Having gained professional dance experience in Australia and the United Kingdom, she trained as a Labanotation practitioner and teacher with Ann Hutchinson Guest in London. Before joining the Faculty of Education in 2000, she taught extensively as a freelance tutor and dance teacher. In her previous role as Dean, she provided academic and administrative leadership across all FoE programmes, working closely with tutors, students and administrators in developing and promoting the dance teacher education and training globally.
Michelle has written several modules for distance learning programmes, supervised Masters Dissertations and continues to deliver guest lectures and presentations as part of initial and continuing dance teacher education. She is Co-Chair of the Independent Higher Education Research and Innovation Network, and sits on advisory boards of the Royal Opera House and OneDance UK. She is also an assessor for the Quality Assurance Agency, UK. Michelle’s research interests are in teacher education within higher and professional education, and identity formation of dance teachers.
Michelle was appointed as Director of Education at the RAD in January 2016.
EdD, MA, BSc (Hons), BPhil (Hons)
Research interests and projects
My research interests are in teaching, learning and management in higher and professional education as well as dance teacher education across sectors. My current research focus is on the development and impact of personal and professional identities of dance teachers across genres and contexts.
- Co-chair of Independent Higher Education Research and Innovation group
- Member of One Dance UK Children and Young People Committee
- Member: Society for Research in Higher Education
- Member: One Dance UK
- Member: BERA
- Member: Cultural Learning Alliance
- Member: Department for Education Counter Extremism Roundtable
- Member: Royal Opera House Chance to Dance Steering Group
- RAD Prevent Lead
- RAD Senior Safeguarding Officer
March 2022: Keynote Address (with Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel) for ‘Its About People (Dance) Conference 2022’, Alma Mater Europea Dance Academy, Slovenia
January 2020: Panel Chair: Shaping Bodies, Shaping Minds Melbourne 18-19th January, in partnership with Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School
Presentation: ‘On becoming a reflexive practitioner: the MIPA Model of Professional Identities of Dance Teachers’. Shaping Bodies, Shaping Minds, Melbourne 18th January
Presentation: ‘From Practitioner to Researcher and Back Again’ Keynote Speaker, UCL CDE Graduate Graduate Seminar, 6th December 2019
Presentation: ‘On becoming a reflexive tutor: adaptations of the MIPA Model of Professional Identities of Dance Teachers for Higher Education Teaching Staff’ AdvanceHE, York, 3rd December
Sept 2019: Programme Committee Chair: Dance and Dance Teaching: past(s), present and futures(s) London, 4-5 September 2020
January 2018: Panel Contributor: ‘Sustaining Legacies, Identities and Pedagogies through Repertoire’ (with Matthew Lawrence (QUT), Elise May (Expressions Dance Company), Unravelling Repertoire: Histories, Pedagogies and Practices conference, Brisbane, January 2018.
Presentation: ‘The Flower Festival in Genzano Pas de Deux: A Question of Style’. Unravelling Repertoire, Brisbane January 2018.
April 2017: Panel Contributor: ‘Dance Teaching as a Graduate Profession: opportunities and challenges’ (with Janine Streuli, Lee Davall), Dance Fields: Staking a Claim for Dance Studies in the 21st Century conference, University of Roehampton, April 2017.
October 2016: Thoughts on a changing landscape for dance teaching: a UK perspective. 3rd International Scientific Methodological Conference Dance Education Tendencies and Perspectives, Vilnius, Lithuania.
July 2015: Uncovering issues of identity in dance teachers and learners – critical perspectives and exploration of a dance anatomy case study Dance and the Child International, Copenhagen Denmark.
January 2015: Mentoring through a theoretical lens. Dance UK and RAD Mentor Training Day, London, UK.
November 2013: “I’m a good dance teacher because…” Perceptions of Good Dance Teaching in Public Sector Contexts NDTA Conference, London, UK
June 2013: Assessing Ballet Technique in Higher Education CORPS de Ballet International: From Ballet’s Origins to 21st Century Innovations. Paris, France
June 2012: Navigating the Footlights: Dance Education and Training in Higher Education and Vocational Schools Psi#18, Leeds, UK
December 2011: Education or Training? The Position of Dance as an Academic Discipline in Higher Education SRHE New Researchers’ Conference: Positive Futures for Higher Education; Connections, Communities and Criticalities. Newport, Wales
March 2011: Teacher Training and Education at the Royal Academy of Dance CDET Dance Teachers Career Day. London, UK
September 2010: Reflecting on the ‘Looking Glass Self’ as a Moral Base for Teaching Youth Dance England Conference: A Shared Vision of the Future London, UK
June 2009: Tracing the trends, mapping the practices: historiography, pedagogy and assessment in Ballet studies at undergraduate level (Group Presentation) Congress in Research on Dance : Global Perspectives on Dance Pedagogy: Research and Practice, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
June 2009: Quantifying the Unquantifiable: challenging assessment practices in dance performance and choreographic practice in higher education Congress in Research on Dance: Global Perspectives on Dance Pedagogy: Research and Practice, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
March 2009: From Dancer to Teacher Seminar Presentation Move It! London, UK
- Groves, Michelle Dance Teacher Education and Training: Thoughts and Provocations. Focus on Education, Issue 25.
- Groves, Michelle. “Dance Fields Conference Report April 2017”. Focus on Education, Issue 18.
- Groves, Michelle. “In Conversation with Kathryn Wade FRAD”. Focus on Education, Issue 15.
- Groves, Michelle. “Thoughts and Perspectives on a Changing Landscape for Dance Teaching”. Focus on Education, Issue 14.
- Assessment Issues in Dance Practice (Master of Teaching Dance module study guide, Level 7)
- Enriching Young Lives: Dance and Personal Development (ed.) in The Song of the Body. London: Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises Ltd. 29-36.
- Dancing for Our Lives? (ed.) in The Song of the Body. London: Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises Ltd. 37-43.
- Perspectives on Learning and Teaching (BA Dance Education module study guide, Level 5)
- Assessing Ballet Technique: A UK Perspective Focus on Education, November, Issue 7
- Employing and Supporting Newly Qualified Ballet Teachers Focus on Education, June, Issue 3
- Dance Pedagogy: How Learners Learn, How Teachers Teach (Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies module study guide, Level 5)
- Practice what you teach (edited Tracey Rushton-Thorpe Dance Review June 2011)
- Reflecting on the ‘Looking Glass Self’: A Moral Base for Learning and Teaching (Published [online] Youth Dance England Conference Papers)
- Dance in Higher Education (BA Dance Education module study guide, Level 6)
- Being a Distance Learning (RAD Dance Gazette)
- Practice what you teach (edited Tracey Rushton-Thorpe Dance Review
- Tracing the trends, mapping the practices: historiography, pedagogy and assessment in Ballet studies at undergraduate level (Published in Proceedings of Annual Congress of Research in Dance)
- Optimising Performance (BA Dance Education module study guide, Level 6)
- How Children Learn (BA Dance Education module study guide, Level 5)
- The Effect of Framing in Decision Making with Specific Reference to Performing Artist (OUPS, SE England Region)
- Read and Dance Volumes I – III (Labanotation Institute, England)
- The Pas de Quatre (Keith Lester) (Labanotation score, Language of Dance Centre