Kim Raymond ~ Founder and Artstic Director

Kim is a native of Springfield, MO. She began ballet at age seven with Debbie Claus at Springfield School of Dance and completed her advanced training at Ozark Dance Academy under the direction of Julia Bubalo. Kim also studied and performed at Southwest Missouri State University and Springfield Ballet throughout high school. She moved to Jackson, Mississippi to join the Trainee Program at Ballet Magnificat! in 2001. After three years as a Trainee, she was promoted to Company Member with Ballet Magnificat! Omega.

In August 2004, Kim Married Jason Raymond, who was later employed as the company’s Road Manager. The couple moved to Springfield in 2007 and founded Petra Ballet Company the following year. Kim’s teaching experience includes six years at Ballet Magnificat! School of the Arts, Ballet Magnificat! Summer Dance Intensives, and workshops at Credo Dance Academy, Ozark Dance Academy, Red Door Dance Company, and Springfield Ballet. Kim guested as an instructor and choreographer on tour in the United States and internationally, including master classes in Soust, Holland and the Prague Conservatory of Dance.

As the founder of Petra Ballet Company, Kim serves as the Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer for the company, and as Director of Petra School of the Arts. Jason and Kim are the proud parents of their four children.

Lacey Pailes ~ Company Member

Lacey is originally from Virginia, where she began ballet at three years old. Her early training was at Swan Ballet Dance Schools in Fairfax and Sterling, VA, under the direction of Lilie K. Pour. Following her family’s move in 2000, Lacey continued her dance training at Joy’s School of Dance in Waco, TX, under the instruction of Joy Burkhart, Meredith Sutton, and Natalie George.

In 2007, Lacey attended Ballet Magnificat!’s Summer Intensive and felt God calling her to use her gifts as a dancer to glorify and serve Him. On return from Ballet Magnificat!’s Intensive that summer, she participated in several dances with her church. She began to pursue ballet more seriously. Lacey had the opportunity to receive private instruction from Stephanie Ulmer, a former Trainee with the San Francisco Ballet.

During one of the most influential periods of her training, Lacey received extensive instruction under former Ballet Magnificat! Omega Company Member and Instructor, Lydia Spano from 2008 to 2011. Here she was supported and encouraged in her pursuit of using dance to serve Christ. Lacey also continued to attend Ballet Magnificat!’s Summer Intensives from 2008 to 2010. She was accepted as a Trainee with Petra Ballet Company in 2011, promoted to Apprentice in 2012, and became a Company Member in 2014.

Kristyn Paulos ~ Company Member

Kristyn began dancing at Miss Minnie’s School of Ballet in Roswell, New Mexico. At age sixteen, she joined Ruidoso Dance Ensemble in Ruidoso, New Mexico. During five years with the ensemble, Kristyn performed full-length classical ballets including “Don Quixote”, “Firebird”, “Coppelia”, “Le Corsaire” and “The Nutcracker”. Kristyn received her classical training through the Italian Cecchetti method and the English Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). Through the Cecchetti syllabus, Kristyn earned her Grade VI Student Certificate.

At age 17, she became a Cecchetti instructor, and today is a Licentiate member of the Cecchetti Council of America (LCCA), having attained through Teacher Grade VI, Intermediate Certification. Kristyn enjoys coaching and representing her own students for examinations. In the RAD method, she earned her Student Intermediate Certificate. Kristyn danced at the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition Intensive in Richmond, Virginia; Christ in the Arts’ intensive in Lubbock, Texas; and Credo Dance Academy’s intensive with modern instructor Steve Rooks in Springfield, Missouri.

For six years, Kristyn has attended Ballet Magnificat! intensives in Jackson, Mississippi where she really began to develop a love for dance and knew that Lord was calling her to pursue it further for ministry. Kristyn joined Petra Ballet Company in Fall 2015, and Petra School of the Arts as an instructor in January 2016.

Elisa Friedman ~ Company Member

Elisa Friedman has been dancing for 19 years, in 2006 and 2007 she performed in the Delaware Ballet Company’s Nutcracker. She moved from Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 2008 to Springfield Missouri where she started dancing at Credo Dance Academy in 2009. There she passed two vocational graded exams, with distinction and merit, with the Royal Academy of Dance. She has performed many times with Springfield Dance Alliance, Messiah Project, and has had the opportunity to perform in several other countries such as Poland, Germany, and Israel. She was also able to teach a master class in Ukraine.

Elisa has been to the Ballet Magnificat! Summer Intensive and the modern company Ad Deum’s spring intensive. She has also taken summer intensives with Steve Rooks, a former principle dancer with the Martha Graham Company, where she has performed in several of his original pieces. She has played both Gabriel and Lucifer in Credo’s performances of Cosmic Christmas. She joined Petra Ballet Company as an apprentice in the fall of 2016.

Sarah Shepard ~ Senior Apprentice

Sarah is from Franklin, North Carolina. She started dancing at age three, and in June concluded her fifteenth year at Betsy’s School of Dance. In those fifteen years, Sarah was instructed and trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and African Fusion. She also received instruction in ballet and pointe from Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy for two years.

Sarah performed in three productions of the Nutcracker and has also performed with United Praise Team. She participated in Overlook Theatre Company for ten years, where she acted, danced, and choreographed several pieces. She also attended Jump and Fusion dance convention and competition. Sarah participated in the spring intensive at Ad Deum in Houston, Texas, as well as summer intensives at the Orlando Ballet and Nashville Ballet. Sarah feels strongly called to dance ministry. She is excited to have the opportunity to dance with Petra and share her love for the Lord through dance.

Kaitlyn Gann ~ Apprentice

Kaitlyn was born and raised in Springfield, MO. She started dancing at age 13 at Credo Dance Academy. Her training includes jazz, modern, contemporary, Progressive Ballet, and pointe. Kaitlyn passed the RAD vocational graded exam in 2016 with merit. Primarily training in ballet, she loves to dance for the glory of the Lord! Under Credo’s instruction, she performed in James River’s Womens Conference "Designed For Life".

Kaitlyn has performed with the Messiah Project and other local organizations. She also had the opportunity to minister through dance in Costa Rica and Guatemala. She participated in summer intensives with Steve Rooks and attended Ballet Magnificat’s summer intensive in 2018. Kaitlyn loves to choreograph original pieces for the children and youth at her church in addition to teaching Creative Worship. She is passionate about sharing the Gospel through ballet and is excited to have the opportunity to now dance with Petra.

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