The Multiple Choices of Melissa Hough: Ballet? Jazz? Tap? Hip-Hop? How about All of the Above?

Article excerpt

If you could apprentice with a ballet company, perform in a Broadway show, or tour with a pop star, which would you choose? If all three sound appealing, then welcome to the world of Melissa Hough. The 18-year-old Maryland native excels in ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and tap, and has achieved great success in each. After graduating in May 2002 from the former Kirov Academy of Ballet (now the Universal Ballet Academy) in Washington, D.C., Hough landed a one-year apprenticeship with BalletMet Columbus, then plunged into competitions. She was named the Women's Senior Outstanding Dancer during the New York City Dance Alliance Convention and received a Jury Award of Encouragement at the USA International Ballet Competition.

"It [2002] was an amazing summer." Hough reflects. "I'm blessed to have so many things I can do. but it's also hard to have so many options for my career. I want to make the best choice and I'm not sure what that is right now."

Fortunately, Hough has not yet had to choose. Last season, while dancing with BalletMet, Stanton Welch picked her to solo in Don Quixote. Meanwhile, she spent many weekends touring as jazz dance master teacher Joe Lanteri's demonstrator with NYC Dance Alliance and performing last summer's winning solo at events such as Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago. Hough began a new apprenticeship contract with Boston Ballet II in August and is excited about learning the company's contemporary ballet repertoire. She hopes to continue traveling with NYC Dance Alliance as well.

"I see two sides of the dance world and hear many perspectives. …