Our Music 'N Motion Family
MNM instructors are specially trained for 3-6 months to learn technique, choreography, class management and MNM’s positive approach with the children. All of MNM’s instructors bring warmth and a loving attitude to class, while demonstrating discipline in a positive and effective way whenever necessary. This is the foundation upon which MNM has built such a strong reputation since its first class in 2000.
To comply with the new requirement set forth by the Department of Social Services, many MNM instructors are in the process of obtaining 12 Early Childhood Education units.
Meet Miss Melinda
Melinda began studying modern dance and jazz at the age of 14. Upon stepping into her first ballet class, she immediately set her sights "en pointe" and never looked back. As a late bloomer, she knew she wasn't Joffrey bound, but faith and desire kept her motivated. It was in 1987, after enrolling her daughter in ballet class with Natasha Middleton, that she began studying ballet with a man who would change her life forever. Andrei Tremaine inspired Melinda and rekindled her passion all the way to pointe.
"When dance companies such as The American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey and The San Francisco Ballet would travel through town, their principal dancers would show up in Mr. Tremaine's classes. No matter their greatness, Andrei saw me as an equal because of the passion I exhibited. I owe my stick-to-itiveness to this great man."
With that in mind, Melinda envisioned a dance program that would champion the individual strengths of every dancer and instill in children of all ages a love for movement, no matter their level of experience or talent. 15 years and over 5,000 children later, Melinda has turned her passion into the most rewarding of careers.
Meet Miss Alliese
A California native, Alliese began her dance training at Long Beach Ballet at the age of three. As a teenager, she went on to tour in China and the Pacific Northwest with the Long Beach Ballet Theatre Company for four years. After high school, Alliese made the difficult decision to skip large company auditions and attend Long Beach City College to pursue a career in dance. While she will always remain true to her ballet roots, Alliese has recently found fulfillment in cultural dance (i.e. afrocaribbean, middle eastern, salsa). She briefly trained with Hot Shots for Tots Gymnastics before being introduced to MNM through a friend who was working at Oceanview Preschool.
"I knew I wanted to work with children, but I didn't want to teach in a strict formal setting of a studio. I love my job. I get to smile and laugh and bring out my inner child every single day. It is such a joy giving what you love to these children. I am proud to say that I’ve had some kind of influence in a child’s self-expression.”
Meet Miss Kristine
As a child, Kristine honed her dance and acting skills in the Conservatory for the Fine Arts through LAUSD. She carried on dancing in high school and joined cheer, where her coach (and former MNM instructor) Sophia introduced her to MNM.
“I feel many of my prayers were answered when I began working with MNM. My love for dance has grown greatly and I’m happy to call the people I work with my family. I enjoy sharing my love of dance with everyone, especially younger children. When I see they are proud of themselves, it makes me proud to think I helped them accomplish something new.”
Kristine is currently a student at Cal State LA and plans to become a professional dancer/choreographer. In the meantime, she’s enjoying every minute of life with her MNM family. “I love what I do and I wake up with a smile every morning I get to work.”
Meet Miss Joy
Originally hailing from Minneapolis, Joy was formally trained at Andahazy Ballet and is a former company member of "Ballet of the Dolls." She was a graduate of The Children's Theatre Company and Conservatory and holds a BFA in Theater from Marymount Manhattan College. She has since gone on to teach dance and theatre/creative dramatics to children in Manhattan, Minneapolis, Anchorage, Costa Rica and Los Angeles!
In addition to her extensive teaching background, Joy has excelled in stand-up comedy, writing, producing and remaining creative as a performing artist since childhood. With an established and diverse repertoire working with children, Joy brings to her MNM classes a genuine and unique sense of the importance of the dramatic arts and movement.
Meet Miss Dorothy
Dorothy has been a member of the World Champion USASF Dance Team at PACE Elite for the past three years. She was a part of Rosary High School’s dance team, where she won two national titles in pom and jazz at the Universal Dance Association and the United Spirit Association in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. She currently attends Orange Coast College and is a member of their 22-time winning national's dance team. Dorothy is the newest member of the MNM family and has fit right in from the start.
It's wonderful to be apart of such an amazing company and helping children become in tune with music and rhythm!
In addition to teaching with MNM, Dorothy also coaches dance at Pace Elite.
Meet Miss Devin
Born in Redondo Beach, Devin started started dancing at the age of 3 and continued on with the Christy Curtis Dance Company through the end of high school. She was styled by world famous choreographers and danced everything from jazz, tap, and ballet to salsa and hip-hop. After graduating from University of Wisconsin in 2013, Devin returned home and began working with children in both dance (at her old studio) and academics.
I've always been fascinated with the physical connection to music and movement. When I found Melinda, we connected instantly! I love the confidence children find through dance and every time I teach, my world brightens up.
Devin remains committed to her own dance journey and enjoys adult classes in jazz, ballet, tap and salsa.
Meet Miss Angela
Melinda's daughter Angela followed in her mom's footsteps from an early age and began taking ballet classes when she was 3 years old. Although she continued with lessons, performances and competing on the RUHS Drill Team until she was a teenager, Angela always knew her true passion lied in acting. She earned a BA in Theatre from UC San Diego and is now pursuing a career in television, appearing on such shows as HBO's True Detective, The Newsroom and Getting On. Angela began helping her mom at MNM's first performances back in 2000 and can still be found applying makeup and adjusting costumes at performances today. She also acts as MNM's Office Manager, handling all marketing and administrative work.
"Watching my mom's dream unfold through the success of MNM has been one of the greatest joys of my life. She started the company for children like me: the ones who loved dance, but weren't necessarily destined for 'So You Think You Can Dance.' In doing so, she's created a truly unique, wholesome, heartwarming and FUN program that has touched the lives of so many families in our South Bay community. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of the MNM family…literally"