Co-Founder / President / Artistic Director
Michael Garrison is a native of Atlanta. In 1976, he began his training with the Ruth Mitchell studio in Buckhead. In 1977, Michael entered the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem where he studied with Duncan Noble, Guyla Pandi, Gina Vidal, Mimi Paul, Joyceanne Sidimus and others. Michael began his professional career in 1980 with the Tampa Ballet. During the next twelve years he performed with Ballet Rotaru, Carl Ratcliff Dance Theatre and Ruth Mitchell Dance Company. He danced principal and soloist roles in The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen and Giselle. He also performed in many contemporary and modern works. Throughout his career Michael distinguished himself as a gifted character dancer, receiving acclaim for his powerful dramatic portrayal of Poe in Ruth Mitchell’s Tales of Edgar Allen Poe as well as his characterization of Sancho Panza in Rotaru’s Don Quixote. Michael has been teaching for over thirty years. In 1991, he embarked on a successful freelance career, and in 1997 he established, in partnership with his wife, Kitty, the North Atlanta Dance Academy. NADA students are frequently accepted to prestigious dance programs and many have gone on to professional careers. In 1998, he founded North Atlanta Dance Theatre and has been the creative force. His rare ability to train dancers as well as choreograph and stage ballets provides a strong single vision.