Leigh Schanfein

Coming Up Next!

Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre will perform "Casket Letters" this weekend, Nov 10 & 11, as one of three guest companies invited to show work in the SLDT performances at Ailey CitiGroup Theatre.

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the new work "20 Women" choreographed by Michelle Thompson Ulerich on Nov 16. 

I'm super excited to perform once again with the Orcas Island All-Stars, this time for the first time ever in their brand new Nutcracker, the weekend after Thanksgiving!  It will be a fun alternative version of the Nutcracker and I can't wait to see what strange and entertaining choreography we will present. 

And to round out the year, of course I can't wait to return to Hartford, CT, to be a sassy-pants French Martini in CONNetic Dance's "Nutcracker Suite & Spicy!"  Those shows will run the weekend of Dec 21st. 

Check the calendar for upcoming shows through December!

        Professional Dancer and Award-Winning Movement Researcher


Photo 2014 Caique Cahuna



Leigh Schanfein is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher as well as an independent researcher in the fields of kinesiology and biomechanics. 

Leigh 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 with companies such as City Ballet of San Diego, Collective Body|Dancelab, Indelible Dance, Christopher Caines Dance Company, Yoo and Dancers, and the Park Avenue Armory, 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, the Davines NYC hair show, and during Fashion Week NYC for designer Cristina Ruales.  Leigh is a former Director of Dance for Periapsis Music and Dance,where her choreography was described as "gorgeous and lush," and is a regular guest instructor and choreographer for dance schools in Indiana, Montana, California, Idaho, and New York.  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. From 2012-2018, Leigh worked as a research associate at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, part of NYU Langone Health.  Her research there covered a wide range of topics concerning injury prevention among dancers.  Leigh has taught courses in health, motor development, biomechanics lab, and stress at Purdue University, and anatomy at Peridance Capezio Center.  In 2015, she joined the faculty at Barnard College as adjunct lecturer of biomechanics in the department of dance. 

Check out the website to learn more!

Photo 2011 by Omar Balbuena



Background Image by Jacob Pritchard for Indelible Dance, 2010 

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