QDP Origin Story

Cristina M. Michaels L.Ac.

Cristina identifies as transgender female and her pronouns are she/her/hers.  She has been an artist for over 30 years, first as a socialized male ballet dancer with a professional career of 12 years, then as a classical ballet teacher, character artist and choreographer for another 23 years.  She opened Queer Dance Project as a dream to offer classical ballet dance and movement to the LGBTQIA community. 

Cristina began her ballet training in Colorado Springs, CO. After graduating high school Cristina departed to Seattle to study at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, while there she studied at School of American Ballet for two summers. Socialized as a male dancer Cristina began her apprenticeship with Pacific Northwest Ballet and shortly there after entered into the corps de ballet. Wanting to expand her classical ballet perspective, she was given a contract with the National Ballet of Canada. While there was given a number of soloist roles. After a few years she joined Ballet Jorgen to learn more about the craft of choreography. Attending a number of choreographic workshops, Cristina relocated to Richmond Ballet in Virginia to begin her 3 years with Richmond Ballet. In Richmond, VA. Cristina was able to use her vast experience to achieve such lead roles in Moors Pavane, Romeo and Juliet and perform to such great names as de Milles, Cunningham, Wainrot, and Butler. One joy she had was the work she did with such amazing choreographers as Val Caniparoli and William Soleau

Cristina has taught ballet, dance and movement to ages 6 to 90 for 25 years. Teaching everything from ballet, modern, contemporary, creative movement, partnering and ballroom. The list below spans 2 different countries, and 3 or 4 different companies. The majority of this experience was in Seattle, Toronto and Richmond, VA with guest appearences in Colorado, University of Washington, among numerous other ballet schools and dance theatre’s. Initially trained in Cecchetti technique, before formal Balanchine training at School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Once departing from training in the U.S., Cristina danced abroad and experienced classical ballet outside of the American bubble. Giving her a grander spectrum of classical ballet.

Teaching and Choreography

After her career Cristina taught for 13 years at Jessica Morgan School of Dance in Chesterfield, VA. Utilizing her choreographic training and classical ballet lessons, she taught for 13 years at JMSD. While there she set dozen’s of pieces for competitions, collegiate auditions, to professionally productions. Upon arriving in back in Colorado she began teaching with Longmont Dance Theatre, in Longmont Colorado. There Cristina became part of the regular teaching faculty, and soon promoted to resident choreographer. During her time with Longmont Dance Theatre and Centennial State Ballet she expanded on her classical ballet experienced and reset their snow scene in Nutcracker, Giselle, Carmina Buranna among other annual pieces and productions. Influential teachers to Cristina: John Calendar, Mavis Pakenham, Frank Bays, Stanley K (sab), Victor L. at NBC, Flemming Halby , Victoria Pulkinen, Kent Stowell, and Francia Russell, Cornish School of Arts, more to come.

Cristina relocated to Denver in 2018 and became a regular teaching faculty member of Broche Ballet adult ballet school. There at Broche Ballet she was recruited to help develop the teaching faculty.

Below is Cristina Michaels professional resume

Richmond Ballet 1993 – 1996

The Nutcracker (Winslett) Carmina Buranna (Butler) Allegro Brilliante (Balanchine) Romeo and Juliet (Burn) The Moor’s Pavane (Limon) Swan Lake (Beriozoff, after Petipa & Ivanov) Lilac Garden (Tudor) Giselle (Petipa & Ivanov) Rodeo (de Milles) Tadem Spaces (Soleau) Faure Melodies (Soleau) Setting Sun (Burnside) Summerset (Cunningham) Street Songs (Caniparoli) Bow Out (Caniparoli) Contra Pose (Feld) From Far Away (M. Wainrot)

Ballet Jorgen 1992 -1993

Siegfrieds Idyll (Jorgen) Fragments Of  (Jorgen) Quatra Etudes (Capette) Red Shoes (Downing) Beatles (Dawson) Blue Dance (Kane) Ginger & Fred (Downing) Images of Taos (Jorgen) The Kink (Grand-Mairtre) Limitation (Giday) Sour Soup (Ng) Reflections of Billie (Pite)

David Taylor Dance Theatre Guest Artist 1993 – 1994

The Nutcracker (Taylor) Appearances (Taylor-Corbet) Jigsaw (Job) Tympanic Membranes (Taylor)

National Ballet of Canada 1990 – 1992

Onegin (Cranko) Don Quixote (Beriozoff, after Petipa & Gorsky) Etudes (Lander) The Leaves are Fading (Tudor) Coppelia (Tetley) Daphanis and Chloe (Tetley) Sleeping Beauty (Nureyev, after Petipa) Swan Lake (Bruhn, after Petipa) Troy Games (North) Alice (Tetley) The Nutcracker (Franca, after Petipa) The Merry Widow (Hynd) Concerto for Flute and Harp (Cranko) The Taming of the Shrew (Cranko)

Pacific Northwest Ballet 1985 – 1990

A Midsummer Nights Dream (Balanchine) The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Stowell) Nutcracker (Stowell/Sendack) Nutcracker The Movie (Stowell/Sendack/Carroll) Chaconne (Balanchine) Seranade (Balanchine) Theme and Variations (Balanchine) Voluntaries (Tetley) Symphony in C (Balanchine) Violin Concerto (Balanchine) Lilac Garden (Tudor) Western Symphony (Balanchine) Prodigal Son (Balanchine) Coppelia (Stowell after Petipa) Swan Lake (Stowell after Petipa) Firebird (Stowell) Hail to the Conquering Hero (Stowell) Seattle Slew (Stowell) La Valse (Balanchine) Ravel Concerto (Clifford) Souvenirs (Bolender)