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Michael Blake

Director, Joffrey Ballet School Jazz & Contemporary Program


New York, United States

My rich career in dance includes work as a modern dancer, dance teacher, movement for actors instructor, choreographer, arts administrator, and published writer on the topic of dance. I have danced with several major companies, among them the Murray Louis Dance Company (1982-84), the Jose Limon Dance Company (1986-91), the Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Donald Byrd/The Group (1991-98), and PARADIGM Dance (present). I have also danced with independent choreographers, including David Rousseve, Senta Driver, Shapiro and Smith, Janis Brenner and Friends, and 40Up. One critic writes that “Michael Blake’s space-eating steps and stretches look as if they will take him out of the theater and into the woods.” Others comment on my “liquid Strength,” “velvety softness,” “virtuosity,” “juicy muscularity and marvelous insouciance.”

I have taught at colleges and private studios in the U.S., Japan, and Europe for more than two decades. I describe my teaching as being more than the transmission of movement; instead it is about teaching students how to reach their potential as people and as dance professionals. I teach in terms of creativity, sensitivity, safety, humor, cultural sensitivity and openness. I link my skills in the classroom with my experience as a rehearsal director, ballet master, and coach. Diane Grumet, co-artistic director at Steps on Broadway, NYC writes that guest teacher Michael Blake “is an articulate and inspirational teacher. Whether explaining the source of a movement or dissecting a phrase, Michael captivates the students.” Deborah Richardson of the National Black Arts Festival writes that it was “an inspiration for the dance instructors to witness such a positive transformation in their classrooms.”

Specialties: BODY BY BLAKE: My specialty is in the individual design of a body conditioning regime system unique to each client. It will not only aid in the renewal of the clients overall physical appearance, but it will also boost the client's confidence and energy from the inside out.

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By: Michael Blake
Michael Blake, Modern Dance
By: Michael Blake
Michael Blake
Michael Blake

Skill Board



Artistic Director Joffrey Ballet School Jazz Contemporary Program

Joffrey Ballet School  |  United States

June, 2011 - Present

Developer of the Jazz and Contemporary syllabus and curriculum for the year long program, and the summer intensives.

Modern Dance Instructor

The Joffrey School  |  United States

August, 2010 - Present

Program director and teacher for the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Program, and Modern and Contemporary teacher for the Joffrey Ballet Program.

Institution Instructor

Ballet Hispanico  |  United States

June, 2009 - May, 2011 (1 Year 11 Months)

Boys Class (dance introduction to boys 6 years to 12)
Modern Dance for teens
Pre-professional Limon Classes
Company Class


PARADIGM  |  United States

January, 2005 - Present

Gus Solomons jr
Valda Setterfield
Karen Brown
Carmen de Lavallade
Michael Blake

Movement for Actors Instructor

HB Studio  |  United States

January, 2003 - May, 2014 (11 Years 4 Months)

Power/Movement/Dance for Actors?
YOUR BODY IS YOUR INSTRUMENT. As Uta Hagen has said, “This instrument is the violin on which (you) will play.” Through Pilates-based mat exercises, dance technique, and movement projects, Michael Blake’s class will help you develop a more expressive, toned, performance-ready body. As you improve your range of motion, body awareness, flexibility, and overall physical power, you will expand your range as an actor. Your physical characterizations become more detailed and your physical emotionality more compelling. This class offers everything you will need to become a confident “actor who moves well” on set or stage. Strength building mat exercises are followed by a dance warm up to improve stamina and coordination. Each class concludes with project-based movement investigation that leads toward a performance to improve physical storytelling, stage presence, and overall physical confidence.


Rutgers University  |  United States

September, 2002 - May, 2011 (8 Years 8 Months)

Movement for Actors Instructor


The Supper Club  |  United States

January, 2000 - January, 2001 (1 Year )



Donald Byrd/The Group  |  United States

May, 1991 - August, 1998 (7 Years 3 Months)

Dancer/Rehearsal Director/Ballet Master

Modern Dance Instructor

Steps On Broadway  |  United States

January, 1991 - January, 2007 (16 Years )

Teacher of Modern, Modern Jazz, and Movement for Actors.


Jose Limon Dance Company  |  United States

May, 1986 - September, 1991 (5 Years 4 Months)

Dancer and institution manager.


Murray Louis Dance Company  |  United States

November, 1981 - August, 1984 (2 Years 9 Months)


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MFA Dance-Dance

Purchase College, SUNY-United States

United States

2001 - 2003 (2 year)

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