Mateo Leslie, a passionate dancer and entertainer from Fargo, North Dakota, is sixteen years old and a Junior at Shanley High School. With over ten years of entertaining and performing experience under his belt, Mateo Leslie is no stranger to the stage! He has performed both locally and nationally on incredible stages, ranging from local theatre halls and college auditoriums to Chicago’s World-Famous Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco’s Palace of the Fine Arts, Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the Twin Cities Cowles Center of the Performing Arts, and Hollywood’s famous Dolby Theatre.
Mateo’s dream of becoming a professional entertainer began when he was five years old, taking the lead in asking for dance lessons and his very own pair of “clickety shoes”! Prior to that he could be found hamming it up on preschool stages and soccer fields throughout town. In 2008, Mateo immersed himself in the study of dance, where it quickly became evident that he was very serious and passionate, studying all genres including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Improv, Hip Hop, Partnering and Lyrical, earning numerous awards and scholarships regionally, nationally and internationally. He can also be seen performing Tap numbers in various gigs regionally, including Twin Cities Tap Festival, TedX, A Christmas Gift, 1 Million Cups, NDSU Hype Videos, and the “I Do” Wedding Shows. He has been a member of the Gasper’s School of Dance Competition Team from 2011 to 2018 and was a Soloist for the FM Ballet Company.
Mateo’s repertoire includes: Aladdin (Aladdin), The Wizard of Oz (Nikko, featured flying monkey), Sleeping Beauty (Bluebird Pas de Deux, Catalabutte), The Classic Nutcracker (Nutcracker Prince Understudy, Russian, Fritz, Party Boy, Mouse), Tubby the Tuba (Tubby), Paquita (Paquita Male Variation), The Firebird (Prince Ivan), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nick Bottom), Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker (Little Spanish), Coppelia (Village Boy), Spooky Ballet (Ware Wolf), and Sleeping Beauty Adaptation (the Big Bad Wolf), The Jungle Book (Newborn Elephant), Willy Wonka (Oompa Loompa), The Little Mermaid (Sebastian the featured Tap Dancer), Once Upon this Island, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Tap Dancing
Woodstock), and most recently, The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho).
Honors include Grand Champion/Ovation Dance Competition, Grand Champion/Triple S Dance Competition – Nationals, Judges’ Choice Award for Dance Upon a Dream’s International Dance Competition, America’s Got Talent Season 9 Competitor, and an invitation from the producers of SYTYCD to audition for their So You Think You Can Dance Junior Competition, Top Twelve Award at the Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition with an invitation to attend the Finals in NYC.
In addition, Mateo is very grateful to have received scholarships to attend: Houston Ballet Academy, Next Generation Ballet Year Round Program, Ballet West’s Year Round Academic Program, International Ballet Academy’s Year Round Program, RWB’s Professional Division Summer Intensive, Miami City Ballet’s Summer Program, Bolshoi Ballet’s Summer Intensive, Joffrey Academy’s Junior Intensive Program, Joffrey Ballet’s Miami Intensive, Imagine Ballet Theatre’s Summer Program, Boston Ballet School’s Summer Intensive, ABT’s Summer Intensive, SFB’s Junior Summer Program, Joffrey Ballet’s Tap Spectacular
Intensive and Jazz Intensives, and the Tap Kids Summer Intensive. He has also studied Tap at various places including Chicago’s Human Rhythm Project and Twin Cities Tap festival.
Mateo’s other interests include cars and car meets, drumming, percussion, piano, music production, trampoline, tumbling and making people laugh! In his spare time, he enjoys video gaming and streaming, creating digital music, and hanging with friends.
Mateo is extremely grateful for his family’s support and for all the mentorship and expert training he continues to receive within the Arts Community, which he fondly refers to as his second family!!!