Michela Paolacci

First Soloist
Michela Paolacci

Michela joined the Company in 2003 and left in 2014. She was born in Rome and is half American and half Italian. She trained at Centro Danza La Sylphide, Rome; Royal Ballet School (Lower School); National Ballet Academy of Rome; Centro Studi Danza Laura Morandini and English National Ballet School.

Learn more about Michela

Favourite roles

Beauty in Beauty & the Beast; Butterfly in Madame Butterfly; Ondine in Ondine; Giselle in Giselle; Clara in The Nutcracker; Glass Canon; Perpetuum Mobile (Chirtopher Hampson piece as part of Perpetual Motion); Cécile de Volanges, Dangerous Liaisons; Cuban couple, 'Cuban Overture' & Rhapsody in Blue from I Got Rhythm; Belle Fezziwig, A Christmas Carol; Washerwoman, The Three Musketeers; Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Juliet, Romeo & Juliet; Odette, Swan Lake; Lucy, Dracula; Young Cathy, Wuthering Heights; Tinkerbell, Peter Pan.

Career highlights

Performing Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. Working with Gillian Lynne on her première of On Such a Night at Northern Ballet’s 40th Anniversary Gala.

Where were you born and raised?

I am half Italian and half American. I was born in Rome, Italy to an American mother and Italian father. I was raised in a hillside town south of Rome and also the United States where I spent two years as a child before relocating back to Italy where my family is now.

Where did you do your dance training?

I started dancing at a very young age with my ballet teacher Penny Whiting in my hometown in Italy. I then spent three years at Royal Ballet School before returning to Italy to train at the Academy in Rome and then with Laura Mardini in her private school. I then trained for a year at English National Ballet School.

When did you join Northern Ballet?


What made you want to be a dancer?

An artist is passionate about his or her art form and that’s the way I’ve always felt about my dancing. I love all forms of dance and the sense of freedom I feel when I’m immersed in an atmosphere of music and storytelling through dance, I’m happiest on stage, constantly striving to better myself technically and artistically.

What would be your dream role to dance be and why?

A dream role for me would be anything I could create in the studio and bring to life.

Who are your artistic influences or heroes?

I’ve had the privilege of working with and watching many wonderful artists and dancers during my years of training and here at Northern Ballet. There are different qualities in each artist that I admire. My hero has been and always will be my Mother!

What would be your luxury item on a desert island?

A yacht so I could sail off the island and a masseuse on the yacht.

What are your favourite places in Yorkshire?

Millie’s Organic Store.