"Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on." - Michael Jackson

Leslie Anne Campbell-Driesner, 41, died June 9th, 2019 in St. Louis University Hospital, after battling complications of liver failure.

Leslie was born on January 1st, 1978 in Highland, Illinois. She earned a B.A. in Modern Dance from the University of Illinois in 2002 and enjoyed a successful career as a Pilates instructor in Champaign/Urbana and the St. Louis area. She loved to dance and was always happiest when performing. She was creative and enjoyed sewing and crafting with her daughter. Leslie had many faithful friends. She was a caring daughter, thoughtful sister, and loving mother.  

She is survived by daughter Vega Dei Driesner, former husband Kurt Driesner, parents Karen (Durbin) and Austin Campbell, siblings Matthew (Ann) Campbell, Andrea (Bill) Arnold, Allison Campbell (Brady Mills), Lauren Campbell (significant other, Daniel Mills) as well as numerous loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.

There will be a celebration of life on June 29th, beginning with the 4 o’clock mass at St. Paul’s Catholic Church and followed by a gathering at the Highland Country Club. Click here for more information.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to a college fund for Leslie’s daughter Vega at The Gift of Education.

Posted by Astrid Ferrer on June 15, 2019
I was so sad to hear about Leslie’s passing. After all these years after she left Champaign, I still miss her classes. Leslie was really smart, with an incredible knowledge in her profession and a generous heart. I will always remember her with a smile.
Posted by Cathy Thomas on June 14, 2019
I met Leslie in 2007 when I was learning Pilates in Champaign. She was a joy to be with. She taught me some of the exercises and they were so well taught I knew them immediately. No doubts or vagueness about it. I was at the studio the day Vega was born, a very happy day. I didn't know Leslie on a personal level, but I am saddened by this and remember a lovely young woman who everyone seemed to admire and feel love for.
Posted by Megan Guenther on June 13, 2019
When I first met Leslie, she was a twenty-something-year-old Pilates instructor in Champaign and I was a fifty-year old retired professional in an apprenticeship program trying hard to become an instructor. We remained friends after, through the family’s move back to the Highland area. Most striking over the years have been Leslie’s kindness, generosity of spirit, sense of fairness and quiet humility. Of course, her sometimes offbeat sense of humor deserves mention, too, along with her penchant for tardiness. She was the kind of person who did not call attention to herself or her talents, but quietly went about her business. If you didn’t look carefully, you might miss her keen intellect. In the occasionally uncharitable and insular world of Pilates, Leslie was extraordinarily generous in sharing her knowledge. Any sensible person observing her perform the work herself should have been intimidated. She moved through exercises demanding great physicality with a seemingly effortless lightness and grace, yet always remained modest and seemed surprised by a compliment. She was also one of the most talented and creative Pilates teachers I’ve come across, with an intuitive understanding and awareness of the body and her own brand of quirky but utterly precise cues to guide her clients. The work and teaching came so easily to her she sometimes seemed to take her talents for granted. When things once got tough for me and a friend, she stood by us at great risk to herself. She didn’t make a big deal about it, but just quietly did the thing she believed was right. Most importantly, when Vega was born Leslie was over the moon--completely in love with her daughter and with the whole idea and process of motherhood. She remarked then that she and Kurt carefully chose the name because Vega is one of the brightest stars in the night sky and perhaps the most important star after the sun. Leslie always spoke of Vega with a kind of unbridled pride and joy, proving the name was fitting. Leslie was a bright star in her own right and I like to think she will keep watch over all of us from above. She will be missed and her memory cherished.
Posted by Linda Korte on June 13, 2019
We will miss Leslie. She was a wonderful friend to our daughter, Sarah. Mike and I loved having her around. She was very energetic and always smiling. I know her friends loved her. Also, I really enjoyed watching her dance year after year. I believe she was one of the most talented dancers ever from Jane Mannion’s dance studio. We are praying for healing for your family, Karen and Austin and will love to watch Vega grow.
Posted by Michelle Deets on June 12, 2019
My heart is so sad to hear about Leslie's passing. I had the pleasure and honor to coach Leslie on Highland High School Dance Team. She was always full of life and always had a smile on her face. She lived her life with such joy during the time I spent with her. I feel blessed that she was part of my life.

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