michelle handley

Michelle is Mrs Footlights and is the driving force behind the dance school. Teacher, choreographer, surrogate mum and friend to all - you can pretty much find her at any class!
Dance has been part of Michelle's life for as long as she can remember: from her first ballet class aged 4 to performing on stage and now running Footlights for all its members. As a child and young adult she studied Ballet, Tap, Modern, Stage & Cecchetti Ballet before heading to university to study dance & design. Her love of performing saw her perform in Pantomime and Musicals with her first pro/am production being Mack & Mabel. Favourite parts played over the years include The Narrator in Joseph, Diane in 42nd St, The Mod Witch in The Wiz. 

An injury early into Michelle's professional performing career resulted in a change of direction and after completing her PGCE in Primary Education Michelle worked as a Primary School Teacher - which she loved! Teaching dance however has always been Michelle's passion and running a dance school her true burning ambition.
 
She completed her IDTA teaching associates while teaching at Dance2Gether in Wolverhampton and then set up a sister school in Shrewsbury which in 2012 evolved into Footlights Dance School. "I have loved providing students with the opportunity to take both recognised exams and gain lots of experience performing in a variety of settings. I believe dance can be enjoyed by all and endeavour to give children as many positive opportunities as possible."
ā€‹
Michelle combines her primary teaching experience along with dance in her role at Manor Primary School in Wolverhampton where for the past 10 years she has taught dance, in particular Tap, as part of the school curriculum.
ā€‹
Michelle has continued her learning journey with the IDTA constantly attending seminars to ensure her dance teaching knowledge and choreography skills are current and fresh. She is working towards completing her Licentiate in Ballet and nurtures a new dream of one day being a dance examiner for the IDTA.
ā€‹
Michelle is never one to sit still and rest on her laurels: "Iā€™m always looking for new projects to get involved in." Her Footlights Family love her for it!
We asked every Footlights team member to answer the following questions so that we can get to know the person behind the purple t-shirt!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING WITH FOOTLIGHTS:

Meeting new students and inspiring them in the love of dance. Watching students grow and succeed. Empowering strong confident young people.

3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOU:

Energetic, Hard Working, Creative

3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW DANCE MAKES YOU FEEL:

Alive, Positive, Free

WHO IS YOUR HERO

My Dad for his entrepreneurial side

FAVOURITE FOOD

Chocolate without a doubt

FAVOURITE DANCE STYLE

Ballet was my first love but adore Tap

FAVOURITE FILM

Love Actually

TELL US ONE FUNNY FACT ABOUT YOU:

I can say the longest train station name in Wales and once won a competition for doing so at school.

BEST DANCING MEMORY

Seeing 68 students on Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square and taking them to perform in the West End