Michela Melone Leaving an Imprint on the World of Dance

Michela Melone, Photo by Flexx Fernandez

Renowned dancer, actor, and choreographer Michela Melone is leaving her footprint on New York City and the world of Dance with her creative excellence. Born and raised in Italy in a multicultural household, to a Brazilian mom and Italian father. Michela started dancing when she was 6 years old, and she booked her first professional dance job when she was 11, dancing for the Global Destination for Shoes (GDS) in Düsseldorf, Germany. In Italy, she worked for Metropolis dance company and Gruppo E-Motion, and she had the opportunity to dance in several important theatres throughout Italy and for the TV show Capodanno 5.

Michela graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in dance with an emphasis in choreography and performance with honors from the National Honor Society Of Dance Arts (NHSDA). Then, she moved to Los Angeles, where she now works as a professional dancer, choreographer, and actor. Throughout her career, she had the opportunity to study several dance styles and work with several dance companies, including ViverBrasil, Diavolo Architecture in Motion, Contempo Arts Productions, and with productions for big and small projects, including music videos for The Weeknd, Pink Sweats, Jonah Kagen, and commercials for ZTE, Fabletics, Poshmark, FIFA, and several others. 

NY Elite Magazine Exclusive Interview with the Amazing Dancer, Actor, and Choreographer Michela Melone

NY Elite: What is your most recent project and what are you currently working on?

Michela Melone: Currently I am working on a Christmas show that takes place in Disney California Adventure Park. The show is called Viva Navidad and I am currently performing as one of the samba de roda dancers as part of ViverBrasil dance company. I am also one of the costume coordinators for our team. The show features the three caballeros Donald Duck, Panchito, and Jose Carioca. Meanwhile, I also keep working on other projects like music videos and commercials.

NY Elite: What school of thought/dance movement do you identify with?

Michela Melone: That is a hard question. My style is very broad and includes principles from several dance genres. I am trained in Modern, Breaking, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Afro-Brazilian dances, and Jazz. Recently I have also been training in Capoeira, Fight Choreography, and Wire work. My style uses a lot of Floor work, and it uses principles from Modern dance, capoeira and breaking.

NY Elite: What opportunity/event opened the door to your career?

Michela Melone: When I was 10 years old, I had the opportunity to be offered my first professional job. I was cast in a team that represented an Italian shoe brand in the International Shoe Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, an international exposition for shoe brands from all over the world. We performed 3 times a day. Since that opportunity, I was able to experience firsthand the life of a professional dancer and I decided to take that path.

Lamonte Goode and Michela Melone – photo by Cheryl Mann

NY Elite: Tell us about some of your favorite dance projects?

Michela Melone: I have so many performances that I loved being a part of. One of it was for the Mediterranean games that took place in Italy. I remember there was a lot of preparation for the opening ceremony. There were several choreographies, and I was in two of them. One was on the main stage with the games’ mascot Awa’, we had fluorescent make up and clothing and danced with flippers on our hands and feet. It was all choreographed by Bryn Walters and Hough Jack. The second piece was about the Mediterranean Sea, and it was all based on an aerial view of the choreography. I remember the choreographer had to direct rehearsals from the top of a crane with a megaphone. In the end we made the three circles that form the logo of the game. I loved working on such a big performance with such a big cast. It taught me a lot about opening ceremonies and site-specific work.

NY Elite: Your most exciting performance experience.

Michela Melone: Filming music videos with the Weeknd and Pink Sweats were truly memorable experiences. The long day on the set of The Weeknd ft Swedish House Mafia’s “Sacrifice” remix was well worth it, and working on Pink Sweats’ “Heaven” video was another exciting opportunity. Another standout project was the performance “24” in Italy, which featured four dancers in wheelchairs. The entire process was amazing, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

NY Elite: How would you describe your dance style?

Michela Melone: I have a diverse dance background which allows me to adapt to various genres. My style incorporates elements of floor work, acrobatics, and athleticism. I enjoy pushing myself and trying new combinations that challenge me and help me explore different movement patterns. To avoid falling into habits, I try to constantly refresh my style and experiment with new concepts and techniques.

NY Elite: What influences your style and creativity?

