Hi! I'm Melissa
I'm a Nutrition Educator & Wellness Coach (Certified Nutrition Specialist licensure pending) based in and serving Washington, DC and the DMV region. My lifestyle-focused method has successfully helped clients achieve personal results and enhance athletic ability, eMpowering performance in class, rehearsals, and on-stage. As professional dancer myself, I have gained nutritional balance and improved my own relationship with food through many years of practice and a Masters of Science in Nutrition from University of Bridgeport. I bring this depth of personal and academic experience to a variety of clients, particularly performance athletes and fitness enthusiasts. In my spare time, I teach yoga and manage Ballet Embody, a professional contemporary ballet company.
As a lifelong mover and working dance artist, I've tried a range of workout types, including 1/2 marathon training, Pilates, High Intensity Interval Training Workouts, traditional weightlifting, and more. Since 2015, I’ve realized that prioritizing movement, nutrition, and mindfulness habits, leads to significant improvements in my own athleticism and performance quality.
With years of experience in customer service, I enjoy connecting with clients and supporting their eating and behavior patterns. I value balance and strive to embody it in my own life, and as a practitioner, I find joy in the puzzle of helping others find their unique balance.
My journey as a professional dancer began shortly after I completed my undergraduate studies. I was excited to dive into the freelance lifestyle, taking on a range of jobs to support myself and somehow balance my social life. However, old habits from my pre-professional training and high school days crept back into my life as I tried to lose weight through various diets, which eventually led to a fractured ankle right before my performance as The Sugar Plum Fairy in my first professional production of The Nutcracker. Despite the setback, I turned to yoga to aid in my recovery and eventually found myself in a yoga teacher training program in 2016.
Years later, I began to prioritize balance in my movement, nutrition, and mindfulness practices, leading to a newfound confidence in my body and liberation from strict dieting. I have a number of years remaining in my professional performance career, and I knew that I needed to begin planning for my years beyond the stage. Knowing that I wanted to continue supporting dancers and the dance community, a pathway towards specializing in health, wellness, and nutrition for dance seemed most appropriate. I decided to go back to school, complete the required prerequisite science courses and was accepted into the University of Bridgeport's Masters of Science program for Human Nutrition and graduated in May 2021.
During my studies, I launched eMpower health + wellness, a nutrition practice that allows me to accrue the 1000+ clinical hours needed for licensure and support my yoga students and followers virtually. In 2022, I rebranded as eMpower performance, working with dancers and performance athletes as a nutritionist in the Washington, DC and surrounding DMV region. I continue to perform, co-founded a contemporary ballet company, dance as a freelance artist, and guide yoga students through their practice. At eMpower performance, I specialize in working with dancers, performance athletes, and fitness enthusiasts to help them reach their full potential with balanced food + nutrition habits - beyond the studio.