Claire Leivestad

Claire Leivestad

Events & Operations Director, Owner, Core B/C Faculty

Claire grew up in a military family, dancing all across the country! She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and modern, starting at the age of 3 at the Joy of Dance in San Jose, California. She also trained in Colorado, Alabama Dance Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama, Backstage Dance Studio in Columbia, Maryland, the University of Southern Mississippi dance program and Mississippi University for Women dance program. She began teaching in high school and continued teaching in Starkville and Eupora, Mississippi and Abilene, Texas. Claire received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University while continuing to dance with Mississippi University for Women.

Claire found the Academy through the adult ballet class in 2003 while she and her B-1 pilot husband Derek were stationed in Rapid City the first time. She was thrilled to perform in the 2004 New World Opera with Ms. Julie! After several years away, Claire and her family were lucky enough to be stationed here again- this time to stay! Claire’s sweet family includes two teenage boys- Zach and Jason.

Claire began teaching at the Academy in 2012, first in the adult program and then branching out to ballet, tap and jazz. Over the years, she has served as PTA president at Wilson Elementary and Zion Lutheran as well as taught grades 5-8 at various schools in Texas and South Dakota. She also served at the lead Key Spouse in the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth AFB.

Her passion for helping young teens navigate life through dance is close to her heart and drives her desire to continue the Academy mission to see each child, meet them where they are and help them grow into lovely, resilient adults, one sweet step at a time. As part of the ownership team at the Academy of Dance Arts, she is also thrilled to utilize her southern hospitality and serve as Event Coordinator as well as Office Administrator Lead. Claire is excited to be able to continue her passion for dancing, working with dancers of all ages and contributing to the ownership team at the Academy of Dance Arts!

Back to Faculty List