[Durham, NC] – The American Dance Festival (ADF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Leah Cox to the position of Associate Dean for the ADF School, effective immediately. Cox will work under the direction of ADF Dean, Gerri Houlihan.
Cox reflected, “I’m thrilled to be part of the American Dance Festival’s leadership. ADF has played a crucial role in my career, beginning with its impact on me as a student at its Six Week School, then as a performer on its stages, and most recently as a teacher. It is an institution uniquely positioned to shape the future of dance, and I look forward to contributing to its effect on students, dancers, and teaching artists nationwide.”
Cox danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 2001 to 2009, launched the company’s education department in 2009, and currently directs the New York Live Arts/Bard College partnership. Cox is an avid educator, teaching classes for all ages and levels of ability nationwide as both an independent artist and as an ambassador of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She has been on faculty at ADF, Peridance, and Dance New Amsterdam and is a master teacher and adjudicator for YoungArts. Cox also reconstructs Jones’ works on students and professional dancers.
Cox spent her youth training in ballet, graduating from North Carolina School of the Arts high school dance division. Her dance studies continued at Texas Christian University, where she received a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Religion. Her professional career began in San Diego with McCaleb Dance.
In 2001, Cox left California to join the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. While dancing with the company, Cox also acted as dancer representative, a volunteer role that required her to advocate with senior administration and artistic staff for dancers’ rights, working conditions, and other issues that arose as part of the company infrastructure. In 2007, she continued dancing with the company while also taking on the role of rehearsal assistant to Bill T. Jones and Janet Wong.
After becoming the education director in 2009, she created the company’s educational licensing program, developed educational materials for the company’s works, restaged works, taught nationwide for the company, and began the company’s partnership with Bard College. When the company merged with Dance Theater Workshop to become New York Live Arts, Leah continued her role as education director, incorporating the wider scope that the new entity encompassed. At Live Arts, Cox created Shared Practice, a class series focused on creative practice for NYC artists.
Cox’s approach to moving, making, and teaching is guided by the grounded, impassioned enactment of visionary thinking. She thrives on working collaboratively and deeply engaging with people, culture, and ideas.
“Anyone who has ever seen Leah on stage or in the studio will tell you that her passion for dance is reflected in all that she does. Honestly, I couldn’t be more delighted!” said Gerri Houlihan, ADF Dean.
[Photo of Leah Cox by Grant Halverson © ADF]