3 February 2016
Author: The Place

Meet the dancer: Michaela Grace Best

In the first of our series of Meet the Dancer for 2016, we'll be speaking to Michaela Grace Best from EDge, London Contemporary Dance School’s postgraduate company.

Michaela is a native of Marietta, Georgia USA, where she studied at UNC School of the Arts for a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She danced with a variety of productions and companies before joining the postgraduate programme in London including, Ballet Hispanico's BHdos in NYC. Michaela also has a background as a champion baton twirler, teacher/choreographer, arts advocate, and was Miss Georgia 2011 where she competed in the 2012 Miss America Pageant.

  • When did you start dancing, and when did you realise that dance was going to be the main career focus for you? 

I started dancing when I was three years old and I decided to “go for it” when I realised I couldn’t choose baton twirling as a major in college.

  • What was the first piece of live dance you watched?

I was fortunate enough to see The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. After the show, I wore my Rockette pajama set as a cover up to almost every Nutcracker rehearsal that year (pajama bottoms were the “cool” thing to wear at a rehearsal back in the early 2000s)

  • Can you tell us about a particularly memorable performing experience you’ve had?

Performing my talent as Miss Georgia 2011 on the Miss America stage will definitely be one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life so far!

  • How would you describe your artistic practice; are there particular styles, techniques or ways of working that resonate more strongly with you?

I particularly love working with material that has sharp accents or quirky movements. When it comes to performing, I enjoy pieces that allow me to get into a specific character.

  • What/who influences or inspires you as a dancer?

Martha Graham inspires me, I particularly like this quote; “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”  - Martha Graham

  • Why have you chosen to study on the postgraduate performance programme EDge?

Besides the training and networking, I believe EDge will refine my artistry in a way that will help me carry a sense of self without having to project or prove myself. I’m really looking forward to working with Tom Roden. His current work of Hercules with New Art Club gives me the sense that he’ll create something that will allow a lot of personality in rehearsal and on stage.

  • What are you surprisingly bad at?

“Hairography”…….Urban Dictionary describes this as: Choreography using a lot of dance movement with the head that causes the hair to thrash about.

  • What are you surprisingly good at?

I’m not much of a cook, but I make really good banana nut bread!

Follow Michaela on Instagram @MissGA2011  |  Twitter @MissGA2011

Meet the Dancer blog will be publised every Wednesday.


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