Our Staff

Meet our awesome staff! Each staff member goes through a lengthy training process, so you know that your child is in the best, most qualified hands. Our teachers have extensive backgrounds in their fields and outgoing personalities focused on making the classes engaging and exciting for the students.

We can't wait for you to meet them!

 

Blacksburg Teachers

& Staff

Heather Leeper

Blacksburg & Roanoke Director / Owner

Heather Leeper is the owner and creator of Little Leapers and its unique curriculum. 

Heather has studied dance for over 20 years. She trained in Saratoga, NY under New York City Ballet esteemed alumni; Michael Steele, Olga Kostritzky, Deborah Wingert, and Garielle Whittle. She also trained under Darlene Myers of the Pennsylvania Ballet Company at the Myers School of Dance, and performing with the Northeast Ballet. 

Heather comes from a long line of dancers, including her grandmother who graduated from the Performing Arts High School in New York (Remember 'FAME'?) where she graduated with such prestigious classmates as Arthur Mitchell, founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.


Heather has performed with various companies including the New York City Ballet, Saratoga City Ballet (soloist), Ballet Regent, Northeast Ballet (soloist), Burklyn Ballet, Blacksburg Ballet (soloist), Albany Berkshire Ballet (soloist), and the Dance Company at Virginia Tech. While living in Washington, DC, Heather was a professional cheerleader for the NHL Washington Capitals, MLB Washington Nationals, MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks, and was a finalist for the NFL Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. She also was the choreographer for the Washington Nationals Dug Out Dancers. 

Besides working as a full time instructor and director of Little Leapers, Heather is an active member of the Chamber of commerce and has helped organize the NRV Leadership's Arts Day since 2017. In addition Heather has spoke on many arts and entrepreneurship panels including the Radford University's Governors school.

 

Heather began teaching at the age of 18, and has successfully created and run various dance groups and companies including the McLean High School Varsity, JV, and Middle School Dance Teams, and Little Leapers & LEAP Performing Arts Academy.


Dancing has always been Heather's passion and being able to share that with her students is among her most rewarding endeavors. 

 

Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce: Small Business of the Year, 2018
 

Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Nominee:

Emerging Business Woman of the Year, 2017, 2018
Small Business of the Year, 2015, 2016 & 2017

Outstanding New Member, 2014

Young Business Woman of the Year, 2014
 

Southwest VA Living Magazine: Best of: 2019, 2018

Best of NRV, Roanoke Times 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Macaroni Kid Daisy Award Nominee 2014

Miss Richelle

Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical

Richelle began her dance training in Philadelphia at the age of three. After moving to Virginia, she began studying at the Dance Arts Center under the direction of Vikki Rimmer. While majoring in Psychology at Virginia Tech, Richelle became a member of the Dance Company of Virginia Tech. She has attended numerous workshops and taken Master Classes with a number of instructors including H.L. Tate of the Joffrey Ballet and international teacher and choreographer, Lea Darwin.

Richelle has over 20 years of teaching experience and has choreographed award winning routines for studios and performance groups. Additionally, she has worked for Montgomery County Schools as a choreographer and a cheerleading coach. When she’s not teaching, she works as a Case Manager for juvenile offenders in Montgomery County, and enjoys reading and spending time with her daughter, family, and friends.

Richelle began teaching at Little Leapers in 2013 and loves sharing her passion for dance with children, especially her daughter Aralyn. “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once…” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Miss Caitlin

Ballet, Pointe, Pas de Deux

A professional ballet dancer, Caitlin graduated from Butler University with a Bacheler’s of Fine Arts. She has danced with the Minnesota Ballet, the Manassas Ballet Theatre, and the Roanoke Ballet Theatre.

Caitlin has been teaching at Little Leapers for 3 years, and she loves being able to share her passion and joy for dance with others. When she is not dancing, she enjoys hiking and exploring different wineries in the area with her husband.

(Photo credit: Laura White)

Mr. Will

Boys Ballet, Jazz, Partnering

Will has been dancing for 22 years, 12 of which have been professionally. He has been teaching for 10 years and currently teaches Men's Ballet, Jazz, and Partnering at Little Leapers and LEAP Performing Arts Academy. Will has been a wonderful addition to our team and an asset to growing our fantastic boys program. Some noteworthy companies he has danced for is The Albany Berkshire Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Manassas Ballet, and he is currently with Roanoke Ballet Theatre. His wife Caitlin (who is also one of our fantastic teachers at Little Leapers!) is also a professional dancer and when he is not dancing or teaching he enjoys baking and watching "The Great British Baking Show" with her, playing "Minecraft", "Total War", and "Dungeons and Dragons". His favorite ballet is "The Concert" by: Jerome Robbins

Miss Jenna

Ballet, LEAP Company, Front Desk

Jenna has taught ballet at Little Leapers for 6 years, and has been dancing for over 20 years. She has a degree in Wildlife Conservation from Virginia Tech, and really loves the New River Valley area. 

 

When it comes to teaching dance, she loves the fact that it gives her the privilege of watching her students grow not only as dancers, but as people. She is so proud of all of the dancers' hard work over the years, which continues to serve as her motivation to share dance with her students each year at Little Leapers.

