Michelle received her early training at the School of the Tampa Ballet under the direction of Martin Freedman and Victoria Rockhill Schneider.
After attending many summer intensive programs including Houston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet, Ms. Kuusela was offered a full scholarship to attend Pittsburgh Ballet’s year-round program. She spent her freshman year of high school training and performing with Pittsburgh Ballet under the direction of Patricia Wilde. Ms. Kuusela also had the privilege of working with many great teachers in Pittsburgh including Roberto Munez, Dana Arey, Gail Sullivan, and David Holladay.
Michelle spent her remaining high school years training at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts with Suzanne Pomerantzeff, Wagih Aboelella, Patricia Paige and Reginald Yates. Michelle also performed with Florida West Ballet for three years under the direction of Mervet Elanarbwi.
After graduating from PCCA’s Dance Department, Ms. Kuusela attended college at The Boston Conservatory. Her teachers included Ruth Ambrose, Yasuko Tokunaga, Anna Marie Sarazin, Leslie Koval, Jennifer Scanlon, Mary Wolff, Tommy Neblett, Julie Thompson, Samual Kurkjian, Donna Silva, and Denise Pons. Ms. Kuusela earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an equal emphasis on Performing and Teaching in Ballet and Modern.
Michelle spent four years performing with The Boston Conservatory Dance Company. She also performed as a guest artist with Ballet New England and Winchester Ballet. She performed in ballets including Sleeping Beauty, Who Cares, Sunflowers, Giselle, Swan Lake, Concerto Barocco, Nutcracker, Paquita, Coppelia, Apollo, and Don Quixote, as well as the original works Czerny Suite, Festival of the Streets, and Visions.
Ms. Kuusela taught and performed in Massachusetts for two years after graduation before returning to her Florida roots. She has been a teacher for the Academy of Ballet Arts since 2001. She was also an adjunct teacher for PCCA’s Dance Department.