I'm a New York Based Fight Director and Intimacy Choreographer. I spent years training with the Society of American Fight Directors, continually certifying in all 8 weapons disciplines offered as well as Theatrical Firearms Safety. I cross-train in Boxing, Filipino Martial Arts, and Freestyle Staff Spinning to strengthen martial logic and style.  

I am committed to constantly educating myself as an individual and facilitator. I believe in creating brave spaces that allow for discovery and collaborative growth. Regardless of the job, I bring consent culture into every rehearsal room.

My work is to make actors feel confident, heard, and badass all at once with choreography that supports the story, thoughtfully designed for each individual.

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The Year of the Monkey


"Leana Gardella is approachable, knowledgeable, and a consummate professional. In one hour she was able to whip our new recruits into fighting shape - they left our rehearsal with Leana feeling empowered, safe, & highly capable. And the product was as good as the process: despite close quarters, audience members had no clue how the violence had been choreographed! The actors went from being terrified of their weapons to managing them with confidence & grace."

— Caitlin Wells, Director of Year of the Monkey at The Tank

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