When Jenna is not dancing or teaching, she can be found on a hike in the area, or reading.

Miss Candy

Adult Modern

Candy’s background is mainly in modern dance, but like all dancers she studied ballet, too. While an undergrad, she studied modern dance with Pat Heigel-Tanner, one of the original dancers in Doris Humphrey's, "Water Study." After graduating, she went to NYC and obtained a master's degree in dance/movement therapy, then danced professionally in Richmond, VA with some of modern companies there. She is also a certified Pilates instructor.

Candy is currently in the PhD program in Human Development and Family Sciences at Virginia Tech, and enjoys being a well-rounded scientist-artist. You can find her at the studio dancing & choreographing, or on campus doing research.

 

Her goal in teaching is to help dancers feel safe in their bodies and learn how their bodies enjoy movement. She wants dancers to feel comfortable using their unique movement repertoire- the movements that make their bodies feel strong and "at home."

“Do what you feel you are, not what you think you ought to be. Go ahead and be a rebel. Then you can be an artist.” ~Anna Sokolow

Mr. Steve

Improv, Theater

Steve has an extensive background in comedy and improv, and trained at Second City. He is the former Executive Director of CCTC- a corporate training and entertainment company. As a former professional performer, director, and producer, he uses his training and skills as an organizational consultant and trainer. He enjoys teaching improv at Little Leapers, and bringing the love of the stage to everyone he meets. If you are wondering what improv is, Steve explains it as “the art of being prepared to be unprepared.”

Steve directs the Business Communication education program in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.

Miss Kayla

Add Job Title here

Add Description here

Miss Anastasia

Ballet

Anastasia is a senior Chemical Engineering student at Virginia Tech, where she is also the current Vice President for "The Ballet Project". She has been dancing since she was 4 years old and her passion has always been for ballet, especially pointe. She has been teaching dance for 2 1/2 years. Anastasia has danced with such prestigious groups as The Richmond Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts. She loves spending her time dancing and teaching for both Little Leapers and "The Ballet Project". 

Miss Heather E

Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, Partnering

Heather started dancing at the age of three after she saw pictures of Gisele and decided she wanted to be just like her. She grew up at the studio training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Acro, Pointe, Modern, Partnering, and a few Latin styles. Starting at 9 she competed with the pre professional dance company, and continued until 18, earning ballet and overall scholarships. From there she took a step into the professional dance world and danced for Universal Studios Orlando, and spent a year as an aerialist at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan. Dance has always been her life and her passion and she can’t wait to pass on the art form to other young dancers!

Miss Kylie

Contemporary, Leap Company

Miss Kylie has taught dance for the past 6 years, though she started out working at a professional dinner theater at age 8! She has been in over 30 musicals, then was a competitive dancer through high school and the Contemporary Dance Ensemble (CDE) in college.

 

When she is not dancing, you can find her reading and cooking. Miss Kylie loves dance because it helps express the feelings that are too hard to process with words.

Miss Emma

Ballet, Jazz

Emma started dancing when she was 4 years old, and mainly trained in ballet, jazz, and lyrical/contemporary. She originally started training in ballet at the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and participated in their production of "The Nutcracker" each season. She started competing in various styles when she was 11 with Dawn Crafton Dance Connection. At 15, Emma began dancing with Cheryl O'Hara Dance Elite and competed with them until graduating from high school. She began assisting kids' dance classes and helped teach the classes for adults with special needs at CODE in high school.

Emma is a Human Development major at Virginia Tech, and is also a Young Life leader there. In this role, she spends a lot of time working with teenagers and adults with special needs. She also loves to hike, read, travel, and spend time with friends.

Dance has always been such a huge part of Emma’s life, and she loves that she can pass that on to others through teaching.

Miss Paisleigh

Ballet, Partnering

Miss Paisleigh is new to Little Leapers this year, and is a History student in college. She teaches ballet and partnering. She has 17 years of classical ballet training, and also enjoys yoga, reading, bouldering, and painting. Miss Paisleigh is so excited to have the opportunity to teach at Little Leapers and show her students how fun, beautiful and rewarding dance is!

Miss Bradley

Acro, Hip-Hop, Musical Theater and Class Assistant

Bradley has been dancing since she was 5 years old and has also participated in competitive dance for 7 years. She has won multiple national championships for Contemporary and Hip Hop styles of dance. She also did gymnastics/competitive gymnastics from ages 2 to 8. She is now sharing her love for dance with children of many ages. She thoroughly enjoys working with children as well as teaching at Little Leapers.

Miss Danielle

Tap

Miss Danielle (Dani) has danced since she was 3 and taught dance for 4 years. She has trained in tap, clogging, irish, pointe, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, jazz, lyrical and street funk. She also has participated in multiple workshops through the years.

 

When she is not dancing, Miss Dani can be found lifting weights and going to the gym, trying new foods and cooking, having adventures and doing fun things outside, and shopping!

 

She loves dance because “for me its not only a stress reliever but a way for me to express my emotions without words. For this reason I love teaching dance and sharing my passion with others and watching them grow into their own artists. It’s such a rewarding process to watch a student struggle with a new skill and then achieve it; the smile that it puts on their face really warms my heart and makes it all worth it!”

