Laura McQueen Schultz was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet as Ballet Master in January 2018.
From 2012 until 2017, Laura and her husband Nick were the Choreographers and Stage Directors for Children’s Opera Workshop, during which they taught and created all the stage direction and choreography for each opera. Laura was also the Associate Artistic Director of Young People’s Ballet Theatre in Flint, Michigan from 2012 until 2016.
In 2001, Laura was invited to join the St. Louis Ballet under Gen Horiuchi. She returned to Grand Rapids Ballet in 2003 where she danced numerous leading and principal roles in such ballets as Four Temperaments, Who Cares?, Alice in Wonderland, Black and White, Romeo and Juliet, Raymonda Pas de Dix, Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and many other iconic classic works. Laura has also worked with contemporary choreographers such as Robyn Mineko Williams, Penny Saunders, Mário Radačovský, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
Laura has often appeared as a guest artist in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia for companies including Ballet Bratislava, Long Beach Ballet, Farrell Ballet Theatre, Whim W’Him, and Olympic Ballet Theater. Laura has also staged works for Grand Rapids Ballet as well as with the National Ballet of Brno
Laura started her ballet training at age seven at the Grand Rapids Ballet School. She was a member of both the Junior and Senior Professional Trainee programmes at Grand Rapids Ballet in which she performed alongside the professional company. She also studied on scholarship with the Houston Ballet Academy, San Francisco Ballet School, and the National Ballet School of Canada. She joined the Grand Rapids Ballet as an apprentice for the 1999-2000 season and spent the following year dancing under Lindsay Fischer at the National Ballet of Canada in the postgraduate training programme.