Michelle Manzanales is a choreographer, dedicated dance educator of over 30 years, and co-founder of the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance. Director of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance since December of 2016, Michelle previously led the organization’s professional company as Rehearsal Director & Artistic Associate for seven seasons.
Choreography commissions that premiered in Spring 2022 include her new works for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, and Montclair State University. Her choreography for Ballet Hispánico, Con Brazos Abiertos, described as a “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican American background” (-Marina Harss, New York Times) and “an exceptional, heart-tugging beauty” (LA Times), premiered in 2017, and has since toured worldwide to critical acclaim including its feature at New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival. She has been commissioned to premiere a new work for Ballet Hispánico in Spring of 2023 at New York City Center.
Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance member, Michelle has served on the National Association of Schools of Dance’s Committee on Ethics, juror for the Nebraska Arts Council-Individual Artist Fellowships, panelist for Dance/NYC's #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Facebook Live Series: Arts Educators Leading the Charge, adjudicator for the Ailey BFA program’s Independent Study in Choreography Showing, and was a panelist for 92Y’s Future Dance Festival for emerging choreographers, Ballet Hispánico’s Instituto Coreográfico, and the Houston Arts Alliance grants program.
She has presented at numerous conferences which include the New York State Dance Educators Association, ARTs + Change, the National Dance Education Organization, and Decolonizing tertiary dance education: Time to act. A current faculty member at Ballet Hispánico, she has been on faculty at the University of Houston, Rice University, and Lou Conte Dance Studio. She has been a guest artist for the Professional Work Sessions at STEPS on Broadway, the Joyce Master Class Series at Gibney, the Taylor School, New Orleans Ballet Association, Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition, Regional Dance America, Festival de Danza Cordoba-Youth America Grand Prix, Houston’s Kinder High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, along with numerous other studios, schools, and college programs nationwide and internationally.