M.F.A. in Performance/Choreography, Florida State University
Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, a Cuban-American artist, mother, and teacher with rhythm inextricably in her bones found her voice through dance at an early age. As the Founder and Artistic Director of Sarasota Contemporary Dance, she has the privilege of using those bones to create art that has been called “stunning and imaginative” by Carrie Seidman of the Herald Tribune. As Artist-in-Residence at New College of Florida, she has the opportunity to share her love of dance and to be an influential member of Florida’s dance community. Featured in Sarasota Scene Magazine’s Arts & Cultural Issue: Ladies of the Arts, Leymis has been the recipient of numerous artistic achievement and leadership awards throughout her career. She was honored to receive the Dance Magazine award for “Southeast Best Choreographer” and was listed in Sarasota Magazine as one of the Top 28 Most Powerful People in the Arts. Her 80+ dance works include collaborations with artists and organizations of various disciplines from musicians to museums. Collaborative highlights include: Sarasota Orchestra, Choral Artists of Sarasota, Westcoast Black Theater Troupe, Asolo Rep, Salvador Dalí Museum, Kaleidoscope, John and Mable Ringling Museum, Art Center of Sarasota, Stephen Miles of New Music New College, composer Eduard Cosla, percussionist Scott Blum, Mark Dancigers of NOW Ensemble, and the multitalented Francis Schwartz. Her works have been performed nationally at the John F. Kennedy Center, Ailey Citigroup Theater in NYC, Colony Theater and Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami, and internationally in Ramallah, Argentina, and Spain.
Leymis pioneered the Dance and Healing certificate at the University of Florida and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography from Florida State University. Her research in dance as a healing art form and its ability to harness and foster community building came to fruition in 2006 when she and Rachael Inman founded Fuzión Dance Artists, now Sarasota Contemporary Dance.
Leymis is a professor of dance at New College of Florida, a certified Pilates instructor, and through her Dance for PD certificate experience founded and developed the dance program at Parkinson’s Place in 2012. She served as Vice President of the Florida Dance Association from 2013-2017 and is a member of the Arts and Health Coalition in Sarasota. Her most precious honor, however, is being married to her husband, Kavin, of fourteen years and mother to nine-year-old Charles Edward and three-year-old, Valda Elizabeth who inspires her dance-making daily.