About Leah

I grew up in Devils Lake, North Dakota – a town of 7,000 people, 30 miles from the Canadian border and just a mile past too darn cold.  At age 11, my parents enrolled me in ballet at Miki’s School of Dance and I never looked back. Within a year I was a dance nerd – dancing 3-4 hours a day, 6 days a week. I was also active in any other form of the arts that I had time to participate in – Fort Totten Little Theater (local musical theater company), studying classical piano and flute.  In 2001 I moved to Missoula, MT to attend the University of Montana where I studied dance and business and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography, as well as a B.S. in Finance.

I moved to Oakland in 2007 and promptly immersed myself in the Bay Area dance community, both as a professional dancer and arts administrator. I acquired my dream job in July 2011, as the Director of Operations of Oakland Ballet Company.

I have had the privilege of dancing for many talented choreographers and am now a company member of Dana Lawton Dances and Gretchen Garnett & Dancers.. I have also worked with Troy Macklin, Rebecca Ann Wilson, Lizzie Karr, The Riley Project, Aura Fischbeck Dance, Kelly Bowker & Dancers, the Pfeifle Dance Project, Nicole Bradley Browning and Michelle Antonolli, to name a few.

Prior to joining Oakland Ballet, I spent five years in the Finance industry working at Capital Group Companies, a mutual fund management company, where I worked with the Board of Directors of American Funds mutual funds.  I began my career transition to the Arts Administration field by working as the Company Manager of Samantha Giron Dance Project, interning with Project Bandaloop and several other local artists.

I have served on the Board of Directors of Push Dance Company from 2008-2013, and recently started re-visiting a career as a dance instructor  – teaching ballet at Spotlight Arts Academy in Dublin, CA. I have also had the privilege of sitting on the Theatre Bay Area CA$H Grant panel in 2010, the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program grant panel in 2012, and I was selected as an Emerging Arts Professionals Fellow at Intersection for the Arts in 2012-2013. Currently, I am completing the Non-profit Management Program at CSUEB.

I met my husband, Ted in May 2009, we married in July 2010, and are living happily ever after in the Temescal district of Oakland with our Fox Terrier, Flash and Parakeets, Cab and Coltrane. My favorite non-dance related activities include: drinking red wine, eating dark chocolate, baking, cleaning, yoga, and exploring all things Oakland via bicycle.

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