LEIGHANN KOWALSKY - Executive DirectoR
Leighann Kowalsky is an artist and a producer. She is a graduate of Marist College and has spent nearly a decade producing large scale live events with Firehouse Productions. (Credits include The Tony Awards, NBA All Star Game, Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, The Wiz Live!, iHeartRadio Music Festival, MTV Video Music Awards, 121212 Concert, and numerous big name touring acts such as David Gray, Coldplay, Florence & The Machine, Radiohead and Mumford & Sons.) Collaborative in nature, Kowalsky teams up with dancer and artist Rowan Willigan to host a haven for artists of all genres traditions to create new and exciting interdisciplinary work.
Leighann Kowalsky began her dance training in ballet with Amy Desmond in 1993. She began studying Irish Dance with Deirdre Lowry in 1998, and was fortunate to workshop frequently with Donny Golden, Joel Hanna and Jean Butler. In 2006, Kowalsky began extending her dance education to Erick Hawkins, Limon and Cunningham style Modern Dance, and Contemporary Dance and Classic Jazz with Elaine Colandrea, Katherine Duke, Abby Saxon, Alex Bloomstein, and Kathy McDonald.
Leighann is the Founding Director of the D’amby Project. Leighann’s blend of talents offers D’amby students an education that goes well beyond dance to include experience in the overall production of a show. Leighann has taught at the D’amby Project since day one while also dancing with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and pursuing a master's degree in communications.
ROWAN WILLIGAN - Artistic Director
Rowan Willigan breathes all things movement and art. A graduate of Bard College, Rowan maintains a strong studio art practice alongside her passion for dance and movement. At the D’amby Project, Rowan and Leighann created a structure that focuses on the beauty of collaboration in all the arts—not just dance—and celebrates many outlets of artistic expression.
Rowan started dancing at the age of 5 by diving into the world of traditional Irish dance at Solas an Lae (SAL) Irish Dance School in Red Hook, NY. She trained there for thirteen years, four of which were spent as member of SAL’s performance company. With SAL, she performed at many venues: Fisher Center for Performing Arts (Bard College), Jacob’s Pillow (Massachusetts), Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center (New York), 92 Street Y (NYC) to name a few. Rowan left SAL in 2011 to attend Bard College, where she majored in Studio Art. In 2012 Rowan and Leighann Kowalsky, a fellow former SAL company member, started their own school and company for dance and artists at large.
Rowan has choreographed for the D’amby Project since day one, blending her background in Irish Dance training with the more contemporary, free-flowing movement that lends itself best to the kind of musicality in her movement. To date she has choreographed over 40 pieces performed by the company, and works with advanced students on choreography of their own. Since the D’amby Project was born in 2012 Rowan has traveled throughout the United States and internationally with the company.