Mariah LeFeber is a child of the prairie, having grown up underneath the vast Nebraska sky. She is the daughter of a pastor and music teacher, the wife of a musician pastor, and the mother of two incredible daughters.
During her first year as an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, torn between a major in dance or psychology, a wise advisor asked her if she’d ever heard of dance/movement therapy? Mariah ran back to her dorm room and pulled up the website for the American Dance Therapy Association on her ancient desktop computer. In that moment, she realized there was indeed a very tangible way to combine her two life passions.
Mariah finished her undergraduate degree at the U of M, and then went on to Columbia College Chicago, where she earned her master’s degree in dance/movement therapy and counseling. Next, over the course of a decade in Madison, Wisconsin, she wove together a career of therapy, teaching, writing and dancing – a wholehearted tapestry of all the things she loves, in one life-giving (and sometimes exhausting) place.
In September 2015, Mariah and her family moved to Portland, Oregon. Here, amidst the dance of great transition, she’s settling into a new life while nourishing her soul in the grand geography of the Pacific Northwest.
Mariah believes in the inherent power of the body to tell the stories that desperately need to be told. She interlaces her passions for people, movement, spirituality and healing to meet her clients and students where they are and join them in this dance called life.
Mariah LeFeber is an incredible mentor and leader as the co-director of Performing Ourselves. She leads with clarity and precision while giving her instructors the freedom to discover new ways to better their own work. With a gentle guiding hand, Mariah helped me become an independent, enthusiastic instructor, offering a toolbox of ideas to better my classes. I strive to call forward her captivating energy, unrelenting passion, and creative approaches in my own work and leadership roles.
Sarah Schwab, Student & Performing Ourselves Teacher - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mariah is one of a few unique people that does well at everything she tackles. She is organized and can multitask with the best of them. She is a wonderful dancer and choreographer and can translate that into performance art for a variety of ages and venues and into therapeutic interventions within her dance/movement therapy sessions. She is a licensed professional counselor and she integrates counseling techniques, creative expression, yoga, and an incredible ability to attune to people into her therapy work. She is able to write grants, develop forms, administer programs, and connect well with everyone from office staff to administration. I think one of her greatest strengths is her ability to create. By that I mean create solutions to problems that arise, create new ideas for programs, create artistic expression, create something positive out of chaos and struggle. Anyone who works with her will recognize what a gift she is.
Rena Kornblum, Executive Director – Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy
Both of my experiences with Ms. Lefeber have been in an academic setting. I am currently a dance certificate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and have taken her courses in contemporary technique and introductory movement analysis with emphasis on Laban theory. She was always very good at explaining rather abstract concepts in a clear and relevant way. She has an amazing understanding of how the body moves and how strong of an impact subtle nuances in physical expression can be. I would highly recommend her for help in understanding anything movement related. She has taught me a great deal about my own movement expression and helped me grow as a person because of it.
Maxine Coady, Student- University of Wisconsin-Madison