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Artistic Director

Originally from California, Michelle Thompson Ulerich trained at San Francisco Ballet for 9 years. She joined Ballet Austin professionally in 2001. Her 14 seasons there included works by Stephen Mills, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Ulysses Dove, Nelly van Bommel, Thang Dao, James Gregg, Amy Seiwert, Greg Dolbashian, Gina Patterson, KT Nelson, and Sidra Bell. She later performed in New York with XAOC Contemporary Ballet in works by Eryn Renee Young at Battery Dance Festival, DUMBO Dance Festival, Ailey Citigroup Theater, and more. Michelle has been an adjunct professor at SUNY Purchase since 2016.


In April 2020 Michelle became Artistic Director of New-York-based Spark Movement Collective. By embracing outdoor performances and successfully orchestrating multiple virtual film presentations, Michelle led this 10-year-old company through the pandemic and into its second decade. In 2021 the Queens Council on the Arts awarded Spark a grant for Michelle’s project, Armenian Voices.


CreateART and Purchase College have recently commissioned Michelle’s work. Her past commissions include CounterPointe, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Ballet Spartanburg, Blanton Museum of Art, Ballet Hartford, Hartt School, Harvard Ballet, and Ballet Austin II.  Additionally, Michelle self-produces in New York and New Jersey. Her work has recently been seen at Arts On Site, The Mark O’Donnell Theater, Green Space, Mercury Lounge, The Visionary, Howland Cultural Center, Ace Hotel Brooklyn, and Kingsland Wildflower Festival.


The J Chen Project named Michelle the winner of their CORE Choreography Competition in 2019. The Avant Chamber Ballet of Dallas chose Michelle as its Women’s Choreography Project winner in 2017 as noted in Pointe Magazine. Her Illusory Impressions collaboration, co-directed with composer Catherine Davis, was awarded for Excellence in a Site-Specific Work by the Austin Critics’ Table. Robert Faires included this collaboration in his Top 10 Classical Music/Dance Treasures of 2016.


Michelle teaches yoga weekly. She has led prenatal yoga teacher trainings. She has also taught for the NYC Yoga Project, an effort bringing yoga to Women In Need Shelters. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Edward’s University in Austin in 2010. She is a mother of two boys.

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