Our daughter Harper has been attending Coomer Ballet Conservatory since it’s opening last January in the 2 year old class. We love it there and Harper has learned so much, from basic ballet and dance poses, balancing, taking turns, following instruction and much more! We couldn’t wait to interview her teacher and co-owner, Michelle Coomer and get to know her better!
Photos by: Jaime Lagdameo
Tell us about how you met your husband! How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I moved from California at age 16 to train with the Houston Ballet Academy. It wasn’t until my last year, that my future husband Chris moved from England to train in the Houston Ballet Academy. I joined Houston Ballet the following year and Chris joined 2 years later. It wasn’t until we started partnering together in Stanton Welch’s “Nosotros” that we realized there was something between us. In February 2005, we started dating and have been inseparable ever since. We got engaged in 2011 which is the same year I retired as a professional dancer. We were married the following year. Chris is still dancing as a First Soloist in the Houston Ballet. We have 3 kids. Ella is 6, Colton is 4, and Dean will be 2 on February 1st.
How long have you lived in Pearland? What made you decide to live here?
Chris and I moved to Pearland in 2010. With both of us coming from large families we always dreamt of having children of our own. With family-friendly neighborhoods and great schools, Pearland was the perfect fit for us.
What’s your favorite family activity Pearland?
With running a business and my husband’s professional career, we don’t have much time for anything else. We love to go out to eat when we get a chance or take our kids to the local pools or parks.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in your Pearland?
One of my favorite restaurants is Latino Bites Express. I could eat there every day. Our family also loves Jimmy Changas. You can’t go wrong with their great food, drinks, and playground for the kids.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I love desserts. I cannot go to bed without eating something sweet like cookies, brownies, or chocolate. 😊
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I’d like to thank my amazing husband. He really has picked up the slack during my late nights while I am teaching or working. He graciously cooks most of our family meals and gets the kids to bed on time. Even on nights when he gets home late after an evening performance, he still manages to get up with the kids in the morning and take them to school.
How has the Pearland community been instrumental in getting you where you are now?
The Pearland Community has welcomed us with open arms. We couldn’t be more grateful for the outpouring of support from all of our new students, their families, and local community. Through word of mouth alone, we have already grown above and beyond our expectations.
Where do you go locally for pampering or a mom’s night out?
Mom’s night out? More like Mom’s night in with take out, wine, Netflix, and a massage from my husband. I am very much a homebody and prefer to relax with my family than to go out.
Please share with us how you juggle running your own business and being a mom and wife?
I am a mother of three, a wife, and a new business owner. Finding the balance has been a challenge for me especially since it’s our first year being open. I am starting to realize I can’t do everything myself. We have built a team of qualified instructors and reliable office staff. So, going into our second year, I am hoping to be able to take a step back in certain areas and put my energy more into the teaching side of the business.
Photo by: Guillermo Duron
Please share with us about your ballet dancing career!
I danced professionally with the Houston Ballet for 9 years. I was offered an apprenticeship at 18 and then joined the corps de ballet a year later. I was promoted to a Demi Soloist in 2007. I was fortunate to perform all over the United States and Canada. My favorite tour was performing for two weeks in Spain. I performed many lead roles in ballets including Gamazatti in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere and The Snow Queen in Ben Stevenson’s Nutcracker.
Photo by: Amitava Sarkar
Please tell us about Coomer Ballet?
We opened in January 2019. Our goal is to instill correct technique, artistry, discipline, and above all, the love of dance in all of our students. Our instructors consist of current and former professional dancers along with other highly qualified instructors who specialized in their own styles. We are proud to bring professional dancers from Houston Ballet and other companies in and around Houston to teach at our studio. We are honored to have a partnership with Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to enhance our dancer’s access to quality orthopedic care by a team of health care providers with dance medicine experience. Houston Methodist Athletic Trainer, Caitlyn Prescott will be conducting the monthly Dance Injury Clinics free to our dancers.
Photos by: Guillermo Duron
What made you want to open a ballet studio?
After teaching and managing a local dance studio for many years, I realized that with our combined professional experience and connections we could offer a higher level of dance training to the Pearland area than ever before. When Coomer Ballet Conservatory was just a dream, our friends and soon to be business partners, Chris and Kelly Robles gave us the confidence and support we needed to make it a reality. They are the owners of multiple business’s in Pearland and Houston and they also built our facility. We are so honored and grateful for our partnership with them.
What are the age range of classes?
18 months through adults
What types of classes do you offer?
We offer Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro (Tumbling), Body Conditioning, Progressing Ballet Training, and Adult classes.
When is the best age to start ballet?
Any age!!! We start at 18 months with our Tiny Tots and have beginner classes for adults as well.
Special events/workshops/special classes coming up?
One of our instructors, Donna Crump, has asked a select group of Coomer Ballet dancers to perform a contemporary work at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston. The work is to be featured alongside the award-winning short film “America” by director and screenwriter Garrett Bradley on January 23rd at 6 pm. “America” is a cinematic omnibus rooted in New Orleans, challenging the idea of black cinema as a wave or movement in time proposing instead a continuous thread of achievement.
$20 off Registration Fee when you mention The Pearland Moms, must register by February 8th.