Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford (she/her)
Ms. Cohen-Hafford has over 20 years of experience teaching, coaching and choreographing for professional and student dancers across the USA and Canada. Her diverse professional repertoire included contemporary ballet, the classics, Balanchine works and modern dance providing her with a comprehensive background and understanding of the essential requirements for ballet professionals.
In 2019, Ms. Cohen-Hafford was invited to observe classes, rehearsals and an array of performances at top European ballet companies and schools including the Stuttgart Ballet, Dresden SemperOper Ballet, and the John Cranko Ballet School. This experience enhanced her insight into the current trends and versatility demands in modern, contemporary and classical ballet techniques, choreography, and training.
Ms.Cohen-Hafford was Artistic Director of Conservatory Ballet of Washington and Director of the Ballet Department of Washington Academy of Performing Arts (1998-2001). She served as a dance faculty member at Oakland University, MI.(1994-95). She is a Rehearsal Director and faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts Preparatory Dance Program where she continues, in her 17th year, teaching, staging and choreographing. Ms.Cohen-Hafford is a sought after coach and guest teacher.
During her 15-year performing career, Ms. Cohen-Hafford toured extensively nationally and internationally. She danced principal roles in multiple classical ballets as well as in works by some of the most eminent contemporary choreographers. These included Ashton, Balanchine, Butler, Cranko, Forsythe, and Tetley. She had the privilege of working personally with many of these choreographers as well as with distinguished ballet directors and teachers, Reid Anderson, Patricia Neary, Vicki Simon and, Laura Alonso. She danced with Ballet British Columbia, Ballet Jorgen, Metropolitan Ballet Theater, and was a guest artist for numerous schools and companies including Pennsylvania Ballet. Ms. Cohen-Hafford was honored to be chosen for the lead role in the Canadian première of William Forsythe’s “In the middle, somewhat elevated.”
Ms.Cohen-Hafford’s choreography includes works for Ballet British Columbia’s Choreographic Workshop and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Choreoplan. Several works have been presented by RDA companies, including Gala Night performances in 1994 and1999, as well as by Cornish College Preparatory Dance Company amongst others. In 1996 she was awarded an RDA Craft of Choreography Award. Ms. Cohen-Hafford has choreographed for and coached finalists for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix including several New York award winners.
Ms. Cohen-Hafford earned a diploma in Dance Training from George Brown College, Canada. She was awarded an Advanced Diploma in Spanish Dance by the South African Spanish Dance Society.
Ms. Cohen-Hafford participated in Regional Dance America festivals over the years as a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, teacher, associate member, and in 2020 as an adjudicator as well.