New Dance Teacher at Ramona

Ramona Advanced Dance Students Practice Ballet Skills

Photo by: STAN LIM, THE PRESS ENTERPRISE

Ramona Advanced Dance Students Practice Ballet Skills

Elizabeth Grant, Editor-In-Chief

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This year Ramona High School hired a new dance teacher: Melissa Townsend, though she prefers to go by her childhood nickname, “Missy.”

She began dancing at the age of three, starting with ballet, tap, and later moving into jazz, hip-hop, and flamenco dancing. Her professional experience with dance came only slightly later in life, dancing in a company by the time she was in high school. By the time she was ready to graduate, she had received an offer from the University of New Mexico for a full-ride scholarship. After dancing in college and making it into a dance company in LA, she traveled all across Europe, including Germany, France, and Spain.

Mrs. Townsend was hired at Ramona as the previous teacher, Mrs. Spear, retired after 29 years of teaching. Wanting to teach and understanding the limited amount of teaching opportunities for dance instructors, she says that “the stars were aligned” when the position opened. Thus far, she has worked with the other performing arts teachers to adjust to the new school and to mix the different disciplines together. A standard of open communication has been set and kept, which is a fantastic sign for performing arts students. 

As for the students, there are only two males currently enrolled in her classes. However, she hopes “we can get them in by exploring different types of dance.” The curriculum she has laid out follows this goal, among others, by teaching students modern and world dance with ballet, instead of teaching ballet alone, which was a core standard of Mrs. Spear’s class. 

But as most of her students found out recently, Mrs. Townsend is recently married and expecting! The gender of the baby has not been announced yet, but her students wait eagerly for the news. The little bundle of joy is due in April, right in time for Ramona’s Spring musical, In the Heights. She has stated that she’s excited to have the show be the baby’s first, and so are the students. Some are so excited about the new addition to the Ramona Dance family that they’ve offered to babysit.

1 Comment

One Response to “New Dance Teacher at Ramona”

  1. Trinity Salazar on December 9th, 2016 2:43 pm

    I love this!!

    [Reply]

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