Michael Leon Thomas holds an MFA in dance from Purchase College, and a 2010 Bessie Award for Dance and Performance. He began his dance career in the Murray Louis Dance Company where he danced from 1982-1984. In 1985, Michael moved to Osaka, Japan to become the manager of Studio Dancin’. In 1986 he joined the Jose Limon Dance Company, dancing principal roles until 1991. Michael danced with Donald Byrd/The Group from 1991-1998. He has also danced with PARADIGM Dance, Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Shapiro and Smith, and Janis Brenner and Friends. He has appeared on stage in Vinnette Carroll’s, What You Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby? At the Supper Club, NYC, the national tour of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, the Public Theater’s rock-musical, Lenny and the Heartbreakers, toured with Cab Calloway in Cab Calloway’s Cotton Club Review, and danced in the films THE ADVENTURES OF CRI CRI (Murray Louis), and UNSETTLED DREAMS (Donald Byrd). He has taught numerous workshops both nationally and internationally. Michael is the Artistic Director of the Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program at the Joffrey Ballet School, Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Summer Intensive, The Joffrey Experience, and Joffrey Musical Theater LA.
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