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#MeetTheArtist | Meet Melissa Lineburg

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 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). In college she danced with Winthrop University’s Department of Dance and Radford University’s (RU) School of Dance.

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 founded and works as a health coach for eMpower health + wellness, coaching clients and hosting online yoga classes. Click here to view Melissa's full bio.

Melissa is founding co-director, managing director, and company dancer with Ballet Embody.

Astrological Sign

Cancer (but on the cusp of Leo!)

Melissa pictured by Francisco Jauregui

Favorite Food


Favorite Color

M&M green (but also subconsciously purple, apparently. sometimes I just end up being totally monochrome in my outfits.)

Favorite Book

Catcher in the Rye is my favorite classic. I've also really enjoyed reading the Queen of the Tearling trilogy. I'm currently reading James Whiteside's 'Center Center' and HIGHLY recommend it!

Favorite Movie

Beauty and the Beast (Diseny's animated original from 1991)

Inspirational Quote

"If you say you can't, you'll always be right." - Dad

Favorite Music/Artist/Band/Musical Genre

The Killers are my all time favorite band. I can listen to them and totally jam at any time.

Favorite Place to Be

In the sunshine or in the studio - even better if it's simultaneous!

If you were a dinosaur, which dinosaur would you be?

The tall one with a super long neck.

Melissa pictured by @llkoolwhip

Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about it/them!

I have many pets, well, nieces and nephew pets! My parents have a golden-doodle named Lily and she's the absolute BEST pupper. Then there's Mr. Clarence, a Western Australian Cattledog mix, Charlie-girl, a pit/terrier mix, and all of the adorable puppies I meet on the streets of DC.

What genre of dance is your favorite? Why?

I do love classical ballet. Prancing around in a tutu and tiara has not gotten old yet. I also love the freedom and exploration that comes with contemporary ballet styles. I did start taking tap dance lessons before the pandemic and, though terrible at it, I'd love to get back to it!

What is your favorite full length ballet/variation/performance? Why?

I am honestly not a fan of the full, evening-length ballets. I'd rather see a mixed rep show to better appreciate and see the capabilities and dynamics of any dance company. Favorite works of mine include: In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Balanchine's Stars + Stripes, ANIMA ANIMUS by David Dawson, Bound To by Christopher Wheeldon, and MADIBA by The Black Iris Project. I also LOVE following the journeys of local choreographers like our own Emily Runkle, Da'Shown Rawl, and Therese Gahl.

Why do you dance?

It's really just my passion. Dance fills my heart and soul to the brim. My mom gave me a bracelet for my recent birthday that is engraved: "Give the world a reason to dance." And I think that just about sums it up for me.

If you wear pointe shoes, what kind do you wear? If not pointe shoes, what kind of flat shoes do you prefer?

I am on what seems like a never ending journey with my pointe shoes. I'm lucky enough to be working with Freed of London on my very own custom pointe shoes. What I've narrowed them down to are Classics with a deep vamp, Fish or B maker, 7.5 heel pin (making them a 7.75 length), single X width, an extended vamp, cut down sides, and standard shank. I criss cross thick elastic and use a single elastic ribbon for each shoe - they've literally been a game changer for me! Flat shoes, I LOVE Blendz Apparel's split sole leather and canvas ballet shoes in tenacious tan.

What other jobs/activities/talents/passions do you pursue?

I am a Certified Nutrition Specialist candidate and I have my own health + wellness practice where I coach performance athletes from a nutrition-focused perspective to best support their activities/performance/recovery/etc. I really love the continued learning that comes with coaching and furthering my education. I am a yoga teacher and I teach for Yoga District here in DC and on my own. I also work for the Washington Ballet supporting their Adult Program and reception responsibilities.

What are you looking forward to this season with Ballet Embody?

Literally all of the things. Working on premiering our own Nutcracker has been quite the adventure. Every morning kind of feels like Christmas morning right now, with all of the excitement, the unknowns that await, and putting this whole show together. I'm just so proud of our company and everything we're doing and working towards. I'm also excited to premiere a new work that I'll be expanding upon in the near future as well.

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