~ Melanie In Motion ~

About Melanie

A Passion for sharing and teaching….a Heart Message from Melanie...Rooted in Tibetan Sanskrit, the Mandala represents completion in the Circle of life…


A wise saying….”Sometimes through winds of change, we find our true direction.

I have always loved dancing, music, and movement. I was blessed to be raised in a household where the arts were always supported. I will forever be grateful to my parents for instilling this love into the core of my being….My father earned his living as a musician in Washington D.C.  My mother was always his biggest fan, and into music, opera, ballet, and all things art. The privilege of living in such an environment opened many doors for me, including dancing professionally in a regional ballet company. It was my life.

Then we moved….our world of culture and charm was left behind in D.C. I continued my studies as best as I could. This culminated in adulthood with opening my own home studio, teaching ballet for many years, free-lance choreography for the local school system and our local college – all amazing parts of my journey for which I am deeply grateful…Then the Circle turned again and I was introduced to the exotic, amazing world of ethnic dance, specializing in the dance of the Romani (the Gypsies), as well as many different styles of Middle Eastern dance. I went out on the circuit as an instructor, soloist, and also formed my own local student-based troupe, “Svatura” (“Gypsy Tales”). This has been my focus for nearly 20 years. I am grateful for the many incredible and amazing national and international artists I’ve had the privilege of studying with, and many wonderful adventures and travels “upon the Romany Trail”.

In the past few years, I sensed a need for something more… especially to widen my connection with women in our community. I wanted to present something for women that would free them from the pressure of perfection. I was blessed to earn my White Belt in The NIA Technique, as well as my Blue Belt, and am lic/cert to teach this amazing fusion-fitness technique that concentrates on the Joy of Movement, pleasure, and “The Body’s Way”…NIA allowed me to ‘shape-shift’ and also retain my need to dance, with an entirely different approach of integrating body/mind/emotions/spirit. I was blessed to train under my mentor, NIA Black Belt and World Trainer, Winalee Zeeb. And in Blue Belt training, I was blessed to receive this incredible knowledge from one of the founders of NIA, Carlos Aya-Rosas. NIA has taught me to work with my body, rather than against it, which was an epiphany for me, coming from my classical background. I am eternally grateful to both of these impeccable Sensei’s.

“When the student is ready, the Teacher will appear…” – wise Zen saying…

Just as this was true with my NIA adventures, the Circle turned yet again this Spring…Enter Alice Bracegirdle, founder of Bellyfit International. After a lively 2 hour phone chat, I found myself soon traveling to Victoria, British Columbia to train with lovely Alice herself!  Alice is yet another impeccable and passionate teacher…The philosophies of Bellyfit so align with all that I have been taught along my pathway to empower women in their own journey toward health, and Joy, as well as my own. The music, the moves and dance, and the ‘recipe’ of Bellyfit really speaks to my Inner Dancer….Being a Belly Dancer, the moves feel familiar and comfortable, while also challenging and invigorating. It is yet another holistic form of ‘movement medicine’ that I am excited to share with friends and hopefully many new friends to come!

As Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.”

This journey is ‘my prayer in motion’….As I continue to grow as a teacher and fellow student in Life 101, it is my prayer that I may also help others to find direction, and JOY as we do this Dance of Life together…I hope that you will consider joining me!

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