Melissa Verdecia

May 2019 View more

The Miami-born dancer performs with Ballet Hispánico in Glen Ellyn

An Early Calling
I decided that dance was something I wanted to pursue at the age of 6—I remember it vividly. It was at my ballet school’s first summer recital, and the moment I took the stage and realized I was pouring out my emotions into a vast dark space where every single audience member’s eyes were fixed on me, and where the warmth of the lights illuminated my every movement, I was hooked. My young self recognized this feeling as something unique and as a calling—to perform, to share, to dance.

Dancing Her Culture
Ballet Hispánico makes a point to celebrate minorities and their customs, traditions, and strengths. Recognizing my Cuban heritage on a daily basis through dance has made me a more well-rounded artist and, honestly, a more socially conscious member of society. I feel like we’re not just performing for the sake of dance, but rather using this platform to teach and to give a voice to groups and people who often feel too small or unimportant to share their magic.

A Made-for-TV Pairing
If I were on “Dancing With the Stars,” I would want to work with Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. As an athlete, I know Steph would adapt well to the grueling physical demands of dancing and would already have some of the strength and flexibility that dance requires. And let’s face it—it doesn’t hurt that he’s so handsome!

May 11 at McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage
425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn
Tickets: $49–$59 |

Photo by Paula Lobo