Mickela was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut of Italian immigrant parents from Minturno (Lazio region). Growing up with well-preserved traditions of the Southern Italian culture, her appreciation for folk tradition started at a very young age. She began dancing when she was three years old and soon started playing the piano at age five. Her love for the arts flourished, was trained in classical and jazz piano, played violin and flute, trained at the Stamford City Ballet school and Center Stage Dance Studio, and was choreographing and performing with prestigious companies in the tri-state area once she reached high school. In college, Mickela attended New York University for Music Composition, studying abroad for two summer semesters through the NYU Florence Program and as an AIAE Programma Ponte scholarship recipient in Rome in 2003. Studying abroad sparked a love for travel in Mickela back in 2002 that has since then influenced her career.
Out of college, Mickela worked in the music industry, eventually landing a position with one of the top music management companies, Sanctuary Artists. Working for one of the industry’s top metal bands, Slipknot, she realized that arts were no longer in her daily life as they had once been. Quitting the music industry entirely, she went full force back into dance, teaching jazz, tap, ballet, and lyrical at the Locust Performing Arts Center in Stamford (artistic director, Jimmy Locust) as well as The Masala Bhangra Workout® at The Ailey Extension in New York City.
How Bare Feet was Born
With the constant love for travel always calling back to her, Mickela created the Bare Feet® project in 2010 as an extension to what she had already been doing during her trips abroad and locally. Her fascination for folk dance and music inspired her to always seek out the local performances and celebrations so she herself could immerse herself in the dance culture. Inspiration from her own experiences led Mickela to create the Bare Feet® blog, documenting her dance adventures around the world, which then evolved into the Emmy® Award-winning TV series on public television nationwide, Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi – combining her two passions in life: travel & dance.
Mickela wants the Bare Feet® series to inspire her audience to experience for themselves the wonderful dances that she learns in every place she visits.