Leya, Instructor

Sarah has been passionate about movement for most of her life. She took her first ballet class at 7 and never looked back. She continued her dance journey after high school obtaining a dance minor from […]

Leya began her life-long love of movement within the walls of the ballet studio. She trained extensively in classical ballet in various programs throughout the country (New England Ballet, Lake Erie Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, and Mercyhurst College). At the college level, Leya was introduced to the work of Joseph Pilates as a method for supporting optimal core strength and postural alignment for ballet class. She immediately connected to the mind-body benefits of the pilates exercises and began to attend class regularly as her primary method of cross-training. Despite her best efforts to stay healthy, Leya began to experience chronic injuries and ultimately decided to let go of her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. At this juncture, she began to shift her perspective into pursuing a degree which would allow her to help others struggling with challenges that limit movement participation.
Leya completed a B.S. in Sports Medicine with a concentration in Exercise Science at Elon University and then went on to obtain an M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. For the past 17 years, Leya has worked as an occupational therapist in both clinical and educational settings supporting children, adolescents, and young adults who struggle with physical, cognitive, and social-emotional disabilities. This work has been extremely rewarding and has served as a daily reminder of how essential functional movement is to participation in everyday life.
After spending the last decade focusing on career development and raising young children, Leya recently decided to take some time for personal growth by reconnecting with two of her lifelong passions: ballet and pilates. She began taking ballet classes again through the Acton School of Ballet and pilates at Core Connection. After a few months of inspiring classes at Core Connection, Leya fell in love with pilates all over again and began to explore the idea of becoming a pilates instructor. In February 2020, Leya completed her Core Mat 1 certification through Power Pilates and went on to obtain her Core Mat 2 certification in June of 2020. She is excited bring her knowledge of classical pilates and background in functional movement to the clients of Core Connection!