Miss Shaye

Acro

Shaye has studied gymnastics for 8 years and was a coach for 3 years before coming to Little Leapers. She loves movement and dance because of how artistic and powerful they are. She loves that you can be and tell a story to literally anyone, regardless of their age or ethnicity.

When she’s not at the studio, you can find Shaye reading, baking cakes, doing photography, or anything crafty.

Miss Alayna

Ballet

Miss Ariel

Class Assistant- Fairytale Ballet, Ballet 2

Ariel has been dancing for 10 years, including 4 years of Irish dancing with instructor Victoria Dunlap. She has been with Little Leapers for 2 years.

Ariel’s favorite quote is, “Elegance is the only beauty that never fades” -Audrey Hepburn

Whenever she dances, she tries to live by this wonderful saying. She believes that no matter how old dance becomes, or how it changes, it will always remain timeless. That is why she has a passion for dance.  Ariel dances to show grace and to make others feel emotion.

When she’s not dancing, Ariel enjoys reading, listening to music, and going to the movies with friends and family.

Watch for Miss Ariel onstage as Clara in the Little Leapers' production of the Nutcracker!

Mr. Noah

Boys Ballet

Noah Provenzano is 16 years old and began his dance journey at Little Leapers only 3 years ago. Like most other boys, he was very hesitant to try dance at first, however, after just the first day he fell in love with the art. During his time at Little Leapers he has also trained in male technique under the instruction of Tim Melady and Will Smith. Noah has been teaching for over a year now and uses his passion to inspire other young boys to get involved in dance. Noah also recently completed the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory Summer International Program in Connecticut. Although he loves ballet and Pas de Deux, his favorite genre of dance is urban hip hop.

 

When he is not dancing, Noah enjoys going on adventurous boy scout trips, programming, and listening to and making music.  

Miss Caroline

Adult Contemporary, Class Assistant- Fairy Tale Ballet and Little Prima Ballerina

Caroline is a high school student who has been dancing for 9 years. She currently teaches Adult Contemporary and is a class assistant for our Fairy Tale Ballet and Little Prima Ballerina classes. Her favorite styles of dance are ballet and contemporary. She says her favorite part about teaching is "Hearing about all the little ones days, and watching them grow as dancers from an early age". 

When she is not dancing or in school she also enjoys running in her free time. 

Samantha Jones

Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Samantha graduated from Concord University in 2014 with a B.A. in Communications and a concentration in Public Relations. She danced throughout her life studying ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop until she found her love of swing dancing in college. Her real passion was always for musical theatre, which was apart of her life for over a decade. She enjoyed teaching youth theatre camps in college and has always been amazed by the healing powers of the performing arts. During her time at Concord she also enjoyed working for WVCU, her college radio station, where she served as the Director of Marketing and Production. Upon graduation she was an employee of a radio station in West Virginia where she worked as a voice tracker as well as in the production and sales department. Now her favorite hobby is being a full time mom to her own tiny dancer, Emerson, and sharing her love and passion for music and the arts with her.

 

Samantha joins us as our first Director of Marketing and Public Relations here at Little Leapers!

Riddhi Adsul

Front Desk Receptionist

Riddhi is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Human Development and Psychology. She is also currently enrolled in a Pre-Physical Therapy program with hopes to attend Physical Therapy school upon graduation. She has been dancing for 9 years in various styles including hip-hop, contemporary and Bollywood/Indian. She is a member of the Bollywood-Fusion dance team at Virginia Tech, "Junoon", where she currently serves as captain. 

When she is not working, dancing, or in class she enjoys spending time with friends, eating delicious foods and going for long runs outside. 

Riddhi joined the Little Leapers team in August 2019 as a member of our front desk staff. 

Krista Daigle

Font Desk Receptionist

Krista joins the Little Leapers team with 20 years of dance experience! She is classically trained in ballet which was her main area of focus growing up, but she also studied jazz and contemporary/modern as well. She trained with the New Jersey School of Ballet and performed in several classical ballets as well as original productions with their company as a junior member. She also trained with the Nutmeg Ballet as well as Radford University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree. She also has a Master’s of Education in School Counseling from Liberty University. 

 When she is not working she loves spending time with her family, being a mom to her two children and traveling when they can, especially to the beach. 

 

She says "One of the greatest experiences I had as a dancer was when I was able to travel to Glasgow, Scotland to audition for the Scottish Ballet. I also had to the opportunity to perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen with RU’s production of the Nutcracker and that was also a big dream of mine to perform these roles"

Please reload

 

Roanoke Teachers & Staff (coming soon!)

Little Leapers provides dances lessons for the following areas: Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Claytor Lake, Elliston, Floyd, Giles County, Hillsville, Narrows, Pearisburg, Pulaski, Radford, Roanoke, Riner, Salem, Shawsville,

Ballet, ballet fitness, cheer classes, contemporary, gymnastics, Jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, pointe, pre-school classes, tap

 

© 2018 by LITTLE LEAPERS, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle
  • Pinterest - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle