Meet Your Director

Elizabeth Fischer 

 

Elizabeth Fischer, a graduate from Mercyhurst University and Leslie School of Dance is honored to be returning to direct the 17th Annual Leslie School of Dance Watson Homestead Dance Camp.  

 

Miss Liz started her training at age three with Leslie Updyke, owner of the Leslie School of Dance Studios (Elmira/Watkins Glen, New York) and Artistic Director of New Heights Dance Theater (Elmira, New York).  Miss Liz was a competitive dancer and went on to perform at Mercyhurst University in “A Midsummer Night's Dream”, a rendition of “The Little Match Girl” and in the Lake Erie Ballet Company’s “Nutcracker”.  She presented MainStage works in “Raw Edges”, Mercyhurst’s student choreography showcase and founded/directed the Erie Dance Theater Competition Team.  She has professionally danced with SoMar Dance and the Erie Bayhawks Dance Team.  

 

Miss Liz has attended programs including, the Rockette Summer Intensive, The World Jazz Dance Conference, Rhee Gold’s Teaching Conference, The American College Dance Association and The Center of Dance (Paris, France). 

 

Since graduation, Miss Liz’s focus has become teaching and is currently teaching at Premier Dance Studio in Westminster, Colorado.  She is a certified instructor for Rhythm Works Integrative Dance and prior to moving to Colorado, she worked for the Kinderdance® Franchise and Broadway Performing Art Center in New York City.   

 

Miss Liz loves coming back home where she is excited to continue teaching her love of dance both at dance camp and through her Artist in Movement Workshops. 

Fun Facts about Miss Liz

She attended the first summer dance camp in 2006, and has never missed one since.  She loved being a camper, helper and student teacher with the goal to becoming the director.  That wish came true when she co-directed the 2013 camp with Miss Leslie and took over the program in 2014.  Each year she has taken the camp to the next level and created a structured camp helper/counselor program, redesigned the day programs and created the Wee program.   Her love of dance, music, broadway and movies comes through in each summer's theme.  

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Lee Fischer

 Camp Manager 

Since the day I can remember, I have loved the arts and because of that I am a better person.   All forms of art enrich and empower us to be and experience more. For 40 years, I have worked in the corporate and non-profit worlds and supporting the arts has been there every step of the way. 

 

After graduating from Elmira College (Class of 84), Lee pursued a career in management, marketing and later added hospitality.  In the beginning my co-workers were Big Bird, Real Estate Executives, and International Water Skiers.  In 1993, Bill & I moved back to Elmira and our daughter was born the next year.  My co-workers are now peers and children from our community and the dance world.

 

I volunteered on Arnot Art Museum committees, joined the League of Greater Elmira/Corning, where I help create Elmira’s Parent/Child Resources Center.   I was a pre-k teacher at Happy House Nursery School, the Parent Representative at Hendy Elementary & Ernie Davis Middle Schools (8 years), Office Manager at Leslie School of Dance, EFA Parent Partner (4 years), Co-Founder/President/Ambassador of New Heights Dance Theater and Bar Manager at the Clemens Centers.  

 

Now, I spend my time managing The Dance Shoppe (Elmira Heights, New York) , LSoD’s Summer Watson Homestead Dance Camp & Artists in Movement Workshops, running Reflections in Time (my craft business) and best of all writing/rewriting my children’s stories. My goal is to share my art of writing with all of you some day.  

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Leanne Hull

Assistant Camp Director

 

Miss Leanne has been dancing since age three, studying and dancing competitively at studios in Central New York. She is a graduate of Ithaca College where she received a B.S. in Exercise Science and a Minor in Dance.

 

During college, Miss Leanne was a member of the Ithaca College Dance Team which competed in the Universal Dance Association’s National Collegiate Dance Championships, televised on ESPN, and claimed a spot in the top 20 nationally ranked dance teams.  Her main focus was to study the involvement and importance of nutritional counseling, cardiovascular exercise, and weight training in dancers which lead her to receive a certification as a Personal Trainer & Nutritional Specialist.  

 

Miss Leanne holds a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique, allowing dancers a deeper knowledge in both ballet and contemporary technique and execution.

 

In the past, Miss Leanne taught and choreographed for the Princess Mhoon Dance Institute in Washington, DC and was the owner of LA Dance Academy in Edmeston, NY for 9 years before moving locally with her husband and daughters. 

Miss Leanne is an instructor at the Leslie School of Dance studios and Artistic Director for New Heights Dance Theater's Spring Production, Legends. 

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Leslie Updyke

Owner, Leslie School of Dance

 

Miss Leslie is the owner, director, and dance instructor of Leslie School of Dance and Artistic Director/Choreographer of the New Heights Dance Theater.

Leslie studied with Madame Halina in Elmira beginning at the age of three.  Leslie opened Leslie School of Dance in Elmira in September of 1991, and the Watkins Glen Studio in September of 2004.  She attended Mercyhurst College and the State University of New York – Purchase, majoring in ballet with a concentration in teaching and has a business administration degree from Corning Community College.

 

Leslie has performed with the Elmira Corning Ballet Company, the Twin Tiers Ballet Theater and with the Mercyhurst and Purchase Dance Corps.  She was involved with many professional productions performing multiple lead roles.  She has choreographed the Nutcracker in Motion and Walking on the Horizon.  Leslie prides herself on offering a very artistic approach to teaching ballet.

 

Leslie, and her husband, Greg,  have three children and reside in Watkins Glen. 

 

Leslie can be reached at either of the Leslie School of Dance locations in Elmira Heights and Watkins Glen.

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A BIG WELCOME TO...
Shannon Ervay
Our Newest 
Camp Instructor

Camper to Helper
Helper to Counselor
Counselor to 
Instructor
Shannon is from Watkins Glen, New York and has always had a very deep passion for dance.  She started her training at the age of 3 at the Leslie School of Dance studios and is a ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and pointe dancer.  Shannon did not stop there, she joined the LSoD Studio & Summer Dance Camp  helper/teacher apprentice programs and excelled in both.

Shannon was a competitive dancer and a member of  New Heights Dance Theater (Elmira, NY).   She achieve numerous  awards for her grace and beauty. She loved preforming in the Nutcracker in Motion and Legend productions for 12 years.  

Shannon is finishing her 1st year at  SUNY Geneseo.  She is majoring in English Adolescence Education, minoring in Dance and part of  the Edgar Fellows Honors program.  This summer she will be teaching classes at the Leslie School of Dance studios and is thrilled to be joining the camp staff.   

2022 Camp Volunteers  (Update May 22, 2022)
Heather Blitz , Assistant Camp Manager
Amy Brewer, Camp Nurse/Wee Campers
Stephanie Giammarco, Camp Activities
Serafina Tague, Full Time Chaperone
Heather Smith, Fun Thursday Volunteer