SDW is a proud supporter of Live Globally!

ShaLeigh Dance Works is proud to be supporters of  Live Globally! We were honored to perform our movement installation entitled Invocations originally commissioned by North Carolina Museum of Art as well as our very first sneak peek of from our upcoming world premiere Bamboo Wind on behalf of their Winter Water Gala!


Live Globally works to improve the health and well-being of the children. The communities they engage are chosen with intentionality and care—ensuring they can successfully sustain the project’s effectiveness long after we are gone.

The Gala was held at The Durham Fruit and supported the children of Durham, the Ingrid School in Nairobi and Costa Rica with clean water projects!


Live Globally seeks out under resourced communities with minimal infrastructure for the health and well being of the children within the community. This happens, unfortunately, all over the world. When we choose communities to work with, we do so intentionally with the knowledge that the community will successfully sustain the project long after we are gone. By supporting liveglobally programs you are supporting unforgettable opportunities for meaningful sustainable impact!

To donate or learn more about this fabulous organization and how you can get involved, visit –>

NCDF Greensboro Tour

NCDF presents ShaLeigh Dance Works’ Dead Mans Walk, the company’s touring excerpt from I Promise at Greensboro Project Space Gallery.

Tonight we performed Dead Man’s Walk as a part of NCDF at Greensboro Project Space Gallery. The performance also featured The Bipeds and Megan Mazarick. In this intimate performance space, The Bipeds’ presented their duet for banjo and movement hybrid of dance and song. Megan Mazarick’s  solo dance story “monster,” unpacked female identity in new ways, remixing the metaphor of “hero vs. villain” to showcase the body in transformation. A short audience/artist conversation followed with an eager audience and great questions. We were excited to have such an engaged audience with so much curiosity and inquisitiveness about our work!

We left feeling so appreciative of our well received performance and I was elated to see my former mentor Christopher Morgan  in the audience! I was paired with Christopher as my mentor in 2009 as resident artist with Dance Theatre Workshop. Only while writing this am I learning that they closed their doors in 2011, one year after I left NYC. DTW was a prominent performance space and service organization for dance companies in NYC. It was founded in 1965 by Jeff Duncan, Art Bauman and Jack Moore as a choreographers’ collective. In 2002 DTW opened the Doris Duke Performance Center, which contained the 192-seat Bessie Schönberg Theatre.  It was incredible to chat about this work with Christopher after he witnessed my very beginnings in NYC in 2008. To sum up his words, he simply said, “It was beautiful. Keep going.” And like an early 20 something all over again, I was ecstatic. Leading a company is not an easy journey though I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But in that moment I was filled with utter hope and confidence. Keep going.


Artist Soapbox features Artistic Director ShaLeigh Comerford

Artist Soapbox Presents

Artistic Director ShaLeigh Comerford

How do we do the impossible? Choreographer ShaLeigh Comerford explores collaboration and sustainability with host Tamara Kissane.

Creating a sustainable revenue stream for artists often seems impossible – how do we do the impossible? ShaLeigh Comerford, dancer, choreographer, and the Artistic Director of ShaLeigh Dance Works discusses how she and her dancers create original work through collaborative questioning, her quest to attain financial sustainability, and arts activism. We also learn about two movement languages – Gaga, and ShaLeigh’s own Shaga.

Artist Soapbox is a podcast featuring artists in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Durham-based theatre-maker, Tamara Kissane, chats with artists about their work, their plans, and their manifestos*. This podcast is minimally edited and designed to give listeners a sense of the artist’s voice. Podcasts episodes are released on Mondays. The final Thursday of each month is reserved for a blog post.

Listen HERE.



NCDF Asheville Tour

North Carolina Dance Festival Presents


We were honored to presented by the North Carolina Dance Festival in Asheville, NC this past weekend! We performed at the charming Be Be Theatre which keenly reminded us of some of our favorite theatres in NYC!The BeBe Theater is a cozy and intimate black-box theater along a back street in downtown Asheville. The theatre is run by two local creatives: Susan and Giles Collard. We were warmly welcomed, celebrated and were honored to sell out our last show. The shared evening also featured Megan Mazarick, Ashley McCullough, Kristen Taylor Duncan and local group Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre. We were excited to present “Dead Man’s Walk,” the touring version of our recent evening-length “I Promise,” and a response to MLK Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. It may have been our strongest performance yet.

During the artist Q & A following the performance, we received numerous heartfelt responses to our work. Our work was met with more “thank you’s” than questions, more observations and responses than inquires. It was a beautiful sentiment to knowing that we reached our audience on this tour. We sure hope to be back again soon and left feeling humbled and grateful for the opportunity!

Huge thanks to Anne Morris at NC Dance Project for her passion to cultivate our NC Dance community and all of the opportunities it provides for us as artists! As well as thanks to Susan and Giles Collard for being incredible hosts for our work!

Here is Anne in early morning action on our behalf! For sure the culprit to selling out our last show!


I was honored to be invited to offer a free community master class on Saturday morning at the BeBe Theater. I was excited to share Shaga, the company’s movement language and how we used it to create the opening sequence of “Dead Man’s Walk.” We were met with such an enthusiastic response, I believe several of the students will soon be heading to Durham to join one of our upcoming community classes! Huge thanks to this willing and eager group of movers! We had a wonderful time sharing and moving with all of you!

Follow the festival here.



SHAGA at Global Breath Studio

Artistic Director ShaLeigh Comerford offers SHAGA at

Global Breath Studio


Fridays: September 7th, October 26th, November 30th from 6-8pm


119 W Main Street, Suite 300 (3rd Floor), Durham NC 27701

Shaga is inspired by the movement language of Gaga, developed by Ohad Naharin. Durham-based Shaleigh Comerford, who trained with Ohad, has created an accessible, empowering and fun practice for anyone interested in liberating their body & their mind.

