Note: Michael’s final North American Tour performance as Billy was in Charlotte, NC on January 29, 2011.
Debuts: October 16, 2008 (Sydney) January 31, 2010 (Broadway) November 6, 2010 (North American Tour – Durham, NC)
Total Performances as Billy: Unknown (Because data for Sydney shows not recorded) Recorded data: 119 [Melbourne = 43] [Broadway = 57.5 (includes 1 partial show credited @.5)][North American Tour = 18.5 (includes 1 partial show credited @.5)]
When the then 15-year-old Michael Dameski (D.O.B. = 7-Nov-1995) stepped onto the stage at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) in his North American Tour debut on Saturday, November 6, 2010, he became the first of all the boys who have played Billy Elliot to perform the role in three different productions of the show. He had already been Billy in Australia, where he debuted on October 16, 2008. He then came to America and debuted on Broadway on Sunday January 31, 2010 at the matinee performance. Michael is from Sydney, Australia, where he grew up with his mom, dad and two sisters.
Editors Note: Many years later, Michael would describe his life as a young boy before BETM in an article on DanceInforma.com titled “Michael Dameski: Making Waves from Australia to the U.S.”
“Before dance, I was a soccer player. My father was a famous soccer player, so I was very much into sports. My sisters were my main influence and what sparked my interest in dance. I would come home from soccer practice, and they’d be dancing around the house, and I started joining them as something fun to do.”
Since 2005, once he began dancing, his skills led to considerable success in dance competitions around the world. In 2005, Michael was named a Top 10 Dance Idol finalist by Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NDIA). In 2006, he received the Under 13 first place in the Music and Performing Arts Junior Challenge, which is a national talent search in Australia. In 2007, he represented Australia in the world championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. There he received gold in all categories, and was named Junior World Dancer.
Michael has also been recognized for his singing ability. In 2007, he was a guest at the Zlatno Slavejce (Golden Nightingale) children’s singing festival in Macedonia, at which he recorded a song written especially for him entitled ‘One Dance’. Here’s a video of that performance, in which a much longer haired Michael showcases his vocal and dance talent:
Credit: Video by bogdanovski1
Michael’s theatrical training began at Brent Street, Australia’s prestigious school for the performing arts, where his studies included many dance styles including jazz, tap, ballet, acrobatics, hip hop, contemporary drama and musical theatre, as well as academics. After his stint in Billy Elliot the Musical in Australia, Michael returned to Brent Street.
In the late Fall of 2009, the BETM creative team realized that potentially they could be down below the minimum number of boys needed to comfortably maintain the Broadway Billy rotation required to do the show eight times per week. They knew that one of the three originating Broadway Billys, Kiril Kulish, was leaving the show in early October, and that another would soon follow (David Alvarez on Jan. 3, 2010). The decision that Tommy Batchelor would star in the BETM road company production beginning in Chicago meant he would be leaving the Broadway show on December 11th to prepare for his debut in the Windy City. Alex Ko had debuted right after Kiril left, but he went down, after just three performances, with a knee injury that would keep him off the stage for an extended period. The next Billy in the pipeline, Liam Redhead, was still in training and not quite ready to debut. And still another Billy-in-training, Jacob Clemente, had just started his training and was even further away from being ready.
So the creative team needed to bring in some additional Billys quickly to fill the temporary void. They turned to Australia, where a very successful run of the production had just finished in June of 2009. Luckily there were a couple of very talented boys who had played Billy in that production, Dayton Tavares and Michael Dameski, who were still of the right age, stature and still had unbroken voices. Most importantly, they wouldn’t require all that much training as they both had already performed the role for several months.
Dayton came to NYC in early November and debuted on Broadway on December 19th. Like Tavares, Dameski was one of the five final Australian Billys, joining that cast in Sydney on October 16, 2008. His final performance as Billy in Australia was the next to last show there on June 13, 2009, in Melbourne. He had been studying, in the interim, at the Talent Development High School at Fox Studios in Sydney. Ironically, Michael arrived in NYC to begin his rehearsals/training for the Broadway show the same weekend Dayton debuted.
Here’s a glimpse of Michael as Billy, performing “Angry Dance” from the Australian show:
Credit: Video by elliotfan1
On March 27, 2010, Michael did an interview on Australia’s Channel 7. He talks about life as Billy and how he perceives his life after Billy:
Credit: Video by Sonicrockz18
On April 28, 2010, Michael performed at the sixth annual Garden of Dreams Foundation Spring Talent Show, at Radio City Music Hall. More than 100 children from 11 of the Foundation’s partner organizations including Make-A-Wish Foundation, NYU Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Children’s Aid Society, Children’s Village, and WHEDCo staged over 20 special performances over the course of the evening.
