Shiver me timbers and gees Louise, you want to know about Melanie A. Stinson? Well, that might be a tall order as she does so many things, writing nonfiction, middle grade fiction and dramatic dance screenplays. She is also a ballroom dancer – artist – dance analyst – and alternative healing professional.
DANCE: One of the first dance minors at Bowling Green State University as well as an intern at American Ballet Theatre II and the Dance Collection at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Melanie danced since the age of four, first with her mother, a pioneer in Bowling Green, Ohio of Laban-based creative dance. She trained in ballet from the age of nine with a variety of ballet instructors first in Toledo, Ohio and then in Connecticut, New York and Canada. Her teachers included Igal Perry, Sharon Dante, Gabriella Taub-Darvash, Robert Chiarelli, Melissa Hayden and others (ballet) and Cynthia Stone Arenillas (contemporary ballet/Cunningham).
She danced professionally for a short time and taught ballet, modern dance and creative arts/movement (Laban Effort-Shape), choreographed and ran her own small dance company. Today, Melanie is delighted to have found a new connection to dance – through ballroom and Argentine tango. With new insights from her ballroom dancing, she continues to support dancers and choreographers worldwide through her writing and dance analysis and background in alternative healing modalities and therapeutic bodywork.
WRITING. Melanie writes middle grade fiction and is at work on her first middle grade novel. She is the author of The Middle Princess, a chapter book for grades k-5, and Hilarede Centipede, A Many Shoe Adventure, an activity storybook for pre-school through first grade and free download. Also a poet, Melanie published a book of dance poetry, Symphony in C Dance Spirit Poems, in 2007. All her books are currently only available online here
Melanie’s middle grade story, The Buzz Boy of Bradner, Ohio, can be found in the anthology, Stories and Poems We’re All For ‘Em. Her story, Weirdest of All, published in Highlights For Children in 2003 has enjoyed several reprints, which was exciting and made her wonder what it was about bullying that made this story what it was.
A long time nonfiction writer and editor, on staff and freelance, Melanie served for over ten years as contributing editor for New York City Ballet, where she observed a great deal of dance and some of the best trained dancers in the world. She has written articles for several Bowling Green State University publications, and has been contributing editor for Wood County Park District’s Oak Leaf News & Program Guide. She has also written for The Chronicle Magazine of AHRC NYC and served as contributing editor for Northwest Ohio Writers Forum’s e-newsletter, NYU’s Graduate Dance Education Department and the Torrington School of Ballet/Nutmeg Ballet.
SCREENPLAYS. Melanie often writes dramas and favors dance topics or uses movement in some way in her film stories. She has been quarterfinalist multiple times in the Writers Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition. Driven to be skilled in the craft of screenwriting, she studied screenwriting with John Truby, Robert McKee and others.
As aplace4us online, Melanie has a practice of CCT Reiki – alternative therapies for well-being and maintaining balance in these stressful times. A New York State-licensed massage therapist, certified CCT Energy Master, Reiki Master Teacher and adventurer or Hawaiian teacher shaman, she offers Reiki classes in Toledo and Bowling Green and gives distance sessions globally by private appointment and as a volunteer for the Distant Healing Network. After enjoying shiatsu and experiencing the all-encompassing nature of the energy modalities, Melanie’s massage, dance, Laban Effort-Shape and Rosen Method Bodywork/ Movement background continue to influence her work. She feels she’s part scientist and part spiritual intuitive. To read more about that, click here
Melanie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, National League of American Pen Women, and serves on the board of the Toledo Artists Club.