Master classes and private dance coaching for all levels

Amy West currently holds the position of Lecturer II in the Department of Dance, and is the Health and Wellness Coach for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is certified as a health and wellness coach through the Mayo Clinic and the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches (NBHWC), and as a certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Master Coach Instructor through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She is also certified in Essentrics, a fitness program which focuses on strengthening, flexibility and conditioning. Ms. West is on-ice coach, ballet instructor, choreographer, and health and wellness coach at the Michigan Ice Dance Academy (MIDA), founded by Olympic gold and silver medalists Charlie White and Tanith Belbin.

Ms. West joined the Dance faculty at the U-M SMTD in 2009. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level ballet technique, ballet repertoire, Teaching Methods and Pedagogy, First-Year Seminar (which she created), and is a mentor for senior BFA capstone concerts.

She has taught for New Jersey Ballet, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, David Taylor Dance Theater and was a guest teacher for the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program. She also founded her own studio, The Dancer’s Studio, in Littleton, CO.

Ms. West had a 24 year career as a professional ballet dancer and freelance artist. She danced with internationally acclaimed ballet companies such as Pennsylvania Ballet and Ballet West and as soloist with New Jersey Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Nevada Dance Theater. She was principal artist with contemporary dance company David Taylor Dance Theatre in Denver, CO, and has also been a featured soloist with the opera companies of Santa Fe, Seattle and Dallas.

Ms. West traveled extensively throughout Europe, taking company classes with the Deutsche Staatsoper Ballet (Berlin), Bayerische Staatsoper Ballet (Munich), Paris Opera Ballet, Salzburg Festival Ballet, and trained on scholarship at the David Howard Studio in New York City. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah where she was the recipient of the Willam F. Christensen Scholarship. She is married to opera singer and U-M professor bass-baritone Stephen West and is the proud mother of three young-adult children.


  • School of Music, Theatre & Dance, University of Michigan, Nominee for LEO Collegiate Lecturer Program - Nominated by colleagues, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Golden Apple Award Nominee - Nominated by University of Michigan students
  • U-M Housing, Honored Instructor Nominee - Nominated by University of Michigan students

Experience at a glance...

Lecturer II of Dance at the University of Michigan since 2009

  • Lower, upper, and graduate level ballet technique
  • Teaching Methods - mentor dance majors to teach introductory modern dance course to college students
  • Ballet Lab - teach ballet repertoire
  • Pointe class
  • Wrote course for in-coming students titled First-Year Seminar
  • Choreographer
  • Mentor for graduating senior capstone projects
  • University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) Health and Wellness Coach
  • Wellness workshops (SMTD)
  • Taught privately throughout the United States for over 30 plus years
  • Private studio owner specializing in ages 3 to adults


Master Classes

Available to university dance departments or private dance studios, either in-person or through Zoom. All levels - ballet technique and variations.

Private Dance Coaching

Available for all levels, one-on-one or semi-private sessions, either in-person or through Zoom. Ballet technique, variations, competition dance.

Private Ice Dance Coaching

Available for all levels, one-on-one or semi-private sessions, either in-person or through Zoom. Ballet technique, on-ice coaching for programs, choreography, health and wellness coaching, wellness workshops customized for your group.

Molly and Yehor - Skate

Choreography highlights...

  • Cracked Open...and In Streamed the Light (2021). Soloist: Micky Esteban
  • Everything But the Kitchen Sink; University of Michigan dance club, Salto, to the music of William Bolcom’s Incineratorag for strings. Arranged for a live quartet of School of Music, Theatre & Dance instrumentalists for the performances (2018)
  • Motorium: University of Michigan Dance Department Power Center performance (2016). Soloist: Soultana Schiavi


“Throughout my three years here, you have been a source of inspiration, clarity and kindness for me. You introduced me to your “S-I-M-P-L-I-F-Y” acronym, which I can say honestly changed my lifestyle. You taught me the importance of consistency and always guided me toward a more positive outlook even when everything seemed impossible. You taught me that showing up is half the battle and that sometimes the best days come from when you feel the worst. All of these life lessons I will take with me as I set out into the professional world. Thank you for not giving up on me and pushing me toward all of my technical goals. I always knew I could talk to you. Our big talk this past year remains as one of the most poignant, impactful moments for me as a student here. You treated me like an adult and heard me out. I never really got the chance to tell you, but coming to your class every day gave me hope and made me feel at home when all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and let adversity win. Thank you for being a true, unwavering mentor. A lot of teachers lose your kind of caring and dedication to your students along the way, but somehow you manage to offer even more each passing year. You gave me so much over these past three years and I only wish that I was able to give a slice of that back to you. I hope you enjoy the gift!! I will miss you terribly, but also know our paths will cross again at some point in the future.”
A.M., University of Michigan student

“I am very grateful to have Amy West as a professor. She leads the class with poise, class and genuine interest in each student’s progress. She provides feedback to students constantly as well as sharing advice for how to apply it. She is understanding but has high expectations for each student. She is an excellent professor.”
University of Michigan student, taken from anonymous Faculty Evaluations

“I would like to say thank you for your class and support. I learned a lot through your ballet class. I really admire you as a teacher, mother and woman. Thank you for your beautiful class, insightful teaching and generous guidance.”
I.C., University of Michigan graduate student

“Great class in general. The environment was always focused but still very energetic and promising. Amy’s comments and corrections were very helpful and provided throughout the classroom in a fair way. The class was very well structured and I appreciated the cleanliness and purity of the class. A class I would definitely take again!”
University of Michigan student, taken from anonymous Faculty Evaluations

“Amy - you are one of a kind: challenging, supportive, strict yet carefree, caring and respectful. You don’t find many teachers with those qualities. I will never forget you took time out of your summer to check up on me. Your check-ins at the beginning of class always gave me comfort that you cared about my well-being and gave me the secure knowledge that I was allowed to listen to what my body needed on a daily basis. You are inspiring and I hope to be a teacher like you someday.”
University of Michigan student who, at the time, was in recovery for an eating disorder

“Your classes are joyful, challenging and encourage dancers to be confident individuals. Truly something special! I am grateful I was able to learn from you as a student and now as a fellow teacher.”
S.Y., University of Michigan student

“ I want to thank you for what you have taught me. Ballet has never made very much sense to me and I feel this year revolutionized how I approach ballet class, namely a whole lot less frustration and a lot more hope. I am thankful for your knowledge and willingness to answer my dozens of questions.”
C.S., University of Michigan student