Melissa Sandvig

Melissa Sandvig

Melissa Sandvig was born and raised in Orange County, California. She began her ballet training at Long Beach Ballet at the age of 5 and began dancing professionally at age 15. Melissa was also a young actress and starred in commercials and afterschool specials, but soon chose to put that on the backburner to fully commit to her future as a ballerina. While still in high school, she won 2nd place in the prestigious Music Center Spotlight Awards and toured internationally with the Los Angeles Classical Ballet to Taiwan and China. After graduating she was recruited to join The Milwaukee Ballet, where she danced soloist roles for 6 seasons. Melissa then returned home to Los Angeles to become a freelance artist and a certified Pilates instructor.  Her interest in Pilates came after suffering a fracture in her lower back which caused her to retrain her body and posture to protect her back from future injuries. She enjoys teaching younger dancers how to be healthy and work their bodies correctly to prevent injuries. Melissa continues to perform with companies such as Helios Dance Theater, Sacramento Ballet, Los Angeles Contemporary Ballet, Luminario Ballet, Motion Tribe, Body Traffic, Strange and Elegant Dancers, String Theory, The Los Angeles Opera, and many more. She is most well known for her performance on Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance as the "Naughty Ballerina." Melissa was the first classically trained ballerina and the oldest contestant at age 29. She broke stereotypes about age and ballet and made it all the way to the top 6. Now she continues to perform, teach master classes, independently as well as with Velocity Dance Convention, Dance Excellence, VIP, and West Coast Elite. Most recently you can spot her as one of the ballerinas in Taylor Swift’s new music video Shake it Off choreographed by Tyce Diorio, as well as in Nappytabs' Harlem Hopscotch video. She has been a guest dancer on the hit show GleeBunheads, Vegas, Dancing With The Stars, America’s Got Talent, Mobbed, Grey’s Anatomy, Hart of Dixie, and The Young and the Restless. She continues to perform her piece about breast cancer This Woman's Work with Ade Obayomi for fundraisers and events. She has also performed in motion capture work for many of the Shrek movie dance scenes, Puss in Boots, and Madagascar 3, and has worked with Cirque Du Soleil and Disney to create a new show. She can also be found on the YouTube channel DS2DIO and the webshows EHOW and HealthyPowerTV. She was chosen to perform as the principal ballerina in the Hit Off Broadway Musical, Silence, opening in Los Angeles. Melissa married Erik Sandvig in 2005, a childhood friend that she grew up with at her local church. Erik has been such a blessing and so supportive and is known by many as the "sign guy" in the audience of So You Think You Can Dance.  They welcomed their son in the summer of 2013, and she continued to dance and perform until she was 7 months pregnant with Helios Dance Theater and also on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  Now that she is expecting her second child, she continues to perform but is focusing on her teaching and choreography. Melissa’s contemporary ballet choreography for groups and solos continues to be competed in NYC for Finals of Youth America Grand Prix and competitions around the US.