LISA SLAGLE began performing in Musical Theatre at the age of 5 in her hometown of Ft. Worth, Texas, where she was regularly cast in Casa Manana’s Summer Musicals, most notably as “Baby June” in Gypsy. She began her professional dancing career at the age of 11 when she appeared as a solo dancer in the Elvis Presley movie, “Clambake”. Her ballet training continued in southern California with Anna Cheselka, Sallie Whalen, and George Zoritch, and later in Houston with James Clouser and Eugene Collins. Upon graduation from high school she was offered a position with the Joffrey Ballet in New York, where she stayed until 1979. While there she had the opportunity to perform leading roles in ballets by choreographers Agnes de Mille, Gerald Arpino, Frederick Ashton, August Bournonville and Twyla Tharp. In the 1980’s she performed as a Soloist with the Ballet du Grande Theatre de Geneve in Switzerland, under the direction of Oscar Araiz, and as a Principal Dancer with Tulsa Ballet Theatre under the direction of Roman Jasinski and Moscelyn Larkin.
Upon her retirement, she started teaching ballet in the Dallas, Texas area, and in 1999 became the founding director of the Ballet Academy of Texas, located in the Dallas suburb of Coppell. The school has since received “Outstanding School” awards from the Youth America Grand Prix organization in the Southwest regional trials for 6 out of 10 years, as well as the “Outstanding Teacher” award for Ms. Slagle in 2006, 2016, and 2017. She is also the founding director of the pre-professional company, Ballet Ensemble of Texas, which was an Honor Company with the Regional Dance of America organization for 13 years. Many of her students are now dancing professionally both nationally and internationally in such companies as American Ballet Theatre, Oklahoma City Ballet, Ballet West, and Colorado Ballet.
Ms. Slagle is on the Advisory Board for American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, and has been a master teacher since 2007 for ABT’s various Summer Intensive workshops, teaching ballet, pointe, variations, and character . In 2014 she was invited to be a master teacher for ballet and character classes for the International Ballet Competition School in Jackson, Mississippi . In 2016 she had the pleasure of being a master teacher for the Regional Dance of America Northeast Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania. She has also been a master teacher as well as staged her choreography for such noted national schools as the Orlando Ballet School, Washington School of Ballet, and the Interlochen School of the Arts.