Dance Program Alumni Win 2022 McKnight Fellowship

University of Minnesota Theatre arts and Dance department alumni Leila Awadallah and Cheng Xiong, dance instructor named 2022 McKnight Dancer Fellows. Congratulations! We are #UMNProud!

The McKnight Fellowships for Choreography and Dance are designed to enrich and strengthen our community by acknowledging the accomplishments of individual choreographers and dancers and providing for their artistic growth. 

Photo by Zaynab Mourad
Leila Awadallah McKnight Fellow

2022 Dance Fellow

Leila Awadallah ليلى عوض الله (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker based in
Minneapolis and partly Beirut, Lebanon. Dancing with a body of Palestinian, Arab-American, Sicilian, and mixed Mediterranean ways and waves. Born on Dakota, Lakota land near the Thick Wooded River (Sioux Falls, SD) she moved to Minneapolis, Mni Sota (2012) to pursue a BFA in Dance at the University of Minnesota, and found home here. (photo by Zaynab Mourad)


Cheng Xiong
Cheng Xoing McKnight Fellow (Photo courtesy of the artist)

2022 Dance Fellow

Cheng Xiong grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and received his Bachelors of Art in Dance at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Though he began his journey as a street dancer, he currently collaborates with professional dance companies such as Black Label Movement, STRONGmovement and BRKFST Dance Company.




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