Director Karyn Simon-Poland founded the non-profit Woodlands Civic Ballet in 1987. The troupe has presented free performances of the classics, as well as original choreographic works, to capacity audiences at Oak Ridge High School Auditorium, The Nancy Bock Performing Arts Centre, and this season at Montgomery College Auditorium. Also, the troupe has been selected by audition to perform on the Epcot stage at Disney World on three different occasions.
Although some students have gone on to dance with professional and college dance companies, there are also those who dance for their own personal enrichment. Simon-Poland, herself, has danced professionally as principal dancer of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Ballet and San Francisco’s Northern California Dance Ensemble, performing the leading roles in Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, Cinderella, and Les Sylphides. She has studied under former New York City Ballet principals Violette Verdy, Patricia Neary, Patricia Wilde, Melissa Hayden, and Jacques D’Amboise. She studied intensively under the late Vitale Fokine, son of the renowned Michel Fokine, creator of Les Sylphides. Also, she was coached by the late Robert Davis, former Ballet Master of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, for her portrayal of Kitri in Don Quixote at the famous Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh.
Simon-Poland holds Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in Secondary Education, and is certified in Dance, Theatre Arts, Speech, English, and Spanish.
The Woodlands Civic Ballet offers a comprehensive program in Russian-style Classical Ballet, including pre-ballet, beginning, low intermediate, high intermediate, advanced, pre-professional ballet, pre-pointe and pointe.
Drill Team classes and special coaching sessions are also available. Ms. Simon-Poland actively participates in the Conroe Independent School District’s Private Physical Education Program, which allows students to substitute dance at the Woodlands Civic Ballet for physical education classes in school. Finally, founder and director Karyn Simon-Poland is listed in the prestigious premiere edition and subsequent editions of Marquis’ Who’s Who In Entertainment.