Community Arts Partner

Participant Details

Community Arts Partner Name
Leah Mann
Partner Type
Profile Photo
Individual Bio or
Organizational Statement
Leah’s work focuses on embodiment tools and somatic understanding for integrity and transformation.   As a former competitive gymnast and with her degree in Health, Physical Education and Dance, she has utilized her kinetic, tactile and spacial learning style to reintegrate whole body practices into all her art actions -  performing, teaching youth, facilitating social justice events, facilitating personal development workshops and producing events.   Her work focuses on the common denominators of the human experience, the formation of community and healthy ecosystems, micro and macro.    Leah is the Director Emeritus and Co-Founder of Moving in the Spirit - a dance, urban outreach , mentorship program in Atlanta and Co-founder of Lelavision - melding dance, sculpture and music.  Lelavision has toured stateside and abroad, working with cirques, international children's festivals and in school residencies (Guatemala, Cambodia, Singapore, Bankok). Lelavision is in a long term collaboration with Emory University and its Science and Ethics Program.  Leah is on the Harbor School Race Equity Committee, programs Friday Talks with a Race Equity lens for Vashon Middle Schoolers. She was co facilitator for Rise UP & Read a monthly, free, theme based book readings for Vashon k-5th graders featuring authors of color (2016-19) .

Contact Information

First Name
Last Name
22608 111th Ave SW
Address 2

Grade Levels Preferred

Grade Levels Preferred
K-2, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th

Artistic Disciplines

My primary art practices are modern dance, vocal and physical improvisation, and physical music (playing music while dancing and or animating an instrument).  I have practiced many physical forms of movement - gymnastics, ballet, tap, musical theater,  hip hop, African traditional, butoh (Japanese dance theater), kathak (classical Indian dance and music), circus arts, improvisation, Taketina (polyrhythms through stepping, clapping, singing), yoga and movement meditation. My teaching focuses on bringing embodiment and body wisdom, to the learning process.
Dance, Multidisciplinary


Previous School Partnerships
Harbor School Chautauqua Elementary School Little School Madison Middle School Lowell Elementary Gatewood Elementary  
Other Trainings or Certifications
InterPlay Life Practice and Leadership Trainings
Arts & Racial Equity Workshop through the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative.
Heartwork Collective Race Equity Training
Cultural Somatics Course by Resmaa Menakem (2020)
Social Emotional Learning Course (through Class Central) (2020)
Darkness to Light, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Course (2017)
Somatic Approaches to Healing Trauma Mini Course with JFK University Director of Somatic Psychology, Dr Albert Wong PhD (2020)
Sample Lesson Description: Student / Classroom Residencies

Olympics of the Mind, Artful Science Workshop

Olympics of the Mind is an embodied learning series about problem solving/solution making using the adage, “If invention is the mother of necessity, what would you make?” Students get an overview of simple machines, explore physical examples of energy sources, and learn about young inventors such as William Kamkwamba, Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López, and Param Jaggi. Students will select a problem, design inventions to solve the problem and build a model or create a group demonstration of the invention Materials & Space: Supplies: cardboard, hot glue, strapping tape, blue tape, scissors, exactos. Artist will bring recyclables, repurpose-able objects and found objects for model building Class room with desks moved to the sides or multi-use room with open floor space and work table possibilities Big Idea: Become a solution maker. Learn something from every experiment, flawed or successful. Never let the fear of failure stop you from trying.
Sample DAY 1:
  • ●  Opener “What’s The Problem?”
    • ○  Dialogue with youth about problems, large and small
    • ○  Facilitate students ice breaker complaint choir game
    • ○  Give overview of youth inventors / problem solvers
  • ●  Activity title and description _
    • ○  Brain body warm up using cross lateral brain exercises as well as energy and simple machine examples/imagery
    • ○  “If necessity is the mother of invention, what would you make?” assignment - writing, drawing, designing on the question
  • ●  Closer_“Can you show or tell me what you learned?”
○ students sharing about the session
Sample Workshop Description: Teacher Professional Development
Embodied Collaborative Learning Workshop
1. Arrival Aural and kinesthetic settling in prompts Cross lateral integration 2. Verbal Overview (Incorporating physical, rhythmic and collaborative integration tools) 3. Participatory lesson on particular theme OR Introduction, Practice & Application of Examples 4. Examples/Best Practices
*Physical Science games *Olympics of the Mind process
*Literacy in Motion process 5.  Chaos, Messiness & Emergent Outcomes 6.  Questions, Feedback & Resources
Additional Information: This format would best fit into a 3 to 4 hour time period with short break or longer break incorporated. More in-depth exploration of #4 could happen with additional sessions or extended timeframe.
Types of Activities
  • ▪  Attention getters/ self settling / (re)focusing tools
  • ▪  Kinesthetic integration ideas
  • ▪  Aural / rhythmic integration ideas
  • ▪  Collaborative, physical game ideas
  • ▪  Improvisational verbal forms for brainstorming and reporting
  • ▪  Feedback tools
Other components, such as mentoring and coaching activities
Within the workshop there will be group mentorship forms practiced - verbal and nonverbal feedback based in witnessing, reflecting and affirming that can be used with students. These are elements of evaluation/assessment I would be looking for in the midst of the inservice:
  • ▪  Laughter
  • ▪  Participation
  • ▪  Risk taking
  • ▪  Body liberation
  • ▪ Camaraderie and Collaborative Behavior

Areas of Experience and Expertise

Approved Professional Development Provider
Approved Classroom Residency Provider
Experience with English Language Learners
Experience with Students in Special Education

Lesson Plan

Integrated Art
Cultural Art

Teaching Approach

Teaching Philosophy + Approach
My general teaching philosophy is to incorporate playfulness and a sense of keeping things in play.  My style of facilitating is responsive and in that manner content is steered by the participants. In working with teachers, collaboration is my preference - exchanging ideas, insights, and creating solutions together throughout the workshop or residency process.
Curriculum Integration Possibilities
Science Physical Education Literature  
Special Skills and Areas of Expertise
Theme Integration Props - making and incorporating  
Testimonials from Schools
"Leah masterfully weaves together the disciplines of kinetic learning styles, cross-lateral games, science, philosophy, InterPlay and Taketina.  Her enthusiasm and sense of humor are infectious.  She makes the process of learning challenging concepts very engaging, experiential, playful, and fun!" Share Bowman MA, LMHC, Former High School Mathematics Teacher , InterPlay Seattle Director  


Teacher In Service Sessions $75/hr including planning. Student Workshops or School Residency $45/hr including planning.


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Improvisation, leadership, "Courageously Taking Up Space" - Art & Social Change InterPlay Intensive facilitator, Oakland
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Moving in the Spirit Teacher In-Service, improvisation for personal development and collaborative learning, Atlanta.
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Environmental Art Residency, Phnom Penh
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Murmuration Camp facilitator/Vashon Strawberry Festival


Video Description
"Getting To Zero", 6 month residency for the creation of youth-led HIV prevention tour focusing on 13-24yr olds in SE.
Video Description
Cross lateral movement engagement video for homebound youth during quarantines
Video Description