After earning a BA from Temple University, studying Psychology, African American Studies and Spanish, Leigh Gaymon-Jones cultivated her artistic interests by investigating multiple forms of movement – including various styles of contemporary techniques, Dunham technique, Ballet, West African forms, Capoeira and Contact Improvisation. She has danced with companies and studied in Atlanta, Austin, Havana, Santiago de Cuba, London and Salvador. Leigh continued her movement exploration by completing a Dharma Yoga Teacher Certification with Dharma Yoga Studio (Austin, Texas).
In working as a teacher and youth mentor and as a volunteer on various farm projects, Leigh rooted her professional practice in community engagement work. She craftted a great deal of her community development skills by working as the Director of Operations for Urban Roots, a youth-development organization that uses farming as a means of transformation for young people and their communities.
Her interest in community dance was stimulated by her participation in summer institutes with Dance Exchange and Urban Bush Women, and by participating Darla Johnson and Nicole Wesley's JUSTICE PROJECT. Her personal community dance practice was birthed from her with Allison Orr and Forklift Danceworks. During that time she worked as a creative movement instructor and as a stage manager for both live iterations of The Trash Project. In her most recent collaboration with Allison Orr, she worked as the Assistant Choreographer on developing the 2011 Fusebox Kickoff, Invasion of the New Grrl Order.
In 2014, Leigh completed a Postgraduate Dipolma 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, participating in training programs such as the 2014 Silvestre Technique Training.
Leigh is currently working towards an MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts at California Institute of Integral Studies. She is pursuing a focus in Social Justice Arts Practice.
photo by Adam Kang