was born in Germany in 1970 and initially trained and worked as a chef for six years. He studied dance at the School for Tanztheater Bernd Kühn in Hamburg from 1993 to 1995 and then at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen from 1995 to 1998, followed by a year in Jean Cébron’s master class. From 1998 to 1999 he danced with the Mark Sieczkarek Company in Essen. The following year he received a scholarship from the DAAD to study at the Limón Institute in New York and dance with the Limón Dance Company as a guest dancer. From 2000 to 2001 he danced with the Tanztheater Basel under Joachim Schlömer, and from 2001 to 2004 at the Folkwang Tanzstudio in Essen under Henrietta Horn. Franko Schmidt has been a permanent member of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch since 2004.
He has danced in works by Susanne Linke, Henrietta Horn, José Limón, Mark Sieczkarek, Bernd Kühn, Manuel Quero, Gabrio Gabrielli, Sanna Myllylahti, Eun Me Ahn, Joachim Schlömer, Tim Etchells, Dimitris Papaioannou and Pina Bausch, and has toured to Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, Iceland, Brazil, India, USA, Egypt, Taiwan, Israel and all over Europe. He first began teaching while still a student in Hamburg. Today he is a rehearsal director at the Tanztheater Wuppertal and was guest lecturer at the Folkwang University of the Arts. He also regularly taught at the Folkwang Tanzstudio, the Tanztheater of the State Theatre Kassel, the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Mexico, and the cultural centre Los Talleres in Mexico City. He has taught workshops and classes at Kyoto Arts Centre in Japan, Istanbul Festival, Danza Universitaria in San José, Costa Rica, the Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg and the dance department of the Shanghai Theatre Academy in Shanghai, China, as well as in Florence, Rovereto and Rome in Italy.