20 - Laurel Keen, Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Laurel Keen was a Principal dancer for nearly a decade with Alonzo King LINES, a contemporary ballet company based in San Francisco. In her years with the company, Laurel originated 21 roles, was featured on the cover of Pointe Magazine and earned the prestigious Princess Grace Award. In describing what makes her an exceptional artist, Alonzo King once said,"Her clarity is like calligraphy carved in steel...her faultless honesty and sincerity... her ability to be rather than do." Laurel grew up in Minneapolis where she began her training at Minnesota Dance Theatre, studying there from the age of seven until she reached high school. During this time, she also received training from the School of American Ballet, Dance Aspen, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School (PNBS). She moved to Seattle and continued with PNBS as a professional division student. Laurel was able to perform and tour with the company, dancing in several Balanchine works. Upon completing her training with PNBS, Laurel returned to Minneapolis and to the Minnesota Dance Theater as a company member. In 2002, she joined Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco. In 2006, her fifth season with LINES, Laurel received a Princess Grace Award, one of only six dancers that year to receive the award. As an additional honor, the Dance Panel voted to recognize Laurel with the Princess Grace Foundation-USA's Chris Hellman Dance Award. This award, endowed by Prima Ballerina Chris Hellman and her husband, F. Warren Hellman, represents the panel's high regard for a dancer's work and dedication to dance.