Title: Associate Dean, Professor, College of Performing Arts
Company: Rowan University
Location: Glassboro, New Jersey, United States
Melanie Stewart, Associate Dean and Professor for the College of Performing Arts at Rowan University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in dance education and choreography.
As the daughter of two deaf parents, Ms. Stewart grew up in an environment where body movement and facial expressions were essential. She learned how to dance instead of learning sign language, which, though untraditional, proved to work out excellently for Ms. Stewart. She proceeded to enroll at Webster College to complete her undergraduate studies, earning a Bachelor of Arts in dance technique, choreography, and performance. In the following years, she furthered her academic resume by acquiring a Master of Fine Arts in dance technique, choreography, and performance from Temple University. After gaining experience as a dance instructor and performer at several established companies, Ms. Steward opened the Melanie Stewart Dance Theater in 1984. She remains there today, overseeing operations as the artistic director. Further, in 2013, she accepted the position of associate dean and a professor at the College of Performing Arts within the Department of Theater and Dance at Rowan University.
An accomplished dancer and choreographer, Ms. Stewart has participated in a multitude of performances throughout her career. In earlier years, she directed and choreographed several successful productions for the Melanie Stewart Dance Theater, including, “The Last Days of Dr. Jekyll,” “I’ll Crane For You,” and “The Girl With Bees in Her Hair.” More recently, she has worked on “Interactive Alice” for the Arts Garden Summer Fest and “In America, That is to Say No Where” for the Rowan Theater. She has additionally presented at various workshops and panels, including the All Theatre is Physical Panel for the Network of Ensemble Theaters Intersection Conference in 2014. Ms. Stewart attributes her success to her relentless love and passion for the art form. Her motto is, “Go to where the love is.”
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