Melinda is the founder, director and instructor of !ACCENT! Dancer in Woodbridge. She is a veteran who has danced in the Woodbridge area for over 15 years. She started teaching at Dale City Recreation Center for fun and exercise, but, once she noticed how many students started to follow her, she started expanding.
Her class was large enough for dance recitals at the end of each year. In 2003, !ACCENT! Dancer was born, and they continued to grow each year.
She opened her own dance studio in 2013 and named it after the group she created in 2003: !ACCENT! Dancer. Her goal is to really capture the true meaning of dance through her studio. She completely turned away from competitions, and everyone who joined soon realized there was so much more to dance than winning medals.
At !ACCENT! Dancer, we offer a variety of dance styles in order to accommodate all of our Woodbridge students, including:
Musical theater dancing
Regardless of where you stand with dance, we have plenty of options to suit your wants and needs. Outside of specific dance classes, we offer:
Born in 1970, I was raised in the Philippines. I came to the States in 1981 at the age of 11. As young as I can remember, dancing and moving has been in my blood. Though I was not allowed to partake in formal dance lessons until high school, I learned what I could from TV and videos.
A high school P.E. dance program was my first introduction to formal dance training – a program that changed my life and led to who I am now. It introduced me to my mentor, a dance instructor who showed me that dance is about finding the passion and art in it; finding the love in how great it is to move – not the glitzziness of it or competition part of it. It was in this program that I realized my true love with dance as well – teaching it, inspiring with it, and sharing it.
Though work and college became too difficult right after high school, dance never left my life. I made the difficult choice of putting my dance dream on hold and joined the military. However, even through 20 plus years of honorable Air Force service, dance did reappear and was present. I created a youth dance program for military families while stationed at Rhein Main Air Base Germany. I coached a developing dance team at Christopher Newport University when transferred to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton. And in 2001, once transferred and settled in the Northern Virginia area, I created my program !ACCENT! Dancer, now 15 years running.
Now in my own studio, I have been able to add and offer another passion of mine – health, wellness, and fitness. I am an avid promoter of health, wellness, and fitness; it is how I live my life. After helping my husband through a life-threatening illness, I vowed that besides taking care of myself and her family, I would help as many people who will listen to me preach about the importance of overall wellness. We only have 1 BODY, our 1 TEMPLE; why not take care of it the very BEST we can?
At 45, I gave up a promising, comfortable government contracting position of four years to concentrate on my dance studio and fitness boutique. A frightening and difficult decision, but one that is allowing me to do what I truly loves and is passionate about -- DANCING & HELPING OTHERS BE HEALTHIEST THEY CAN BE!
AA, Management, Community College of the Air Force, 2004
BS, Management; Park University, 2004
MS (Summa Cum Laude), Management/Project Management; Strayer, 2013
BA, Dance/MCERT Dance Candidate, University of Maryland, 2018
Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) Essentials
DEL Early Childhood Dance
ISSA Personal Fitness Trainer
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ISSA Fitness Nutrition Counselor
Zumba Level 1
CPR (Child & Adult)