Director of Academy of Theatre Arts & Resident Choreographer
Lesa joined the Civic staff in 2019. A graduate of Drake University with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, she has been dancing and performing since age three. Lesa is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and musical theatre styles. Lesa regularly clinics and choreographs for several show choirs, dance teams, studios, and musical theatre productions across the Midwest, and her work has received multiple outstanding choreography awards. She has performed and choreographed for productions/competitions in South Carolina, Florida, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and New York. Lesa's musical theatre choreography credits include collegiate productions of Wonderful Town, Footloose, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hairspray, The Secret Garden, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Grease and the National collegiate and amateur premiere of Curtains. Community Theatre choreography credits include, The Wizard of Oz at Theatre Cedar Rapids, as well as Godspell, Carousel and Bye Bye Birdie at the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts in Warsaw, Indiana. She has appeared in several productions herself, most recently as a singer/dancer in the Iowa tour of Jim McDonough's Holiday Grande Christmas Spectacular. Lesa has received many honors including the MUV Entertainment Starborn Scholarship for Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. Lesa spent eight years as the Director of Dance at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, IA. There she choreographed for the Encore Singers show choir and coached the Iowa Central Competitive Dance Team, which is currently ranked third in the nation. Lesa was the choreographer for the Civic's 2011 production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas and is thrilled to be back to make the Civic her home.