Melissa West is an independent mover/choreographer/poet and activist based in Staten Island, NY. Originally a student of the Staten Island Ballet, Melissa holds dual degrees in Dance and English from Hunter College. She holds a Masters in Performance Studies from New York University. In 2012, she was a recipient of the Premier Grant in Choreography and the Excellence in the Arts Award, both funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs through Staten Island Arts.
Since 2008, her work has been presented throughout NYC at venues including the Atlantic Salt Factory, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, The Living Theater, Triskelion Arts, Queens Museum, The Brick Theater, The Greenbelt Nature Center, and the Bowery Poetry Club. West has held residencies at the Curiosity Project/Staten Island Arts, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, and the Greenbelt Conservancy. In 2014, she received the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fellowship. Her work investigates the body’s relationship to spatial and sonic environments. This includes works for stage and film, as well as alternative landscapes and underutilized public spaces.