Lauren Anderson School Director and Ballet Instructor
Lauren began her training with Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson’s Academy at the age of 7. In 1983 she joined Houston Ballet and rose to principal dancer, retiring in 2007. Ms. Anderson was the first African-American principal dancer at Houston Ballet and the only African-American prima ballerina at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world. Among her many accomplishments; Dance Magazine, People Magazine, Pointe Magazine, A&E Breakfast w/arts, CBS Sunday Morning, and the game show, “To Tell The Truth”. Lauren continues to thrive at Houston Ballet as Outreach Coordinator and, has been invited to teach at the 2014 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. Accepting an invitation to teach at The Link School of the Arts summer intensive, Ms. Anderson fully surrendered her life to Jesus Christ on July 15, 2009. Ms. Anderson attends St. James Episcopal Church in Houston, TX. where she is involved in forming the dance ministry ensemble, Holy Spirit Dancers. We are very excited to have Ms. Anderson as part of The Link School of the arts guest faculty.
Caleb Mitchell Financial Administrator and Ballet Instructor
Caleb began his early ballet training at the age of 16 under Rosemarie Floyd in Royal Oak, MI. Following graduation from University of Arizona in 1998, Caleb was invited to join the Houston Ballet under Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. and later Stanton Welch. During his tenure with Houston Ballet (1998-2007), Mr. Mitchell performed many featured roles by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, Lila York, Trey McIntyre and many others. In 2007, Caleb was awarded a Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship at the University of California-Irvine where he received his Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Dance. Caleb's choreographic works include 2007 and 2011 Youth Ameican Grand Prix and CICB International Ballet Competitions, dancers from the Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet 2, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Ad Deum Dance Company, Neos Dance Theatre, Brigham Young University, Hosanna Sacred Arts, Masterworks Arts Festival and The Link School of the arts, Currently, Mr. Mitchell is Assistant Professor of Dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. Mr. Mitchell surrendered his life to Jesus Christ at age 12 at Bethesda Christian Church, Sterling Heights, MI.
Steven Rooks Drama Instructor and Director Of Productions
Steven began his dance training in Washington, D.C. He continued his training in New York City as a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and toured with them for a season. Mr. Rooks was a principle dancer for the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1981-1991 and was a featured dancer on the television special, "The Martha Graham Company in Japan." Mr. Rooks has choreographed many works including "Cool River" which premiered at Lincoln Center in 1996, later becoming part of the Graham Company repertoire. Mr. Rooks was the 2004 winner of the National Choreographic Competition at Hubbard Street, Chicago and in 2004 the Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition. Mr. Rooks is currently Chair of Dance and Resident Choreographer at Vassar College in New York. He also serves as guest faculty with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Martha Graham Dance Company, American Academy of Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Mexico, the International Summer School in Sydney, Australia and now The Link School of the Arts, Troy, MI. Mr. Rooks received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in April, 1981 at Brooklyn Tabernacle, NY.
Shawn Stevens Ballet Instructor
Shawn began her dance training at age 7. At 14, she attended Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts under Sydelle Gomberg. She then continued her training at The School of American Ballet where she was chosen by George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet. During her time with the Company, she performedmany principal roles in Balanchine ballets including, "Symphony in Three Movements", "The Four Temperments" and "Symphony in C". Ms. Stevens has worked with many choreographers; Peter Martins, William Forsythe, Edward Villella, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp to name a few. Aside from her impressive talent as a former professional dancer, Ms. Stevens is also an authorized repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust and also authorized by Twyla Tharp to stage her original works. Currently, Ms. Stevens is on faculty at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. as lecturer and ballet mistress, working with Michael Vernon and VioletteVerdy. She also serves as guest faculty at several schools, universities and companies all across the United States and, most recently, the Link School of the Arts. Ms. Stevens fully surrendered her life to Christ in December, 2009 where she attended Hope Ark Presbyterian Church.