Lacee Sandgren, Artistic Director
Lacee began her dance training at the age of 3 at Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance located in Topeka, Kansas. Under the direction of Barbara Ebert, she joined the civic company, Ballet Midwest when she was 12. As a junior in high school, Lacee was a Topeka Performing Arts Center Young Artist of the Year scholarship recipient. She continued dancing with Ballet Midwest through college when she was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director. Lacee also trained with Sean Duus, Stefani Schrimpf, and Kimberly Cowen at the Kansas City Ballet as well as Krystyna & Jerel Hilding at the University of Kansas. Each summer for 10 years, Lacee attended Ballet Magnificat’s Summer Dance Intensive to study under the direction of Kathy Thibodeaux, Sol Nazario, and Jiri Sebastian Voborsky. Lacee was honored to dance in their pre-professional division several of those years, received multiple full merit scholarships, and completed their teacher’s certification.
After graduating high school, Lacee attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City in their Conservatory of Music and Dance on scholarship, primarily studying under Paula Weber, Ronald Tice, Sabrina Madison-Canon, DeeAnna Hiett, Michael Simms, Jamal Story, and Gary Abbott. As a conservatory dancer, Lacee performed many classical and contemporary works by well-known guest artists and faculty members. While in college, she served as a leader for Campus Crusade for Christ. She received the honor of being asked to dance and share her testimony for thousands of college students at both the Denver Christmas Conference and the Big Break Conference. In May 2012, Lacee graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a ballet emphasis and a Business Administration minor.
Upon graduation, Lacee was invited to join Paradosi Ballet Company located in Washington State. For two seasons, she danced professionally and toured extensively with the company, both in the states and internationally. While on tour, Lacee was asked to teach many Master Classes offered by Paradosi in the cities they performed. Lacee’s degree in dance and teaching experience was highly regarded by Paradosi’s directors. They hired her to head the company’s school, Surrendered School of the Arts, both as Principal and as a primary instructor. Under her direction, the school doubled in size and expanded to five campuses. Her business minor also proved advantageous as she was employed as Assistant Business Manager. In the spring of 2014, Lacee was hired to tour with The Thorn Productions Tour Cast across the United States in their nationally recognized, multi-million dollar production. She also organized and led dance classes for the communities where The Thorn performed.
Lacee Sandgren is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Lacee is very excited to be returning to her hometown of Topeka to expand her career as director of Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance and of Ballet Midwest. She comes to Topeka bringing many new and exciting ideas to enhance the professionalism of the school and the company. “I am thrilled to be able to use the knowledge I obtained from my degree in dance; to instill the invaluable skills I learned by teaching and choreographing in many studios across the nation, and to share my experience as a professional dancer with my students here in Topeka.”