Beth McLeish is the Founder 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 ballet career. After retiring from performance, Mrs. McLeish put herself through college by teaching ballet class at various small studios around the Midwest. By the time she had met and become engaged to her future husband (a Fort Wayne native) 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. Fifteen years later that organization has grown into what is now know as Project Ballet, serving well over 350 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 and her husband, Justin, have four children - Bobby (13), Lucy (10), Audrey (7) and Emily (3). 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 attends the Academic Conservatory, Lucy and Audrey are members of the Training Program, and Emily already loves to wear a tutu.