Melinda Woodruff, Artistic Director
Miss Melinda began studying ballet when she was three years old, and she continues to dance. For over 16 years, she trained and studied ballet under the direction of Alene York of York’s School of Dance in Mansfield; Rafael Grigorian at Rafael Grigorian’s School of Ballet in Elmira, NY; Leslie’s School of Dance in Elmira Heights, NY; Dancer’s Alley in Horseheads, NY; 171 Cedar Arts in Corning, NY; the Ithaca Ballet Center in Ithaca, NY; and most recently at Dance Masters of America at Buffalo University. She has trained in Russian classical ballet, pointe, character, lyrical, character, tap, jazz, and Irish step dancing. She trained in summer intensives with American Ballet Theatre in Austin, Texas, and in the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She has performed several roles in productions of Rafael Grigorian’s Ballet Theatre ‘s The Russian Nutcracker, Cipollino, and Baba Yaga. She also performed in the Moscow Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker and the Tri Cities Opera production of The Magical Flute. She was company member of In His Steps, a Christian ballet company, in Dundee, NY, before starting her own studio. She choreographed and danced a first-place performance of a lyrical ballet in a local talent show. She has also choreographed first-place performances in the NY Tournament of Dance at the Clemens Center. Recently, Melinda choreographed two full-length productions of "The Nutcracker" and "Cinderella," featuring students from Melinda's School of Dance.
In 2010, Melinda, together with her parents, opened Melinda's School of Dance at Mansfield University. Since then, she has been the principal instructor for classes in ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, tap, combo, and acro. In addition, Melinda is the Artistic Director, choreographing and producing full-length productions, including "The Gift Nativity Ballet," "Dream of a Nutcracker," "Once Upon a Time: A Cinderella Story," "The Great & Wonderful Oz," "The Enchanted Sea," as well as annual spring recitals, that showcase technique progression. In 2014, Melinda was married and now works full-time as Head Teller at the M&T Bank. Additionally, Melinda continues to choreograph award-winning competition routines with dancers earning high-place trophies and her routines winning Highest Overall in the Petite and Junior categories for outstanding routines. In 2019, Melinda will take her competition team to Epcot to perform in the Future World Showcase. Melinda continues to expand and improve the quality of the dance program at Melinda's School of Dance, as well as providing future opportunities for her students.
Sheryl Mondock, Studio Director
Since 1989, Sheryl has been an English & Business Teacher at Troy High School, Troy, Pennsylvania. When her daughter was three years old, she discovered a dance program and enrolled her daughter. Ever since that time, her interest in the performing arts has grown. For 14 years, she assisted with costume design for productions, including "The Nutcracker," "Baba Yaga," "Cinderella," as wells as annual spring concerts (recitals). She also danced in the part of a party parent in Rafael Grigorian's production, "The Nutcracker." A former dance teacher encouraged her daughter, Melinda, to teach dance in Mansfield and in 2010, Sheryl and Scott, along with her daughter opened a dance studio at Mansfield University. As Studio Director, Sheryl directs the studio's day-to-day operations from special events, including dance performances in parades, talent shows, and opening for the life performance rebroadcast of Mariinsky's Theatre's Nutcracker, to new productions and costume design and production, as well as designing/developing Melinda's School of Dance website and Facebook pages. It has always been Sheryl's goal to provide an economical, quality performing arts program with highly skilled instructors and opportunities for youth to shine in the lights by performing on stage for their parents, friends, and community. She works very hard to ensure that each child has an opportunity to pursue their dreams of dance. Additionally, Sheryl teaches and supervises the Happy Feet, Tot Combo, Acro I, Ballet I, and Combo classes. Just like her daughter, Melinda, Sheryl continues to look for new opportuntiies for the students and future of Melinda's School of Dance.
~ Alumni ~
Laura began studying dance when she was three years old and studied under Miss Melinda at Melinda’s School of Dance in Mansfield for six years before graduating in 2016. While she trained at Melinda's School of Dance, she performed soloist and demi-soloist roles as "Clara," "Columbine Doll," and "Danish Princess" in the Melinda's School of Dance 2012 and 2016 production "Dream of the Nutcracker," "Cinderella" and a "Stepsister" in the 2012 & 2016 production of "Happily Ever After: A Cinderella Story," and "Grumpy Dwarf" in our 2014 production of "Fairest of them All," as "Dorothy" in the 2013 production of "The Great and Wonderful Oz Ballet," and as "Joseph's Angel" in "The Gift Nativity Ballet." In July 2011, she won a first-place trophy for her ballet performance to “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” at the NY Tournament of Dance at the Clemens Center. In 2013, she won a trophy and a gold medal for her "Dying Swan" (pictured above) routine for the New York Dance Challenge in Rochester. Since age 13, Laura taught ballet classes at our Troy and Mansfield studios. Laura graduated in 2016 and now attends Keuka College for Criminal Justice and dances as a guest artist for Melinda's School of Dance. We wish Laura the best as she pursues her future dreams. Thank you, Laura, for your hard work and dedication to Melinda's School of Dance!