Cindy Michaels held the title of Artistic Director of Redding City Ballet from 1996 to 2011. After the premier of Redding City Ballet’s Nutcracker in 1997, she was invited by Gary Lewis to join the faculty of Shasta College teaching ballet and modern dance. She is still currently on the faculty of the Fine Arts Department at Shasta College where she now teaches Ballet, Tap, Modern Dance and Choreography and Dance Analysis.
Cindy attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she had the opportunity to study with members of Martha Graham’s company and former members of Jose Limon and Merce Cunningham in addition to classical ballet. She had the opportunity to attend lecture demonstrations and master classes from guest artists, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, and Bella Lewitsky. After she graduated from the University with a Bachelor‘s degree in Psychology she continued to study with Valerie Houston at Valerie Houston Dance Theatre and Santa Barbara Ballet with Sophie Monet and Tisha HIcks. Before relocating to Redding in 1991 she had the opportunity to take classes with Finis Jhung and was admitted to classes with Maggie Black during her visits to New York. Her additional dance training in the north state has been with Alonzo King, Arturo Fernandez, August Moore and Robert Moses. In 2013 she added the Seattle Dance Project’s summer dance series with Alexandra Dickson, Elle Sandstrom and Betsy Cooper.
Along with her extensive knowledge acquired over the years of the classic and contemporary ballet repertory she has been able to set historical works on the company and has also created numerous works of her own that have been premiered by Redding City Ballet, Shasta College, Redding School of the Arts and California Dance Company. She directs the Shasta College Dance Festival at Shasta College that brings community artists together with the students of Shasta College and, in 2008 established the Shasta College Summer Dance Festival, to follow the college summer dance intensives. She helped establish the dance program at Redding School of the Arts, the first charter school based on the visual and performing arts in Shasta County; has choreographed for both RSA’s and Shasta College’s operas, musicals, clinics and summer theater festivals; and has worked with Redding City Musical Theatre Company.