Mr. Jordan began his early training with William Martin-Viscount and the Fort Worth City Ballet. He also studied with Margo Dean and performed with Ballet Concerto. He trained extensively in Dallas with such teachers as David Kirby, Jane Quetin and Key Meersman. He then moved to the University of Arizona in Tucson where he majored in ballet and modern dance. Upon returning to Texas, he joined the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet under the direction of Ann Etgen and Bill Atkinson, where he spent nearly six years before founding his school, The North Central School of Ballet and the North Central Civic Ballet Company. Mr. Jordan has received and accepted many honors in the field of dance including full scholarships to study with the Kiev Ballet, U.S.S.R., the Joffrey Ballet in New York, and the Hartford Ballet.
He has staged numerous classical works including, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Paquita. Les Sylphides, Les Patineurs, Giselle and Coppelia as well as many of his own original ballets including, Liberty, Tribute, Baby’s Got The Blues, Etudes on Ivory, Journey and La Danse d’Amour. Mr. Jordan is also well known for his coaching abilities in classical and neo-classical Pas de Deux. He has also choreographed and staged numerous musicals including Rent, Titanic, Chess, Guys and Dolls, Hello Dolly, and Once Upon a Mattress.
He has served as President of the Affiliate groups for the Arts Council of Northeast Tarrant County. He has also served as the Vice-President of Membership for the Dance Council. Mr. Jordan also served on the Board of Directors of Regional Dance America for many years. In 1999, he received the Northeast Arts Treasure Award for outstanding commitment to the arts and education in the community and the prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award from the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts. Mr. Jordan is also involved in numerous charitable organizations and community groups. He has also served on the Executive Board of Directors for the Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce.
Maura McKenna Larsen
Ms. Larsen joined the staff of North Central Ballet in August 2006.
She was trained at the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Her professional experience includes dancing as a principal with the State Ballet of Missouri and also as a principal with Fort Worth Dallas Ballet. Maura taught students at the Fort Worth Ballet School, many of whom went on to dance with Fort Worth Ballet and New York City Ballet.
Lea Essmyer is originally from northern New Jersey. She has had most of her ballet training from Master Gabriella Darvash, as well as the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. She danced with the Dayton Ballet under the direction of Dermot Burke. She has also danced with the Roxey Ballet and Repertory Dance Theatre. Some of her favorite repertory includes, "Walpurgis Night," Paul Mejia’s "Serenade in A," Christopher Fleming’s "The 3 Musketeers," Septime Webre’s "Peter Pan," as well as "Dracula," "Othello," and numerous versions and roles in "Nutcracker." Most recently she had a ballet choreographed on her, "Kaguya Hime." Lea is currently a freelance artist in the DFW area..
Erin King received most of her training at North Central Ballet under Leslie M. Jordan III and Nicole Cook Buyskes. Her favorite performance with the company was Mr.Jordan’s original ballet, "Swing Brother Swing." She also spent a summer training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, with Nina Danilova, Warren Conover and B.J. Sullivan. In 2005, she organized and conducted a ballet workshop for underprivileged girls in Gatchina, Russia to share her love of dance. Erin danced at the University of Central Oklahoma with the Kaleidoscope Dance Company under the direction of the late Jamie Jacobson. There, she had the privilege of participating in excerpts from José Limon’s “Psalm,” set by original company member Alice Condadina. Erin is married to a fellow artist, and they have two busy, beautiful children.
Joli Drain embraced a love for dancing as a young child. Motivated by receiving a ballet scholarship from her local studio she became passionate about classical ballet and began training at the Fort Worth City Ballet with William Martin-Viscount and later continued with the Texas Ballet Theatre (formerly Fort Worth Ballet) under the artistic direction of Paul Mejia. She moved to St. Louis and fulfilled a childhood dream of dancing on the stage of the Muny Opera by performing with Italy’s La Scala Ballet Company in its tour of Swan Lake. Having a zeal for working with children, she started her career in teaching dance in 1988. In 2002 she formed a Christian dance program in Louisville, Kentucky named Grace In Motion. The program started with 15 children as a trial and grew to over 60 students in it’s second year. Since returning to Texas in 2004 she has taught in local schools and has volunteered by teaching tap and ballet lessons to the residents of Christ’s Haven for Children.Joli has a degree in early-childhood development from the University of North Texas where she also took ballet and modern dance classes. She is a former kindergarten teacher and homeschool mom. Joli has been married for 18 wonderful years to her high school sweetheart and has four amazing children.
