Choreographer / Creative Director / Movement Coach / Dancer
Commercial Jazz | Character / Creature Movement | Comedy Choreography | Jazz Funk | Hip Hop | Burlesque | Musical Theatre | Contemporary
Melena Rounis is a versatile performer, choreographer and associate director who has been sharing her passion and knowledge of all things dance over the course of her 20+ year career. She has worked extensively in film, television, live performances and shows, striving to push the creative boundaries and developing emotionally driven and often high-tech content. Melena values the influence of using dance to enhance storylines, demonstrate relationships, educate and, most importantly, entertain.
While growing up in Vancouver, Canada, she trained in gymnastics, jazz, modern, ballet (R.A.D.), musical theatre, hip hop & lyrical dance. Upon her high school graduation, she received a summer scholarship to train at Toronto Dance Theatre, and then attended Simon Fraser University (BFA Dance program) to learn about Graham, Cunningham, Limon & Horton techniques. She often spent her evenings and weekends performing or attending drop in classes and conventions where she trained in commercial dance, hip hop & street styles (Locking, Breaking, Popping, House, Waacking, Voguing).
As a performer, her credits include Cirque du Soleil (Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour and in Las Vegas at The Beatles LOVE), America’s Got Talent, American Idol, Next Top Model, Latin American Music Awards, as well as MusiCares with Sir Paul McCartney, and various other artists like Pitbull, French Montana & Daddy Yankee to name a few.
Melena’s most recent body of work as a choreographer can be seen on Netflix in 2021, titled ’A Week Away’ the Musical (@aweekawaymovie). Other choreographic endeavors include Associate Directing and Choreographing two tours for Sesame Street Live! (‘Let’s Party' and ‘Make Your Magic’), as well as research and development projects for Walt Disney Imagineering, Knott's Berry Farm Amusement Park, Universal Dance Awards, Dancing with The Stars, Honda, Comedy Central, Kmart, AIDS Health Foundation, ABC’s reality hit ‘The Proposal’, and Christian Louboutin.
Melena is also a passionate educator who motivates and supports the next generation of dancers, and enjoys exploring new and different ways to instill confidence and communicate ideas. Melena has taught and adjudicated extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and Mexico, doing everything from large scale conventions, summer intensives, guest master classes, choreography or private sessions. Her expansive teaching vocabulary includes Street Jazz/Jazz Funk, Hip Hop, Locking, House, Jazz, Musical Theater, Heels, Lyrical and Pilates (yes, she’s certified in that too).
She is grateful to use her wealth of experience as a student, performer, choreographer and overall artistic mind to continue to create, educate, and entertain the world!