The Leslie Wood Leadership Award is presented to a third year student who has displayed leadership qualities and has made a significant contribution to the life of the School. The award is named in honour of Leslie Wood, the exceptionally devoted former Chair, and current Past President, of the School’s Board of Directors, and recognizes Leslie’s dedication to the School and the role model she has provided to us all. 

The School is delighted to announce that the 2021 Leslie Wood Leadership Award goes to Lyla-Jean Bowman and Adèle Ross. Enthusiastic nominations from faculty and students were overwhelmingly positive and laudatory:


Adèle first came to a summer school, where she left an immediate impression; she was present and responsive in the studio, she understood collaboration, and balanced creativity with work. She already had leadership tendencies in that summer school, working so well with her fellow dancers. She has unlimited physical spunk and overall energy; she is the quintessential leader as she leads with positivity, collaboration, and respect. She is informed and she listens. This makes a great leader. She also recognizes the need to be politically involved. Prior to the pandemic, there was a worldwide student protest regarding climate change – a student strike. Adèle helped spearhead this with the student body and made it work in a professional manner while still taking a stand.

Student nominators noted that Adèle has always been present and available for every student around her. Being organized and aware of the School’s student life, she acts as a resource for student activities; she is always willing to share her knowledge and experiences. Students trust her and feel comfortable asking her anything because she will always try to help find answers. She gives importance to each individual around her. Adèle is a hard-worker, has a positive attitude, and is inspiring and a role model for her fellow students.


Lyla-Jean is the President of the Student Council, was an incredible co-producer for the double bill of the 2020 Choreographic Workshop, has been organizing many hang-out meetings to gather the students virtually through the pandemic, and has overall been so hardworking and generous with offering her time to care for other students’ needs. She is extremely deserving of this award because of her various commitments to student well-being, and is a leader in many, many ways.

Lyla-Jean is a role model to all students.  She works with impeccable focus and energy, and quietly and consistently makes progress in her training and artistic development.  She dances with beautiful clarity, sensitive musicality, and an innate feeling for movement.  She demonstrates an obvious desire and great willingness to help other people.  She believes in helping … and takes action to help.  She walks the walk.