Leah Zeiger, Founder/Artistic Director
Dancer, activist, and survivor, Leah Zeiger founded The Sunflower Project in the beginning of 2016, during her second year of college. In hopes of using her art to express her own abusive relationship, Leah has choreographed numerous pieces revolving around varying aspects of life as a survivor. Her dance pieces have won awards and been performed at venues ranging from Domestic Violence Summits, professional stages, art galleries, and more. Leah has spoken at events at the University of Southern California, the House of Blues in Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago's Dance Center, Leah is trained in various styles of dance ranging from modern and ballet to West African and hip hop, and has been able to explore her choreographic process and movement repertoire extensively.
Leah has worked with and for non-profit organizations, has volunteered to teach dance at domestic violence shelters, has taught in a Juvenile Detention Center facility, and has worked in the medical field. Her background is rich with diversity, and that is what drives her to constantly expand The Sunflower Project and its potential. Currently in the works is a study on how dance might affect survivors of abuse, through an occupational therapy lens, for which she will team with occupational therapist Camille Haas and a local university.
Currently, Leah is a Resident Artist at Volta Performing Arts in Chicago. With her team of movers and artists, Leah will be exploring the question "How do survivors move?" through this residency. Her choreographic research will culminate in an evening length work, finishing in June of 2019. Leah and her team will be hosting monthly community classes at both Volta and the Awakenings Foundation, where she will invite survivors of all kinds (it is important to note that whether or not one is a trained dancer is irrelevant) to explore authentic movement with her as she cultivates a space for embodied exploration, curiosity, and acceptance.
Leah is also a writer, and is currently working on a memoir about growing up and growing through the abuse she endured as a high school girl, as well as how she has learned to face the world as a public survivor, how she has navigated a new love life, and how she sees her work unfolding in the future. Leah was born in Atlanta, but grew up in Los Angeles and is the LA Dodgers' #1 fan. Leah loves traveling and backpacking, listening to NPR, reading new books, lying in the sun, and taking her beagle-basset dog named Bagel on adventures.
Please feel free to contact Leah through the Contact Us form on this site, or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.