Ballet Des Moines Administrative Staff


Laurel Knox

Executive Director
(515) 440-1177

In addition to her proven management and fundraising skills, Laurel Knox has an extensive working knowledge of professional ballet companies, having held both development and production positions at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre and SD Prism Dance Theatre.  While at Pacific Northwest Ballet, she managed donor relations events and the annual special fundraising event.  As a small company, SD Prism Dance Theatre afforded her the opportunity to direct both production and development operations.  With Nevada Ballet Theatre, she served on the production side as the Company Manager, managing the dancers, tours, and visiting artists among other duties.  

She directs the administrative, marketing and fundraising activities of the Company and works side by side with BDM Artistic Director Serkan Usta.  Her connections in the national and international dance world are a tremendous asset to the growth of Ballet Des Moines.  

Blythe Watkins

Company Manager (515) 440-1177

Blythe is delighted to be a part of the artistry of Ballet Des Moines. Her background is in the performing arts, having spent much of her career in opera production and management. She is a seasoned administrator and brings to the job, a true respect and admiration of Ballet.

Kelly Ahr

Finance Manager
(515) 371-7411

Kelly grew up in the Des Moines area and has a background in the Administrative Management and Accounting Profession. She has been working with non-profits and in the arts community for many years. She has worked with Ballet Des Moines for nine years managing and overseeing the financial and administrative functions for the organization as well as managing the company and production activities along side the artistic team.  Kelly has a strong passion to see the arts organization grow and collaborate throughout the greater Des Moines community.