MFA in Modern Dance
Ruth Leney-Midkiff has been a master teacher, choreographer, and coach for over 25 years. She received her early training at the Point Park College Conservatory for Dance, under the tutelage of Edward Caton, Mansur Kamaletdinov, Kenneth Johnson, Robert Munoz, and Nicolas Petrov. At age sixteen she became a soloist with the American Dance Ensemble, where she performed lead roles in ballets such as Les Slyphides, Romeo and Juliet, Rite of Spring, Graduation Ball, and Balanchine’s Pas de dix.
Subsequently in ten years as a free-lance artist, Ruth danced with such groups as the Pittsburgh Opera, the Pittsburgh International Folk Theater and the Ann Arbor Dance Works; performing countless traditional, contemporary and original works. Ruth began her teaching career at the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet under the guidance of nationally recognized teacher and Director, Jean Gedeon. Later, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she served on the ballet faculties of the University of Michigan and the Flint School of Performing Arts, frequently teaching Master classes in schools and universities throughout the state. Additionally, she established a youth program and later became school director for the Dance Gallery Studio/ Peter Sparling Dance Company.
She has taught master classes throughout the United States and abroad in ballet, modern and her own contemporary ballet technique, and has created over 70 original pieces of choreography, ranging in style from full-length classics to modern dance works. Her ballets have been honored in Regional Dance, where they repeatedly received “gala” recognition and in reviewing her ballet, Tributaries, the Michigan Daily wrote, “The only way to describe this work was magnificent.”
In 1995, Ruth was honored in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s top 10 list in Dance for her work with Pittsburgh Youth Ballet.
“Steve Sucato at the Pittsburgh City Paper (2008) described her Euphoric Dances saying, “Leney-Midkiff’s elegant choreography skipped, hopped, and unfolded with delightful unpredictability … giving one of the most solid performances of a ballet work I have seen in recent years.”
Her students have been awarded scholarships to some of the world’s most prestigious dance conservatories and she is proud to see them now dancing in some of our countries foremost dance companies. Ruth holds an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Michigan as well as two BA’s from the University of Pittsburgh. She is happily working in NC, where she resides with her husband, Andrew and son, Nate.