We had the good fortune of connecting with Martha Leebolt and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Martha, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
It is not so much of a habit as it is a “culture” or “ethos” of working hard. My parents raised me to try my very best, because… what is the point not to? Also, training and being a dancer goes hand in hand with working your hardest, if you don’t, you will not succeed or will run into injuries which will ultimately end in just giving it up. This work ethic that is ingrained in me from my past has helped me push through the hurdles that I was first met with and continue to deal with in running a small business.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I trained to become a ballet dancer at Southern California Ballet, then known as Black Mountain Dance Center. Soon after I moved to the UK and joined Northern Ballet, one of the top companies in England. After rising through the ranks to Principal Dancer, I, with my husband and dance partner, returned to San Diego to begin directing Southern California Ballet. We are excited to be here and share our experiences of dancing and working throughout the world with the young dancers of today. I feel our worldwide knowledge, performance experience, and exposure to so many different artists, teachers and coaches are what sets us apart from others. We are a ballet school that not only trains dancers but also helps and educates young people to work hard and how to be the best versions of themselves. It’s not about what you earn but about what you learn!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think the first thing we would do would be a trip to Del Mar beach with lunch at Jake’s. I absolutely love it there! Some other favorite spots are the Bernardo Winery and Orfila Winery. Both are unique and wonderful in their own ways. Of course, we could not skip a trip to the Safari Park or the Zoo with a wander around Balboa Park and the museums. Another highlight of San Diego is the Midway Aircraft Carrier. It is so fascinating to walk around and talk to pilots and former crew members about their experiences. Lastly, if we were able to get up early enough to make the drive, Disneyland would be a definite top destination!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank the former President of SCB’s board, Terry Worley. When we arrived 3 years ago there was so much to learn and to deal with. She was not only integral to our success but also helped me not to give up when things seemed impossible. She is an incredible woman who is able to look at situations objectively and always ready to find a solution to whatever issue or problem that arises. Besides being a wonderful leader she has a heart of gold and just keeps giving!

Website: https://www.southerncaliforniaballet.org
Instagram: @southerncaliforniaballet
Facebook: @southerncaliforniaballet
Yelp: Southern California Ballet Academy

Image Credits
Vladimir Zabezhinsky Tobias Batley Katherine Eve

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