Owner/Director of Shreveport Dance Academy
A third generation native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Mrs. Meiki began her dance training in 1982. She assumed the position of artistic director of the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet in 2001. Her formal training began under the direction of Marion Mills, former director of the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet, as well as various workshops, offered by World-renowned masters as Jilana, David Howard, and Ekatrina Maximova. Kendra has performed with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet since 1985 and as a principal dancer since 1994. Kendra has danced principal roles in many classical ballets such as, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Gaite Parisienne, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Coppélia, Rodeo, Giselle, Pas de Quatre, Les Sylphides, Stars & Stripes, Graduation Ball and Firebird.
In 1999, Kendra focused her sights on becoming a teacher and choreographer. She became owner/director of Shreveport Dance Academy, where she insists on quality dance instruction for all ages. Kendra served as Rehearsal Assistant for the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet from 1999-2001.
In 2001 she assumed the position as Artistic Director of the Shreveport MetropolitanBallet. She is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance of London, one of only a handful within the state of Louisiana. She served as a faculty member (2003-2004) for the Kinesiology and Health Science department at LSUS. Kendra is pursuing advanced training with the Royal Academy of Dance.
In 2005, Shreveport Dance Academy broadened their horizons by forming a group of Competition/Performance Ensembles for jazz and tap. Since their introduction, the ensembles have swept competitions with gold, platinum, and critic’s choice awards.
Since 2001, she has established herself as a prominent member of the Shreveport arts community by demonstrating her commitment to the future of dance through new work and education. Kendra has been most noted in the Shreveport community for Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet’s collaboration with the Shreveport Symphony in its Snow White in 2003,Wizard of Oz in 2006 and Aladdin in 2011 productions.
In 2011, Kendra was awarded the Artist Fellowship in Dance from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and was also named Young Professional of the Year for 2010 from the Greater Shreveport Chamber
of Commerce. Most recently, Shreveport Dance Academy was names Small Business of the Year from GSC.
Kendra Meiki is the adored wife of Gabe Meiki, and the mother of two beautiful children, Jordan Grace and Christian Gabriel.
Keeley Larned Pratt
Keeley was born and raised in Plano, Texas, where she studied dance for thirteen years with Dianna Nelson and Kim Heinschield. She received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis on art, dance, and music from Centenary College in May of 2001.
While at Centenary, Keeley served three years as the president of the Escaped Images Dance Company, was a member and captain of the Leading Ladies Danceline, and performed with the Centenary College Choir all four years. During her time in the choir, she represented Centenary on international trips to South Africa and England, in addition to entertaining the President of the United States at the White House.
Since graduating, she has choreographed the Shreveport Opera’s production of Sussanah and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Sorcerer. She also produced, directed, and choreographed Cope Middle School’s That Cougar Beat as part of a grant project for the Bossier Arts Council. Keeley also completed a grant for the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, where she taught dance to fifth graders in three local schools. She currently works in the financial aid office at Centenary College.
Keeley is completing her 8th year of dance instruction in both tap and jazz at Shreveport Dance Academy and has almost 10 years of overall teaching experience. In addition, she is responsible for choreographing the studio’s tap ensemble groups.
Keeley is married to Centenary alum David Pratt. They have a spirited five-year-old daughter named Addison Lynn, and an energetic three-year-old daughter named Morgan Marie, and a beautiful seven-month old daughter named Brynnan.
Elizabeth Aillet Morales
Elizabeth Aillet Morales, a Shreveport native, began her dance training at the age of 5 and continued to graduate with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. After graduation, Elizabeth moved to New York City where she spent 5 years in the Big Apple. While in New York, she worked for Carnival Cruise Lines, was a back up dancer for an up and coming recording artist, and performed in many independent shows and venues. New York City is also where she met her wonderful husband.
Elizabeth is completing her 6th year of teaching Jazz and Hip Hop at Shreveport Dance Academy and has over 14 years of teaching experience. She is also the Director of the Jazz Ensembles at Shreveport Dance Academy and serves as the Production Director for the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet. Elizabeth is also a certified Pilates instructor and an active member in the Junior League of Shreveport/Bossier City.
Elizabeth has done voice over work for many businesses in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. She is also a radio personality for the Cumulus Station, Mix 97.3.
Elizabeth is happily married to Mike Morales and is the proud mother of their beautiful daughters, Mikayla & Mikenzie.
Blair Bryson, ARAD, RT
Blair Bryson received her early training from Marion Mills, Adrienne Brooks & Kendra Meiki, completing all major Royal Academy of Dance examinations to become an Associate of the RAD. Summer intensives she attended include Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, International Ballet Competition, University of South Carolina, and Nutmeg Conservatory where she studied under Laura Alonzo, Edward Villella, Eleanor D’Antuono, and Stanislav Issaev, among others.
Performing with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet since 1988, and a principal dancer from 1996-2002 and 2007-2010, she performed in such roles as: Snow Queen, Diamond Fairy, Fairy Godmother, Lilac Fairy, Little and Big Swans, Dew Drop, Mirror, Tin Man, and lead Arabian. From 2002-2007, Blair studied at the Giacobbe Academy and Dancer’s Workshop, and performing with the Delta Festival Ballet of New Orleans, and Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre respectively.
