Melissa Michaels, Ed. D.

P.O. Box 7478

Boulder, CO 80306




     The Fielding Graduate University, Ed.D., Education Leadership and Change, 2006.

Dissertation: Surfing The Creative® - The Process and Potential Of A Body Centered Rites of Passage Program Serving Youth Development

     University of Colorado, B.S., Environmental Design, Graduated with Honors, 1983.




     Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME) and Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT), ISMETA, 2009.

     Spiritual Ministry Ordination with Rev. Ron Roth, Full Life Fellowship, 2002.

     Certified Coming of Age Educator, Menstrual Health Foundation and Institute for Renewal of Modern Culture, 1997.

     Certified Pre & Perinatal Fitness Educator, Women’s Health Fitness, DPT™, 1995.

     Certified Movement Educator/ First Generation Teacher of Roth’s Five Rhythms™, 1992.


Expertise and Areas of Interest


     Somatic Education

     Youth and Human Development

     Rites of Passage

     International Youth Leadership Training

     Woman's Life Cycles

     Universal Languages of Dance, Music, Theater, and Poetics

     Embodied Empathy ™/ Peace Studies

     Spirituality in Education


Professional Experience


     Founder and Director of Educational Programming, Wild Life Productions, LLC., Boulder, CO, 1990 – Present and Golden Bridge, 501c-3, 2006 – Present.   

       Developed and taught Life Cycles Training for educators, therapists youth workers, parents, and international leaders.

        Produced Surfing The Creative® Film Short (

        Co-Produced Pictures of the Possible Film Shorts (Pictures of the Possible Videos).

        Developed and taught SomaSource™ body-centered transformational programs to 100’s of people in numerous life cycles, including pregnant and post – partum families, children K - 12, youth leaders in their 20’s, and adults into old age.

        Conducted SomaSource® Foundational Trainings - Year long programs conducted 6 times, After school program conducted 1 time (12 weeks).

        Mentored and collaborated with Faculty of 1 - 25 in each session.

        Developed and taught Shakti Sisterhood programs empowering diverse women throughout the life cycle.

        Developed and taught Positive Choices programs for middle and high schools.

        Produced Music CD and Experiential Video/DVD for families in the birthing cycle of life: Dance of Birth™.

        Designed and led student exchange programs taking American students to New Zealand (3 weeks/ 2 times) and South India (5 weeks), 2006, 2005, 2004.

        Founder and Director of Rites of Passage Programming, Golden Bridge, Org., Boulder, CO, 2006 - Present.

        Designed and implemented Surfing The Creative® International Youth Rites of Passage Program - Conducted over 20 times, 1 year, 5 weeks, 2 week intensives.

        Recruited, taught, and mentored 100’s of youth from 18 countries.

        Mentored and collaborated with 200+ faculty, including somatic educators and therapists, peace leaders, youth leaders, and related professionals.

        Directed youth performances focused on the arts, community and healing.

        Conducted Movement Masses in 4 countries for 1000’s of people.


Additional Public Presentations Conducted


SomaSource ® Body/ Spirit/ Human Development Presentations and Workshops

        Keynote "Youth, Truth and Action: Igniting the Creative Fires of Young People Around the World." at International Youth Assembly 2014, United Nations.

        Trainings with diverse Women, Youth, & Educators: South Africa, 2014.

        CIYOTA Conference with Hutu and Tutsi Refugees building a Peace Movement Pan-Africa: Uganda, 2013/2014.

        Emerging Women: Changing the World through Feminine Leadership and Entrepreneurship: Movement Mass ~ Boulder, Colorado, 2013.

        NROPI Youth and Community Building Conference: Creative Process and Rites of Passage ~ Baltimore, Maryland, 2013.

        IgniteGood Huffington Post Initiative for Millennial Entrepreneurs: Movement Leadership ~ New York City, New York, 2013.

        Body Mindy Centering Annual Conference: Threshold Dancing ~ Boulder, Colorado, 2013.

        Unites States Association for Body Psychology Annual Conference: Threshold Dancing ~ Boulder, Colorado, 2012.

        Fielding Graduate University: Embodied Leadership Workshop ~ Alexandria, Washington, 2012.

        Courageous Women, Fearless Women Retreat for Women Touched by Cancer ~ Shambhala Mountain Center, Colorado, 2011 & 2012.

        Life and Death Matters: The Dance of Life ~ Boulder, Colorado, 2011

        Naropa University: Pathways Towards Peace ~ Boulder, Colorado, 2012, 2011, 2006, 2005 .

        The Erotic: Exploring Critical Issues ~ Salzburg, Austria, 2009.

        Tui Community - Aotearoa, New Zealand (3 weeks/ 2 times), 2009, 2005, 2004.

        Prescott College: Master’s Colloquium & Expressive Arts Therapy Institute ~ Prescott, AR, 2008, 2009.

        Peace Jam: A Call to Action ~ Denver, CO, 2009.

        Aotearoa and Australian Creative and Art Therapy Associations: Arts Therapy Symposium ~ Auckland, New Zealand, 2008

        Institute of Noetic Sciences: AUM Conference ~ San Rafael, CA, 2007.

