Melissa Word

Teaching Artist for The Woodruff Arts Center/Resident Artist at the Work Room, Atlanta, Georgia

Bachelor of Arts in Dance, UNC Charlotte (2011)

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

As a student at UNC Charlotte, Melissa Word felt empowered to "discover new facets of (her) relationship to movement," to expand her vision while sharpening her skills. 

"The faculty is so committed to developing free thinkers and highly reflective artists," she says. "I really appreciated the size of the dance program, which was large enough to feel diverse and dynamic, but still intimate enough to have very close relationships with my professors. This is key to me - these relationships are what empower students to be true leaders and authorities on their own education experience."

Now living in Atlanta, Melissa is a teaching artist for the Woodruff Arts Center, where she focuses on youth development through the arts, and a Resident Artist at the Work Room, a studio for contemporary dance run by The Lucky Penny in a converted mill.  

"I'm in the early stages of developing a performance project for two white women called COUNTRY CLUB. The dance theatre work looks at our current climate of immense tension and violence around unchecked power and privilege. I'm in the research phase now, rehearsals to begin in January 2017, with a projected performance date in late May."