Michelle Ameerally Headshot

Frost graduate takes performing arts education to the next level

By UMAA

Frost graduate takes performing arts education to the next level

By UMAA
Alumna Michelle Ameerally combined her passions for teaching and performing to build an award-winning performing arts studio.

She believes in the process – whether she’s learning, teaching, or building her studio, one step at a time.  

Which may be part of the reason why alumna Michelle Ameerally, B.M. ’01, M.B.E.I. ’20, has, with little business experience at the start, transformed what began as private lessons in her home into a thriving and successful full-service and award-winning performing arts studio.

Broadway Kids Studio now teaches all of the disciplines of the performing arts: singing, dancing, acting, instruments, audition technique, musical theatre, and more. They provide group classes, private lessons, an after-school program, camps, musicals, and even dance competitions. They also partner with local schools to provide enrichment and after-school drama, music, and dance on campus.

Ameerally, who sings, acts, and dances, first discovered her passion for teaching while performing at the Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables. There, a director recognized her natural talent with younger performers and hired her to teach on Saturdays. “I fell in love with teaching,” she recalls. “I learned from every mistake I made and found it so rewarding.”

And so, throughout her time as a student at the Frost School of Music, and for years after earning her bachelor’s in musical theatre in 2001, she split her time between performing and teaching. Eventually, she began offering private lessons in her own home on the weekends and after work.

But when her father passed away in 2005, Ameerally decided to take a break from performing. “It’s not that I lost my passion,” she recalls. “But it forced me to reevaluate my quality of life. I didn’t want to be in a show every weekend night and not be able to spend time with the family that I still had.”

That’s when she decided to open her own studio, encouraged by the loyal following she had built throughout her years of teaching, and inspired by her passions for both teaching and the performing arts. The idea was to have one school encompassing all of the performing arts, which she believes can have a positive impact on any student.

“The arts teach so much more than just music and drama,” she says. “It teaches kids self-confidence and how to be proud of who they are. And there’s something about speaking in front of crowd and being able to take constructive criticism and process it without getting defensive that I think is a life skill, especially with a generation that is used to instant gratification with social media.”  

With support from her husband and family, she set to work, starting with a small 1300 sq. ft. space with yellow painted walls and learning as she went with her team. “We started very small and grew organically,” she shares. “We grew with our clients, and never bit off more than we could chew.”

Ameerally, for her part, maintained a full-time job as a teacher in private and charter schools, and never took a paycheck for the first five years of the business. They reinvested any money they made in order to get higher quality equipment, or microphones, or better flooring, or bigger mirrors.  

Now, over 10 years later, the studio has grown to close to 8000 sq. ft. (and traded in the yellow walls). And despite the wide range of classes available, Ameerally and her team treat every discipline as if it’s the only one that a child is coming for.  They’ve trained numerous professional singers, actors, and dancers who have been seen in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions, on television, in movies, and on the music charts.

“We take pride in the process,” she says. “Our actual building of our studio is an example of that. We didn't just get a big space and make it pretty, we did what we could when we could, and I think when kids learn to go from A, B, to C, they really learn how to become better performers.” 

But more importantly, they’ve been able to provide a positive and safe environment for kids. “I wanted to make Broadway Kids very welcoming to everybody,” Ameerally says. “To make it a place where people could feel safe to take a risk and to be whoever they are at the studio, all while maintaining a sense of professionalism.  My favorite part is my students’ passion and success, whether they’re winning an essay contest or starring as Annie on Broadway.”

The double ’Cane, who recently earned a master’s in music business and entertainment industries from Frost Online, is grateful for the education she received at UM at every stage of her career. “My training at UM during my undergrad years first allowed me to develop the mold for my company. My master’s program later taught me a number of things that I’ve been able to implement in my business,” she says.

To learn more about Broadway Kids Studio, visit their website.