Maroochy Shire Achievers Award 2003
SC University Demonstration Day Award 2017
Australia Day Award Nominee 2017
Adelaide Fringe Festival 2016 Best Dance Award
Melissa began her professional career as a dancer in Sydney working with some of Australia foremost independent chroeographers and commercial artists. For several years she danced in works for Double Vision, Darc Swan, Kinetic Energy, Sue Spence, Annette Eyland and Chrissie Coltai. In commercial work she danced on television for Channel 7 as a back up dancer for Karen Knowles, Julie Anthony, the Australian Opera and Tommy Tycho amongst other commercial work.
She then moved into independent work after gaining a post graduate Qualification in Dance Therapy and spent many years instigating and facilitating social inclusion projects in Queensland. She has choreographed for many years across South East Queensland in Tertiary and Secondary Schools. Melissa received the Maroochy Shire Achievers Cultural Award for her services to dance and moved to the U.K to work at DanceEast. Whilst there she worked with companies Henri Oguike, and Britten Sinfonia on a multi layered project out of the Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral and with Bare Bones (Birmingham)on their regional tours. She danced on film for the Costume Museum commissioned by the National Trust. Melissa choreographed for several youth dance companies, led and facilitated community based projects in south east England.
Since returning to Australia, Melissa now teaches and choreographs constantly and extensively throughout Australia and has continually facilitated projects throughout S.E Qld. In 2015 she choreographed Counter World - where she brought in 150 students across 9 schools in one complete performance. . In 2017, Melissa conceived, facilitated and choreographed F u R Y – the Extensive Youth Dance Project that brought together over 90 young dancers from 7 schools and studios to perform together on a dance-installation performed ‘in the round’. This stunning work was so popular that this project will be repeated in 2018.
She has just completed a 4 year tenure on the board of the Regional Arts Development Fund and is regularly engaged to speak on Dance and the Arts.
Melissa's work 'Vincent' premiered at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2016 to rave reviews and an award before touring, with plans for 'Vincent' to now tour internationally in 2019.
2017 also, brought with it a Creative Industries Demo. Day Award for public speaking and innovation, an Australia Day Award Nomination and various other speaking engagements.
Working under the banner of LJ Projects - Melissa continues to bring in well-respected creatives and artists to work on theatre that fuses, movement, text, original scores and rich visual design.
In 2018, Melissa has worked constantly , first was Anywhere Theatre Festivals 'Metamorphoses' for Buderim Youth Theatre which won multiple awards,
The extensive Youth Dance Project 'In The Blink of an Eye' with a cast of 90 to a Full House,
'Femininus' in collaboration with Melanie J Designs for Horizon Festival 2018
And the establishment of the first Artist in Residency for Dance in the region in November 2018. Along with constant teaching engagements and the commencement of an Masters qualification.
AWARDS: Australia Day Award Nomination, Best Dance Award Adelaide Fringe Festival, Critics Choice/Audience Choice and Sunshine Coast Council Anywhere Award Metemorphoses.
Tel: 0403814820 (Australia)