Mary Jo (MJ) Leatherbarrow was born and raised in a suburb of Buffalo, New York. She began dancing at the age of 5, studying tap, jazz, ballet, and hip hop. At the ripe old age of 17, MJ was asked to teach her first dance class as a substitute. A new passion had emerged. Over the next few years, she taught classes and choreographed several award winning routines.
To further her dance education, MJ moved to New York City to study at Broadway Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway under such greats as Joe Lantieri, Mia Michaels, and Leslie Brown to name a few. She has also attended numerous dance/business seminars, competitions and master classes to keep her classes fresh.
MJ's performance credits include: "The Wiz"; toured as a back-up dancer for a local recording artist; and many performances at charity events, parades, and grand openings. She has also recently danced in the half-time show at the Phoenix Suns 2014 home opener.
Many of MJ's students have advanced to perform on Broadway, Las Vegas, cruise ships, dance companies, and a handful are successful dance studio owners and instructors.
MJ left Buffalo in 2012 to move to Arizona to be with the love of her life and in her short time here, is already a well-respected, in-demand instructor all over the Phoenix valley. MJ is now the creative director of Tap Fusion, Arizona's premier, unique, all adult Tap dance performance troupe and is very excited to share her knowledge and passion with her new dance family in AZ!