Last week on Half Hour Call, we welcomed our very first guest, Melissa Sandvig. Melissa is an artist of the highest caliber, as well as a spectacular human with whom every encounter leaves you basking in her light and generosity.

Melissa was trained as a classical ballerina and spent several years as a company member at Milwaukee Ballet. The pull of home lead her back to Southern California, where she hit the ground running as a freelance artist.

Melissa attended an audition for Fox’s hit series, So You Think You Can Dance, and was given a spot on Season Five the show. She went all the way through to the finals, becoming the first ballet dancer in the show’s history to make it that far! The show holds a special place in her heart. “I made some incredible friends on the show. People I am still friends with today! It was such an intense time, and we bonded quickly.”

About a year after the birth of her first child, Melissa heard about a call for dancers for a music video.  Who the singer was, had not been made public knowledge just yet. Though Melissa fell outside of the specified age bracket the audition ‘required’, she pressed on, reaching out to the director, asking if he’d be interested in working with her. He jumped at her offer, and she was in. And the singer who the video was being made for? Oh, just a little someone named Taylor Swift. The video? Shake it Off. Melissa credits Ms. Swift as being kind and easy to work with. “She was always looking out for us—making sure we had 5’s (breaks). She was also really curious about ballet!”

Melissa is a wonderful example of an artist embracing the many facets of dance, taking risks, and forging on her own unique path to follow her dreams.

These days, Melissa is an in-demand teacher, and regularly travels for Velocity Dance as a teacher and judge. When Orza first launched Orza Pro One in 2023, Melissa was an early adopter of the shoe. She credits the shock absorption for her ability to withstand the long days she spends on her feet as a teacher and hopes to see more and more dancers making the switch to OP1.

Melissa also has a booming Pilates practice and enjoys a beautiful, full life with her husband and two sons.

Thank you, Melissa, for letting us peek inside your world!

March 29, 2024

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