Artist bio

Leah Glenn received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Choreographic Theory and Production from Southern Methodist University as well as her Teacher's Certification in Labanotation from Ohio State University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and Management from Goucher College. Ms. Glenn has also received extensive training from Jacob's Pillow, the Chautauqua Institute and has worked with the Philadelphia Dance Company where she trained with Milton Meyers and Denise Jefferson. Prior to teaching at William and Mary Ms. Glenn was Assistant Professor and Head of Dance at Hampton University for two years. While at Hampton, she directed the Terpsichorean Dance Company and established the first African American chapter of the National Dance Association's Nu Delta Alpha Honor Society. Her choreography has been presented by William & Mary, Hampton University, the Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance and Colonial Williamsburg. Her reconstructions of Pearl Primus’ Bushasche Etude, the Parsons Etude, the Limon Etude, Anna Sokolow's Rooms Etude and Donald McKayle's Rainbow Etude have been presented by William and Mary. She has also reconstructed the Rainbow Etude at Southern Methodist University, Old Dominion University and Hampton University. Her most recent collaboration was a reconstruction with Paul Taylor Dance Company member, Parisa Khobdeh on Taylor’s work entitled, The Word. In addition to her original work and historical reconstructions, Glenn also co-choreographed Journey of Destiny, the retelling of the settlement of Jamestown, which was part of the Jamestown 400th Anniversary Celebration. Several of her most recent works have been presented at the annual International Association for Blacks in Dance Conferences. Her company, Leah Glenn Dance Theatre, has presented concerts at the Katzen Museum, Dance Place and on the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. LGDT’s most recent performance was the closing event for the ASWAD (Association for the Study of Worldwide African Diaspora) Conference at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on November 9, 2019. In addition to her role as Founder and Artistic Director of Leah Glenn Dance Theatre (LGDT), Glenn was recently promoted to Full Professor of Dance at William & Mary. Leah Glenn Dance Theatre is dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the world in which we live through thought-provoking works of art that entertain, inspire and challenge its audiences. Glenn’s choreography consists of a range of both abstract and narrative dances. They are physical manifestations of the emotional terrain that lies beneath a variety of social and political themes and inspired by historical figures as well as the beauty and simplicity of the everyday. She strives to provide quality dance experiences that encourage the exploration and discussion of who we are individually and collectively. The company is currently made up of twelve members, some of whom have performed with the company since its inaugural performance in 2013.




Dance - Modern

Artist Statement


It is the sound of a vacuum cleaner or motorcycle passing, florescent instead of natural light, a new scent, a specific tone of voice or unexpected stop on the way to a favorite restaurant. These are all transitions that can in a split second turn a blissfully uneventful day into complete, utter disarray. A short list of many known and unknown antecedents that have the potential to lead to a debilitating meltdown for someone with autism. Sensory issues to sights, sounds, smells and physical experiences that most of us integrate with ease and take for granted.
It is the inability to articulate oneself verbally or process enough verbal and social cues to carry on a thirty second conversation. It is possessing all of the vocabulary needed to communicate physical or emotional pain but lacking the necessary tools to actually vocalize one’s needs.
It is watching your child ride out a tantrum with no way to redirect their focus. The best you can do is hold and protect them from injuring themselves while feeling helpless because your efforts are not enough.
It is the frustration of looking for the appropriate assistance and having to differentiate between those who truly understand and those who claim to but do not...and take your money anyway.
It is hitting what feels like your lowest point and in an instant feeling wholly restored by direct eye contact and the utterance of a complete sentence.
...It is finding respite in the extraordinary actions of ordinary people who, bit by bit, elevate your child’s quality of life.

Hush is an effort to raise awareness by taking the mystery out of what is unknown to many and making it more accessible through dance. It is a demonstration of how movement, our first means of communication, may be used to transcend verbal expression. Hush is my approach to providing a voice for those living with autism.

How it fits into contest

When my son was diagnosed with Autism I received a great deal of solicited and unsolicited advice as to how I should care for him and plan for his future. I was confronted with naysayers who doubted his potential and chose to focus on all of the challenges that were ahead of him. Some encouraged me to place him in environments that would not allow him to reach his full potential and made assumptions about what I would be able to provide him as a single parent. Daily my faith encourages me to ignore those voices and push forward. The armor of God has, and continues to, protect us as we navigate this journey together.


Choreographer: Leah Glenn

Dancers: Hailey Arindeng, Tracy Brinkerhoff, Lauren Coble, Alexa Henrichs, Kayla Moore and Sophia Perrotti

Music: Sweet Honey in the Rock

Poetry: Anonymous

Videography: David Willard

How to Purchase this Artwork

Please visit for more information about "Hush" and other choreography by Leah Glenn.

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

Please visit and for information regarding direct commissions, workshops and live performances.

Transcript / Lyrics

Hush (opening poem)
Choreography: Leah Glenn

Please, Mom
Hear what I’m doing
See what I’m saying
The world is a crazy, confusing, scary place for me
I can’t do things other kids do
My body doesn’t work right
But inside, I’m just like other kids
I need to be loved and appreciated
I need to belong, to fit in
I need to contribute, to be useful
I need to be heard and understood
I desperately want you to be proud of me

I want to tell you my needs, my feelings, my thoughts
But they get trapped inside me because I can’t get my mouth to say the words
There gets so much piled up inside me that sometimes it just blows up everywhere
And I know you’re disappointed in me
And you get angry at me
And somehow, it’s all my fault

My actions speak so loudly, you can’t see what I’m saying
Yet, my actions are my saying
My body says what my mouth can’t
I act out my feelings, but often the acting out is such a problem that my feelings go unnoticed
But I have no other way of telling you my feelings

I want to cooperate
To succeed
To contribute
To feel good about myself

But to do that I must be heard

Please, Mom
Hear what I’m doing
See what I’m saying

- Anonymous

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