Free To Be Performing Arts Center’s mission and purpose is to promote Confidence, Creativity, and Self-expression through the Arts. Our goal is to provide quality customer service and freedom for students to be who they are.
Meet Our Founders
Ms. Leah Brown-Executive Director
Leah Brown, a 36-year-old Philadelphia native, born and raised in Mt. Airy, began her dance and theatre training from the age of five at Motion Studios studying under the direction of Ms. Chrystie Cannon. Ms. Leah has been involved in dance and theater arts for over 20 years, studying under instructors such as Bonnie Bing, Henry Roy, Lisa White-Jones, Leo Dignam, Tom Dignam, Randi Thompson, and many more.
Ms. Leah is a proud graduate of The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, class of 2002, where she was a vocal major studying under Mrs. Dorina Morrow and Mr. Timothy Cormier. During high school, Ms. Leah attended Young Performer's Theatre Camp (YPTC) as a musical theatre major for 4 years. During her 5th year, Ms. Leah taught dance in the Intro to the Arts program within YPTC.
After having her firstborn, Ms. Leah wanted a place to embody the arts, the cultural ambiance of Mt. Airy, and its contribution to the arts, thus the opening of Free to Be Dance Academy in 2015.
Ms. Christina M. Talley- Artistic Director
Christina Michelle Talley, a 34-year-old native of Philadelphia found her passion for dance from the Institute of the Arts under the direction of Cheryl G. Jenkins. Christina has been dancing for the past 22 years, studying under instructors such as Tia Jordan, Rodney “Itola” Bird, Cheryl G. Jenkins, Theresa Pelicata, Hollie Wright, Jamie Laughlin, and Roxanne Lyst to name a few. While attending the Pennsylvania State University, Christina continued her dance training under the direction of renowned Kikora Franklin and Elisha Clark.
Christina graduated from Penn State University in August of 2008 with a BA in Theater Arts focusing in Performance Theater. In August of 2011, Christina received her MBA from the Philadelphia University in International Business and Marketing. Since 2007, Christina has had the opportunity to educate children in Jazz, Hip Hop, and Movement classes for various dance institutions throughout Philadelphia. In addition, she has had the pleasure of introducing dance art and its history to underprivileged children at the Police Athletic League Recreation Center in the City of Philadelphia.
Christina had the opportunity to teach Theater arts in the beginner, intermediate, and advanced intermediate levels at the Dance Institute of Philadelphia. In January of 2011, Christina fulfilled one of her lifelong dreams by starting her own professional dance company, En ‘L’ Air Dance Company of which she currently has over 15 experienced intermediate and advanced dancers.