Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Contemporary Circus; Light and the Choreographic; Leonora Carrington; Interdisciplinary and collaborative performance making;


A Fellow of the HEA, and a Faculty of the Arts and Sciences (FAS) Senior Fellow Lead for Teaching and Learning, Michelle lecturers in Dance and has been working at Edge Hill University since 2012. Her teaching practice has spanned over thirty years and across a range of professional, institutional and community contexts in Europe and the UK. She delivers research embedded teaching in Dance and Creative Arts with specialisms in: choreographic practice; improvisation and composition; dance analysis; collaborative performance making; embodied practices of flamenco, ballet, jazz and contemporary forms of dance; and mentoring of student projects. Michelle is currently a FAS Senior Fellow of Learning Teaching (2021-2024).


On graduating from Elmhurst Ballet School in 1989, Michelle developed her professional career in Madrid, Spain, establishing her own company in 1996 'Michelle Man & Friends' collaborating extensively with composers, architects, lighting designers, musicians, costume makers, choirs, circus artists and multi-media artists. Her work has been received in Brazil, Chile, Korea, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Spain as well as the UK. She has been commissioned by the Spanish Government, CDN (Spanish National Theatre), Teatro Real, Teatro Circo Price, and has been awarded funding for research and artistic production. Michelle continues to choreograph internationally across a diverse range of contexts and disciplines that include contemporary dance, circus, theatre and music performance. She holds a Masters in Making Performance (awarded Distinction) and a PhD in Dance from the University of Surrey, under the supervision of Dr Rachel Hann and Dr Adam Alston with the thesis title 'Light and the Choreographic: dancing with Tungsten'.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Dance, PhD, Light and the Choreographic: dancing with Tungsten, University of Surrey

1 Jan 201626 Mar 2024

Award Date: 26 Mar 2024

Performing Arts, MA, Making Performance, Edge Hill University

8 Jan 201328 Jan 2014

Award Date: 22 Jul 2014

Other positions

External Examiner, Dundee and Angus College

1 Jan 202230 Nov 2025

External Examiner , University of West London

1 Jan 202230 Nov 2025

External Examiner , National Centre for Circus Arts

1 Sept 201931 Aug 2024

Research Centres

  • Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing

Research Groups

  • Practice Research Group
  • SustainNET
  • ESAL: Research Group in Spanish & Latin American Studies


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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