Backstage Faculty Feature: Melissa Diane Avery


Melissa Diane Avery

What do you go by during class:


Role at MDCP:

Hip Hop Dance Instructor

When did you start dancing:

Age 18

What do you love most about dance:

It allows me to create and put my full energy into something that I enjoy.

When did you start teaching at Millennium and how is it different from other studios:

I started teaching in the summer of 2017. Millennium is different than most studios I’ve been to because there are no cliches or judgments & they allow everyone and anyone to take class. Millennium offers a variety of different styles and you don’t have to have a membership to take class. If you’re a dancer you should know about the name: Millennium Dance Complex

What are your classes like?

I make sure that I create a culture of fun, challenge, and expression. Without these three things you lose the essence of dance.

We start with a warm-up, go into learning a routine, then separate off into groups to perform what we’ve learned.

Describe the craziest dance experience you’ve had – other instructors you’ve met or people you’ve performed with?

I went to take class at showstoppers with my studio and all the teachers loved me. Next thing I know I’m assisting and traveling with them assisting a hip hop choreographer. That was a fun memory.

Recently I was asked to do a flashmob for Capital One in Philly. We had 2 weeks to get 14 dancers together. Come up with choreo & have rehearsals. We drove to Philly performed and came straight back the same day.Now that was one for the books!

I just finished a Bollywood based competition called Dance USA Dance. We fused hip hop with Bollywood. We made it to finals and I was awarded best and favorite dancer of the show. That was an overwhelming feeling and I met so many amazing people. Since then I have been contacted for future endeavors.

I’ve met some amazing choreographers but some of my favorite ones are in Atlanta. The ones I’ve actually built relationships with and consider to be like dance mentors to me.

Put yourself out there, invest into workshops, travel and train at different places. You’ll build your network that way. You will gain so much more opportunities for yourself.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone thinking about taking a class at Millennium, what would it be?

Don’t be nervous and believe in yourself enough to advance your training.

Take multiple classes and figure out which ones work best for you.