Dancer, Teacher

Manchester, CT 6040
United States


Mateo Melendez began pursuing interests in dance at the age of 12 when hip hop caught his attention. He became captured by this art of movement and by the age of 15 began teaching hip hop classes. Soon he began looking at other forms of dance to influence his hip hop which led him to take classes in gymnastics, jazz, ballet, contemporary, ballroom, modern, and whatever else he could find. After graduating high school he decided to attend the University of Hartford’s Hartt School Dance Division to pursue a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and deeply study classic, modern, and contemporary techniques. An endeavor he has just recently completed as he graduated in May 2014. In the past four years he has been cast in classic works such as Jose Limon’s “There is a Time” and Martha Graham’s “Dark Meadow”, which were staged by former company members Nina Watt and Peggy Lyman. Mateo also played the part of Petrushka in the reworking of the ballet “Petrushka” by Stephen Pier, originally choreographed by Michel Fokine. Mateo also had the opportunity to work with contemporary choreographers Greg Dolbashian, Shannon Gillen-Lipinski, Loni Landon, and Charlotte Griffin. He also choreographed and filmed his own work “Darkest Mind Illuminated” on Hartt School dancers and in collaboration with the composer Adam Lenz to create the music. Since graduating he has performed with up and coming companies such as Cameron McKinney's Kizuna Dance and Erin Dillon & Dancers as well as for the Alwan for the Arts Foundation's production 1001 Nights.