Originally from Montreal, Canada, Melissa Panetta is a professional dancer trained in all disciplines of dance. She began training at the young age of five years old at Dance Steps in London, Ontario. Melissa continued her love for dance at the Oakville Academy for the Arts in Oakville, Ontario, training and competing for over nine years in a variety of styles including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, and acrobatics. Melissa recently graduated from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada with a BFA (Honours with Distinction) majoring in dance and minoring in kinesiology. During her time at Simon Fraser University she worked closely with Judith Garay, Megan Walker-Straight, and Henry Daniel who helped develop her strengths as a contemporary dancer. Melissa has been privileged to work alongside multiple choreographers and perform in various shows and events including the remounting of Merce Cunnngham’s Native Green, Crystal Pite’s Singularity, Gioconda Barbuto's Cortical Shifts and Wen Wei Wang’s Y?Y?Y? She was also invited to train and perform in New York City at the Cunningham Trust Studio where she performed another original Cunningham piece entitled Rebus. In addition, Melissa is an accomplished choreographer and teaching instructor throughout Canada. Receiving distinction in her R.A.D. Advanced 1 ballet exam, Melissa has taught dancers ages two to twelve in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary. Melissa has also choreographed in many main-stage shows and in dance competitions across Ontario. Melissa is thrilled and honored to be in her first season with Thodos Dance Chicago.