William Lassiter

Will grew up dancing at Albemarle Academy of Dance, starting at 2 years old and graduating in 2018. He was the 2018 National Senior Male Dancer of the Year with Dance Makers, Inc. He spent two years in NYC studying at the International Academy of Musical Theatre on scholarship. Will has performed in and choreographed multiple regional musical theatre prodictions, as well as performing in an off-Broadway production in 2019. Tap dancing is his favorite style, and he’s happy to be here teaching rhythm tap as well as the basics of Broadway tap.

Mary Grubbs

Mrs. Mary is an instructor to AAD's young ballet, jazz, tap, tumbling and musical theatre students.  Mary began her training at a young age with Albemarle Academy of Dance where she was a member of the City Youth Ballet and The Showoffs competition dance company.  While training, Mary received the Dance Educators of America scholarship allowing her to continue her studies in New York City as well as perform throughout the country.  Mary is passionate about dance and continues to take classes to further her knowledge.  She is thrilled to pass on her love of dance and the performing arts to her students.  

Edmund Roush

Mr. Edmund began his performing career at age twelve, performing in the Lost Colony outdoor drama. Edmund obtained his BFA degree in theatre and a minor in dance from East Carolina University. Edmund has performed all over the East Coast. He was a principal dancer with the Columbia City Ballet. His was a principal performer in 'Horn in the West' and has performed and taught for Charlotte Children's Theatre. Edmund is a member of the stage hands union and has been a technician for several traveling broadway productions. Edmund is married to Leigh Roush and they have two sons, Jonas and Gabriel.

Austin Coats

Austin is a Stanly County native. At 18 he moved to New York City and earned a BFA in Commercial Dance from Pace University. Since then he has performed around the world in more than 50 countries across five continents with various cruise lines as both a lead singer and dancer. He has performed works by Tony and Emmy Award winners Andy Blankenbuehler, Mandy Moore, and Michael Rooney and for Warren Carlyle at the Astaire Awards. As a dancer he has also worked with choreographers Dee Caspary, Gustavo Vargas, and Monica Kapoor and performed repertoire by Bob Fosse, Twyla Tharp and Agnes de Mille. Regional credits include Cats (Skimbleshanks), Anything Goes (u/s Billy), Mamma Mia and Chicago. His latest work was as the lead singer in the inaugural cast of two Burlesque shows choreographed by Kevin and Marcel Wilson based in India and Dubai. Thanks to Leigh and the rest of AAD for this opportunity to rekindle his love of teaching and choreographing!

Meet Our Staff

Leigh Roush

Leigh Johnson Roush is the artistic director and owner of the studio. Leigh began studying ballet at a very young age, and has trained under such renowned instructors as Edward Villela, Marcus Alford, Mary Ann Mee, Kathryn Horne, and Duncan Noble. She has studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Wake Forest University and Eckerd College. She was a principal with the contemporary ballet company 'Dance Innovations' in St. Petersburg, and Dance Central - modern and ballet company. Leigh is certified with high honors in ballet and modern dance by  Dance Educators of America.  Leigh has been the director of AAD since 1990. Her students have been accepted to study with the School of American Ballet, The Rock School, Atlanta Ballet, Carolina Ballet and Joffrey ballet. Other students have continued their dance training on the college level at such schools as New York University, North Carolina School of the Arts, East Carolina University, The School in London and Duke University. Her students have won numerous scholarships to prestigious dance programs in New York, Las Vegas, London and Orlando and are performing professionally in throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Leigh has been honored with numerous awards for her choreography, staging and technical training. She has judged and taught master classes for several dance competitions and companies throughout the United States, and is the artistic director of the 'City Youth Ballet'.

Jesse Springer

Miss Jesse is the director of the AAD performance company, The Showoffs, as well as an instructor for all ages in ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop and tumbling.  Jesse began her training at Albemarle Academy of Dance where she was a member of the City Youth Ballet and The Showoffs performance company. During high school, she was accepted to, and attended, the North Carolina School of the Arts where she focused on contemporary dance. After receiving her BFA degree in dance performance with a focus on ballet, modern dance and composition from East Carolina University,  she became a soloist with the Balasole Dance Company in New York City.  Jesse loves watching her students develop their joy for movement.