Carla Flores-Keniston is originally from Austin, Texas, where she began her dance training at Austin Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Tapestry Dance Company. As a student, she scored “highly commended” in four levels of Cecchetti method examinations, and attended summer intensive programs with the Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Austin, and the International Cecchetti Summer School. She later moved to Houston, where she attended the distinguished High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) as a dance major. While at HSPVA, she was asked to perform at the National High School Dance Festival in Long Beach, California and was invited to perform on a tour throughout China. Her passion for teaching dance then led her to the University of Oklahoma (OU), where she graduated with a BFA degree in Ballet Pedagogy with special distinction. During that time, she received such honors as the Juli Busken Memorial Scholarship, an Interdisciplinary Project Scholarship, an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Project Grant, the Miguel Terekhov Choreography Award, and the Most Outstanding Dance Senior Award. Carla also performed with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet touring nationally and to France. Some of her performance credits have included soloist roles such as Dew Drop and Fairy Doll in the Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Ben Stevenson’s Sentimientos, 4 Swans in Swan Lake, Mary Margaret Holt’s Pret a Porter and Paquita, Mary Lennox in Greg Easley’s The Secret Garden, and as a guest performer at Carnegie Hall with the Weill Music Institute.
Ms. Flores-Keniston has spent the last twelve years in New York City, where she’s had many special opportunities to dance and teach at programs such as Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech and the Bronx Performing Arts Center. She eventually continued her studies at New York University (NYU), where she completed a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Dance in the Professions with a concentration in American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) Ballet Pedagogy in 2011. She has since served as the Program Administrator and Faculty for NYU Steinhardt’s Dance Education program, which includes her roles as Assistant Director for dance concerts and the Director of the High School Summer Dance Intensive. At NYU, she has been a professor of Ballet, Modern Dance, Dance Composition and Production, and a choreographer for several dance concerts and musicals as well. She is also a fully certified, affiliate ballet teacher in ABT’s National Training Curriculum, and has worked for ABT as a teaching artist for their educational outreach programs, a teacher for the Young Dancer Summer Workshop and the Summer Arts Institute at Frank Sinatra High School, and as a ballet instructor in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School’s children’s division for eight years. She has recently welcomed a daughter, which has now brought her family back to Texas, and she is very excited to now be joining the faculty at Houston Ballet and TopFlight Dance Center.