Elise Drew León is an artist, educator, and administrator who helps dancers reach their professional goals. Originally from Oxford, CT, Elise studied dance from a young age before graduating with honors from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance. Performance highlights include Camille A. Brown and Dancers, HopeBoykinDance, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Mark Morris Dance Group's The Hard Nut, the Santa Fe Opera, Seán Curran Company and TAKE Dance Company, where she was a founding member. Elise was a member of the Limón Dance Company from 2010-2017 where she received a 2014 Princess Grace Dance Honorarium and was designated the 2015 Puerto Rican Day Parade’s Rising Star in the Performing Arts. She has performed throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America and was featured in the documentary films "A Year with TAKE Dance" and "Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter".
As an educator, Elise has led master classes throughout the United States, working with students from Adelphi University, The Ailey School, Ballet Tech, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts, Crossroads Tabernacle, Fort Hamilton High School, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Peridance Capezio Center, Westover School, The Taft School and New York University. During the summer months, she can be found teaching free classes in New York City as part of Bryant Park Moves. Her choreography has been performed by students from The Ailey School, Fort Hamilton High School, and Cornish College for the Arts.
A passionate arts administrator, Elise was Company Manager for TAKE Dance Company's 2007-08 season and elected Dancer Representative for the Limón Dance Company (2013-2016). In 2014, she was selected as a Performer In Transition Fellow for the BAM/DeVos Institute of Arts Management as well as a John R. Munger Research Fellow through Dance/USA. Serving as The Ailey School's Housing Coordinator since 2010, she has worked with over 1,200 intensive students and mentored over 80 aspiring dancers who have worked for her as chaperones and resident assistants.