Jennifer Boren’s dance career spans almost 40 years and over 100 ballets. She received her early training withWestern Oklahoma Ballet Theatre, a member of the Southwest Regional Ballet Festival. She trained on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma, performing with the OU Modern Company and OU Ballet, under Miguel Terekhov and Yvonne Chouteau and competed in the American College Dance Festival. Among other ballets, she performed the lead in Petrouchka and had a pas de deux created for her by Terekhov. Jennifer then started her professional career with Tulsa Ballet Theatre under Roman Jasinski and Moscelyn Larkin,
performing in many original and Ballet Russe ballets such as Scheherazade and Gaite Parisienne. She then became soloist with Southwest Ballet in New Mexico, featured as the Wild Pony in Cakewalk, soloist in Concerto Barocco and the lead in Pas de Dix, to name a few. She continued training in New York, Paris and
London, joining Weinner Ballett Theatre on their Swan Lake tour in Europe for 5 months. She was asked to join Kirov and Bolshoi stars in the Superstars of the Russian Ballet tour, performing in a televised production before the President of Taiwan. Jennifer has guest performed with companies in Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and California. Jennifer has danced as a principal with the Southwest Ballet, the University of New Mexico Dance Ensemble, Ballet Repertory Theatre, New Mexico Ballet Company and Festival Ballet Albuquerque, performing the leads in The Firebird and in Mel Tomlinson’s original ballets, “Ode to the Troops” and “Resolutione.”Jennifer has also received critical acclaim for her roles as Lucy in Dracula, and as the Arabian Queen and Sugar Plum
Fairy in The Nutcracker. She served as company spokesperson, performing in live television promos and speaking on behalf of the company during a live telethon. She has danced leading roles in many acclaimed ballets including Balanchine’s Serenade, Valse Fantasie and Tudor’s Dark Elegies. In New Mexico, Jennifer was on faculty with the Public Academy for Performing Arts, Albuquerque Academy, the University of New Mexico and choreographed and performed with Opera Southwest in their productions of
The Merry Widow, Die Fledermaus and La Traviata. She taught for several studios in Albuquerque for over 20 years and has traveled across the state teaching many workshops and setting choreography. She has taught nationally on the Dance Olympus Tour and was featured in her instructional video on petite allegro. A champion in theatre arts, Jennifer and her ballroom partner took first place at the People’s Choice DanceSport competition in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jennifer has also enjoyed TV extra work in New Mexico and Utah.
Jennifer has taught all levels of ballet, pointe, mens class, pas de deux and choreographed recital and competition pieces for students of all levels. She has helped many dancers go on to professional careers with companies such as Atlanta Ballet, Louisville Ballet, State Street Ballet, Ballet Austin and Cincinnati Ballet. With Dance Theatre Southwest in Albuquerque, she was director of the children’s summer dance intensives, in charge of hiring staff, conceiving and directing the workshop performances. She has also participated in many
outreach programs in the public schools. In Utah, she served as adjunct professor at the University of Utah and was on staff with the Dance Company in Salt Lake City, the Wasatch Arts Center in Riverton and Dance Tech Studios in Park City. Most recently, she has worked in conjunction with State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, giving their summer intensive audition class, performing the role of the Stepmother on their Cinderella tour, setting sections of Jungle Book for their New Mexico tour and teaching company class. Her son, whom she primarily trained, is currently principal dancer with State Street Ballet. She was recently invited to teach a master class at the University of California Santa Barbara. She also serves as assistant to the director of Festival Ballet Albuquerque, overseeing rehearsals, teaching company class and has choreographed several ballets for the company. She recently collaborated with the symphony on Peter and the Wolf and Creation of the World and performed Contineo, a pas de deux she created with her partner, Dominic Guerra, with Festival Ballet Albuquerque.