Leah O'Donnell Choreography


Leah is a choreographer, dancer, and writer.

Her early training began with the Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre, and continued on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, under Eleanor D’Antuno and John Magnus.

As a choreographer, Leah has created work for Michigan Opera Theater, Eisenhower Dance Detroit’s NewDANCEfest, Wayne State University, Jump/Cut Film Festival (Brooklyn), Kristi Faulkner’s Women’s Work Festival, and University of Michigan’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society. She is a recipient of the Maggie Allesee Copperfoot Award for choreographic excellence, and her recent work, Dance of the Ancestors, was selected for the Northeast ACDA gala in 2019.

Leah’s extensive performance career spans concert and commercial dance. Credits include the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Francesca Zambello’s Show Boat, Saturday Night LiveThe Tonight Show, Across the Universe, the MTV Video Music Awards, and more. She has danced with recording artists from Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and Nicki Minaj, to The Black Eyed Peas, Nancy Sinatra, and The Roots.

Leah has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and the Royal Palace of Istanbul. She has toured throughout the United States and abroad, and spent six months living and performing in Athens, Greece.

Leah has had the honor of working with many world-renowned artists including Julie Taymor, Daniel Ezralow, Mark Dendy, Annie-B Parson, Ben Wright, Francesca Zambello, Franco Zefferelli, Michael Grandage, Rebecca Taichman, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Jerry Mitchell, Michelle Lynch, Fatima Robinson, Sam Mendez, Judd Apatow, Baz Luhrmann, Ryan Heffington, Margherite Derricks, and Frank Gatson.       

As a writer, Leah has contributed to Dance Spirit Magazine, Detroit Metro Times, Dance Pulp, University of Michigan’s Confucius Institute, and Ann Arbor Observer.

She holds a degree from Wayne State University.