CSSSA People – Leslie Fraser

Heidi Kershaw Artist Profiles, Dance, Performing Arts, Sponsors

Meet Leslie

LF Portrait-2Leslie Fraser is a 2003 CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts) dance alum who now enjoys working in her field of interest, dance! She reflects on her life as a CSSSA student and credits it with being the bedrock of her work ethic. The intense time commitment charged Fraser to rehearse eight hours per day in class, and additional practice time outside of class, just to refine that day’s learnings. She always had a vision of reaching her artistic potential but she notes that her experience taught her how to achieve it.

Fraser says, “I learned that by investing my time and energy into dance, that I increased my own artistic standard and valued the pursuit of excellence in and outside of my discipline.”

Her pursuit of excellence spilled over to academic pursuits and beyond. She attended Whittier College, one of the more diverse liberal arts colleges in the country. In 2008, she earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), in Art and Art History. Out of school, Fraser got a job as an Arts Specialist and then a Development Coordinator at Pasadena’s highly reputed Kidspace Children’s Museum.

The NDI JumpIn 2013 she decided to continue her education and attended Claremont Graduate University, where she graduated in 2015 with her Master of Arts (M.A.), in Arts Management. Currently she serves as the Development Associate at National Dance Institute (NDI) in New Mexico.

Fraser said that “at NDI New Mexico, our students learn the core four: work hard, do your best, never give up, and be healthy.” She continues, “I learned the NDI New Mexcio core four as a student at CSSSA and it carried me through college and beyond.”

For more information on the NDI New Mexico, check out: https://www.ndi-nm.org


A Little About CSSSA

CSSSA is a four-week intensive residential program for motivated and talented high school students. It offers seven disciplines, including: Animation, Creative Writing, Dance, Film, Music, Theater, Visual Arts. All California students who qualify are awarded scholarships to attend by the CSSSA Foundation.

The CSSSA Foundation is dedicated to preparing students for a creative life. In the development of the Bridge to College program, young artists have the integral resources they need to build a future in the arts. One of the many resources available, is a set of college pocket guides detailing the programs at colleges and universities in and out of California. To learn more about the CSSSA Foundation Bridge to College program, visit csssaf.org.

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Heidi Kershaw

Heidi Kershaw

Author Heidi Kershaw is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers topics on arts and education for Artzray. When she’s not interviewing and writing, she’s a marketing and communications consultant working with educational organizations throughout the greater L.A. region. She attended University of Utah for undergraduate studies and Georgetown University for graduate school.
Heidi Kershaw

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