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.

Joy Wilkerson ~ Company Member

Joy is originally from Mansfield, Texas. She began studying dance at the age of four and has just concluded her fourteenth year of instruction at Leap of Faith Dance and Performing Arts Center. She has completed training in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, baton twirling, and modern at Leap of Faith and has also studied Irish step dancing at the Emerald School of Irish Dance under the instruction of Leslie Middleton, TCRG. Joy has received her primary technical training from Sharon Smith Andrews, BFA, yet in 2004 and 2006 she was given the opportunity to perform with Momentum Dance Company in The Nutcracker as choreographed by Jacqueline Ralls Forcher.

In 2005 she performed again with Momentum in Forcher’s rendition of Coppélia. In 2012, she performed the role of the Sour Kangaroo in Parables Dance Company’s Who Hears. She has also had the opportunity to attend summer dance intensives at Leap of Faith in 2009 and 2011 where she received instruction under Jeff and Natalie Lewis, founders and directors of Arrows International. Joy feels a strong calling to the ministry of dance and is so excited to be able to use her talents to glorify the Lord through apprenticing with Petra Ballet Company.

Elisa Friedman ~ Senior Apprentice

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.

Holly Lewis ~ Apprentice

Holly Rae Lewis started dancing at age five at Sonshine Performing Arts in Springfield, MO and continued her training at Starlighters Performing Arts in Nixa, MO through age twelve. Her training focused on her passion for ballet, as well as its importance as the base for all dance. She also explored the styles of lyrical, modern, jazz, and hip hop. At age eleven she had the opportunity to perform as a mouse in Moscow Ballet’s, The Nutcracker. At age thirteen Holly continued her training at Ozark Dance Academy where she further refined her technique as well as became a member of the competition team. For four years the team competed at Tremaine dance competitions, where in 2012 she won studio dancer of the year. Holly also studied at Springfield Ballet where she took part in the 2012 performance of The Nutcracker performing Snowflake, Chinese, and Flower.

In 2016 Holly graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City- Conservatory of Music and Dance with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Holly trained with an emphasis in ballet, and in addition, studied and developed a love for modern dance. Holly’s education also included choreography, improv, labanotation, tech, and costume design. Holly also participated in workshops with Alvin Ailey and the conservatory of Tianjin, China. Upon graduation Holly began teaching ballet, contemporary, and modern styles at local studios. Holly joined Petra Ballet Company as an Apprentice in the fall of 2017.

Sarah Shepherd ~ 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.


Petra Ballet Company - Restored

The Call

Perta Ballet Company - The Call

Petra Promo

Petra Ballet Company - Promo