A dancer, artist in residence, dance company director, private studio owner, and professor in higher education for 26 years, Melissa embraces the opportunities and challenges that ‘dancing’ presents in the middle of the Great Plains! She whole-heartedly enjoys the depth of experience with content and students that this situation presents.
Melissa has studied with a plethora of somatic-based dancers and educators over the years, received her graduate degree under the tutelage of William Evans at Indiana University, holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration, and is certified in Evans Contemporary Dance Technique. Her creative and qualitative research interests have been awarded through a variety of university and regional grant funding and focus on the effects of engagement experience in somatic-based dance environments on student development and learning. Mork presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences.
Over the years, the ‘art and science’ of teaching has been a major focus. She has been recognized as South Dakota Outstanding Dance Educator, Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year, and has been awarded several university teaching awards. Her goal as a dance educator is to nurture young dancers in an anatomically and biomechanically sound environment while promoting harmonious intellectual, somatic, emotional, social, spiritual, and artistic growth.
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