“Collaboration is a core aspect of my creative practice as an artist; building community is critical to my work.”

Leah Roman is a recipient of a 2015 Artist Research & Development Grant.

Artist Research and Development Grants are designed to support the advancement of artistic research, aid in the development of artistic work and recognize the contributions individual artists make to Arizona’s communities. For more information about the Artist Research & Development Grant, click here.

Acoustic_FreestyleALeah Roman is undertaking a year-long research and development project to strengthen her pedagogy and expand her ability to facilitate collaboration between dancers of varied movement approaches, particularly those in the urban dance choreography and freestyling communities. She asks, if given a platform where choreographers can freestyle and freestylers can present choreography, will this bridge the gap between the scenes? What are the possibilities for facilitating freestylers and choreographers engaging in each other’s practices? What doors might be opened for choreographers and freestylers through a collaborative platform?

Collective_ChoreographyAWorking with her Chopped Liver street dance duo partner RaeRae LaFemme, Roman will be interviewing and observing local representatives of each dance scene to build upon her duo’s experience and expertise as dancers, educators, and facilitators in order to create a space of intersection and develop a model for bridging those dance communities, the public, musicians, and young people. Additionally, they will be partnering with the Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education (CITME) to aid the rigor of the research and to potentially scale the findings and development beyond the local arts community. This project is designed to develop Roman and LaFemme’s own artistry and the AZ urban dance scene simultaneously through a focus on collaboration and building bridges.

Leah_Roman_headshotALeah Roman is an artist, dancer and teacher from Gilbert, AZ. She is currently the Co-Director and Founder of The Jukebox Dance Studio, a Gilbert dance studio specializing in Street Styles. Roman has been teaching dance for 11 years and freestyle battling for 3 years. She teaches Hip Hop, Waacking and Locking, while continuously training in other styles such as Popping, House, Bboying, and Ballroom. Through the years, Roman has taught workshops in studios around the valley including Dance Element, Precision Dance and CanDance Studios. She is a member of ChopLiver (dance duo), 5’FootaThrillaz, and Collective (choreography and freestyle crew).

She began her professional dance career with FP Dance Crew in 2004. In 2007, along with RaeRae LaFemme and Rose Reyes, she co-founded Female Prophecy, an all-female dance team specializing in Hip Hop choreography. Soon after, Roman co-founded another crew, Broken Toyz, with dancers Jojo Diggs and Alfred Oyog. She has also had the opportunity to travel around the world to teach, compete, and battle. These places include University of Central Oklahoma, The Greathouse of Dance in Sacramento, World of Dance San Diego, Juste Debout USA Qualifier in New York, 2vs2 All Styles in New Mexico, Hip Hop International in Las Vegas, Full Throttle in London, and an assistant to artist, Jojo Diggs in Tokyo, Japan. Her personal goal is to explore and discover the possibilities of dance, while always sharing all she learns along her journey with her students and fellow dancers.