Bruce is a graduate of Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ballet and Theater. Over the past 27 years, Bruce has taught master dance classes from New York to Los Angeles for Dance Masters of America, Dance Caravan, The Professional Dance Teachers Association, Dance Educators of America, NADAA, National Cheerleading Association and Dance Troupe, INC. to name a few.
Bruce's students have won numerous American, World and National Dance Championships. His dancers have performed with Janet Jackson on her World Tour, in music videos, on the American Music Awards and Grammy Awards shows, danced on Broadway, in Las Vegas and on Cruise Ships. Several of his students have been Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. More recently three of his dancers competed on the CBS television show Star Search.
On Broadway, Bruce danced with Bernadette Peters in the musical "On the Town." He then moved on to a featured role in the smash broadway hit "Irene," starring Miss Debbie Reynolds. Bruce and Miss Reynolds struck a close relationship (Debbie is Godmother to his oldest son, Brandin) and he became a featured dancer and her dance partner touring the world in her Las Vegas Night Club show. Bruce was also the Broadway dance partner of Carrie Fisher (of Star Wars fame and Miss Reynolds' daughter.)
Off Broadway, Bruce co-starred with Danny Devito in the Cole Porter musical "Du Barry Was A Lady."
Bruce's television credits include The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Sonny and Cher show, The Dinah Shore Show, Liberace and Bob Hope TV Speacials, the TV series Dallas, The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Movie, and most recently has appeared on the VH-1 TV series Bands on the Run with his sons Brandin and Fletcher Lea of the band Flickerstick.
Bruce was stage director and choreographer of the Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant telecasts for 10 years, and has coached 3 Miss Texas winners.
In Summer Stock and Dinner Theatres (most notable Casa Manana, where Bruce began his professional career at age 18), he has choreographed, danced, and starred in such musicals as: "George M", "Guys and Dolls", "Oklahoma", "West Side Story", "Dames At Sea", "How to Succeed in Business", "Irene", "Hello Dolly", "Call Me Madam", "Where's Charley", "The Sound of Music", "The Music Man", "Sweet Charity", "Take Me Along", "South Pacific", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Gypsy", "Showboat", "Sunny", "Good News", "Brigadoon", "Paint Your Wagon", "The King and I", "Little Me", "Man of La Mancha", "Du Barry was A Lady", "Mame", "Bye Bye Birdie", "Fiddler on the Roof", "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" and "A Chorus Line."
During his career, Bruce has had the privlege to work with Bernadette Peters, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Barry Manilow, Jeanine Turner, Betty Buckley, Sonny and Cher, Debbie Reynolds, Ruta Lee, Martha Raye, Gwen Verdon, Danny DeVito, Jane Powell, Liberace, Johnny Carson, Gower Champion, Carrie Fisher, Rip Taylor, Dinah Shore, Ken Berry, Peter Gennaro, and the Charlie Daniels Band.
In 1998 Bruce returned to the New York stage as choreographer for the 25th anniversary revival of the Broadways show "Irene." Bruce, along with 18 of his fellow original cast members, performed in this very special show benefiting Gilda's Club of New York.
Christi is Co-Director of the award winning Bruce Lea Dance Factory. She has been a professional performer and teacher for the past 20 years. Christi has performed with the Charlie Daniels Band in Concert, was a featured dancer at Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas and is Co-Choreographer of the Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant. Christi, along with her husband Bruce, teaches at 10-12 dance conventions throughout the country every year. Bruce & Christi now enjoy bringing the love of dance to their students and pride themselves with the accomplishments of the many past and present students that join with them.
Mrs. Elaine has an extensive background in teaching and dance performance, and was educated by the National Clogging Leaders of America's certified instructor program. She began dancing professionally at age 15, studying ballet, jazz and tap locally and abroad. Her dance career includes opening acts for musical celebrities such as the Beach Boys, the Doors, and the Dixie Chicks, as well as theater, television, and video performances. She was instrumental in the development of the Southwest Showgirls drill team at Southwest High School in 1993. Since her introduction to clog dancing over 20 years ago, Ms. Bender has become devoted to the study and teaching of clogging, and her enthusiasm has made her a popular teacher with students of all ages. She has won numerous awards for choreography and performance. Ms. Bender is a member of the Texas Clogging Council and C.L.O.G., the National Clogging Organization of America.
Holly is so excited to begin teaching with Bruce Lea Dance Factory! She is a teacher and choreographer who brings years of experience and training to her students. Mrs. Lee studied dance since she was a young girl and ultimately studied at Oklahoma City University before receiving her degree from Weatherford College where she became an instructor and director or the dance program. She was a performer at Casa Manana and Grandbury Opera House before she went on to become a choreographer for Casa Manana, Weatherford College, the All American Cowgirl Chicks Trick Riding Group and the Miss Parker County Scholarship Organization which she co-founded. She was owner and Artistic Director for On Stage Dance and Performing Arts Center and the The Rock of Sports Performing Arts –Cutting Edge. She is most proud to say she is Mother to son Isaiah Gage and twins Zachary & Zane and wife to Chad Lee!
