Student of the Month – Melissa Linder

What companies/classes are you currently in?

I am currently in Senior C.A.T.S.


When did you start at Center Stage?

I started at Center Stage when I was two years old at the old Marlboro studio.


Do you remember your first dance routine?

My first dance routine was with Jan and it was Little Bow Peep.


What was your Center Stage journey?

My Center Stage journey has been an unforgettable experience overall.  Throughout my years dancing here, I have been apart of the jazz companies, tap companies, and ballet companies, as well as assisting many of my teachers.  Not only has this journey led to me becoming a very versatile dancer, but it has also given me the chance to learn how to  learn how to be confident as well as learn how to be a role model for everyone around me.


Which was your favorite Nationals, and why?  What happened there?

My favorite Nationals was last year in Orlando, Florida.  It was the last Nationals where I had the chance to dance with many of the girls that I have been dancing with since I was little, so dancing on stage with them one last time was an unforgettable experience.  (Also, staying in a resort with all of my best friends was a big plus too!)


With the Nutcracker coming up, can you track your Nutcracker roles?

My first Nutcracker role was lead Angel.  Two years later I was a Russian and in Snow, and this year I am the Dewdrop Fairy.


Why has it been worth all of the energy you’ve put into it and the sacrifices you’ve made?

Dancing at Center Stage has been worth all of the energy and sacrifices because I not only have made lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories, but I have gained many skills that will help me throughout my life – such as discipline, time management, and working well with other people.


Do you do other outside of school activities?

I am apart of the FPAC program, as well as on the Howell High School Dance Team.  I also do a lot of community service in my free time and have recently started pursuing modeling.


What’s your favorite movie and why?

My favorite movie is The Notebook.  I have always been a very big fan of Nicholas Sparks’ novels and movies and this is no exception.


Favorite Broadway show?

My favorite Broadway show is Finding Neverland.


First Broadway show?

My first Broadway show was In The Heights.


Favorite food?

My favorite food is sushi.


First celebrity crush?

My first celebrity crush was Zac Efron.  Unfortunately, my dreams were crushed when I found out he was only 5’8.


TV Show you’re embarrassed to admit you used to watch?

A TV Show that I’m embarrassed to admit I used to watch is Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  Although I idolize Kendall as a fashion figure, it is embarrassing to talk about how many episodes of their petty drama I’ve sat through.


If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

If I was an animal, I would be a giraffe because I have come to truly appreciate my height and would never want to give it up (even as an animal).


When do you remember laughing the hardest?

To be honest, I am always laughing when I’m with my best friends, but a specific time I  remember is when I had a sleepover with them last summer.  We pulled an all-nighter, and then went to the beach at 5AM to watch the sunrise the next morning.  This night, like many, was filled with inside jokes and laughter.    


If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?

If I could have dinner with any historical figure, I would have to choose Candice Swanepoel.  Although she is not very “historical”, she has been always been my favorite model, and I aspire to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel like her one day.
What’s next?

I plan to continue my education at a college in the city, majoring in something along the lines of Communication or Marketing.  I also plan to keep taking dance classes because that is something I will never be able to give up, as well continuing my modeling career.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to be rocking the runway as a Victoria’s Secret Angel.


Will you come back to visit Center Stage, or are you gone for good when you’re out the door?

Of course I will come back to visit Center Stage!  Center Stage has been my second home for as long as I can remember, and I know that will never change!  I have formed lifetime relationships and friendships with all of my teachers.  I also look forward to watching Jessica and Julia on stage, although it will be very weird to be in the audience and not dancing with them.