Run For Your Life ! . . .

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[Photo of Rose Gray]Co-Founder
Rose Gray

With great sadness we announce the passing of Run For Your Life!’s co-founder Rose Gray (Cynthia Leker) on September 25, 2004, in Mesa, Arizona.

Rose’s devoted friendship, her energy, her high spirits, and her choreographic and comedic talent will be profoundly missed.

In addition to some of the dances listed on the Repertoire page, the other dances which Rose choreographed while co-directing RFYL! were Jungle Shoes, Twilight, Lonesome Gal, and You’re My Thrill.  In 1998 she produced the full-length show Ka-BOING!

In 1998, Rose, Larry Leker, and Slater Penney were nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee’s prize for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design for their work in Ka-BOING!

Rose Gray was Founder and Executive Director of Rose Gray Productions from 1998 until her death in 2004.  She co-founded and was Co-Director of Run For Your Life!'s a dance company! from 1990 to 1998.  She began choreographing at the age of 14 and performed her material in Phoenix, Tucson, Seattle, San Francisco, and Europe.  In 1992 Rose choreographed a presentation for Goldwyn Productions which was performed in a variety of California venues, including the De Young Museum in San Francisco. She taught Modern Dance, Comedy, and Creative Movement to all ages.  As a specialist, she taught Creative Movement and Motor Skills Development at Parker Street Preschool in San Francisco for six years.

[Photo of Rose Gray as a baby]Born in New York and raised in Arizona, Ms. Gray began dancing at the tender age of three years.  At the age of 10 years, she enrolled at the Phoenix Academy of Ballet and studied jazz and ballet under the tutelage of Kelly Brown, renowned for his work in film and on Broadway.  His two daughters, Leslie (ABT soloist) and Elizabeth, were her classmates at the Academy, and under Mr. Brown's direction they performed in a variety of locations around Phoenix. [Photo of Rose Gray in 'Twilight']

While in High School, Ms. Gray was introduced to Modern Dance. She immediately fell in love with this form and pursued it avidly throughout college and into her professional dance career.  She studied in Salt Lake City with the Utah Repertory Dance Theater, and with the Bill Evans Dance Company in Salt Lake City and Seattle.

[Photo of Rose Gray in 'Les Sillyphides'] Ms. Gray pursued her professional Modern Dance career predominantly in Seattle and performed for many independent choreographers. She joined forces with Yuki Nishinaka (dance partner, mentor, and friend) and, among other things, performed a solo comedy piece at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, which Ms. Nishinaka choreographed.  The al fresco presentations were enthusiastically received.  While in Seattle, she and six other dancers co-founded Co-Motion Dance Company, which continues to perform and teach in the Seattle School System. She also co-produced Choreography, Etc (now called Twelve Minutes Max). [Photo of the 'Taiyo']

After three years in Seattle, Ms.  Gray departed via sailboat, and after sailing out the Strait of Juan de Fuca she ventured Southward along the west coast of North America and eventually thru numerous islands in the South Pacific to New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia.  Back in the U.S. after approximately three years, she plunged into the electronics industry, designing printed circuit boards for Dolby Labs and running her own consulting business. During those six long years she [Photo of Rose Gray]returned to dancing. 

 Upon returning to the dance community, she helped to produce the Choreography Showcases at the San Francisco Institute of Choreography (now San Francisco Dance Center), co-directed and worked as a costume creator for Run For Your Life! and Goldwyn Productions, and choreographed, performed, taught, produced, and toured with RFYL!

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