Jennifer hails originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where she was trained as a dancer, performer and choreographer and has been working in different aspects of the arts community for over 38 years.
She began her dance training at the age of three, having trained in various forms of dance from jazz, tap and ballet to modern, African, Flamenco and more. She began teaching when she was sixteen years old and has instructed students not only in the U.S. but in Mexico and China as well. She attended the University of Central Oklahoma studying in dance.
Jennifer has worked and performed for Six Flags America, Texas Ballet Theater, Double JJ & Golf Resort, Artisan Center Theater and Arts Fifth Avenue. Jennifer is also a choreographer in the D/FW Metroplex having choreographed such productions as Camelot, Phantom the Musical, Scrooged, Sound of Music, Shrek the Musical, Pinkaliciuos, Fancy Nancy, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Aladdin Jr., High School Musical, Seussical, Newsies and many more. She is proud to be a dance teacher in the D/FW Metroplex and has recently begun training for Dance for Parkinson's which helps patients participants experience the grace, fluidity, and power of dance in a social, joyful, and supportive environment.
She is a proud mother of two talented young adults and is thrilled to continue at BLDF for another wonderful year of dance.
Ashley is from Fort Worth, Texas and is currently a TCU student where she is studying Film. Ashley is a singer, actress,choreographer and has been dancing since the age of three. She has co-choreographed and performed in high school productions such as “Anything Goes” and “Pirates of Penzance” as well as a variety of group routines, solos and duets.
She has danced in numerous shows and competitions for BLDF and TCC and has trained at BLDF for 16 years. She became a competitive dancer at the age of 9 and became a dance teacher/choreographer when she was a senior in high school. Ashley loves to create a fun and loving environment for her dancers. She is constantly trying new and fresh choreography to keep her dancers excited and wanting to learn more! She enjoys seeing all of the dancers grow into beautiful performers!
Hannah is a graduate from Texas Tech University where she gained her BA in dance and minor in health professions. Hannah has spent most of her life in Fort Worth, Texas, however she has lived in Colorado, California, and Florida due to her dad being in the military. She started dancing at age five and continued her dance training at Bruce Lea Dance Factory on a competitive level. During her time on Bruce Lea’s Competitive team she had the opportunity to partake in three National Dance Competitions in Florida and in San Antonio, many dance conventions, and performances at Texas Christian University sporting events. Hannah is trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, modern, and contemporary. As a freshman in college, she started out as a dance minor but quickly realized that she was meant to major in dance. Hannah had the honor of attending and performing at ACDA (American College Dance Association) her freshman, Junior, and Senior year and had some of the best experiences of her life. Her Senior year she Choreographed for The Texas Tech University Fall Dance Festival and was stage manager of the site-specific production. She went on to present her work A$$UMPTIONS at the 2019 American College Dance Association South-Central Conference. Her Sophomore year she was a member of The Texas Tech University Dance Company and was vice president of the company for the 2017-2018 year, and President her 2018-2019 year. She was also a member of the Chi Tau Epsilon dance honors society and has helped in the production of four Annual Benefit Concerts for the Hospice of Lubbock. Hannah treasures the time she has spent teaching dance at the Burkhart Center for Autism Research and hopes to continue working with them. Hannah plans to continue her passion for dance and the arts by hopefully dancing professionally and sharing her love for dance through teaching. She currently teaches dance and musical theater at High Point Academy and instructs contemporary classes at her home, Bruce Lea Dance Factory. She treasures the experiences and lessons dance has taught her and hopes to share these lessons with others.
Front Desk Coordinator
Cara is born and raised in the Fort Worth area, a graduate of Brewer High School, a wife of 20 years, and a mother of two super amazing daughters. Cassidy is 12 years old and has danced at Bruce Lea Dance Factory since the age of two. She is currently on the Dance Competition Team, and also dances for her middle school. Cheyanne is 16 and has danced at Bruce Lea Dance Factory for 11 years and is currently on the Dance Competition Team as well. Cheyanne is also a Junior Lieutenant Officer on her Drill Team – all thanks to her many years of training by some extraordinary instructors. Both girls have been known to also student assist when called upon. The entire Crider Family is incredibly involved with the studio, to them Dance is a lifestyle. Cara has worked for the studio as the Front Desk Coordinator for about six years. She works closely with Bruce and Christi and all studio instructors to manage administrative duties such as managing the office system, registering students, taking payments, sending emails, and making sure all parents and students are happy and feel very welcomed into the Bruce Lea Dance Factory Family.