Leah Benson is an adjunct instructor of Jazz. Throughout high school she received strict and concentrated training, in both private and group settings, in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Tap. She moved on to receive a BA in Business and Economics from Westmont College, however she continued to train in numerous forms of dance. While consistently training the classics, she learned that her body took well to more free flowing forms of movement: Afro-Caribbean, numerous forms of Latin, Capoiera, Hip Hop, and more. She loved to incorporate all these styles of movement in her choreography and performance. Though dance was her love it was here in college where she had her first taste of anything aerial. Her more athletic build allowed her to take quickly to the dance trapeze. While she only had a few opportunities to perform in the air she knew her relationship with the trapeze was not over.
After college she continued to teach Jazz and Hip Hop for the college and had the opportunity to set pieces on the students. She also danced and choreographed for a local Hip Hop street team in Santa Barbara. In a quest to dance more professionally Leah moved to Chicago and much to her delight was reunited with aerial dance. She joined Aerial Dance Chicago performing, teaching, and choreographing for them for two years throughout Chicago and surrounding states. This experience only increased her hunger for being in the air. She moved on to train in the professional training program at the New England Center for Circus Arts with Elsie and Serenity Smith, former Cirque du Soleil artists. Here Leah studied a “dizzying” number of circus apparatus, both on and off the ground. She graduated with a major focus in aerial straps and a minor in single point trapeze. Leah now resides in Santa Barbara, California and is looking to share what she knows and loves through performance, teaching, and choreography. Her website is leahleor.com.