What My Teacher Taught Me: Hillary-Marie Michael


Hoofer Hillary-Marie Michael's first audition for the New Jersey Tap Ensemble didn't go well. But it did lead her to NJTE's founder and director Deborah Mitchell--who in turn introduced Michael to another one of her future mentors: Karen Callaway Williams.

"I had a terrible audition. Ms. Mitchell called my house--I was 12 or 13--but asked if she could speak to me, instead of my parents. She said, 'Listen, I don't think you're ready for this company yet, but I see something really great in you, and I want to have you in a couple of years. But I need you to go study with my friend, Karen Callaway Williams.' I started taking her class a couple of times a week. And then I got into the New Jersey Tap Ensemble two years later." 

Michael now directs the annual Jersey Tap Fest August 14-17 at Michele's Dance Studio in Livingston, NJ.



Photo by Ela Wojda, courtesy of Michael

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