Biography

Mikah Smillie has a reputable career spanning 23 years, performing with both classical and contemporary companies throughout Europe and the UK whilst also working extensively as a teacher, rehearsal director and assistant choreographer in a wide variety of genres including national and international dance companies, major arena events, film and television. A graduate of the Royal Ballet School’s Teachers Training Course (RBS,TTC dip ARAD, AISTD) Mikah is a dance lecturer at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has served as the Artistic Director of National Youth Ballet following a long-standing association with company spanning over 11 years.

Mikah trained at The Royal Ballet School (RBS TTC dip. ARAD, AISTD, CB, NB, Solo Seal) and began her 20 year performing career as a soloist with Nurnberg Ballet, Ballet Dortmund, Tanzwerk Nurnberg, Rotterdam Dance Company and Phoenix Dance Company, Leeds.   She went on to join Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures performing a variety of Character Principal Roles in productions including, Edward ScissorhandsCinderellaHighland FlingNutcracker!The Car Man and Early Adventures, touring extensively within the UK, Europe, America and Japan.

Developing her work as a Freelance Rehearsal Director and mentor she worked alongside Scottish Ballet, New Adventures, Ballet Theatre UK, Ballet Ireland, The McOnie Company and National Youth Ballet.  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), Assistant Choreographer for the BAFTA award winning TV show Still Game Live and Choreographer for the Critic’s Choice Television Series Outlander for Starz TV. 

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 was selected to take part in Dance UK’s Mentorship Programme for future leaders within the arts. 

Mikah was appointed the Artistic Director of 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.