Mikah Smillie : My Portfolio Life

Mikah Smillie


Artistic Director

Associate Choreographer

Rehearsal Director




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Artistic Director

Mikah was appointed the Artistic Director of the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain in 2016-19 following the passing of the founding Director and continued to build upon the company’s legacy of providing professional performance opportunities to 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 Theatre) reaching audiences of 2,500 annually. The introduction of professional workshops and masterclasses and the development and personal mentoring of the Beyond Ballet initiative, through which 13 new ballets 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 and Associate Choreographer

As Associate Choreographer, Mikah has most recently been involved in the stage production of the BAFTA award winning TV show, Still Game at Glasgow’s Hydro. She has choreographed for the Critic’s Choice Television Series winner,  Outlander ( for Starz TV) and also performed in the hit film, Sunshine on Leith with director Dexter Fletcher and choreographer Arthur Pita. Live events brought an opportunity to work with the community on a large scale. As Mass Movement Choreographer she co-ordinated the Queen’s Birthday Parade held at Buckingham Palace and was Performance Captain for the Closing Ceremony of The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2015 European Games in Baku.

Mikah re-staged Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling for Scottish Ballet and toured the UK and Ireland as rehearsal director/ballet mistress for Ballet Theatre UK and Ballet Ireland. She has a great passion for working and collaborating alongside independent and emerging choreographers, including Drew Mconie for the McOnie Company, New Adventures and Re:Bourne, National Youth Ballet and for Turner Prize winner Martin Creed (for Ballet Work 1020). 


Mikah has a passion for dance pedagogy lecturing in dance on the BA Modern Ballet course, BA/MA Musical Theatre course and the Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2013 she was also selected to take part in Dance UK’s Mentorship Programme (now One Dance UK) for future leaders within the arts. 


Mikah Smillie trained at The Royal Ballet School Teacher Training Course (RBS TTC dip. ARAD, AISTD, CB, NB, Solo Seal) (dist) She began her 20 year performance career as a soloist in Germany working with Nürnberg Ballet, Ballett Dortmund, Tanzwerk Nürnberg and later The Rotterdam Dance Company where she performed both classical and contemporary repertoire including, Merce Cunningham, Jacopo Godani, Bill T. Jones, Stephen Petronio and William Forsyth. Mikah returned to the UK performing in Phoenix Dance Company’s Stand Up and Rewind Uk tour and later went on to develop a long standing association with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures where she performed 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 includes : 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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