Melissa West is an independent mover/choreographer/hooper and poet based in Staten Island, a borough of New York City. Originally a student of the Staten Island Ballet, Melissa attended Hunter College where she received a dual-degree in English and Dance.
Since 2008, she has presented work throughout NYC with a focus on presenting dance to Staten Island communities. Venue credits include the Alice Austen House, Corson Gallery, Snug Harbor Music Hall, Veteran's Memorial Hall, Old Bermuda Inn, Open Space Studio, Atlantic Salt Factory, the Living Theater, Triskelion Arts, ConArtist Gallery, Art by the Ferry, and the Bowery Poetry Club.
As a performer, Melissa has danced for Gerald Otte (longtime Nikolais dancer), Florence Poulain, Barbara Mahler, Diana Domoracki-Kisto, and in the summer of 2010 danced for Marta Renzi at the Yard on Martha’s Vineyard. She has also danced for her contemporaries Mary Ellen Carafice and Olsi Gjeci.
Melissa has worked as an activist and arts administrator with Staten Island Collaborative (SiCoLab), Second Saturday Staten Island, Public Acts of Decency, Hunter College Performing Arts, LaMama Experimental Theater, and was production assistant to Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks (2010, ACE One Project). Past internships include Movement Research, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, East Village Dance Project, and the Yard. Melissa currently holds a position with Journalism Online, LLC.
In 2010, Melissa founded MWest and Company, has been working with this dedicated group of performers ever since.
She currently performs with the Dirty Rat Bastard Revue, a big band punk comedy sketch show, as the tap dancer, Honeybee West.