Melissa Lineburg has performed as a company member or freelance dancer in over hundreds of shows across 8 companies, including Misako Ballet Company (2011-2021), Agora Dance (2014-2019), MOVEius Contemporary Ballet (2012-2014), Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble (2014-2020), Connect the Dots Dance Company (2013-2019), and many others. She has also held several dance advocacy and administrative positions, including roles at Dance/USA, Dance Metro DC, and The Washington Ballet. She currently serves as Co-Founder, Managing Director, and Professional Company Artist at Ballet Embody.
Melissa began dancing at a local dance studio in Charles Town, West Virginia, and continued her pre-professional training through high school at the Frederick School of Classical Ballet (FSCB) under the direction of Joyce Morrison. With the FSCB, she performed roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and The Cinderella. In college she danced with Winthrop University’s Department of Dance, training with and performing works by professors Bethany Tuffy, Caroline Calouche, Stephanie Milling, and Meg Griffin. Melissa continued her education at Radford University’s (RU) School of Dance, where she performed works by danah bella and Deborah McLaughlin, in Inessa Plekanova’s The Nutcracker, and the soloist role in The Motion Chamber by Keith Lee of the Dance Theatre of Lynchburg.
At Misako Ballet Company, Melissa’s featured roles included Misako Aoki’s The Moon Princess, a unique and original classical ballet with a Japanese twist, as well as Celestial Maidens, The Grateful Crane, Marie Taglioni in Pas de Quatre, and variations from The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, and Coppelia.
At Agora Dance, Melissa originated many works in the company’s Three Minutes Max, which was performed at venues such as The John F. Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, By The People Festival, and Baltimore’s ARTscape. Throughout this series, work with many artists including 2016 pieces by Christopher K. Morgan and Meredith Stapleton; 2017 pieces by Mark Castera, Samuel Horning, Vanessa Owen, and Katherine Kiefer Stark; and 2018 pieces by Orange Grove Dance and Juliana Ponguta. Melissa was an original cast member of The Kind of Thing That Would Happen (2016 premiere) by Olivia Sabee.
With MOVEius Contemporary Ballet (MCB), Melissa danced with the company and served as marketing manager. Highlighted performances include MCB’s DC Capital Fringe 2012 premiere, A Flight of Fancy; 2013 Atlas’ Intersections Festival, Obsidian by Diana Movius; and Capital Fringe 2013 premiere, Big River by Kimberly Parmer. She also originated and performed the soloist roles in Emery LeCrone’s work Vicissitudes, Constantine Baecher’s Viduity, and Michael Smith’s Agora.
Melissa also performed with The Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble, bringing dance narratives to elementary schools throughout Montgomery County, MD. Her performances included creations by Elizabeth Catlett, including The Cat in the Hat (2015, 2020), Shel We Dance (2016), OURchestra (2018), and The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny (2019).
At Connect the Dots Dance Company, Melissa danced roles such as The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Cinderella in The Cinderella pas de deux, Odette and Odile in The Swan Lake.
As a freelance dance artist, Melissa made her debut appearance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2015 for the National Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score Berloiz’s Symphonie fantastique. She has also performed with New York State Ballet in Rochester New York in their productions of The Nutcracker (2013), The Swan Lake (2014), and The Sleeping Beauty (2013). Melissa danced soloist roles in works by local choreographers Therese Gahl (Spectra, Do Not Go Gentle, Paper Trails), Kyoko Fujimoto (Foodland), and Alicia de Leon (Masque).
Melissa graduated from RU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance: Ballet, and a Business Administration Minor. She earned her Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and is a Certified Nutrition Specialist candidate. She is a nutrition educator + wellness coach for eMpower performance where she uses a lifestyle-focused method to help clients achieve personal results and enhance athletic ability, eMpowering performance in class, rehearsals, and on-stage.