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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. She currently teaches adult contemproary classes at Sha'Ran Studios and is producing a site specific series: "Place in Time."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.

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