CRYSTAL MICHELLE is a choreographer, dancer, and intermedia artist. She was named Associate Artistic Director of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) in 2014. Previous to her appointment, she was a dance artist with DCDC’s professional company for nine seasons, became Resident Choreographer, and appointed Arts Curriculum Coordinator in 2010 for DCDC’s education programs. As coordinator, Ms. Michelle became integral to the design of Dancing to the Curriculum, a highly recognized arts-integration dance residency for elementary and middle grade students in Dayton Public Schools. Over the years, she has taught dance master classes and was teaching artist for the company’s outreach services.

As a choreographer, performer, and researcher she has travelled nationally and internationally, including Ougadougou, Burkina Faso and Port of Spain, Trinidad where she researched African Diaspora movement styles and began her newest venture: The Beautiful Archive Project. Ms. Michelle collaborated with Dayton’s Blackbird String Quartet, University of Dayton’s Department of Music, and the Khalid Moss Jazz Trio for the creation of Unrested and Unfaithful.

The creation of her site specific work The Descent of this Water: Rain (2014) was commissioned by the Dublin Arts Council and performed in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. Her evening length contemporary work for DCDC, The Littlest Angel, premiered in December 2014. She set choreography to The King of the Magi and Martin Luther King from Duke Ellington’s, Three Black Kings performed by DCDC and accompanied by Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s production of American Mosaic in 2015.

Ms. Michelle has created dance works for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Cutno Dance, SMAG Dance Collective, and Stivers School for the Arts Dance Ensemble. She has been a guest artist for the New Orleans Ballet Association/NOLA, the Augusta Ballet Company, Compton Dance Theatre, The Moving Architects, and SMAG Dance Collective.

In 2014, she received the Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council and was honored with the Josie Award, which recognizes individual excellence in the art of dance for performers in Dayton, Ohio. Ms. Michelle holds a MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University and a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. She is a member of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Inaugural Class of Leadership Fellows


Choreographer of Stage, Film, and Television, Kiesha choreographed feature films, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Sorority Row, the hit television documentary series Broadway or Bust (PBS), and newly released television series Outsiders (WGN).  Theatrical credits include National High School Musical Theater Awards (Broadway), All Shook Up (North Shore Music Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Kansas City Starlight Theatre), Into the Woods (Arsht Center), Judge Jackie Justice, Ruthless! The Musical, and A Grand Night for Singing (Pittsburgh CLO). Concert dance highlights include Shed (DCDC), Catapult (Dance Kaleidoscope), Alegria (Giordano Dance Chicago), and Torque (August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble).  Lalama has created two full-length contemporary dance theater productions.  The Bench received rave reviews and was named by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s “Best of Dance” Top Ten list in both 2009 and 2010. The Bench is currently under development with Titus Theatricals. HeartShakes for DCDC premiered in January 2015 receiving tremendous accolades. Lalama has choreographed works and events for diverse companies such as Ballet Arkansas, Dance Kaleidoscope, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Giordano Dance Chicago, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Jazz Dance World Congress, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, TEDx, the Youth American Grand Prix, Opening events for PNC Park, Pittsburgh CLO Guild Ball, WQED Elsie Awards, Richard Rogers Awards, G20 Summit, and Tech 50 Awards.


Emerging Choreographers


For the Sake of it
Choreographer: William B. McClellan, Jr.
Premier Date: 2013
Length: 14 minutes
Number of Dancers: 12


Wawa Aba
Choreographer: Stafford C. Berry, Jr.
Premier Date: 2012
Length: 12 minutes
Number of Dancers: 8
Os Padroes
Choreographer: Robert Priore
Premier Date: 2012
Length: 17 minutes
Number of Dancers: 10


The Story Unfolds
Choreographer: William B. McClellan, Jr.
Premier Date: 2010
Length: 15 minutes
Number of Dancers: 8


Unfaithful & Unrested
Choreographer: Crystal Michelle
Premier Date: 2010
Length: 15 minutes
Number of Dancers: 9
Choreographer: Crystal Michelle
Premier Date: 2009
Length: 18 minutes
Number of Dancers: 5
Still Present
Choreographer: Gina Walther
Premier Date: 2008
Length: 14 minutes
Number of Dancers: 8
Choreographer: Shonna Hickman-Matlock
Premier Date: 2002
Length: 13 minutes
Number of Dancers: 2