About meLeyla Soleil, Dancer, Dance Mom, Artist and Entrepreneur
After a rich performance and teaching career in the northeast Ohio scene for several years, I founded Dance du Soleil in 2006 to help other women find their dancer within. I believe that belly dance can help women learn how to connect with their own inner beauty and project it to the world! Although I became a professional dancer relatively late in life (according to dance world timing that is), I am so proud I was able to overcome the age stigma and accomplish some amazing things! I think one of my proudest moments in my career was appearing in Project Bellydance Season 2, a realty show/ dance competition. Even though I didn’t make it through the first round, it was still a huge honor to even be there because I was one of only 25 dancers chosen out thousands of applicants. I want other women to know that it’s never too late to discover and pursue their inner passions because if I can do it- so can you!
In December 2015 we moved to Atlanta Georgia for my husbands job and I closed Dance du Soleil Columbus. I never thought that after three years of blood, sweat and tears I’d be closing right when things were going so great, but I didn’t really have a choice. I enjoyed three great years there, and have many fond memories of the beautiful women I had the honor of teaching in that space. When you own a dance studio, you end up teaching a lot of beginner level classes in order to always be attracting new students. While at Dance du Soleil Columbus, I taught 3 beginner level classes per week for three years straight (in addition to the other 15 hours of classes I taught there) and, while it was a good recipe to create a successful studio, it did not satisfy me artistically. I’ve come to a place where I really want to work on challenging myself and my students to a higher level. That’s why I’m currently focusing on teaching advanced to professional level dance workshops in the Atlanta area as well as back home, in Ohio. You can find information about my upcoming workshop offerings on our home page. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t teach a weekly class again. If the right situation pops up, I probably will, but this feels perfect for now.
In my 18 years as a professional dancer, I have worn many hats, including performer, instructor, workshop instructor, lecturer, studio owner, troupe director, show director and producer, and event producer. I have danced in countless shows over the years in venues ranging from an upscale theater in downtown Cleveland to a horse barn (no I’m not kidding). I am trained in many styles of belly dance, jazz, and ballet as well as having some experience in other styles like bhangra, flamenco and Brazilian samba. I also have experience teaching fitness classes such as Pilates, barre fit, yoga, Zumba and other cardio dance styles. For a more detailed resume, visit my personal resume here.