Michael Smith is a descendant of the Nyoongar Nation on his mother’s side (South Western Western Australia), and of the Wongi Nation (South Eastern Western Australia) on his father’s side. Michael is originally from Perth and has worked in dance, theatre, circus, puppetry, film and other related art forms.
Michael graduated from John Curtin College of the Arts in 2008, and in 2012 was awarded his Advanced Diploma in Dance from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). In 2013, Michael was nominated as ‘Best Newcomer’ by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance Actors Equity and was awarded a position at Lisa Mann Creative Management, one of Australia’s leading theatre and film agencies.
Since he was 15, Michael has taught dance, acrobats and circus for all age groups in places across Australia, from big cities to remote Aboriginal communities. He has trained and undertaken creative development opportunities with the CircusWA, the National Institute of Circus Arts and the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. He has also trained in Russian style acrobatics under internationally-acclaimed Russian Olympic gymnastics Coach Melik Tichabaey.
Michael has worked as a professional performer since he was 17, including as a Stilt Artist for the 2008 Unima Perth International Puppet Festival, as a Dancer for Australian Dance Theatre’s 2009 Collision project, as a Dancer in the 2010 International Indigenous Choreographic Laboratory in Sydney, as an acrobat for Circus Oz in their 2011 Melbourne season of Steam Powered, and as a performer for the 2011 Taipei International Dance Festival Gala.
Whilst studying at WAAPA, Michael continued to work in the industry including as an Actor, Dancer and Stunt Double for the lead male in the acclaimed Australian film Bran Nue Dae, and acted the leading role in the short film The Oysterman, directed by Robert Moreton, alongside David Page, Tony Briggs and Ray Kelly.
In 2013, Michael worked for Legs on the Wall, Circus Oz and with Sydney Theatre Company, performing the role of Mr Percival in the first-ever stage adaptation of the Australian children’s classic, Storm Boy. In 2014 Michael was selected as a Top 50 Finalist in the 2014 series of So You Think You Can Dance and commenced his position with Bangarra.