Professional Dancer and Award-Winning Movement Researcher
Photo 2013 by Lucas Chilczuk
Leigh Schanfein is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher as well as a Research Associate at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, NYU Langone Medical Center. She received her M.S. degree in kinesiology with a specialization in biomechanics from Purdue University, and her B.S. degree in animal physiology and neuroscience with a minor in dance from the University of California San Diego. As a graduate student, she received multiple awards for her research with dancers including two awards through the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. Her research has focused on the mechanisms by which humans control balance and how sensory feedback is integrated for the control of posture. Ms. Schanfein has taught courses in health, motor development, biomechanics lab, and stress at Purdue University, and is a regular guest instructor and choreographer for dance schools in Indiana, Montana, California, Idaho, and New York. She has trained and performed across the USA and abroad in modern, ballet, and contemporary dance, and currently performs professionally in NYC. She has performed ballet, contemporary, and modern styles with companies such as City Ballet of San Diego, Collective Body|Dancelab, Indelible Dance, Mark Lamb Dance, Christopher Caines Dance Company, Yoo and Dancers, and Gehring Dancetheater. Leigh is a contributing journalist for Dance Informa Magazine. Her most recent endeavor is as Artistic Director of Dance for Periapsis Music and Dance, a non- profit designed to eliminate the gap between emerging choreographers and live music by living composers.