Life long learner committed to inquiry, joy and human connection -- Leigh Gaymon-Jones is an Aries with roots in Austin, Chicago and the DC Area. Wooed by the redwoods, she made her way to coastal California, and has been at home here ever since.
She has paved a curving and winding path, guided by creativity, curiosity, inspiration and love. She dances between various roles as a teacher/facilitator, choreographer/performer, web designer, and curriculum designer -- always looking for a taproot to the earth.
Big heart. Deep Listener. Adventurer.
Synthesizer. Connector. People lover.
Bright-eyed and looking to the future.
After earning a BA from Temple University, studying Psychology, African American Studies and Spanish, Leigh Gaymon-Jones taught at elementary students Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School. Following a constructivist (learner-centered) teaching approach, she was delighted by the enthusiasm for learning and capacity for play that the students brought to the classroom. Later she honed her skills as an educator, facilitator and program manager at Urban Roots, at youth-development organization in Austin, that uses farming as a means of transformation for young people and their communities. Leigh's work alongside teen farmers and leaders, also served has her introduction to agriculture and its points of intersection with equity and liberation.
In addition to her work in education, Leigh has simultaneously cultivated her artistic interests by investigating various movement forms – including several contemporary techniques, Dunham technique, Ballet, several West African forms, Capoeira, Contact Improvisation, Afro Cuban dance and Silvestre Technique. She has danced with companies and studied in Atlanta, Austin, Havana, Santiago de Cuba, London and Salvador. Her movement practice has been supported by her Dharma Yoga Teacher Certification. Her yoga practice has grounded her relationship with her own body, and offered her the opportunity to share yoga with folks ranging from adults in professional development trainings to youth farm program participants to private clients to members of her local YMCA.
In her work as a facilitator, and her practice as an artist, Leigh's offerings are rooted in dignity and human connection.
In 2014, Leigh completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. During her time at Trinity Laban her choreographic work, And What if I Ran?, was selected and showcased at the Bonnie Bird Theatre. She continued her artistic and professional development, completing her MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts at California Institute of Integral Studies in 2017, during which time she premiered Land Home.
Since her introduction to farming at Urban Roots, Leigh went on to spend time volunteering and working on farms in Texas and Brazil, eventually completing 2 seasons of apprenticeship training at UC Santa Cruz's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), in 2016-2017. She combined her experience in agriculture and education in her roles as Interim Farm Manager at Alemany Farm, Director of Education at CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) and Operations Manager at Castanea Fellowship.
In 2019, she retunred to CASFS as the Coordinator of Residential and Community Life -- where she draws on her training in curriculum, pedagogy, program design & management, ecology, sustainable farming, creativity and community building.
Leading a yoga class, performing on a stage, or teaching a farm workshop -- Leigh’s practice is an ongoing invitation for students, artists, and audiences to witness their intuition, creative voice and personal wisdom.
Leigh continues to vision and create projects at the crossroads of land, creativity, and wholeheartedness. She believes deeply in the radical power of creativity, beauty and joy, and is humbled by the magic of possibility.
photography by Stevie Gaymon