Artist Spotlight: The Dancer Melissa Plaza

“I have been dancing for as long as I can remember, since I am four or five maybe. I competed in my first dance competition when I was seven for Edie’s Dance Factory in Woodridge NJ, where I grew up. It was to the song “Bippity Boppity Boo,” from the movie Cinderella and we wore these little blue sparkly tutus. My mom’s the one that put me in dance and I just fell in love with it. It has taught me to work hard and I think that has really carried over into all aspects of my life.”

“When I came to Montclair State University I danced with the Montclair State Dance Company. But towards the end of my sophomore year I felt that I wanted to be challenged more. So I asked a couple of girls who I danced with if they were interested in trying to start a more advanced team and they were. So I got things moving as soon as possible.”

“This past summer was a lot of hard work. I had to get approved to make the team from the Recreation Center. I also had to get approved by the Athletic Department so we could dance at football and basketball games. After that we fundraised so we could order real uniforms. Then we held auditions and finally created an official club team of 18 girls.”

“Dancing is a huge part of my life. It’s the one thing I will always love to do which is why I was so passionate about creating this Montclair Dance Team. We haven’t even been a team for a year and we won awards in our first dance competition. The girls on the team tell me all the time that they’re so happy I did this and created this team. It’s a very rewarding feeling.”

Montclair State | New Jersey

Tori Schettino

I am a Communication and Media Arts major with a minor in Journalism.