Hi! I'm Melissa
My unbalanced relationship with food began when I was thirteen years old.
For more on my personal eMpowered journey, hop down the page.
I perform with my contemporary ballet company and as a freelance dance artist, guide yoga students both in-studio + online, and work with performance athletes and fitness enthusiasts to eMpower their performance via movement, nutrition, and mindfulness.
completed 200-hour yoga teacher training
began professional dance career
enrolled in UB's Master's program
launched eMpower health + wellness
eMpower yoga sesh goes virtual
clients begin their eMpowered journeys
graduated with MS in Human Nutrition
rebrand to eMpower performance
you're right where you need to be!
I am a working dance artist and have been a lifelong mover. As a fitness enthusiast, I've experimented with a variety to workout types ranging from 1/2 marathon training, Pilates, High Intensity Interval Training Workouts, traditional weightlifting, and more!
Since 2015 in particular, I've noticed a drastic improvement to my athleticism and performance quality which I attribute to balanced movement, nutrition, and mindfulness habits.
I'm a people person and I have years of experience in customer service; I love to connect with people and support their eating + behavior patterns.
I embody the concepts of balance as much as I can, it's a quality instilled in me since childhood. As a practitioner, I love the puzzle that finding your unique balance presents.
My professional dance career began shortly after finishing my undergraduate studies and I dove right into the freelance lifestyle. Taking on an odd mixture of jobs to support myself, pay bills, and somehow managed some sort of a type of social life. Balance? Not exactly. Old habits from my pre-professional training and high school days found their way back into my life as I continually tried to lose weight and, now out on my own, I could try any diet out there. Accidents happen, of course, and I'm certain that two years of my nutrient poor diet contributed to weakened bones that led to a fractured ankle ten minutes before curtain was to go up on my first Nutcracker as The Sugar Plum Fairy. Devastated and in denial, I wasn't able to perform that weekend. In addition to working with my physical therapist, I attribute a lot of my recovery to yoga. A practice/movement that I was able to explore even with a sprained ankle. So that's how I found myself in a yoga teacher training in 2016 and began teaching after finishing the program at studios around DC, and eMpower yoga sesh launched in 2020.
Somehow, a few years later, about 12 years from the start of my imbalanced relationship with food, I began to dip my toes into finding a balance of movement, nutrition, and mindfulness that seemed to fuel and support my dancing as well as the needs of daily life. Just as your eMpowered journey takes into consideration many factors, many things began to align in my life and I started to feel more confident in my body, about how I looked, and my waking hours didn't revolve around how much, what, if I was or wasn't eating. A glimmer of food freedom and diet liberation was on the horizon.
I was getting to point of managing my rehearsing, performing, cross training, rest, and adequate nutrient intake so I figured I should start thinking about what would await me once my performing years concluded. I knew I wanted to stay involved in the dance field and support dancers during their training, performance, and post-retirement years. So, in 2016, health, wellness, and nutrition seemed to be the most logical next step for me. After completing pre-requisite science courses at UDC, I was also accepted into the University of Bridgeport's Masters of Science program for Human Nutrition in 2018.
While in school, I launched eMpower health + wellness, the first iteration of this nutrition practice. Starting my practice gave me a jumping off point for school projects, my school-sponsored clinical program, accruing clinical hours needed for my certified nutrition specialist designation, and a virtual place to hold space for my yoga students and followers when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the US in 2020.
Fast forward to today, in 2022, I've rebranded to eMpower performance and support clients on their journeys by addressing movement, nutrition, and mindfulness in their busy, daily lives. I'm still performing - co-founded and co-direct a contemporary ballet company, dancing as a freelance artist, guiding yoga students both in-studio + online, and meet with/coach performance athletes and fitness enthusiasts to eMpower their performance.