Mikah Smillie : My Portfolio Life

Mikah Smillie

  • Artistic Director

  • Performer

  • Rehearsal Director

  • Teacher

  • Associate Choreographer

  • Photographer

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My Portfolio Life

Most recently Mikah served as the Artistic Director of the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain where she successfully continued to build upon the company’s legacy of empowering young people and emerging professional artists.

A recipient of the Dance UK Mentorship Programme, she has continued to work extensively as a freelance rehearsal director, assistant/associate choreographer and teacher within a wide variety of genres including dance companies, major arena events, film and television.

A graduate of the Royal Ballet School Teacher Training Course (dist) Mikah’s broad performance career has seen her work in both classical and contemporary companies in Europe and the UK, including performing and touring extensively with Matthew Bourne’s multi award winning company, New Adventures.


  • Artistic Director

Mikah was appointed the Artistic Director of the National Youth Ballet in 2016-19 following the passing of the founding Director and continued to build upon the company’s legacy of empowering young people and emerging professional artists.  She had a long-standing association with NYB spanning over 11 years and during her artistic leadership the company broadened their national reach by moving the artistic base to the Midlands with performances in Birmingham and London (Sadler’s Wells) reaching audiences of 2,500 annually. The introduction of professional workshops and masterclasses and the development and mentoring of the Beyond Ballet initiative, through which 13 new ballets for young audiences were created by young emerging choreographers.   To develop NYB’s work further, plans were put in place to include a health and well-being initiative as well as continuing the tradition of bringing leading figures of the dance world, including Sir Matthew Bourne, Antony Dowson, Etta Murfitt, Ruth Brill, Christopher Hampson and Drew McOnie to National Youth Ballet to contribute to the creative work delivered. 

  • Rehearsal Director / Associate Choreographer

Mikah developed her work as a freelance Rehearsal Director and mentor working alongside Scottish Ballet, New Adventures, Ballet Theatre UK, Ballet Ireland, The McOnie Company, the National Youth Ballet and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed (for Ballet Work 1020).  She was appointed Mass Movement Choreographer for the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Performance Captain for the Closing Ceremony of The Commonwealth Games 2014 and Opening Ceremony at the European Games in Baku 2015.   Mikah performed in the hit film Sunshine on Leith(dir: Dexter Fletcher), Associate Choreographer for the BAFTA award winning TV show Still Game Live and Choreographer for the Critic’s Choice Television Series Outlander for Starz TV. 

  • Teacher

Mikah has a passion for dance pedagogy lecturing in dance on the BA Modern Ballet and BA/MA Musical Theatre courses at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Balletforderzentrum Germany and was later selected to take part in Dance UK’s Mentorship Programme (now One Dance UK) for future leaders within the arts. 

  • Performer

Mikah Smillie trained at The Royal Ballet School Teacher Training Course (RBS TTC dip. ARAD, AISTD, CB, NB, Solo Seal)(dist) and began her 20 year performing career as a soloist with Nürnberg Ballet, Ballett Dortmund, Tanzwerk Nürnberg, The Rotterdam Dance Company and Phoenix Dance Company, performing works by Merce Cunningham, Jacopo Godani, Bill T. Jones,Stephen Petronio and William Forsyth to name a few.  She went on to join Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures performing a variety of Character Principal Roles in productions including, Edward Scissorhands, Cinderella, Highland Fling, Nutcracker! The Car Man and Early Adventures, touring extensively within the UK, Europe, America and Japan.

  • Dance Photographer

Published Work : New Adventures. The Old Vic. Arthur Pita. English National Ballet. Arts Educational. National Youth Ballet. The McOnie Company. James Cousins Company. Resolutions. Cottiers Dance Festival.  Cloud Dance Festival. Dancing Times. Dance Europe. Culture Magazine. Independent Artists  


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