Miss Melissa

Melissa Braithwaite began her dancing career at the Fay Gleeson Dance Centre (FGDC) at the age of 3. She quickly found a love for dance and chose to work towards the competitive stream, and trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Irish. Melissa is a recognized member of the Canadian Dance Teacher Association (CDTA, with a specialization in Ballet.

For over 20 years Melissa has danced at local functions and fundraisers in the city of Thunder Bay and has competed in the local “Lakehead Festival of Music and the Arts” (LMFA), where she has displayed her versatility as a dancer by performing solos, duets, trios, and group numbers in all different dance forms. Melissa has received many special awards for her participation in the LMFA including the ‘Port Arthur Prosvita Silver Tray’, and the ‘Silvia Horne Scholarship’, the ‘Anna Pozihun Gold Cup’, and was awarded the ‘Senior Overall Dance Cup’ two years in a row.

Along with the many years of participating in local competitions, Melissa has also competed internationally and was recognized as the ‘Senior Overall Dancer’ at the L.A. Danceforce Competition, and given a ‘Co. Dance’ summer scholarship with Paula Abdul.

In the summer of 1999, Melissa travelled with the Fay Gleeson Dance Centre Tour Company to Spain where she not only performed for many festivals and celebrations all over the southern coast of the country, but was also fortunate to learn the art of Flamenco dance.

In 2006 Melissa was one of 3 dancers chosen from the city of Thunder Bay to join 25 other dancers from North America in the ‘Hollywood Summer Tour’ hosted by “5678 Showtime”. As part of the experience, Melissa took classes at the “Millennium Dance Complex” where she learned from a variety of choreographers including Shane Sparks, Super Dave, Kenny Wormald and many more.

Throughout her dancing career FGDC has given Melissa the opportunity to attend a variety of dance conventions where she has been able to challenge her abilities, technique, and knowledge of dance, and learn from some of the best choreographers of our time; including Travis Wall, Mia Michaels Brian Friedman, Chris Judd, to name a few.

27 years after Melissa put on her first pair of ballet shoes her love for dance continues to grow. Today, Melissa is a full-time teacher at the FGDC where she teaches ballet and lyrical to the the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior competitive classes.