Dance Teaching Artists

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Nehemiah Spencer, Dance Artist-in-Residence 

Nehemiah Spencer, Native of Cleveland, Oh, where he started training in dance at The Cleveland School of the Arts ( CSA ). Through overcoming life's tough battles, Nehemiah stayed focused and followed his dreams to attend The Juilliard School in New York City. There earned his Bachelor in Fine Arts, in dance, and performed works by Paul Taylor, Larry Keigwin,Darrell Grand Moultrie. He caped of his final year performing the renowned solo work of Talley Beatty, ‘Mourner's Bench’.

Upon graduating Nehemiah performed the lead dance role as “The Funky Monkey” in the Broadway production of The Wiz, directed by Tony award winning choreographer George Faison. He has also traveled the world as a principal dancer with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, then as a principal with, under the direction of Kyle Abraham a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”.

Nehemiah can also be seen in the Jill Scott video “Back Together”. He now spends his time giving back to his Alma Mater CSA, as well as teaching at other arts enriching studios around the city. Nehemiah has been recognized for his service around the community by Ohio’s Governor, John R. Kasich, and both Dance Teacher and Dance Magazine. Nehemiah looks to continue to share his love for dance and teaching all of the world and use its gift as an instrument to move the world forward.


Melissa Bertolone,
Choreographer-in-Residence for Mercury Theatre Company 

Melissa Bertolone is a choreographer and performer in the Cleveland/Akron/Canton Area. Performing since age four, Melissa is trained in dance fundamentals, music theory, vocal performance, choreography, tap, jazz and ballet. She began pursuing her love of hip hop in 2004 and has continued training and teaching under industry professionals in both New York and LA in hip hop specific styles such as house, waacking, street jazz and jazz funk. As a dancer she has been featured on BET’s Wild Out Wednesday, Best of the Best and Revamped, along with many stage productions throughout greater Cleveland. She continues to train at Broadway Dance Center and loves expanding her knowledge of the ever-evolving hip-hop genre.

Melissa remains involved in the theatre community, choreographing for and performing with many theatres both near and far. Her work has most recently been seen at Virginia Musical Theatre, Olmstead Performing Arts, Mercury Theatre Company and Caryl Crane Youth Theatre.

In addition to serving as the hip hop instructor at Turning Pointe School of Dance, Melissa proudly serves as Artistic Director for the studio’s hip hop performance crew, UniverSoul Beat. She is grateful for the ongoing opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated group of instructors and students!

E.g., 06/25/19
E.g., 06/25/19