Melissa Reed


Melissa Reed (Corps de Ballet) is originally from Amherst, New Hampshire where she began her early training at Bedford Dance Center and continued at Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet. In 2007, she was invited to attend the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida on full-tuition scholarship, where she studied with Svetlana Osiyeva, Victoria Schneider, and Olivier Pardina.  Upon graduating in 2009, Melissa received additional training and performing experience at Charlotte Ballet and Richmond Ballet. She is currently a part-time faculty member for the Boston Ballet School. Melissa joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet in 2012.

A Conversation with Melissa

What is your favorite role to dance and why?

My favorite thing I have ever performed was "Russian Girl" in Serenade. Besides dancing to such a moving and iconic piece of music by Tchaikovsky, I loved it because it is a role that requires precision with every step, as well as the ability to make it look ethereal and effortless. Performing that ballet on stage was so fulfilling as a dancer.

What do you like to do when you are not dancing?

I love being outdoors when I'm not dancing; particularly, I enjoy relaxing at the beach with friends or family. I am also learning to cook and I love traveling. There's something very exciting to me about being in a new, foreign place.

How do you prepare yourself for the physical challenges of rehearsing, performing, touring?

With the rigorous schedules we have as dancers, we need to take extra care of our bodies. For me, I need to get enough sleep every night; I can't function without it. I also arrive early to the studios to stretch and make sure to eat well throughout the day.

What music do you like to listen to when you warm-up?

Music is so important to me. I need it every single day before I dance to help me focus. I love music that is upbeat before I perform to get my adrenaline going. I am open to almost any kind of music, but one of my favorite artists is Kanye West.

What do you think is the most common myth about being a dancer? What do you wish people knew about what it's really like to be a dancer?

A big misconception is that ballet is easy. This art form requires much more physical and mental strength than most people realize. As dancers, we spend our lives constantly seeking perfection. The reality is, in our eternal search for perfection, we are striving for something that is highly elusive. It is because of this however, that we are unceasingly motivated and left desiring more, day after day.

What is it like to work with Ms. Farrell? Any fun and memorable stories or anecdotes about working with her?
Working with Ms. Farrell is such a unique experience. The most significant thing that comes to mind when I think of dancing in her company is that she has encouraged me to work in ways that I never knew were possible for myself. She enjoys creating new, exciting challenges for her dancers every single day, and her expectations from us are set to a very high standard. I find it inspiring to know that I am working for someone who believes in my ability, and cultivates my need to grow. Working with Suzanne is an invaluable experience for me.

Do you feel an affinity for any particular choreographer?

I have always loved performing Balanchine's work. I think that his style of movement suits me better than other choreographers and it feels the most natural to me. I love the idea that everything is much exaggerated; lines are longer and you must move and travel bigger.

What is the biggest reward in your career?

The biggest reward of my career has been getting my first professional job! All of the hard work and dedication I have put into my dancing has led up to this moment and I am ecstatic and thankful to have been given this opportunity.
Melissa Reed