Meet the Artist: Michael Montgomery

Get to know the dancers! Our Q&A series resumes with 10-year company veteran Michael Montgomery. Michael’s entry into professional life crossfaded with his studies in our four-year college program: he joined LINES Ballet in 2010 and graduated from LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California in 2011. Read on for his reflections on dancing through the past decade.

Want to observe Michael at work? He will be assisting with the 3-Day Online Workshop September 5-7. While workshop enrollment has reached capacity and registration is closed, we have opened up this experience to anyone who would like to attend as an observer. Click here to learn more!

What made you choose dance?
I chose to dance because it felt right. I like the way I feel when I dance. I took it seriously because I experienced how dance can affect the world and wanted to be a part of that. I feel like dance has always been in me, and the ability to dance I found came very natural and organic. Ultimately, I dance because it’s personal and universal… though I found it very hard to put exactly into words what it is!!! 

How are dancing and singing different for you, if they are?  
They both are very personal and yet dance demands a different kind of stamina. Dance is currently the item where most of my time is being spent. 

When did you know that dance would be your life?
I don’t know that it was a realization so much as just what it is right now. Dance has always felt a part of me, and so I knew my whole life would be involved with dance to some degree, even if that was just dancing in my room my whole life. 

What is the experience of having given so many years to one company? 
It is ups and downs, just like all of life. But there is something that I find very beautiful about “time” and the amount of time spent that gives a lot of information.

It is what I wanted to do and so it feels extremely rewarding. It’s a lot of feels, but I am feeling grateful, proud, and honored. I feel like I succeeded in one of my personal life goals. 

Why did you choose LINES? 
I wanted to be in a place where I could feel like an individual and where I could work on being more myself. I wanted to move with passion and freedom in the way I saw Alonzo’s dancers doing – even in photos. I wanted to be somewhere where my artistic voice would not be silenced.

And, from a glance, it seemed like home.

Michael Montgomery | © RJ Muna

What is the experience of touring and performing around the world? 
Honestly, it’s best answered: “just what I had thought and hoped it would be”. 

I always wanted to travel the world. Not only am I getting the chance to do that, but I am also getting to touch lives. It was a great surprise to find that it was even more of a blessing with this company of artists (past and current).

What is important to you? Or anything that you think would be helpful for someone to hear/read?
That everything is connected. We must try to rid ourselves of ego. True artistry is humbled. Don’t let fear and doubt be engineers to manifesting your life. 

Michael Montgomery | © RJ Muna

Can you speak about your experience in the LINES Ballet BFA Program and your transition into the company? 
The BFA Program was a great place for me to begin my journey with LINES Ballet. I truly feel like my spirit was able to really learn and grasp a deeper level of thinking that I had not been offered other places. I fell deeper in love with the company there. It was in the BFA Program that I decided that LINES was the company I wanted to be a part of. 

The transition into the company was a dream come true. It was a surprise, it was unexpected, and yet it felt right. It felt like it was what was meant to be for my life at that/this moment! Still living the dream.

BIO: Michael Montgomery of Long Beach, CA, trained at the Orange County High School of the Arts and studied at the Alvin Ailey School in the Certificate program. In 2011 he graduated from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University of California. Montgomery was awarded the American College Dance Festival Association’s best student performer award for the Southwest Region in 2008. In 2010, he joined LINES Ballet and was named a Shenson Performing Arts Fellow that same year. Montgomery was named to the list of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2013.

Photos: © RJ Muna