Brazilian tap dancer Leonardo Sandoval, described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “strong yet fine-boned, capable of authority and nuance”, and praised by the New York Times for his "rousing" and “intricate” choreography, has established a reputation in the tap world and beyond for his musicality and for adding his own Brazilian flavor to the American art of tap dancing. He helped bring tap to a wider audience in Brazil via numerous TV appearances, and by co-founding the Companhia Carioca de Sapateado in Rio de Janeiro. In 2012, he won global recognition when he was a finalist in pop superstars Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony's talent show Q'Viva - The Chosen.
Now based in New York, Leo is in demand as a solo performer and choreographer, and had his work performed at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival , The Yard, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and Battery Dance Festival, among others. His latest piece, Partido, was a 2019 finalist of the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, and Music from the Sole, a show featuring a 5-piece band and 3 tap dancers created in collaboration with composer Gregory Richardson, is the focus of a residency at Lincoln Center Education over the fall of 2019. An artist in residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation and, over the 2018-19 season, at the Center for Flamenco Arts , he has also toured extensively as a solo artist, including at the Caramoor Jazz Festival, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center, and at the National Folk Festival, a rare honor for a tap dancer. He has collaborated with musicians including Michael Mwenso and the Shakes, Ben Sollee, and the Quebe Sisters, and has continued bringing tap to global audiences through his performances, as well as TV features and interviews on PBS, BBC, MSNBC, the CW channel, and Fox. In addition to his solo work, Leo is a core member of Michelle Dorrance’s acclaimed company, Dorrance Dance, performing across the United States and abroad at venues like the Joyce Theater, the Guggenheim Museum, London’s Sadler’s Wells, Canada’s National Arts Center, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and many more. Leo is a passionate advocate of arts education and outreach, leading workshops, classes, and lecture-demonstrations, teaching tap, body percussion, Afro-Brazilian rhythms and more to diverse audiences across the globe, including through partnerships with the National Dance Institute in New York and the Meninos de Luz project in Rio de Janeiro.
A true dancer-musician, Leo’s artistry is rooted in America’s great jazz and tap dance heritage and in Brazil’s rich rhythmic and musical forms, with additional influences from contemporary and urban dances.