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!

 
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Heather Leeper

Blacksburg & Roanoke Director & Owner

Heather Leeper is the owner and creator of Little Leapers and its unique curriculum. Heather Leeper opened her first classes in 2012 at the YMCA with three instructors; Little Leapers has since grown to four studios and 29 staff and instructors, with 500 students and 75 classes weekly. Leeper, who studied dance for over 20 years under NYC Ballet esteemed alumni, was also a professional cheerleader and choreographer and is an active member in the community, offering student scholarships for free classes, as well as educational programming for multiple school systems, including the programs at the Moss Arts Center. She founded “Be Kind,” a community-wide anti-bullying awareness campaign uniting businesses and organizations in the area to encourage kindness. “My passion is not just for teaching young girls/boys dance,” Leeper says. “It’s about building the next leaders of our community. ...This is incorporated into each one of my classes to build strong, smart, brave and tenacious individuals.” 

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, Burklyn Ballet, Blacksburg Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet, 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 has been an active member of the Chamber of commerce and has an integral organizer for NRV Leadership's Arts Day 2017-2019. In addition Heather has spoke on many arts and entrepreneurship panels including for Virginia Tech, Radford University, and the Virginia Governor's 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. Check out her awards and recognitions!

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Miss Krista

Blacksburg Studio

Ballet

 

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"

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Miss Caitlin

Blacksburg Studio

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 since 2014, 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)

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Mr. Will

Blacksburg Studio

Ballet, Boys Ballet, Pas de Deux

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

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Miss Tabitha

Blacksburg and Roanoke Studio

Bio coming soon..

 

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Miss Emily

Blacksburg and Roanoke Studio

Emily is originally from Raleigh, NC where she trained at the Triangle Academy of Dance under the direction of Annette Hagopian and Margaret Severin-Hansen from Carolina Ballet. While at the Triangle Academy of Dance she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary, with her focus mainly on ballet. Her professional experience includes dancing with Manassas Ballet Theatre and Roanoke Ballet Theatre where she is currently dancing. She has experience teaching in the genres of ballet, jazz, and tap and loves teaching students of all levels. She loves creating a positive environment for her students to learn and have fun and is excited to join the Little Leapers team.

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Miss Catherine

Blacksburg and Roanoke Studio

Bio coming soon..

 

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Miss Claire

Blacksburg Studio

Tap, Cheer, Jazz

Claire is from Laurel, MD, where she competed with Backstage Dance Studio for 10 years. Claire’s favorite style is  tap, but she loves jazz and lyrical/contemporary as well. She is studying Biochemistry at Virginia Tech with plans to get a Master’s in Public Health.

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Miss Rylie

Blacksburg Studio

Ballet

Rylie Gibson has been dancing since she was 5 years old at a small studio in

Roanoke, Virginia. At the age of 11 she started taking classes at the dance

center of Southwest Virginia Ballet, now Star City School of Ballet. She's trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, pointe character, jazz, and Tap. She's had the opportunity to perform in productions, including The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Firebird(lead), Cinderella, and has performed with Richmond ballet. She now has been teaching for 9 years starting as a teaching assistant. Her specialty is Ballet and Pointe work.

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Coach Samantha

Blacksburg Studio

Cheer-dance

 

BIO TBA

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Miss Richelle

Blacksburg Studio

Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop

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

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Miss Abigail

Blacksburg Studio

Teacher in training / Class assistant

Bio coming soon..

Photo by Elizabeth McKneil

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Miss Isabelle "Izzy"

Blacksburg Studio

Teacher in training / Class Assistant

Bio coming soon..

Photo by Elizabeth McKneil

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Miss Bradley

Blacksburg Studio

Fairy Tale Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, Acro

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.

Photo by Elizabeth McKneil

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Mr. Noah

Blacksburg Studio

Boys Ballet

Noah Provenzano began his dance journey at Little Leapers in 2016. 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 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, and participates with the Roanoke Theater Ballet. 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.  Fun fact: Noah is an eagle scout!

Photo by Elizabeth McKneil