Michelle Morris began her ballet training with Marietta Ewalt and Halcyone Ewalt Perlman in her hometown, Columbia, Missouri. She went on to study at the National Academy of Ballet in New York City, under the direction of Thalia Mara, founder of the USA International Ballet Competitions. At the age of 16, she was asked to relocate to New York to apprentice the school’s company. Ms. Morris also attended The Buffalo Centre of Ballet in Buffalo, New York and The Midwestern Music and Art Center in Lawrence, Kansas. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Stephens College. Ms. Morris was a soloist/principal dancer with the Harriette Ann Gray Dance Company. She trained extensively with Thalia Mara, Yurek Lazowski, Larry Long, Kathleen Crofton and Harriette Ann Gray.
Her forty years of teaching experience includes five years on the dance faculty of the University of Missouri as well as five years on the dance faculty of Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri. Ms. Morris collaborated with Joann Ruess to help form Academy of Dancearts in Cape Girardeau, Missouri where she was Ballet Mistress for 10 years. During that time she became the Artistic Director of the Southeast Missouri Ballet Theatre. Michelle Morris was on the opening staff of Columbia Performing Arts Centre where she was Ballet Mistress from 1998-2002, before relocating to St. Peters, Missouri, where she spent 15 years as Ballet Mistress at Dance Connection Performing Arts Center.
Her students have been accepted to programs with The School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Texas Christian University, Kansas City Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts and Lexington Ballet.
Ms. Morris is very happy to be returning to the Columbia area and her Columbia Performing Arts Centre family.