Melanie Bales

Melanie Bales

Melanie Bales

Emerita Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Technique
  • Laban Studies
  • Dance History


  • MFA in Modern Dance Performance and Choreography, University of Illinois
  • BA, Carleton College

Professor Melanie Bales graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, and studied ballet in New York City at the Joffrey School, and as a Harkness Ballet Trainee. She graduated Magna cum Laude from Carleton College, and was elected into Phi Beta Kappa, and received an MFA from the University of Illinois, where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor from 1982-1988, choreographing, performing and teaching ballet and modern techniques. She spent three years performing both classical and operetta repertoire in West Germany, and also danced principal duet roles with Douglas Nielsen Dance, New York. Her choreography has received several state and national awards. In 1994, Ms. Bales completed the course in Laban Movement Analysis through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, New York. At Ohio State, she teaches ballet technique, Laban studies, and courses in dance history/theory. Ms. Bales has received support to commission dances for performance from choreographers including John Giffin, Iréne Hultman, Daniel Nagrin, Tere O'Connor and Catherine Turocy. In 1999, she and a colleague presented an evening of solo works at the Wexner Center Performance Space. She continues to choreograph for OSU Dance and Drums Downtown. She has presented papers for professional organizations including CORD/SDHS, ICKL, LIMS and NDEO. She has co-authored two books: The Body Eclectic: Evolving Practices in Dance Training (University of Illinois Press 2007), and Dance on its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies (Oxford University Press 2013). 

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