Leslie Scott is well known not only for her talents but her unwavering work ethic, inspiring public speaking, contagious positive energy and bold use of movement to spread a positive message! She is on Faculty at the Edge Performing Arts and Millennium Dance Complex, guest faculty on several conventions and is represented by the agency McDonald Selznick Association (MSA) in Hollywood, California. Leslie is the Founder of the non-profit “Youth Protection Advocates in Dance” (YPAD) whose Mission is to build empowered dance communities through education and activism and stop all exploitation of children in performing arts and keep youth happy, healthy and safe in dance. She also founded the E.D.I.F.Y. Movement, a division committed to using dance to highlight social causes and leads groups of young dancers to teach creative arts at local shelters and orphanages in Mexico and Africa. Leslie is a sought after Artistic Director/Choreographer and well known for the breakthroughs dancers experience in her inter-active seminar “Self-Esteem in Performing Arts” as well as her seminars for parents and educators. Leslie and her team at YPAD/EDIFY have developed the first-of-its kind Dance Education Certification that focuses on the psychological, physical and sexual safety of children and teens in the arts. She has been teaching for 27 years and has been instructed in 22 countries and 48 states to spread her unique teaching methods, artistry and teaching the ideology of “Spirit Swag”, a term Leslie coined to give value to the style of a person’s heart and character, not just their talent, aesthetics, fashion, popularity, social media presence or ability to follow trends in culture. She has traveled the country week after week with her Purpose Partner and amazing husband Joseph and her lil toddler Carmella to share the YPAD education with the dance community. Recently, she has presented YPAD/EDIFY at Pulse and Camp Pulse, Dance Educators of America, Dance Teacher Web and was the keynote speaker at The National Honor Society in Dance Arts in Boca Raton, Colorado’s Hip-Hop Madness and Studio Owner University in Las Vegas. She is a contributing writer to More Than Dancers and the American Psychological Association’s Psychology Benefits Society sharing her cutting edge research linking several Psychological Effects on the identity and brain wiring of Performing Artists who are not mindfully processing the potential consequences of today’s Dance Culture and Entertainment/Social Media on Self-Esteem and Identity. Leslie is a Dance Activist!
During Leslie’s commercial career she has worked with Beyonce, Ciara, Hi-Hat, Jermaine Jackson and Choreographed Brittany N’s video “We’re Beautiful” and has been featured at The Carnival’s Choreographer’s Ball 22 times including the sought after, invite only, Anniversary Show seven times. She has been a featured choreographer on two seasons of the web series Wallbreakers. The Industry Voice Awards in Hollywood has nominated her twice for “ Best Class of the Year” and “Artist of the Year” for her Humanitarian work with E.D.I.F.Y. Movement. Leslie was featured in Nylon Magazine as one of America’s leading forces in Hip-Hop and quoted in Dance Spirit magazine regarding appropriate facials for young dancers. She was selected as a judge for USA Hip-Hop International Championships hosted by the creators of Americas Best Dance Crew and Hip-Hop International. She is a certified Life Coach through Chonique Sneed and Lisette Bustamante’s Creating Opportunities and was honored to present their seminar “Performing Like a Pro” at the Monsters dance convention in Los Angeles. Leslie also designed a clothing line with inspirational quotes in dance and life called Groove Gear: Wear the Message, BE the Message!
As a professional dancer Leslie experienced hypersexualization, sexism and sexual harassment within the professional setting. For many years she played into the pervasive messaging that objectification was empowerment. When she shed that myth, Leslie made a commitment that all aspects of her artistry would be a powerful representation of a human’s value and worth. As she witnessed consequences in her young students, she became increasingly concerned with the dance industries’ normalization and encouragement of superimposing hypersexuality and the glorification of celebrity on very young dancers. This journey led to her current purpose to educate and activate the global dance community to embrace young dancers from a Holistic perspective!
Leslie is well respected in her industry and uses dance as a vehicle to help her students, dance parents and clients reach their full potential as whole beings in a complex dance culture and world. Leslie believes dance and music has a powerful influence over our greater culture and has the power to heal and unite our communities when used with positive intent and integrity!