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.