Melissa began training at the age of 17 and since then, has soared into an amazing journey of hip hop, jazz and modern dance experiences. Her dance community background includes local companies like Unity Dance Ensemble, Urban FX, EKetc, and Super Galactic Beat Manipulators. Representation through Bloc Dance and Choreography has opened opportunities for her to work with artists like Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Andy Dick, Athena Cage, No Doubt, and Nickelodeon’s "Taina".
She earned her B.A. in Dance from San Diego State University and her M.A. from California State University, Long Beach. She is a dance instructor at MiraCosta College, Mesa College, and Grossmont Community College. Melissa invests her time in training and preparing her dancers for professional opportunities, as well as developing tools and confidence to use in everyday life. She also impresses the importance of educating the cultural and historical significances of our past in order to preserve our future dance community.
Melissa’s work has been seen showcased at various venues such as Diversionary Theater, White Box Theater, The Neurosciences Institute, RAW Space Off Broadway, David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theater, and more. Her work “In The Wild” received Runner-Up at Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize. Her full-length production “HIP HOP cabHOORAY” received Outstanding Production at San Diego International Fringe Festival in 2015 and Outstanding Dance Production in 2017.
Aside from teaching and choreographing independent gigs, Melissa is a performer/choreographer at the San Diego Zoo. She is also the Founder of Outreach Through Dance, a production company that produces dance showcases and events to benefit various charities and organizations in the San Diego community. OTD works closely with Make-A-Wish San Diego, The John Brockington Foundation, Pacific Arts Movement, and various non-profits globally.