What makes Little Leapers Unique?
Highly trained instructors in our unique children's curriculum,
integrating literature into each class
Community involvement and
'Be Kind, Blacksburg'
HOW WE STARTED
Heather Leeper opened the first Little Leapers class in July of 2012 in Blacksburg, VA at a YMCA. The idea of Little Leapers began as a single class to offer something unique to the area. What she didn’t know was that her curriculum and classroom design wouldn’t just be filling a niche in Blacksburg, but it would be demanded all around the area! At the very beginning, Heather had sewn all of the classroom costumes and tutus in her living room, but now our branded costumes are made and created by professional seamstresses and designers.
In under a year, Heather, at only 26, went from being a self-employed dance teacher to a having a staff of twelve, at three locations. Little Leapers now serves over 450 students and produces two full length productions a year, including the Nutcracker at the Moss Arts Center.
In 2013, Little Leapers opened its first brick and mortar studio at the First and Main Shopping Center in Blacksburg, VA. Not long after, she opened a Little Leapers satellite program in Maryland (2014), Roanoke, VA (2013), Pearisburg, VA (2013), and Radford, VA (2019).
In 2015, Little Leapers expanded their programs and facilities to include the LEAP Performing Arts Academy. LEAP is geared towards growing students ages 8-adult looking for a structured and creative learning environment with multiple performance opportunities.
In 2021, The second brick and Mortar Little Leapers was built in Roanoke, VA.
Heather's goal is to one day have a Little Leapers in every city!
Little Leapers & LEAP Performing Arts Academy is a safe and inviting atmosphere for all students to express themselves through the artistry and techniques of dance and the performing arts. Little Leapers faculty and staff are dedicated teachers who are committed to dance education excellence. Our varied dance programs and curriculum allows for students to become well rounded, educated dancers at any level. Each class incorporates structured class curriculum fostering creativity and individuality in a fun learning environment. Our classes offer students the opportunity to achieve coordination, poise, grace, self-confidence, and discipline of the mind and body.
We are a curriculum based children’s dance program. Our program will enrich the lives of every student with the use of movement and literacy to help them develop as not only as a dancer, but also as a student. Our curriculum fosters every child’s imagination and love for dance through movement, play, costumes and props. In a Little Leapers class, students learn fun stretches in a playful way. They learn all of their proper dance terms while imagining, creating, or acting out scenarios. They also learn how dance is a way to communicate without using words. The most popular part of the class is story time. Each week the students sit as the teacher reads a classic tale, then get dressed up in lovely costumes and follow the teacher as they reenact the story to beautiful and theatrical music. Using their newly-acquired dance moves and fun props, children are quickly whisked away to a world of magic and play - all while learning.
Awards & Nominations
Small Business of the Year Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC)
Nominated: 2017, 2016, 2015
Outstanding New Member Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC)
Nominated: 2018, 2017 & 2014
Directors' Awards & Recognition
Distinguished Business Person of the Year Montgomery Co Chamber of Commerce
Emerging Business Woman of the Year MCCC Women's Conference
Nominated: 2018, 2017 & 2014
Woman of Achievement Awards Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline
Nominated: 2020 (awards postponed)
40 under 40 - Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
40 under 40 - Roanoker Magazine
Media & Publication Awards
Best of the NRV
Place Winner: 2018! Southwest Living Magazine
Place Winner: 2016! Roanoke Times
Place Winner: 2015! Roanoke Times
Place Winner: 2014! Roanoke Times
Place Winner: 2013! Roanoke Times
Best Dance Studio Macaroni Kid - Daisy Awards
Nominated: 2014 (awards no longer occur)
Fashion of the Ever Greens Inn at Virginia Tech
1st Place Winner: 2020! Judge's Choice
1st Place Winner: 2020! People's Choice Choice
2nd Place Winner: 2020! Social Media Choice
1st Place Winner: 2019! Judge's Choice
1st Place Winner: 2019! Social Media Choice
2nd Place Winner: 2019! People's Choice
1st Place Winner: 2018! People's Choice
2nd Place Winner: 2018! Judge's Choice
Holiday Parade Downtown Blacksburg
1st Place Winner: 2019! Youth Float
1st Place Winner: 2017! Youth Float
2nd Place Winner: 2016! Youth Float
3rd Place Winner: 2018! Youth Float
Dance & Choreography Awards
2019 Awards posting soon!
LEAP Performing Arts Company for more info
1st Place Overall Highest Score: Nationals 2018! Ultimate Stars
1st Place Overall Winner: Regional 2018! Southeast Show Down
Choreography Award: Nationals 2018! Ultimate Stars, Nationals (Kylie Baker)
3 X Choreography Award 2018 Ultimate Stars (Heather Leeper, Kylie Baker, Richelle Price)
2 X Judge's Pick Award 2018! Ultimate Stars
Performance Award 2018! Ultimate Stars
LEAP Performing Arts Company - Solo awards for more info
1st Place Overall (7-8yrs, Int.) Solo 2018! Southeast Show Down (Aralyn Price)
1st Place Overall (9-10yrs, Int.) Solo 2018! Ultimate Stars (Amelie Lemaire)
1st Place Overall (7-8yrs, Int.) Solo 2018! Ultimate Stars (Aralyn Price)
1st Place (Petite Int.) Solo 2018 Southeast Show Down (Amelie Lemaire)
2nd Place (Teen Advanced) Solo 2018 Southeast Showdown (Kylie Miller)
3rd place (Teen Advanced) Solo 2018 Southeast Showdown (Claire Vaught)
4th Place Overall (Teen Advanced) Solo 2018 Ultimate Stars (Kylie Miller)
7th place (Teen Advanced) Solo 2018 Ultimate Stars (Claire Vaught)