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.
Leigh 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 as a freelance artist in NYC. She has performed ballet, contemporary, and modern styles with companies such as City Ballet of San Diego, Collective Body|Dancelab, Indelible Dance, Christopher Caines Dance Company, and Yoo and Dancers, and has guested with Benjamin Briones Ballet, New American Youth Ballet, Lafayette Ballet, and CONNetic Dance. She has performed in commercial productions including on stage with comedian Hannibal Buress as part of the Oddball Comedy Tour, and for the Davines NYC hair show. Leigh served as Artistic Director of Dance for Periapsis Music and Dance in the 2013-14 seasons where her choreography was described as "gorgeous and lush." She is also a contributing journalist for Dance Informa Magazine.
Leigh 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. Leigh has taught courses in health, motor development, biomechanics lab, and stress at Purdue University, and anatomy at Peridance Capezio Center.
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