Melissa James BDanceSt
Melissa James is a Kiwi (Kia Ora!) and grew up in Aotearoa New Zealand. In NZ Melissa enjoyed a successful career as a professional Dancer for many years, performing in a huge range of both Live and TV/Film events. Melissa was also a passionate and popular Dance Teacher, teaching various dance styles to both children and adults for exams, competitions, and recreation. Melissa studied at the University of Auckland, gaining a Bachelor of Dance Studies, which also equipped her for jumping on the idea of teaching Barre classes when the modality first arrived in NZ. Even though Mel felt honoured to live in the country she did, and have the career that she did, she also felt the urge to see more of the world! So, she jumped on a plane and ended up spending 4 years in London, UK, with the idea of dancing and travelling. While Melissa did manage to dance and choreograph in the UK, unfortunately an injury brought her dancing days mostly to a close. However, Pilates was able to support her in fully recovering from the injury and became a natural follow-on to her career of movement. Pilates had always been a part of Melissa’s dance life but using it to rehab her injury so well brought about a new passion for the modality, and she decided to complete her Pilates Instructor Certifications in both Mat and Dynamic Reformer Pilates.
Melissa taught Dance, Barre and Pilates for various schools and studios across London but teaching Dynamic Reformer Pilates alongside some of London’s top Physiotherapists at TEN Health and Fitness was an absolute highlight and huge learning curve for Melissa. She became the Head of TenBarre, and then also the Scheduling Coordinator for the company managing all trainers and schedules of TEN’s 9 busy studios across London. When the pandemic hit, she was integral to the launch of both Live Stream and On-Demand platforms. After spending 6 months continuing to build her knowledge and experience, teaching in gyms and studios, plus having some much-needed family time in her hometown of Auckland NZ, Melissa has now moved to Collingwood to be with her Canadian partner’s family. One of her biggest highlights is getting to know the awesome people as part of the Active Life community, while teaching 1:1’s, Pilates, Barre and Dance classes.
Favourite Quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Favourite Food: Asian Fusion
Favourite Sport: Dancing!
Favourite Workout Song: “Strong” London Grammar, High Contrast Remix or “Electric Dream” Shapeshifter
Favourite Place to Visit: London UK!! What a place!
Favourite Outdoor Workout in Collingwood: Loving exploring/cycling the trails especially if it means getting to jump in the lake at the end!
Favourite Exercise: Reformer Pilates