Melanie is the Owner and Artistic Director of The Sullivan Dance Centre. She has been a dance educator in the Charlotte community for over thirty years. As a young dancer, she was a scholarship student to the Washington School of Ballet where she studied under Mary Day. Over the past fifteen years, Melanie has developed a unique technically based jazz curriculum that provides dancers with an artistic approach to jazz dance which prepares them for dance in college or a career on the stage. Her students have received scholarships to Carnegie Melon, Alvin Ailey, Gus Giordano Dance Center, Tremaine Dance Center, School of American Ballet, Point Park University, Oklahoma City University, North Carolina School of the Arts, LA Dance Magic Final Cut, Studio and Convention scholarships, as well as numerous other prestigious programs.
Her choreography has been recognized for excellence regionally and nationally by New York City Dance Alliance Critics Choice, American Dance Awards Diamond Choreographers Awards, Dance Troupe, Inc. and many others. In 2010, her dancers received top overall Large Group Recognition in National Competition as well as many other top scoring groups. In addition, Melanie was honored to have received the Ray Hollingsworth Memorial Choreography Award (Winston Salem 2010) for her solo piece Coming Home performed by her student Holly Van halsema.
Melanie has coached many title recipients including both regional and national titlists. She is a five time choreographic finalist for the Leo’s Competitive Event at the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress where her company performed in Monterrey, Mexico, Phoenix, Az, Chicago, Il., and Buffalo, NY. This event honors choreographers that are producing innovative and artistic work in concert jazz dance.
Melanie has served as an adjudicator for several competitive dance organizations as well as giving master classes in her unique style of jazz dance. She has had students in the Broadway Casts of Wicked, Cabaret, Legally Blonde, West Side Story, and Sweet Charity to name a few.
Melanie still finds her greatest joy in the classroom with her students. Her students are her daily inspiration and teaching her greatest blessing! Watching her students grow and seeing them deepen their love of dance is a gift for which she is deeply grateful. She is a proud wife and mother of four who loves spending her free time on the lake with her large and boisterous Irish family! She is especially proud to be a part of a Dance Family that has encompassed three generations of dance educators and professional performers! Her goal is to see the studio through to many more generations of Sullivan Dancers!