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RUTH LENEY-MIDKIFF

Ruth has been a dancer, teacher, and choreographer for almost 40 years, dedicating her professional life to sharing her passion for high quality dance instruction with young dancers. She received her early training from the Point Park College training program for Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, and the North Carolina School of the Arts, among others.  She also spent several years under the tutelage of Mansur Kamaletdinov, former Ballet Master at the Bolshoi Ballet.

 

Ruth was a soloist with the American Dance Ensemble under the direction of Nicolas Petrov (founder of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater).  Some of her favorite lead roles with ADE included the Tavern Pas from Ruth Page’s Carmina Burana, Balanchine’s Pas de dix, Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker, Symphony in C, Rite of Spring, and the Pas de deux in Les Sylphides. She later became a free-lance-artist with various Pittsburgh dance organizations, including the Pittsburgh International Folk Theatre, the Physical Theatre Project, and the Pittsburgh Opera among others. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh as well as an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Michigan.  In Michigan, she frequently was a contributing performer and choreographer with the Ann Arbor Dance Works.

 

Her early teaching credentials include the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, the University of Michigan, and the Flint School of Performing Arts.  In Michigan, she established and directed a youth program at the Dance Gallery Studio/ Peter Sparling Dance Company (MI) where her students were approved to participate in a monthly exchange with the National Ballet of Canada.  Locally, she taught at Cary Ballet Conservatory and International Ballet Theatre before building her own preprofessional ballet program in Wake Forest (NC), where she founded and directed the Wake Forest Civic Ballet (2010-2019)  Ruth has taught master classes throughout the United States and abroad in ballet, character dance, modern and her own contemporary ballet technique.  She has created over 70 original pieces of choreography and has frequently contributed commissioned works to Regional Dance companies throughout the US, receiving gala recognition.  Her works have been selected several times to be performed as part of the Wake Forest Dance Festival, under the direction of Masha Maddux.

 

She is proud to have her students dancing in companies, as well as teaching in schools and universities throughout the US and abroad and is pleased to be a part of the faculty at Carolina Dance Center.