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About New Heights Dance Theater 

About Us

New Heights Dance Theater, a resident dance company of Clemens Center, is a non-profit organization that has members throughout the Twin Tiers region.  It is our goal to bring dancers ages six years and older together to show off their talents, produce high quality productions for this community, as well as demonstrate their love for dance and the arts.


Since 2000, we have had over 1000 men, women and children enjoy our winter production of The Nutcracker in Motion and Legends! A Tribute to.....our Spring Production. Each year we bring our show to the Clemens Center.  


Meet Our Artistic Team


Leslie Updyke

Founder & Artistic Director

Miss Leslie is the owner, director, and dance instructor of Leslie School of Dance and Artistic Director/Choreographer of the New Heights Dance Theater.


Leslie studied with Madame Halina in Elmira beginning at the age of three.  Leslie opened Leslie School of Dance in Elmira in September of 1991, and the Watkins Glen Studio in September of 2004.  She attended Mercyhurst College and the State University of New York – Purchase, majoring in ballet with a concentration in teaching and has a business administration degree from Corning Community College.


Leslie has performed with the Elmira Corning Ballet Company, the Twin Tiers Ballet Theater and with the Mercyhurst and Purchase Dance Corps.  She was involved with many professional productions performing multiple lead roles.  She has choreographed the Nutcracker in Motion and Walking on the Horizon.  Leslie prides herself on offering a very artistic approach to teaching ballet.


Leslie, and her husband, Greg,  have three children and reside in Watkins Glen. 


Leslie can be reached at either of the Leslie School of Dance locations in Elmira Heights and Watkins Glen


Tina Ranck

Artistic Choreographer

Miss Tina was born and raised in Elmira.  She is proud to continue to live here with her two sons.  She is a hair stylist in Painted Post for Shear Illusions, as well continueing her dream in instructing Dance. 


Tina studied classical ballet with Rafael Grigorian for twelve years where she performed in The Nutcracker, Baba Yaga, Chipillino, and Romeo and Juliet.  While studying for eight years at Leslie School of Dance, she performed in the Nutcracker in Motion, Fairytales, and Stepping into the Season.  Tina has been teaching at Leslie School of Dance since 2000, and is a choreographer for New Heights Dance Theater.

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Leanne Hull

Artistic Choreographer

Miss Leanne has been dancing since age three, studying and dancing competitively at studios in Central New York. She is a graduate of Ithaca College where she received a B.S. in Exercise Science and a Minor in Dance. During college, Leanne was a member of the Ithaca College Dance Team which competed in the Universal Dance Association’s National Collegiate Dance Championships, televised on ESPN, and claimed a spot in the top 20 nationally ranked dance teams.  Her main focus was to study the involvement and importance of nutritional counseling, cardiovascular exercise, and weight training in dancers which lead her to receive a certification as a Personal Trainer & Nutritional Specialist.  Leanne also holds a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique, allowing dancers a deeper knowledge in both ballet and contemporary technique and execution. She is also a member of the International Association of Dance Science and Medicine. In the past Leanne taught and choreographed for the Princess Mhoon Dance Institute in Washington, DC and was the owner of LA Dance Academy in Edmeston, NY for 9 years before moving locally with her husband and daughters. 

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