Melissa Ajayi

Create. Connect. Cultivate.

Melissa Ajayi is an independent dancer, choreographer, and recreation therapist based in Shaker Heights, Ohio with a goal to create dance that inspires and deepens a sense of connection to self, others, community, and the world around us.



Melissa Ajayi is a graduate of Kent State University where she received a BFA in dance performance and a BS in Therapeutic Recreation. She lived and worked in New York City, and Lexington Kentucky before returning to Ohio in 2015. She has danced with multiple companies including Antaeus Dance, Travesty Dance Group, Marquez Dance Project, Emily Jeffries, Sarah Holmes-Villanueva, Leanne Schmidt and Company and Blackbird Dance Theatre. 
She has performed locally at CPT's Danceworks, Pandemonium, Cleveland Dance festival, and The Somatic Center where she also taught adult contemporary dance. Her own work has been presented at Blackbird Dance festival and Tridea Dance. 
In addition to her performance career, Melissa is a Nationally Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and has a passion for utilizing dance as a therapeutic intervention to bring about physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral change. Her work and writing about using dance as a therapeutic intervention has been published in the National Therapeutic Recreation Journal, and she has presented at the New York State Therapeutic Recreation Association Conference, Therapeutic Recreation Association of Suffolk County Conference (Long Island), and the National Dance Education Organization Conference.


Join the Movement

  • Modern Class: T/Th 10-11am
    Multiple Dates
    Tue, Oct 26
    Dance By Sha'Ran
    Oct 26, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    Dance By Sha'Ran, 3445 Warrensville Center Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122, USA
    Join Melissa on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:00 for an hour of sweat, creativity, and fun. Warm up with a blend of modern technique and somatic work then express yourself in a dynamic phrase. This class is $15 and is recommended for intermediate-advanced adult dancers.
  • Providence: Film Premiere
    Fri, Aug 13
    Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center
    Aug 13, 2021, 7:00 PM EDT
    Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center, 141 E Main St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA
    A dance film by Jenny Fitzpatrick of Blackbird Dance theatre based on the life of Joan of Arc
  • Place in Time
    Sat, Aug 07
    Location is TBD
    Aug 07, 2021, 6:00 PM – Aug 08, 2021, 8:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    A unique 3-part series of immersive dance experiences at various locations in and around the Greater Cleveland area. Feeling adventurous and love art? This is the event for you.
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"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."

Alan Watts



Get in touch with Melissa today to learn more about upcoming events, classes, performance opportunities, or to express interest in collaboration and fiscal support.

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