Michelle Dorrance is a New York City-based tap dancer, choreographer, director, teacher, performer, and the founder and artistic director of Dorrance Dance. Mentored by Gene Medler, she grew up performing with his North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble and has since performed with: STOMP, Savion Glover’s Ti Dii, Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy & Company, JazzTap Ensemble, Rumba Tap, Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, Harold Cromer’s original Opus One, Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap!, Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels/Chasing the Bird, Jon Batiste and Stay Human on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She also toured the US, Europe, and Australia playing the bass for indie-pop sensation Darwin Deez.
Most recently, Dorrance served as Vail Dance Festival’s 2017 artist-in-residence, curated Tireless: A Tap Dance Experience at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival while co-directing its tap education program with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, and collaborated with Nicholas Van Young on Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum’s first site-specific commission for the Guggenheim Rotunda. Dorrance’s choreography is performed throughout the world and has been featured at countless theaters, clubs, and festivals, including a choreographic commission for the Martha Graham Dance Company as a part of their Lamentation Variations, and a high-fashion short film for Tabitha Simmons.
Dorrance is a 2016-17 New York City Center Choreography Fellow, 2016 United States Artists Award recipient, 2015 MacArthur Fellow, 2014 Alpert Award winner, 2013 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner, 2012 Princess Grace Award winner, 2012 Field Dance Fund recipient, and a 2011/2015 Bessie Award winner. She is an artist-in-residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation, has been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher magazine, is a Capezio Athlete, is a Virgo (Aquarius rising, Gemini moon), and her favorite colors are various shades of green and grey.
A passionate educator, Dorrance holds a BA from New York University, teaches on faculty at IFTRA, was on faculty at Broadway Dance Center for over a decade, and teaches as a guest artist at universities, festivals, and arts organizations throughout the world. She wishes to credit the master hoofers she studied with in her youth for constant inspiration and influence.