Born in Portsmouth England, Lesley Bandy grew up in Auckland, leaving at age 15 to train full-time at the Scottish Ballet School and then the Royal Ballet School in London. She performed with the Royal Opera Ballet at Covent Garden before moving first to Paris and afterward to Hong Kong, Australia, Reno, and Las Vegas as Principal and Adagio dancer in Production Shows.
Lesley also freelanced, dancing many principal classical ballet roles while residing in the USA: Giselle, Sugar Plum Fairy, Odette, Swanhilda, Cinderella, Dying Swan, Don Quixote and Le Corsaire pas de deux, La Sylphide, and The Glove Seller in Gaite Parisienne.
She also had contemporary ballet roles choreographed on her such as Red Sun Rising, Lizzie Borden, Time, and the solo, Genevieve (a portion of which she set on ballerina Laura Jones recently for a gala in Christchurch).
After a long dance career, Lesley held Entertainment Management positions with Harrah’s Entertainment, MGM Grand, and Universal Studios FL overseeing park-wide events such as Hallowe’en and Mardi Gras, the opening of Sky City’s theatre and entertainment department, and producing and directing/choreographing Las Vegas corporate shows. Artistic Director for Nevada Festival Ballet and Opus Dance Theatre, Lesley spent time as Dance Consultant for the reality TV show, Dance Moms in Los Angeles. Lesley has staged, choreographed and directed concerts, ballet, opera, musicals, cabaret, and fashion shows.
Now living in Nelson, Lesley enjoys giving open ballet classes, coaching young dancers and professionals throughout NZ, and directing/choreographing projects that take her fancy!