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Melissa is a natural. She moves instinctively. Her laugh is contagious.

There are people who you become friends with the minute you meet them and Melissa is that kind of person. The moment she walked into the studio I knew she would be great in the documentary because she doesn’t hold anything back. On camera, on stage, she puts her self out there unconditionally.




When I began the documentary she was halfway through her first season with North Carolina Dance Theatre. In her first interview she was worried about her body type, her technique. In class, contrary to her personality, she was reserved. I really identified with Melissa, her insecurities, her desire to learn and her commitment. She reminded me of so many women in their early twenties that are just beginning to define themselves. In her last interview I almost cried I was so happy to witness the confidence she exuded. I hope that I will be able to portray her transformation in the documentary. That is one of the challenges I face as I begin editing and creating each dancer’s character arc. Melissa has undergone the most dramatic growth in the past year: she became a professional ballerina in every sense.

To find out more about Melissa visit the films website and her page at North Carolina Dance Theatre’s website.


Written by Chelsea Wayant

Chelsea Wayant

Chelsea Wayant is an independent filmmaker and educator living and working in the Southeastern American town of Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BFA in film production and from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a terminal MFA in film and video production.

Throughout her career she has worked in all three forms in her field: the narrative, the documentary, and the experimental film. Regardless of the form her work has always explored the portrayal of women both in front of and behind the camera. Thematically her films most often involve women as central characters and often explore the visage of a dancer.