Michele Wiles, founded BalletNext in 2011 with the vision to pair classically trained dancers and live musicians in a collaborative setting that encourages risk taking and a focus on process.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 10 she moved to Washington D.C. to train at the Kirov Academy on full scholarship. She was a Gold Medal winner at the 18th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria a Bronze Medal winner in Nagoya, Japan and a finalist at the Paris International Dance Competition. She was a Princess Grace Foundation – U.S.A. Dance Fellowship recipient for 1999–2000 and won the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2002.
She joined American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company in 1997 and joined American Ballet Theatre in 1998. She was promoted to soloist in 2000 and to principal in 2005. In 2011, she left that position to start BalletNext.
In addition to leading BalletNext as artistic director and dancer, Michele is choreographing. Ushuaia to music by Heinrich Biber, which premiered at New York Live Arts in February 2015 marked her formal choreographic debut.