Melissa moved to Sydney from Adelaide in 1997 on a scholarship from the Australian College of Entertainment where she discovered a deeper love for making work rather than performing. Teaching more than 20,000 dancers and making 80 works for young people was a 20 year love affair with pushing boundaries in the educational system for primary, secondary and tertiary students. Lifting the profile of theatre dance, developing a tertiary curriculum and being the first teacher to introduce Musical Theatre as a subject at NSW Education Department Ensemble in 2001.
She retired from choreographing and producing work for young artists in 2011; a forced retirement when her body completely broke down. Little did she know, her body was incubating cancer, pelvic floor dyssynergia (dancer’s disease) and Hashimoto’s disease.
During the acute phase of cancer treatment, her body couldn’t walk, but it could dance. The dance is different now. It is about un-choreographing. Undoing all of the unhealthy habits.