Ms Pilgrim is the only girl amongst boys born to Mr Lennox and Mrs Yvonne Pilgrim of Coconut Drive, San Fernando, her father is a retired Welder Foreman from Petrotrin and her mother a retired Teacher.
Much like her mother Michelle too wanted to educate the youths in the Art ( Dance) which she perfected from an early age. Michellle’s parents were very supportive, instrumental and offered constant encouragement and still do to this day in her career.
Ms Pilgrim started dancing at the Contemporary Dance Company, Naparima Bowl under the tutelage of Mr. Eric Butler at the tender age of Three(3) after her mother noticed her dancing in front the television to every song From America’s Top Ten with Casey Kasem. As a child ( under Mr. Butler tutelage) she performed in her first dance production “Memoirs” a beautiful presentation choreographed by Mr. Butler, she remembers the senior dancers Mr Terry David, Ms Erics Rawlins and Ms KellyPrescott just to name a few. The First time she danced to drums , oh that sweet sound was played and directed by the late Mr Hollis Rodney, whom she fondly referred to as Uncle Hollis( may his soul rest in peace), there she remained from age three until age fourteen when Mr. Butler himself referred her to Ms Ermin Hinds of the San Fernando General Hospital Cultural Performers.
While a part of that organization Michelle was exposed to folk dance through the medium of Best Village. In 1999 Michelle represented the group in her first Queen Show - Miss La Reine Rive- she was awarded Miss Amity and best hair and makeup combined. Michelle worked with different choreographers for e.g. Ms Erslin Williams, Mr. Mervyn Dick, Mr. Phillip Sargent and Ms Erica Rawlins, just to name a few. When Ms Pilgrim turned sixteen the Artistic Director of the group , Ms Erica Rawlins recommended that she audition for Ms Paula Atherly the Manager of an international performing group called Trinidad and Tobago Show Boat, this group was known for touring different countries like Japan, Peru, Malaysia, USA, etc.
Under the management of Ms Paula Atherly and the Artistic Director Ms Erica Rawlins, Michelle went to Springfield , Massachusetts to perform in the Big Eastern State Fair in 2001 and 2002; she also danced at the Disney’s Discovery Cove, Miami, Florida in 2003.
Later that year(2003) Michelle entered and won the Miss Trinidad and tobago Talent Queen, she was awarded the Miss Sacha Face International , Best physique and Best Talent, as the winner Ms Pilgrim would have represented T&T at regional talent competitions in St Marten, Antigua, Anguilla and St. Kitts.
In 2004 Ms Pilgrim represented Trinidad and Tobago in the Miss PJD2 Caribbean Queen Pageant where she placed First Runner Up also copping Miss Amity. During that year Michelle modeled for the House Of Jacqui in Antigua. All this took place while Ms. Pilgrim taught Dance at the San Fernando Girls Anglican Primary School. The Principal at that time was Mrs. Ruby Ifill, she allowed her to have classes on a Saturday in the school’s dance room.
Ms Pilgrim taught at the school and had her classes on Saturdays for the next three years. In 2005 she was called by an international Company- The Universoul Circus- the onlyblack owned and operated circus in the United States Of America. She worked with them dancing and as a showgirl riding elephants and doing disappearing acts with tigers foe five years as part of the Caribbean Group called Caribbean Heat, “they brought Heat to the USA,” this group was lead by Ms Erica Rawlins.
Michelle returned to Trinidad in February 2009 and opened the Michelle Pilgrim Dance Forever Contemporary Theatre Company to follow a dream she had as a child also following her dance teacher’s footsteps ( Mr. Eric Butler) who always said that he wanted one of his students to carry on the art he loved- Dance. In December of 2009 she produced her first concert entitled “All I Missed B4 Christmas” which was from H20 Phlo, North West Laventille Cultural Movement, Roxanne Singh, the dance group “The Gentlement” and Alexi Little.
Today as a woman the passion remains SHE LOVES TO DANCE and once God gives her the health and strenght SHE WILL DANCE FOREVER. I bring to you Ms Michelle Pilgrim Artistic Director/Owner of Michelle Pilgrim Dance Forever Contemporary Theatre Company.
Dance Forever’s Watch Words
I will be a
Disciplined Determined and Dedicated Dancer