Michela Melone: A lot of different choreographers. I love Pina Bausch and her tanztheatre. I was always inspired by her work and always thought her creations are very innovative with a very deep layer of meaning behind each movement. Other great inspiration sources are Akram Khan, Alvin Ailey, and Ohad Naharin.

Michela Melone – photo by Mike Kwok

NY Elite: Have you studied other styles of dance?

Michela Melone: Yes, I have studied several dance styles. I studied modern, hip-hop, ballet, breaking, contemporary, afro-Brazilian, Brazilian samba, house, voguing, waacking, acrobatics. I learned a lot from each style. Some of them came easier than others but I liked learning and improving. Ballet taught me how to be disciplined and aware of my body placement, hip-hop taught me how to use my full range of motion and switch between different movement qualities, breaking taught me that everything takes work, but training brings improvement, afro-Brazilian taught me to honor and remember my ancestors and their efforts.

NY Elite: What causes/Charities do you support and why?

Michela Melone: National Dance Education Organization has a lot of resources for dancers, especially dancers interested to get into academia and teaching. Being a good dancer doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good teacher, and I think their resources are really helpful to become a better teacher and understand how to pass along this great art form.

National Ataxia Foundation is one of the charities that I try to support now. I had several family members passing away because of ataxia, and some that are currently living with this rare genetic condition. I have seen several members of my family being warriors and accomplishing so much despite this condition. I am trying to learn more and more so that I can understand how to be a better support.

NY Elite: Do you also choreograph/teach? Tell us a little bit more about any dance academy you are involved in

Michela Melone: Lately I have been busy performing more than teaching, although I occasionally teach classes. I am a part of faculty in Dance in Rome which is an online platform where people all over the world can take dance classes of different styles. In fact, I recently taught a class with them for their convention DanceInRome and it was an amazing experience. I will also be teaching for their Vieste Summer Dance Convention in July. I love teaching dance, I just haven’t had a lot of time to focus on that, so I love when I get to teach a masterclass, workshop, or a private class. I also occasionally teach for Diavolo Architecture in motion for their specific style of dance, which is a mix of several dance styles and acrobatics often using structures. I love sharing what I learned during the years and see the development of dancers.

NY Elite: Do you try to push yourself in new directions with each new piece?

Michela Melone: Yes, I always try to push further in any composition I make. I like to experiment with my pieces and try to take different approaches. I find that working out of my habits helps me furthering my creativity and widening my movement quality as well. It is often uncomfortable, but I think it’s worth it because we need to get out of our comfort zone to improve.

NY Elite: How has your dance style and dance philosophy changed over the years?

Michela Melone: It is constantly changing. I think change is a part of life and that reflects into our way of thinking. I used to see things very black or white, now I see a lot of grey as well. Specifically, I thought that dance should always have deep meaning, encourage big changes in the audience’s lives. I thought that theatre was the main place where dance should take place. Now, my vision has changed a little. I still think it’s beautiful when dance has such a big impact on people’s lives, but I also think that it’s ok to just dance to dance, to feel better, to just enjoy your time. I think dance films is beautiful and that capturing dance through a camera instead of a live show opens up different possibilities that live performance doesn’t have and vice versa. Lately, I have been exploring a lot with video and dance and I am discovering a new way to choreograph and direct dancers.

NY Elite: What are your goals/dreams for the future? What’s your advice for all the aspiring dancers out there?

Michela Melone: I would love to own my dance company and work on my creations. I also love choreographing pieces that fit specific dancers. I have a lot of pieces of advice, but I think the most important is: be consistent. Meaning you should put in the work; you should try to take opportunities and also create your own. It’s a though career but it is very rewarding. You need to have a lot of patience and really put in a lot of effort. It’s extremely hard at times but be your own cheerleader because you must believe in what you do. Support other artists too! Be ok with rejection, it is just part of the process, things will not always go your way but consistency brings progress.

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2 thoughts on “Michela Melone Leaving an Imprint on the World of Dance

  1. Michela Melone is a fascinating beauty and wonderful talent,she is constantly creative and will have a great time and success with her strong and great character,
    lets follow her with big joy.


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