        California School of Integral Studies ~ San Francisco, CA, 2007.

        Numerous Schools and Community Centers - Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, South Africa (3 weeks), 2007.

        Auroville Community - Tamil Nadu, South India (5 weeks), 2006.

        Colorado College ~ Colorado Springs, CO, 2005, 2002.

        Whole Family, Whole Child Conference ~ Fair Oaks, CA (Keynote), 2004.

        Passageways Institute - Boulder, CO, 2002.

        Dance Therapy Association ~ Denver, CO, 2002.

        Colorado School Mediation Project: Peace Leadership Conference ~ Denver, CO, 2002, 2001.

        Women’s Theological Center ~ Boston, MA, 2001.

        Safehouse: Art Triumphs Over Domestic Violence ~ Boulder, CO, 2001.

        Girl Scouts of America ~ Boulder, CO, 2001.

        Spirit and Action: International Youth Conference -- Santa Cruz, CA (Weekend   Intensive), 1999.

        Association of Pre and Perinatal Congress - San Francisco, CA, 1999, 1997.

        Colorado Dance Festival ~ Boulder, CO, 1999.

        Shining Mountain Waldorf School ~ Boulder, CO, 2000, 1998, 1997.


Additional Employment


        Co – Founder, Global Passageways: Coming of Age in the 21st Century - 2008.

        Director, After School Program, Friends School - Boulder, CO, 1991 - 1992.

        Director, Small World Summer Camps - Boulder, CO, 1989, 1988.

        Administrative Assistant, Creative Arts and Photography Company - Boulder, CO, 1984 - 1988.

        Research Assistant, Dr. Elise Boulding, University of Colorado - Boulder, CO, 1985 - 1986.



        Received Fielding Graduate University Fellowship in Social Innovation, 2013. 

        Colorado Dance Alliance: Service to the Field Award, 2006.

        Colorado School Mediation Project: Peacebuilder of the Year Nominee, 2001.

        University of Colorado: Dana Giffen Soper Memorial Scholarship Award, 1982.


Associations, Memberships, and Affiliations


        Auroville International, USA

        American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)

        American Counseling Association (ACA)

        Celebrating Life Ministries

        Colorado Association of Psychotherapists (CAP)

        Dance and The Child International (daCi)

        International Expressive Arts Therapy Association

        International Somatic Movement and Therapy Association (ISMETA)

        National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)

        National Rites of Passage Institute (NROPI): Strategic Partner   

        StarHouse ~ All Seasons Chalice (ASC)

        United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP)


Educational Publications and Creative Products


        Article, "The Rite of Dance." in Black Child Journal, Spring 2014 Edition.

        Article, “Birthing Embodied Global Leaders,” in Conscious Dancer Magazine. Winter, 2013.

        Paper, “Youth: Self, Sex, and Spirit,” in The Erotic: Exploring Critical Issues, Inter – Disciplinary.Net. 2009.

        Chapter, “Dancing For Our Lives,” in Finding the Flow: True Stories of Finding Strength and Healing Through Adversity, New Page, Ltd., New Zealand, 2006.

        Interview in Diamonds, Pearl & Stones: Jewels of Wisdom for Young Women from Extraordinary Women of the World, Health Communications, Inc. 2004.

        Article, “Navigating The Edge From Center: International Youth Work,” in Evolve. Auroville International. Winter 2003/2004.

        Article, “Surfing The Creative Edge with Youth,” in Wild Heart Journal: Art, Creativity & Spiritual Life. Volume 6, Issue 2, 2003. 

        Video, “The Dance of Birth, An Invitation to Move with Melissa Michaels & Friends” Wild Life Productions, LLC. 1999.

        CD, “Birth, A Moving Journey From the Longing of the Spirit to the Ecstasy of the Ordinary” Wild Life Productions, LLC. 1997.


Selected Youth Initiatives Mentored


        African Lions: Youth arts program with and for youth living in the townships, Durban, South Africa.

        Mohanam Project: Cultural Center for children in the villages focused on the interface between traditional and modern, Kottakarai, South India.

        Women’s Fertility Educational Programs: Providing youth and adults information about their creative cycles, healthy sexual practices, and self - care in general, Boulder, CO and Cape Town, South Africa.

        Voice Of Youth: International Music and Arts Tour bringing the sounds and practices of positive creative expression to youth across the globe, India and New Zealand.

        Positive Hip Hop: Positive Youth Development: Self - discovery and empowerment groups and classes serving young women from diverse cultures, Boulder, CO.

        The Hermanito Project: A project to raise funds for and awareness about the needs of at-risk youth, Santa Fe, New Mexico.




        I adore tending to my 2 daughters ~ one in college and one a bi-lingual Social Worker serving in Puerto Rico; the 2 other young people I have adopted; my 3 step-children, and all of their contemporaries.

        I am committed to bringing people together for transformational experiences from as many cultures, ages, classes, and countries as possible.

        I am a Dancer, trained in The Five Rhythms™, Pilates, Mime, Eurythmy, Yoga, Tai Chi, African Dance, Sacred Dance, and Ritual Theatre.




        Professional and Personal References are available upon request.