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In Step With DC
Getting to Know You: Miss Melinda!
Written by Joe Naftal on January 14, 2020

Today we are featuring Miss Melinda in our latest edition of “Getting to Know You”!  The “Getting to Know You” series helps us get to know each of the Dance Connection teachers and staff we get to see at the studio every week and learn a little bit more about them.

Why do you love teaching at Dance Connection? I love teaching at Dance Connection because of the family atmosphere.  I have been here for 30 years so I know most of the dancers and parents and I love seeing them grow and progress as dancers as well as individuals. 

What’s the best way for dancers to approach your class? Dancers should come to my class ready to work and have fun.  Technique is important so I strive to get the dancers to be the best they can be but still want them to remember why they started dancing in the first place.  I love to see them accomplish a step that they have been struggling with, it gives them a sense of accomplishment.

What’s the best way for parents to support their dancers? Parents can support them by just being there for them, you are their biggest cheerleader.  You can always watch our classes and pick out something they did good that day and let them know that you saw it and how good they did that particular step.

What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I love to hang out with my family.  My husband Lou, daughter Miss Emily, and son Matthew.  Whether we are watching a movie, playing a board game, or having  contests in our living room (who can kick the highest, who can do the most sit ups or push ups etc.) I love spending time with them.

What’s your go-to coffee order? I don’t drink coffee at all.  I like Hot Chocolate in the winter months and if it is really cold once in awhile I will have a cup of tea.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? My favorite vacation spot is Walt Disney World.  Since I was young is has been my family’s favorite spot to vacation.  It is always fun and brings you back to your childhood!  Can’t wait to book my next one my family wants to see the new Star Wars area.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? I live in Deer Park so one of my favorite local restaurants is an Italian one called Pizziaola, it is Yummy!

Joe Naftal

Joe Naftal is the Marketing Director for Dance Connection. When not working at Dance Connection, Joe has a career as a theatrical lighting designer, assistant designer, and production manager. His experience spans the worlds of classical and contemporary theatre, musicals, ballet, modern dance, and opera. In addition to his work at Dance Connection, Joe collaborates with Dance Studio Owners across the country, is a member of the Panel of Experts, has been featured in the business section of Dance Teacher Magazine, and was on the seminar faculty for the 2016 Dance Teacher Summit in New York City. Joe holds a BFA from UNC School of the Arts and is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).