Balliamo Dance Academy was founded in 2016 by former British National Latin American Champion Leila Stewart, and is based at our purpose-built studio in the heart of Epsom, Surrey. We deliver private lessons, classes, and events for all ages and abilities, whether it’s to introduce new people to the genre or to advance those already engaged in the wonderful world of Latin and Ballroom dancing.
I was born in Surrey and have been dancing since the age of five. For the last 10 years I represented England in the Latin American section where one of my most successful career achievements was winning the British National Championships at the prestigious Blackpool Winter Gardens. I have also placed 4th in the Dutch Open, 4th in the International Championships, and most recently in 2017 placing 4th in the Professional Latin British Nationals.
I've been fortunate enough to have toured the UK for five years alongside Strictly Come Dancing’s Pasha Kovalev in two of his National UK theatre tours; ‘An Evening with the Stars of Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Life Through Dance’. Alongside Strictly show work on-land, I taught and performed alongside the show's professionals on the Strictly Come Dancing-themed P&O Cruises.
Over the same period, I also starred as the Principal Ballroom Dancer in six national UK theatre tours; ‘Crazy for Gershwin’, ‘Simply Gershwin’, and ‘Frank Sinatra’ - dancing to the soundtrack of the spectacular London Concert Orchestra.
I have also worked with and taught a range of celebrities including TV star Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), former England Rugby Captain Chris Robshaw, Germany International and former Manchester United footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger, and former tennis World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.
I founded Balliamo Dance Academy in 2016 in order to apply my experience to teaching, and support students of all ages and abilities. We now have a fantastic growing group that range from social dancers to competitors that have contributed to shaping Balliamo since the very beginning.
I started dancing at the age of four and have since performed in many corporate events all over the UK. I specifically enjoy working with children as I have a natural affinity for helping them realise their full potential not only dance-wise but also in developing their personalities.
Post-medalist exams with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA), I then entered into the competitive circuit. I reached seventh place in the British National Latin and Ballroom Championships held in the prestigious Blackpool Winter Gardens.
I am currently in my second year at Laine Theatre Arts and have been dancing since the age of two. My career highlights include being part of Billy Elliot’s Fifth Birthday Gala in the West End, performing with the English Youth Ballet and Retina Contemporary Company, and last year I placed in the top five in the All England Dance Finals and a finalist in Young Tap Dancer of the Year.
I am ISTD qualified in Ballet, Modern, and Tap, achieving a distinction in all three forms of dance. From September 2018, I joined the team at Balliamo Dance Academy where I now teach Ballet classes at the studio in Epsom, Surrey.
I am an Amateur 10 Dance competitor and in 2009 started dancing in my first year of study at The University of Cambridge going on to win the National Beginners Trophy for both Ballroom and Latin. I competed with the current British Latin Formation champions and the 11th best Latin Formation team in the world (XS Latin) from 2011 to 2016.
In 2017 I founded a new dance partnership with Dagmara Rutkowska and entered our first major international competition in January 2018, and teach both children's and adult classes for Balliamo.
We teach group classes and private lessons at our venue in Epsom, Surrey.