Meet Gena Melago, our newest teaching artist

Gena Melago, teaching artist for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, at the January 7, 2012 Colors of the Rainbow team match (©2012 Archie Carpenter)

Please join us in welcoming Ms. Gena Melago to the Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh team of teaching artists.

Ms. Gena has been dancing since she was five years old. At a young age, she focused on ballet and jazz. While attending Moon High School, she fell in love with Latin dance.

Since 2000, she has studied with Terry and Rozana Sweeney at Art and Style Dance Studio on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Ms. Gena has danced competitively
for four years — first in the Pro/Am division, now in the Amateur division — in Cha-cha, Samba, Rumba, and Jive. She competes four to six times a year in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Ms. Gena and her partner have placed first in adult amateur bronze and were finalists in silver and gold in Bethesda in 2011.

When pressed, she says her favorite dance “would probably be the samba or rumba.”

In the winter/spring 2012 semester, she is helping fifth graders at two elementary schools: Pittsburgh Banksville and Good Shepherd School.

“Dancing Classrooms has been a whole new experience for me,” says Ms. Gena. “Every day I walk into class it feels like we are taken away on a new adventure. It’s so exciting to watch these amazingly intuitive young people learn to dance together and treat each other with respect.”

Ms. Gena  holds master’s degree in instructional leadership from Robert Morris University and works as a specialist in the prevention department of Mercy Behavioral Health, part of the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System.

Originally from Moon Township, she lives in the Greentree area of Pittsburgh.

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