Melissa faith


Ms. Melissa began her dance and gymnastic training at 2 years of age and competed in regional and national dance competitions in ballet, tap, acrobatic, jazz, and lyrical styles from 6-16 years of age. During that time, she had the honor of extended mentorship from some of the competition circuit’s most accomplished teachers, choreographers, and studios (e.g., New Dimensions founder and former Southern Ballet Theater soloist Dawhone Perry, faculty of Titusvile Ballet and Jazz Center, faculty of University Performing Arts Center).  By the age of 11 years, she began receiving close mentorship from former Tulsa Ballet soloist and Florida Dance Association Treasurer Ms. Catherine Alexandra. Ms. Alexandra’s strong passion for trainee development and purity of ballet propelled Ms. Melissa’s own passion for ballet and shifted her focus from broad dance training and competing toward a ballet career. After receiving additional ongoing mentorship from former Joffrey Ballet principal Russell Sultzbach and completing several summer intensives with Southern Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, and the Annual Florida Dance Association Summer Intensive Series, Ms. Melissa was thrilled to sign on as an Aspirant with the Atlanta Ballet. A serious automobile accident during her debut season shifted her career trajectory; however, Ms. Melissa continued dancing throughout her undergraduate career as a member of the University of Florida Floridance Company and as a performer in Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master’s of Fine Arts performance pieces. Although Ms. Melissa’s initial dance teaching experience began at the age of 14 years, it was during her college years that she resumed her teaching role. Ms. Melissa went on to earn bachelor’s degrees from University of Florida in psychology (B.S.) and English (B.A.), a master’s degree from University of Arkansas in clinical psychology, and a Ph.D. from University of Arkansas in clinical psychology. She also completed her internship/residency training in clinical psychology at University of Mississippi Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology psychology at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. During her academic tenure, Ms. Melissa continued to teach and mentor young dancers, implementing strong pedagogy that incorporates emphasis on physical and cognitive development, quality and purity of movement, athleticism, and tailored training plans for individual trainees. Ms. Melissa is currently a Board Certified Specialist in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology at Children’s Health – Children’s Medical Center’s pediatric oncology department. In that role, she delivers evidence-based interventions to patients, conducts research, and trains graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows.  She is currently one of the Dance Movement’s ballet instructors for the Impact competition team and cherishes her role as a teacher and mentor to youth who join the Impact program.