris earned an Associates in Business with a Major in Travel and Tourism before going
back to school for a BA in Sociology. An airline ticket and gate agent for nearly
30 years, she has worked with customers in the service industry her whole working
life and traveled to 80 countries. Simon is from England, so when they were first
married Kris worked as a manager of a travel agency. When they moved back to the
US, Kris was also an adjunct professor in the Tourism department at NHTI for four
years. Kris’ early experiences included years of teaching horseback riding at Boy
Scout Camp, teaching swimming in the summer and also at the YMCA, Gymnastics, Ski
Patroller at Gunstock, and was an EMT for Center Barnstead. Kris continues to volunteer
for the Boy Scouts every summer teaching horseback riding.
Simon has a degree in Computer Technology from England and has worked in technology
fields since moving to the US. While in England he ran a successful post market
car alarm, phone and radio installation business (back before there were hand-held
cell phones). In England Simon also enjoyed Rally Car Racing, and was very involved
in skydiving both in England and upon his arrival in the US. Simon currently works
as a data operations manager and is the Committee Chair of a local Boy Scout Troop
and Cub Pack. He has volunteered for the Boy Scouts for over ten years, and has
spent many summers running the SCUBA program at Storer Scout Camp.
Tanya teaches all styles of dance in all age groups, and as a mother of three, brings
the experience of working with all ages and that “mom” flair that is especially helpful
in working with our youngest students. Tanya recently certified as an Acrobatics
Arts Instructor and our entire Acrobatics program has transitioned under her guidance.
She is also an accomplished choreographer, with her students winning many overall
high point awards at competition, and is particularly skilled at staging for full
length shows. A military spouse, she lived in California with her family on base
and studied film acting with Aaron Metchik at Actor’s Edge for three years. In her
younger years, she also studied gymnastics and music. Tanya is an active musician,
playing the saxophone, piano, guitar, and flute, and writes her own music.
Logan Hales is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a BA in
Theater, Dance Option, and a minor in Geography, and performed as a professional
tap dancer and percussionist with the Drumatix based in Massachusetts. He currently
teaches Ballet and Tap to ages six to adult and his tap choreography has won numerous
awards in competition. During his time at UNH, he was a member of the UNH Ballet
Company and performed several lead roles including Basil in Don Quixote and the Prince
in Cinderella. During his college years, Logan also guested for several Nutcracker
Productions in the roles of the Cavalier and the Nutcracker.
Logan began dancing at age three and competed in dance from the age of seven until
high school graduation with the New Hampshire School of Ballet Dance Company and
the Creative Steps School of Dance Company, winning several titles with is tap solos,
including winning 8th place overall at Nationals. He also competed in group dances
in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and tap. Logan preformed extensivity with the Southern
New Hampshire Dance Theater and Edra Toth’s School of Dance his school years. Logan
studied tap with Sue Harrington and Mary Beth Marino, and ballet with Doug Davis,
David Sun, John Ling, and Edra Toth, and spent summers training at the Kiorv Ballet
Academy in Washington, DC, Bossov Ballet in Maine, and Nutmeg Ballet in Connecticut.
He also participated in the Youth American Grand Prix ballet competition, the most
respected ballet competition in the country. Logan is an accomplished musician,
playing the piano/keyboard, drums, and the guitar, is an Eagle Scout from the Northwood
Scout Troop and worked summers as a lifeguard and sailing instructor around his dancing.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Theatre and Dance from the University of New
Hampshire and is trained in ballet, character, jazz, and modern. She specializes
in teaching classical ballet (Vaganova method), choreography and composition, dance
history, inclusive dance for movers with disabilities, and is one of the first dance
educators in the world certified to teach all five levels of Giordano jazz technique.
Sarah was appointed to the juried New Hampshire Arts in Education Roster in 2016
and she launched an online ballet curriculum for adults called Couch to Ballet in
2019. She has worked as a performer and choreographer for both theatre and concert
dance, and as a dance educator, notably working as a master teaching artist for Boston
Ballet’s Education and Community Initiatives. Sarah also served as a faculty member
in Phillips Exeter Academy’s Department of Theater and Dance, where she served as
Interim Director of Dance during the 2015-2016 academic year. She worked internationally
as a dance facilitator at the Abhainn Ri Festival of Participation and Inclusion
in Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.
As a young dancer, Sarah worked directly with
Liz Lerman Dance Exchange during their two-year residency leading up to The Shipyard
Project - sparking a lifelong interest in site-specific, community-based dance work.
While studying at UNH, Sarah founded Neoteric Dance Collaborative (NEO), a multi-disciplinary
dance company with a mission to build community through the art of dance. NEO has
particularly focused this community-building mission in rural and suburban areas
of New Hampshire and southern Maine, developing audiences for dance where there were
previously none. NEO has performed Duclos’ choreography on stages in New Hampshire,
Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and at City Center in New York City.