Ife Michelle Presswood
Ife Michelle, a native of Charlotte, NC, began her dance training through the North Carolina Performing Arts Academy at age 7, continuing through college via the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Fayetteville State University's dance programs. Ife has danced with multiple companies including KOFFEE Modern Dance Company, DialeKt Pre-Professional Dance Company, SHAE Movement African Arts and 4Thirty-Two Hip-Hop Company, where she also served as a choreographer. Her work with 4Thirty-Two and experience/story as a “plus size dancer” lead her to create her own company and brand “Ife Michelle Dance” that strives to provide choreography that is rooted in technique, bold attitude and strong performance etiquette and shows plus size dancers on a level platform as “industry sized dancers.” Through Duke’s MFA Dance program, Ife intends to eradicate the misguided perception surrounding the body type of the professional dancer by creating a dance training curriculum that understands and addresses the needs of dancers with ‘atypical’/Plus size body types in an effort to broaden the scope of how we see and associate plus dancer bodies in the professional world. The desired result of her work will create greater inclusivity and diversity within the dance community and train dancers for access to continuous and meaningful opportunities in both the traditional and commercial fields of professional dance; proving that plus dancers can be true, competitive dancers, not just an extension of a trend.