A graduate of Centenary College, and LSU School of Dentistry, Blair practices dentistry in Shreveport. In 2011, she completed 2 years of training with the Royal Academy of Dance to become a Registered Teacher.
Blair is the wife of Jay hood, and the mother to twin boys, Jackson & Bryson.
Emily Young began her dance training at the age of three with Dance Arts Studio where she studied under the direction of Frank Vega and Aaron Girlinghouse. She began studying with the Shreveport Dance Academy in 2004 where she received training under Kendra Meiki, Adrienne Brooks, Kathryn Drake, and Elizabeth Morales.
She joined the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet in 2005 where she has danced numerous roles in such ballets as Ballet Under the Stars, Cinderella, Coppelia, Snow White, The Nutcracker, and The Wizard of Oz in which Emily danced the lead role of Dorothy in 2010. Emily also danced the role of Genie in the World premiere ballet of Aladdin in 2011. Emily was a principal dancer for SMB from 2005-2010.
Emily was also a member of the Shreveport Dance Academy’s competition teams from 2005-2010 and serves as assistant to the choreographers.
Emily will be graduating with honors from LSU-S in May with a degree in Fine Arts, concentration in Art History, and a minor in English.
Emily would like to thank Kendra Meiki and Elizabeth Morales for their continued support and instruction over the years. She would also like to thank her family and friends for always supporting and believing in her.
Michelle Alexander started her training with the Lone Star Ballet, Carol Anglin Dancenter, and transitioned into a professional career as a full scholarship student at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. She has danced professionally with the Pennsylvania Ballet as a student, The Koresh Dance company, The Delta Festival Ballet, Komenka Dance Ensemble, The Shoji Tobuchi Show, Legends in Concert, and Dixie Stampede. Her education at Tulane University as a BFA major allowed her to dance along side Urban Ballet Theatre and Pearson Widrig Dance Co of NYC.
Michelle started her teaching career at the performing arts high school in New Orleans, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts/Riverfront as a Jazz instructor. Her internships with New Orleans Ballet Association in conjunction with New Orleans Recreation Department allowed her to share in work designed to provide outreach and scholarships to urban communities through dance. She continued on to the Nevada Ballet Theatre in Las Vegas where she headed up the creative movement department, worked with their administrative staff, and taught dance classes at the University of Las Vegas Health and Wellness Center.
Wanting to be closer to family brought her back to the south where she danced with, as well as, choreographed on the Arkansas Festival Ballet. During the last three years she has taught at Shuffles and Ballet II (official school of Ballet Arkansas) in Little Rock where she has also worked as a contracted ballet mistress for Ballet Arkansas.
Her overall training in dance includes Vaganova, Checchetti, techniques as well as the Balanchine style, 20 years combined training in the Graham and Horton techniques, Jazz, Partnering, Folk, Hip Hop, and variety show styles. She has also invested two years at the University of New Orleans as a Theatre major, one semester at the University of Las Vegas Nevada with a focus on production and performance, and one year as an anthropology major with the emphasis on dance at the University of Little Rock Arkansas. She enjoys painting professionally and intends to enjoy life to its fullest at home in Louisiana. For more information on current choreographic projects and pictures, please go to amichellealexander.webs.com/
Kate Meehan Pedrotty
Kate Meehan Pedrotty received her initial classical ballet training at Theatre School of Dance under Marion Mills. She performed with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet for twelve years and was a principal dancer with the company from 1993 through 1996.
She attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she earned degrees in Dance and History. Through R-MWC’s Visiting Artist Program, Kate was able to study ballet, modern dance, and jazz under noted instructors from around the United States and the world. She was also a featured member of the College’s performing ensemble for four years.
After graduation Kate moved to Champaign, Illinois to pursue a Ph.D. in History. She also began dancing at the Champaign Park District’s DanceArts program, an RAD school, and eventually became an instructor in the program. Kate has taught all levels of ballet from Pre-Primary through Adult and Advanced classes. In addition to teaching dance classes, Kate is the Executive Director of the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet.
Kathryn Drake McDowell
Kathryn began her performing career with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet under the direction of Marion Mills. In 1995 Kathryn left Shreveport to attend the University of Oklahoma and continue her studies of classical dance under the direction of Mary Margaret Holt and the Oklahoma Festival Ballet. In addition to regular performances in Oklahoma, she performed with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet on two tours to France, and in 1999 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Kathryn has performed professionally with the Tulsa Ballet, Lexington Ballet Company, and the Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea, before returning home to SMB to retire. Kathryn has interpreted soloist and principal roles in such ballets as The Nutcracker, Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, Carmina Burana, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Snow White, and various contemporary ballets.
After retiring in 2005, Kathryn returned to school to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching, and she is currently teaching G/T Math at her alma mater Caddo Magnet High School.
Classical Ballet and Beyond...
Opportunities with Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet and SDA Performance Ensembles. Yearly Performances!