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michele ainza

Instructor of Dance

Headshot of michele ainza

Contact Information

Salem Campus

PLH 138
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
503-370-6223 (Fax)


Michele Ainza is a dance and somatic educator, director, and artist who contributes to our 2019 Fall Dance Concert. She previously was a part of Willamette's Dance faculty as a Visiting Artistic Director and Adjunct Professor of Dance. She teaches classes in Contemporary Dance Technique, Choreography, Introduction to Dance Technique, and Dance Appreciation.

Michele is the Artistic Director of Michele Ainza Dance (MAD), a Portland based contemporary dance troupe that focuses on the deconstruction and abstraction of social and political issues through the development of highly physical, idiosyncratic movement material. MAD productions have been shown throughout the United States, Mexico, and Eastern Europe.

Michele received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance/Choreography from California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, where she concentrated on feminist studies and dance for video, and was on scholarship as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. Later successes in higher education include her work as a Tenure-Track Dance Professor and Artistic Director at Fresno City College; Artistic Director and Adjunct Dance Professor at Linfield College; Visiting Guest Artist and Dance Professor at The University of Veracruz, Mexico; and Lewis and Clark College. 

Michele’s contribution to the somatic field include her work as a Yoga Instructor and Certified Laban Movement Analyst and Bartenieff Fundamentals Instructor. She is certified through Yoga Alliance as a 200 E-RYT and 300 RYT, and received her LMA certification from the Integrated Movement Studies based out of the University of Utah, where she was on scholarship. Michele has contributed to many dance organizations such as Conduit Dance, Front Publishing, Friends of the Arts, National Dance Organization, and Dance Camera West, as an instructor, director, writer, and/or member. She has received funding from the Mellon Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, and Willamette Master Chorus.

Lastly, her expertise and skill set range include Contemporary Dance Technique, Ballet Technique, Jazz Dance Technique, Urban Dance Forms, Latin/Chicano Dance Forms, Tap Dance, Ballroom Dance, Choreography, Improvisation, Dance for Video, and Site-Specific Dance.


MFA, Choreography, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Willamette University


M. Lee Pelton Theatre
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.