Melissa Watt enjoys entwining dance with technology and theater and continues to create work that utilizes these mediums.
Melissa performed in dance and theater works with the collaborative companies Realm Dance Project and Viva La Vulva, both based in Austin. Work with these companies took Melissa to San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and New York. In New York, at the International Fringe Festival, Realm was nominated for an Audience Favorite Award, while back home in Austin, they were nominated for an Austin Critics Table Award.
Melissa began with ballet and jazz, eventually moving onto modern dance, dance improvisation and acting classes. Melissa was heavily influenced to return to school by one of the founders of the Johnson/Long Dance Company, Darla Johnson; Melissa credits Darla with bringing dance back to the forefront of her life after years of dace being on the back burner.
Melissa has participated in master classes taught by Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People, K.J. Holmes, Nina Martin, Ann Cooper-Albright, Nicole Wesley, Ellen Bartel, Kathy Dunn-Hamrick, D. Chase Angier, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Rebecca Bryant, Charles Atterbury, and Allison Orr. Internationally, Melissa participated in the Ponderosa PORCH workshop in Stolzenhagen, Germany with Nancy Stark-Smith, Peter Pleyer, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Keith Hennessy, and Jennifer Monson; Dance Ranch Berlin with Andrew Wass and Rebecca Bryant; and the Kontakt festival in Budapest, Hungary.
Melissa created choreography for the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, with director Steve Young. Melissa also worked on an improvised score that includes work with video footage of photos and video that she shot. Additionally, she completed work on a site specific dance film with Amanda Jackson titled “Framed”. Melissa looks forward to creating more dance pieces that utilize technology and include theatrical elements. She also has a passion for encouraging people to realize their dance potential and hopes to incorporate that in her future endeavors. Melissa received her B.A. in Radio/Television/Film from the University of North Texas, and her M.F.A in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and is currently a Creative Learning Specialist in Dance integrating dance into the curriculum PK-8.