Dara Schlesinger native from Dayton, Ohio. She began her dance training at age of three at South Dayton School of Dance. Her studies started with her mother Gigi Gardner formally with Dayton Ballet and Elizabeth Karns formally with American Ballet Theatre and her aunt Gina Walther formally with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Obviously dance runs in the family. She is a third-generation dancer. At the age of seven she was invited to perform with DCDC for a charity arts benefit hosted by Oprah Winfrey. In 2008 she joined the South Dayton Dance Theatre. SDDT is a pre-professional dance company and honor member of Regional Dance America Northeast.
She has been recognized with many scholarships and awards. Her studies have been with Cincinnati Ballet, Pennsylvania Regional Ballet (scholarship), National Choreography Intensive (scholarship), Point Park University summer intensive (scholarship), Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Boston Ballet.
Dara continued to pursue her dream of dance by attending Point Park University under the direction of Garfield Lemonious and has trained with Susan Stowe, Jason McDole, Kiesha Lalama, Juila Erickson, Dana Arey, Kiki Lucas, Rocker Verastique and Daniel Karasik. While at Point Park, she worked with choreographers including Adam Hougland, Christopher Huggins, Matthew Powell, Edwaard Liang, Amy Hall Garner and Blakeley White McGuire. Dara graduated with honors and received her B.F.A. in Dance in Spring 2021. This is Dara’s first season with Missouri Contemporary Ballet.