Dayton and Michael were initially meant to be temporary performers while several of the boys who were training to become Billy on Broadway got ready to perform the role. But they both got rave reviews and their contracts were renewed. Then, in June 2010, it was announced that Michael would anchor the new 2nd North American tour as the senior Billy. His last performance on Broadway as Billy was Sunday evening, September 5, 2010. All reviews and reports of that evening were that it was an emotional, energy charged performance, during which Michael put on one of, if not THE best performance in his career as Billy, punctuated in several places throughout the show by standing ovations and wild applause. He then went into rehearsals with the rest of the 2nd Tour cast. Despite his longetivity in the role, between both Australia and New York, Michael had to begin learning working with a slightly different set than he’d been used to, which necessitated some new blocking and choreography and, of course, a new group of fellow cast members.
Like his friend, Dayton, Michael made his impact on BETM in America, demonstrating the skills that Aussie fans of the musical raved about during the show’s run there. He continued representing his country well for the remainder of his time as Billy, as audiences around the US got the opportunity to enjoy his great talent. He performed the role for the final time in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Saturday evening, January 29, 2011.
Michael then returned to Australia, rejoining his family there. He said then that he would continue to be educated in the performing arts, adding to his already great skills. There is no doubt we haven’t heard the last of this young man from Oz.
Photo Credit: Catherine Pappas
Life After Billy
- 2011 – In December of 2011, after his last performance in BETM, Michael was featured in the Brent Street Academy’s presentation honoring Bob Fosse — with a dance called Percussion 4.
Credit: Video by Brent Street
2012 – In early 2012, Michael appeared on Young Talent Time, an Australian television variety show available on Network Ten. He competed and won Heat 9.
2013 – Michael won Australian Dancer of the Year at the Showcase Australian Dance Championships in 2013. He then received the Dance Around the World Solo Competition award. After that, Michael went on to win the US Rainbow Dance title in Vegas.
2014 – In February, Michael competed in the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance. On May 1st , he won the competition becoming Australia’s Favorite Dancer for 2014. This video is of his much acclaimed Top 8 Solo Performance in the Semi Finals:
Credit: Video by Eddy S. Tandya
In July of 2014 Michael attended Dizzy Feet Foundation’s (Building Healthy Communities Through Dance) Celebration of Dance Gala at the Music Center in Los Angeles, California. That same year, Michael performed as an original cast member of the Dream Dance Company. In October, he joined the Career Transition For Dancers’ 29th Jubilee. In December, Michael interviewed on the AfterBuzz TV network.
2017 – Michael traveled and performed with the First National Tour of Newsies in 2017. He played Tommy Boy and a Citizen of New York, then returned to the role in the Newsies Broadway Recording shown in theaters. In October of 2017, Michael participated in P!nk: Beautiful Trauma – Dance Version of a short music video. On October 22nd, Michael appeared with Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound Company.
- 2018 – In 2018, Michael competed on US television’s World of Dance (season 2) from May to September on NBC. He created his own choreography for the competition, and it helped him to finish as Runner-Up. In April, he participated in a concept video with Mitch Wynter for The Dream Dance Company, choreographed by Mitch Wynter, Eden Petrovski, Marko Panzic, and Michael himself. Michael appeared on season 15 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on July 10, 2018, performing some of his choreography from World of Dance.
Credit: Video by TheEllenShow
On September 7th, Michael participated in another concept video titled Dean Lewis – Be Alright. He danced with Ashley Gonzales to choreography by Kyle Hanagami. Michael was also featured in a DanceInforma.com article titled Michael Dameski: Making Waves from Australia to the U.S.
- 2019 – In January, Michael performed on Pickler & Ben, an American syndicated talk show.
Credit: Video by Pickler & Ben
He also taught open classes in Sydney in 2019. On April 22nd, Michael and Maddie Ziegler performed Fire On Fire! He also conducted a Compilation of dance classes in the Millennium Dance Complex. You can subscribe to see this Compilation on http://bit.ly/2VknLUF. In August of 2019, Michael danced with Charity Anderson in Shallow, in a performance presented on YouTube.
- 2020 – In 2020, Michael taught choreography in Canada for Ottawa Pro Sports Management. Michael and Briar Nolet live streamed a question & answer session about dance on YouTube in February. July 27 to August 7, Michael taught choreography at Vegas Jazz & Contemporary Intensive for Joffrey Ballet School. Michael also taught his choreography at Retter Entertainment on October 16th. In November, Michael was a part of the Jump Minneapolis faculty.
- 2021 – In February of 2021, Michael posted a video of a creation he choreographed and danced to what he’s called In the Silence, a tribute to his late grandfather whom he considered a major inspiration in his life.
Credit: Video by Michael Dameski Official Channel
For more information about Michael Dameski visit: