Photo of Kara Yoo Leaman.
  • Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Aural Skills


  • AB in economics, Harvard University, 2000
  • MA in music theory, Queens College, CUNY, 2006
  • PhD in music theory, Yale University, 2016


Kara Yoo Leaman is a music theorist whose work is situated at the intersection of music and dance. Her dissertation, "Analyzing Music and Dance: George Balanchine’s Choreography to Tchaikovsky and the Choreomusical Score," was awarded the Theron Rockwell Field Prize by Yale University.  
Leaman has studied piano with Bruce Sutherland and Ick-Choo Moon, ballet and other dance styles with Lois Ellyn and at the Broadway Dance Center, and movement analysis at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute. 

Leaman’s research takes music-analytic approaches to dance in order to examine how the kinesthetic and spatial patterns of dance interact musically with the sonic works to which they are performed. Her close readings involve transcribing dance into music-based notations that are integrated into "choreomusical scores," to which traditional music-only analytical tools can be adapted to the study of performances of music with dances of various styles. Leaman’s work develops new methods in digital dance research and advances the recognition of dance as a musical activity. She co-founded the Dance and Movement Interest Group of the Society for Music Theory.


  • Kara Yoo Leaman Presents at Conference

    August 11, 2019

    Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Aural Skills Kara Yoo Leaman presented a paper at the Dance Studies Association annual conference in Evanston, IL.