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Tribute to Michael Falotico | Passages
By Ashia Mills
Poulsbo has lost a true dance legend, Michael Falotico (May 5, 1939 to May 21, 2012).
I was a student of Michael’s for seven years and then a co-worker and colleague for the past 12 years. I calculated out that, like many young girls in Poulsbo, I spent all of my teenage years studying ballet under Michael — roughly 1,600 hours of study.
What stays with me is how patient Michael was with all of these teenage girls. I remember the first ballet class I took with him; I was blown away by the fast French that he used. It was overwhelming. But he had a way of staying on course and teaching along the way. He was always a genuine gentleman and treated us as true students of ballet, not just teenage girls from a small town called Poulsbo who at this time wore layers of warmups over our leotards and chatted too much in class.
We had the rare privilege and opportunity to experience a taste of what it would be like to learn choreography in a professional dance environment. And the amazing thing is, this was in Poulsbo. His choreography and costume creations were unlike any that I have seen in dance studios. His specific corrections that he would give in ballet have stuck with me all these years. I did not turn out to be some amazing professional dancer, but I have taught hundreds of students over the years and I believe this passion came from studying under Michael.
We thank you, Michael, for the years of dedication to the dance community here in Poulsbo and afar. You will be greatly missed.