About Me

I have lived most of my life as a dancer, but I have also been child, sister, lover, wife, mother, and more recently, grandmother, writer, sculptor, musician and visual artist. My attempts to balance all the aspects of my life have been a challenge. Therefore I have chosen to use this blog to explore and share my particular dance of balance. At the age of sixty-five, one is tempted to settle into complacency, to say I have done the best I can; so be it. I would rather die.

I was born on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, but have also lived in New Orleans, Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York City. My father was the artist and naturalist, Walter Inglis Anderson and my mother was Agnes Grinstead Anderson, an elementary school teacher and a writer. I grew up among people for whom art and pottery making was a way of life, so my passion for dance was acceptable and encouraged, especially by my mother. During my junior and senior years of highschool I commuted on weekends to New Orleans to study ballet with Lelia Haller, a remarkably “old school” sort of teacher who had been a ballerina with the Paris Opera as a young woman. After highschool I moved to New Orleans to continue my ballet studies more intensely, working part time at the Newcomb Art School as an artist’s model.

At this time my need for balance began to assert itself. The preponderance of ballet deprived me of healthy social interraction and relaxation. The aura of competition in classes and for solo roles in performance made for much stress. One felt one could never be good enough. This left me lonely and vulnerable, and led to some poor choices.  In 1965, three things happened to free me from the tyrannical world of ballet, and move me further toward the balance my soul craved. I discovered Isadora Duncan, the great revolutionist of modern dance; I gave birth to my daughter, Moira; my artist father died, leaving behind an accessible artistic legacy. From here on, I would claim the freedom to explore and express the whole of my life through dancing. I would be free to become the many-faceted star I was born to be.

Since then I have danced, raised two children, and taught the dance technique I called Airth. I have written poetry, memoirs, children’s books and one novel. Two books have been published: DANCING THROUGH AIRTH and DANCING WITH MY FATHER. My sculptures, drawings, and paintings dance through the houses of friends and strangers.  I am a grandmother to four and  share my life with two dogs and a cat. I am still dancing, and still discovering facets to the star.

Related: walter inglis anderson, self fulfillment, lelia haller, leif anderson, isadora duncan, dance, balancing art  and family life.


9 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Brian Simonetti Says:

    I know I will be looking forward to your entries. Hope you are doing well. Let’s keep in touch.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Brian, It is good to find you here. Sorry to be so long in responding, My computer has been in the shop getting thoroughly cleaned. Hopefully, my blog will resume soon.

  3. David Dickinson Says:

    Recently visited the museum in Ocean Springs. Enjoyed it immensely. There was an art show before the festival where I found your brush drawing of an angel. I was very interested in purchasing the drawing. unfortunately I was too late. :(. I was wondering if you have in any more angels that I may purchase and where may I purchase more of your artwork, other than the museum. I enjoy all of your paintings.

  4. Gel Says:

    I am enchanted by your blog, your art and your love of dance. I share a love of Isadora Duncan and she influenced my path with dance deeply.
    I think I will enjoy exploring your blog. It feels like food for my soul. Thank you!

    • leiflife Says:

      Gel… I was delighted to receive your comments and to know that you have been deeply touched by my posts. Food for the soul is a most essential nourishment. Thank you for letting me know that as I nourish my own soul, I send out nourishment to others who are like-minded and whose hearts are open.

  5. Playamart - Zeebra Designs Says:

    every so often life gives us little gifts, and a round-about-search for a photo of your father’s work brought me to this site. how i loved reading backwards, from the most recent backwards in time! what a sweet gift of oranges, and what a sweet way to acknowledge them!

    i hope that your wounded wing will recover rapidly, and you’re soon soaring forward, better than before!

    ahem, now for the reason for my search; in a post about the joy of birds, i thought of no other person/artist who gleans/gleaned as much joy from the birds as did walter anderson… most of my readers have never heard of him (gasp!) and i was looking for an image of one of his pelican paintings/designs. i am very sensitive about copyright issues and am not one to right-click-borrow!

    thanks if you can help connect me with permission to use an image, and i am so pleased to have found your blog!



  6. allentimphotos2 Says:

    Go for it. Wonder to read of your directions and focuses.

  7. leiflife Says:

    I guess I can’t help going for it…in one medium or another. The dance continues. Thanks for your affirmation.

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