A teacher of great expertise, Leslie Ann Larson’s meticulous approach to the art of dance is backed by a long and solid career. Born and raised in Southern Oregon, Ms. Larson was fortunate to train on a full scholarship at The Dance Laboratory, a small prestigious school in Seattle, Washington. There, she trained with distinguished teachers Charles Bennett of the American Ballet Theatre and Flemming Halby of the Royal Danish Ballet. With Bennett, Ms. Larson developed a conscientious work ethic and dedicated professional attitude. With Halby, she acquired a full danish technique and style. Ms. Larson was also mentored by the great flamenco artist Sara De Luis over a period of two years. She then earned a full scholarship to The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, where she trained under Joffrey Alumni Francesca Corkle and Trinette Singleton.
In her 20 year dance career, Leslie Ann Larson was a member of Oakland Ballet under the direction of Ronn Guidi, where she was instilled with a tradition of the Ballets Russes, its influence and repertory. She then joined Ballet West in Salt Lake City under the direction of John Hart CBE and Jonas Kåge. Under John Hart, Ms. Larson received a complete artistic formation directly from the famed Royal Ballet tradition. She also learned from great Ballet Masters Elaine Thomas and Denise Schultz. Ms. Larson became a key dancer in a series of roles which made her an asset to the company and her name synonymous with the best of Ballet West.
As a teacher, Ms. Larson has mentored numerous ballet students in technique and proper pointe training. Her expertise in all facets of training for both girls and boys is backed up by a long experience teaching in schools and academies. Ms Larson is sought after as a Summer Intensive instructor and has also taught for the Ballet West Summer Intensive audition tours. Known for her positive implementation of dance ethics, Leslie Ann Larson produces students with an accent on clean technique and safe training.
In 1985, Leslie Ann Larson joined the Oakland Ballet Company under the direction of Ronn Guidi. There, she established herself as a strong performer in Leonide Massine’s La Boutique Fantasque, Antony Tudor’s The Lilac Garden, Agnes De Mille’s Fall River Legend, Kurt Joos’ The Green Table, as well as Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces and Les Biches. Ms. Larson also distinguished herself in the ballet Giselle staged by Frederic Franklin.
In 1989, Ms. Larson became a member of Ballet West in Salt Lake City under the direction of John Hart CBE and from 1997 to 2004, under Jonas Kåge. It is at Ballet West that she extended her range as an artist both in full-length classics and contemporary styles. Ms Larson distinguished herself in roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Waltz and Snow Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker, in the Peasant Pas and as Zulma in Giselle, as Princess Florine in the Blue Bird pas de deux and Prologue Fairies from The Sleeping Beauty, as the First Sylph in Peter Schaufuss’ La Sylphide, as Adele in Ronald Hynd’s Rosalinda, in the Lead Pas de Deux of Antony Tudor’s The Leaves are Fading, and as a Principal in Balanchine’s Who Cares?, in the 2nd theme Pas de Deux from The Four Temperaments and Lead in Western Symphony (first movement). She has also danced Principal roles in the best of the contemporary repertoire, most notably in the lead Pas de Deux of Hans van Manen’s Polish Pieces, in Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena and the Trio from his Book of Alleged Dances, in Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances, in William Forsythe’s ... in the middle, somewhat elevated and as the Roasted Swan in John Butler’s Carmina Burana. As a guest artist, Ms. Larson also performed the role of Giselle and in numerous Nutcrackers around the country.
Since 2004, Ms. Larson has served as Ballet Mistress for Central West Ballet. Under her guidance, Central West Ballet rapidly surpassed expectations in performance quality. Ms. Larson’s depth in developing the company dancers has brought to the stage superb classical full lengths, repertory programs and special events. Leslie Ann Larson’s thorough experience in all styles of dance make her a uniquely well rounded leader. With her solid background in corps and lead dancing roles, meticulous coaching and superlative partnering abilities, Ms. Larson has the natural ability to tune the dancers in their daily class. Always consistent and well prepared, Leslie Ann Larson is a leader with dedication and great respect for the art form. Ms. Larson brings to the table artistry, technical knowledge, organization, discipline and versatility. Working on a full year schedule basis, Leslie Ann Larson has accumulated a great deal of experience in office, studio and stage matters. Ms. Larson’s versatility has enabled Central West Ballet to reach high professional standards for its status in California’s Central Valley. Working in this manner has given Ms. Larson the ability to bring to the stage The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake and the upcoming full version of Giselle next October at the Gallo Center for the Arts. She has also assisted René Daveluy in the creation of his ballets and productions including Rat Pack in Revue, That’s Showbiz!, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan, a new version of The Red Shoes, Solitary Workers, Romancing the Stage, 1001 Nights, The Existence Project, House of Folk, Of Faeries and Elves, A Ballet for Marie, Festive Overture, Canvas Emotions and Nature’s Rite. Ms. Larson has also set Val Caniparoli’s ballet Songs and has assisted in staging Caniparoli’s Violin and George Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie and first movement of Serenade.
Leslie Ann Larson, Director