Melanie LaJoie

 

Melanie LaJoie began her dance career over 25 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts where she performed at night clubs, festivals, colleges and museums. Melanie studied with Middle Eastern dance premiere artists such as the late "Vina" Florence Haddad (sister to singer George Abdo), the late Ibrahim Farrah, Phaedra and other members of Ibrahim Farrah Dancers of NYC, the late LaMeri, Grand Dame of Ethnic Dance and associate of Ruth St. Denis and other stellar artists.

Melanie performed and studied in Morocco developing her passion in studying dance ethnology and anthropology. She traveled to Egypt to pursue authentic Egyptian dance and culture and to perform on a Nile Cruise Ship. Melanie has also studied and worked with the Russian Moscow Circus under the direction of Nougzarov. She has studied a variety of ethnic dance from Brazilian, Calypso, Flamenco, African and martial arts such as Kung Fu, Tai Chi. Melanie continues martial arts training & taught kickboxing at the National Karate Academy. Currently, she teaches group of private classes in Mid-East/Gyspy Belly Dance/Danse Orientale locally in Orlando & seminars/workshops nationally & internationally. Melanie continues Martial Arts training at WahLum Kung Fu and won 4 Gold Medals plus numerous other medals in Kung Fu traditional hand forms, sword & staff weaponry & taught kickboxing.

Currently, Melanie directs A MAGI Entertainment/Dance Productions and performs, directs and produces A MAGI shows at theme parks and conventions at Universal Studios Orlando, Universal's Islands of Adventure, House of Blues, Disney, Sea World.

Melanie has directed other companies such as Pyramid Dance Company (Massachusetts), co-directed Oria Gypsy Dance Theatre, and was a principal dancer and soloist in DeSamba (Brazilian) Dance Company of Boston. She has performed in many cities throughout the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston. She has performed and/or taught at colleges such as Harvard Peabody Museum, Dartmouth College, Clark University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Puma Community College. She has also performed for American tour groups in Switzerland and in the Bahamas.

Melanie's TV and film credits include dance performances on Rosie O'Donnell, WB's Steve Harvey Show (both taped at Universal's Islands of Adventure), numerous commercials and prints for Universal Studios, Nickelodeon's "What Would You Do?" as Mid-East Dancer and instructor and Hawaiian Dancer. She and members of A MAGI were featured on E! Entertainment Network. Melanie choreographed and cast the music video for SNAP's RHYTHM IS A DANCER hit dance tune. Melanie performed as featured Mexican Dancer on Val Kilmer's TNT "Billy the Kid" movie filmed in Tucson. She was TV talk show co-host for Massachusetts cable TV show: INNERVISIONS.

In 1990, Melanie became Supervisor of Special Events Entertainment at Universal Studios Orlando. In 1993, and after the birth of her daughter, she left that position to form Magi Melanie psychic entertainment performing at theme parks and radio spots throughout Orlando. She recently left her long-standing position as Senior Gakmeister for Nickelodeon Studios.
Melanie is a member of the Society of American Magicians and has been honored by St. Jude's Children's Hospital for numerous fundraising performances. Melanie and A MAGI performers have participated in children charities' fundraisers for Give Kids the World and New Hope Charities.

Melanie is also a singer, songwriter, musician and percussionist and has produced her own CD containing several of her own compositions entitled: ANTHOLOGY OF A MAGI. Additionally, Melanie is producing dance instructional and A MAGI performance videos. ANTHOLOGY OF A MAGI plus her song, "Expect Miracles" (formerly "Miracles or Bust") can be found in the Children's Miracle Network fundraiser CD: MUSIC FOR MIRACLES (for info & purchase, contact Melanie).