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"The truest expression of a people is in its dance and its music. Bodies never lie"

 —Agnes de Mille

Leigha T. Porter

A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Leigha Porter M.Ed is the founder and artistic director of F.I.R.E. Expressions Performing Arts Conservatory, Co-Creator of The Creole Nutcracker ,a southern reimagining of the classic Christmas tale and theater production, incubator and owner of  PARC Village, a Community Art Center and collective space that supplies resources for empowering creatives of color. For the past 8 years, Ms. Porter has served as an arts advocate, arts administrator, and movement artist and continues to serve the North side of Lafayette, a historically black and economically and culturally under-served community. Leigha was awarded a bachelor degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010, followed by a Masters of Education from Grand Canyon University in 2016. She has studied Theater Arts at Dillard University in New Orleans, trained in ballet, modern and jazz techniques with world renowned choreographers such as Debbie Allen, Lula Washington, and Walter Hull and has traveled the country teaching dance workshops and masterclasses. In 2015, Leigha attended the Horton Pedagogy Teacher Workshop at The Ailey School in New York City to study the Horton Technique and is a candidate with the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification, to allow her to teach this technique in her community and globally. Leigha provides community service as an adjudicator for the NAACP National Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics and has been the recipient of a number of awards, including 705 Top 20 under 40 (2022), the Delta Women in Business Award (2019), Spoken Red Enterprise Small Business Award (2019), and Grand Canyon University Success Spotlight (2019). In 2022 Ms. Porter was 1 of 18 selected for the South Arts Emerging Leaders of Color Cohort, a program representing the next generation of cultural workers and art administrators from across the country. Leigha has a reputation among her peers and colleagues as someone who is challenging perceptions about how to successfully engage and educate the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs of color. Leigha feels a sense of accomplishment when she is able to help the community expand their minds and capabilities through the use of artistic discipline and is consistently advocating for the arts to ensure kids and adults are exposed and inspired to the many forms art can take.

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