Leslie Hughes was born in Atlanta, USA. She studied ballet in her hometown and in New York at the American Ballet Center (school of the Joffrey Ballet) and School of American Ballet Theater. She was offered her first contract with the Hamburg Ballet where she advanced to Demi-Soloist. She also performed in Tours, France, with the Atlanta Ballet and with the Stadtheater Bern in Switzerland. In 2002 Leslie completed her certificate for teaching the Vaganov-Method from the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest. She taught first at thae École de Danse de Genève and then moved on as ballet mistress with ballettmainz, where she assisted Martin Schläpfer by numerous creations as well as rehearsing ballets from Hans van Manen, George Balanchine, Kurt Jooss and many others. She also taught at the Conservatory in Vienna from 2005 to 2013. Since 2013 Leslie Hughes has been part of the teaching faculty of the School of the Hamburg Ballet.