Melonie Buchanan Murray

Associate Professor

Phone: 801-581-7071

Melonie is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and scholar. Currently an Associate Professor within the Department of Ballet at the University of Utah, Melonie is simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Dance through Texas Woman’s University. Her research interests lie in exploring the continual evolution of ballet training methods and performances, and while honoring the past, investigating ballet through a critical theory lens. Topics of recent research have included analyzing the commoditization of dancers in the advertising campaigns of American ballet companies, exploring notions of ballet as a form of cultural identity, and examining how gender is performed in ballet training. Melonie finds the juxtaposition of classical ballet heritage with contemporary training and performing practices combined with critical theory compelling and fertile ground for scholarly consideration. Holding a BFA in Ballet from Friends University and an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine, Melonie believes that there is a place for all dance forms within the academy, and her commitment to dance as a scholarly endeavor is paramount. As a choreographer, Melonie is particularly interested in pushing the boundaries of ballet and exploring ways in which to communicate complex concepts and social critique through movement.

Melonie’s performance experience includes dancing as a Radio City Rockette, as a principle dancer with Wichita Ballet Theatre, and as a featured dancer with Musical Theatre of Wichita. In addition, Melonie sailed the seas with Norwegian Cruise Lines as dance captain for Broadway-style productions, and has performed with several musical theatre companies in Southern California. Additionally, she performed as a featured dancer with Francisco Martinez Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles based award-winning modern dance company. Melonie is a certified instructor in American Ballet Theatre’s national training curriculum and has experience teaching multiple genres of studio and academic dance courses at several universities. She is often invited to choreograph, lecture, and/or teach across the US, and has served as an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival. Professional affiliations include Corps de Ballet International, Society of Dance History Scholars, Congress on Research in Dance, World Dance Alliance, and the National Dance Educators Organization.