Beth McLeish is the Founder, CEO, and Artistic Director of Project Ballet.
Mrs. McLeish began her ballet training at the Columbus Youth Ballet, under the direction of Shir Lee Wu, before continuing her studies at the Hartford Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and School of American Ballet. Ultimately chronic illness and injury kept her from fully pursuing a performing career. After finishing her training, Mrs. McLeish put herself through college by teaching ballet class at various small studios around the Midwest. By the time she had finished her degree, two things had become apparent: 1. There was absolutely nothing in this world she would rather do than teach ballet and 2. Northeast Indiana was in need of more training options for serious ballet students.
As a result, in the summer of 2004, Mrs. McLeish founded New American Youth Ballet in the basement of her home with eleven charter students. Eighteen years later that organization has grown into what is now know as Project Ballet, housed in a 15,000 sq. ft. facility and serving well over 300 students annually. Mrs. McLeish has led Project Ballet to become one of the foremost training grounds for classical dance in the country, with alumni dancing in the finest schools, universities and companies nationwide. She has been named Outstanding Teacher by the Youth America Grand Prix, has twice been a guest of honor at the School of American Ballet’s Teacher Symposium and has been an exclusive attendee at the Juilliard Teacher’s Summit.
Mrs. McLeish has four children - Bobby (15), Lucy (12), Audrey (9) and Emily (5). They reside in historic Southwood Park and attend St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. As a homeschooling family, the McLeish’s spend much of their time exploring - they love to visit parks and museums, hike, travel, and attend concerts and performances. Her children have been raised in the halls of Project Ballet and it’s no surprise to anyone that Bobby and Lucy now attend the Academic Conservatory, Lucy and Audrey are members of the Training Program, and Emily already loves to wear a tutu.
In addition to her work with Project Ballet, Mrs. McLeish serves on the board of Schools Care Inc. and is a member of the steering committee for the new Bishop Dwenger High School Performing Arts Center.