Ruth Leney-Midkiff

Ms. Leney-Midkiff moved to North Carolina 15 years ago from Michigan. She trained at Point Park College, the training school for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet School and North Carolina School of the Arts. At 16, she became a soloist with American Dance Ensemble. Ruth later danced with the Pittsburgh International Folk Theatre, The Physical Theatre Project and The Pittsburgh Opera. She received her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Michigan where she became an Adjunct Professor. While in Michigan, Ruth worked and studied with Peter Sparling and Bill DeYoung, teaching and choreographing for schools in the area including the Flint School of Performing Arts, Flint Youth Ballet, and the Dance Gallery. Upon moving to North Carolina, she started working at Destiny Dance Institute where she built the Pre-Professional ballet Program and created the Destiny Dance Institute Ballet Company which became the Wake Forest Civic Ballet. 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.

Ruth has been a dancer, teacher, and choreographer for 35 years, dedicating her professional life to sharing her passion for high quality dance with young dancers. Her own studies began at Point Park College, then, the training school for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.  Additional training includes the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and North Carolina School of the Arts. As a soloist with the American Dance Ensemble, under the direction of Nicolas Petrov, Ruth performed leading roles in both classical and original repertory.  Additionally, she performed as a free-lance artist with the Pittsburgh Opera, the Physical Theatre Project, and the Pittsburgh International Folk Theatre.

Ruth holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh as wells as an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Michigan.  In Michigan, she served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and the Flint School of Performing Arts.  She also established and directed a youth program at the Dance Gallery Studio/ Peter Sparling Dance Company where her students participated in a monthly exchange with the National Ballet of Canada. 

The last fifteen years of her career have been devoted to the education of young ballet dancers in North Carolina where she founded and Directed the Wake Forest Civic Ballet.  Ruth 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.  She has been awarded grants from the University of Michigan’s professional development fund and the Pittsburgh Dance Council and her ballets have been selected for performance in the Wake Forest Dance Festival 2017 and 2018.

Ruth’s work was also frequently performed in Regional Dance Festivals where she repeatedly received “gala” recognition.  She is proud to have her students dancing in companies, as well as teaching in schools and universities throughout the US.

We are pleased to welcome Ms. Leney-Midkiff to the RSB faculty.