BalletMet Company Dancer Leiland Charles

Hometown: Columbia, Md.
Previously with: Alberta Ballet
Favorite meal: Ackee and codfish with Jamaican-fried dumplings
Surprising fact: I am half Jamaican and half Guyanese.

Leiland was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He first stepped into a dance studio at the age of three with The Howard County Ballet, in Ellicott City, Maryland under the direction of Kathi Ferguson. He also attended summer dance programs at The Rock School For Dance Education and Springboard Danse Montréal. Leiland furthered his artistic training at The Juilliard School where he received his BFA in spring 2014. While at Juilliard, he performed works by Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Pina Bausch and many others. He has gone on tour with Juilliard Dance to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform in the International Festival and was featured in the March 2013 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine with world-renowned Anatomy professor, Irene Dowd. Upon graduation, Leiland joined Alberta Ballet in Calgary, Canada, dancing numerous soloist and principal roles including “Her Cavalier” in Edmund Stripe’s, The Nutcracker and “Benvolio” in Jean Grand-Maître’s, Romeo & Juliet. After 3 seasons with Alberta Ballet, Leiland joined BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio. Some of his favorite works with BalletMet have included William Forsythe’s, Slingerland Pas De Deux, Ohad Naharin’s, Minus 16 and George Balanchine’s, Rubies. Leiland is currently in his second season with BalletMet.