Melissa has been dancing since the age of 8. She began her training at the Parksville Ballet School under the direction of Linda Klassen, and was quickly invited to join the performing arts program. Melissa has completed advanced exams in Ballet (Cecchetti), Modern (ISTD) and Tap (ISTD), as well as completed extensive training in Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theatre.
Melissa competed in many competitions at both the national and international levels. She was a member of the Vancouver Island Youth Dance Association performing with Dancestreams. During this time she trained with choreographers such as Mary Louise Albert, Marlise McCormick, Joe Laughlin and Judith Garay.
Upon graduation Melissa began teaching Tap and jazz at several schools across Vancouver Island, as well as developing a central island Hip Hop program at Parksville Ballet School. In 2000 she began teaching in Northern B.C where she eventually opened her own studio teaching Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern and Hip Hop. While running her studio Melissa choreographed pieces for the opening ceremonies of the B.C Winter Games, as well as receiving recognition for choreography at the B.C Provincial Festival of the Arts.
In 2009 Melissa made the hard decision to take a step back from teaching dance to complete her university education, attending VIU’s Bachelor of Science Program and later starting a family. While always maintaining a passion for teaching dance and a love of education Melissa recently took her teachers training in acrobatics, which she shared with students at Innovate
Dance Arts. Melissa is looking forward to continue teaching acrobatics as well as starting her new role in the Hip Hop program. Melissa hopes to bring an innovative and challenging approach to her teaching while nurturing a love of dance in her students.