In this 2 hour workshop we begin with an hour Shaga class, as we learn to approach movement as a dynamic, healing, and ever-changing power, using evocative ideas and imagery in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Class begins slowly and builds in intensity to continuous motion, providing enjoyable exercise for both body and soul. The second half of the class offers a deep exploration of the movement language with sequences that allow us to actively explore our habits, expand our range and discover the endless possibilities of healing ways of moving in a welcoming, accepting atmosphere.

This workshop is for individuals who wish to open themselves to movement in new ways. Dancers, yogis, and movers of all kinds and abilities are invited to participate. No prior experience necessary.

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and to move barefoot or in socks.


Global Breath Studio is located in downtown Durham and was built to embody the understanding that we are all part of the same global family, where we share our resources, and our compassion for all beings. Every practice at Global Breath supports LiveGlobally, a Durham-based 501c3 non-profit, committed to creating and supporting sustainable programs for the wellbeing of individuals and communities, locally and globally.


Drop in: $15

SDW scouted for RAW: natural born artists

ShaLeigh Dance Works was honored to have been scouted for RAW: natural born artists. The one night event featured 50+ hand-selected emerging artists across fashion, music, visual art, photography, performing art, hair, makeup and accessory design, for a one night creative explosion! Guests wandered through pop-up interactive art galleries and experienced  incredible live performances and runway shows.

We had loads of fun creating a new adaptation of E Pluribus Unum II with a Downton Abbey twist and runway show both inspired by our last company photo shoot with Robin Gallant. We are eager to share this version again and expect a new project brewing on the horizon with Durham’s own DJ Playplay.

RAW believes that we are stronger together than we are apart. By joining together we can do more to share the creative culture of our generation. RAW thinks that every independent artist deserves the right to be seen, heard and loved.

Head to to see the full lineup of the incredible local artists we joined!

Our 2017-18 Season Finale: E Pluribus Unum II

ShaLeigh Dance Works’ E Pluribus Unum II
Our World Premiere collaboration with Elizabeth Corbett & Alejandro Santoyo

We closed our 3rd season in NC this past weekend with a World Premiere at the Durham Arts Council’s PSI Theatre!  We were absolutely honored to receive a standing ovation and a sold out show!

This work was inspired by collaboration and interpretation of the emotive architecture rooted in William Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies and was our first collaborative project with acclaimed soloist, international guest artist and former Forsythe dancer Elizabeth Corbett.  The work also built from my nine year relationship with Elizabeth as my teacher, choreographer and mentor. Our work throughout the years has ultimately taken the form of collaboration by utilizing the nine point system developed by William Forsythe as a way of engendering movement through a specific set of directional tasks.

Over loads of dinners and coffee conversations last summer, we acknowledged how much we have learned from each other and after years of studying and performing under her, we have grown into a rich friendship with a keen interest in each others creative process. Ultimately we decided to create our own separate works in different locations from a singular script that Elizabeth would develop based on the Laban cube. I was excited by the challenge of working in this new way with my dancers and by honing in on the emotive potential of architectural thinking. I’m certain that this is just the beginning of many more collaborative projects we will do together. The title of the work implies the oneness out of many as a response to both the polarization we have felt as a nation as well as how the courageous process of creation unites us.

We were also joined by international composer and pianist Alejandro Santoyo who performed an original score for the work. Alejandro performed live while utilizing the composition developed from the movement’s organizational principles to allow for moments of improvisation. Working collaboratively, the three of us enjoyed challenging the traditional distinction between choreographer, composer and dancer, and using this methodology to question hierarchy, authorship and disciplinary boundaries.

We were also honored to be joined by Jessica Hulick of Moms Demand Action and Pastor Cornelius Battle of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church who gave a short appeal following the show to continue our efforts from Durham’s March for Our Lives and further the conversation on gun violence prevention.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Pham.  Interview courtesy of Argyle Rebel Films. This premiere was made possible in part by the generous support of the Durham Arts Council’s Facility Grant. For more information, please visit

Shaga at Moogfest2018!

Check out Company Member Hannah Marr rocking out at our Workshop! We love this shot taken by Stephanie Leathers.

We were absolutely honored to have been invited to offer Shaga at Moogfest 2018! Our SOLD OUT workshop took place Friday, May 18th, at 6pm at Global Breath. New and old participants alike agreed it was our best one yet! Several artists reached out to us post festival to let us know they were already planning to be back next year! We are already getting excited! The clock is ticking on their 2019 Super Early Bird price for 2018 attendees! You can get your tickets here: MoogFest2019

We offered two hours of guided movement and dance set to a unique soundtrack. It was incredible to share our movement language and playlist with other artists, futurists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and scientists! You can find our Moogfest listing here: Shaga at Moogfest 2018

Since 2004, Moogfest has been a forum for the exchange of ideas. By day, Moogfest is a platform for conversation and experimentation, attracting creative and tech enthusiasts for four days of participatory programming in Durham, North Carolina. By night, Moogfest presents cutting-edge performances by early pioneers in electronic music, contemporary pop innovators, and avant-garde experimentalists in venues throughout the city.

Moogfest is a tribute to analog synthesizer pioneer Dr. Robert Moog and the profound influence his inventions have had on how we hear the world over the last 60 years. The exchange between engineer and musician that he fostered is celebrated with a unique festival format where the creative process is understood as collaboration among many people, across time and space, in commerce and culture.

For more information about this incredible festival, please visit: