The Dirt: Melanie Mah

 

Melanie Mah’s career is basically the commercial-dance dream.

After training as a ballet dancer near her hometown of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Mah earned a spot on Season 2 of “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” and made it to the Top 6. She moved to L.A. in 2011, and in the last five years, she’s worked on TV shows (“Glee,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Goldbergs”), with recording artists (Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Kanye West) and as a teacher (at Millennium Dance Complex in North Hollywood). Late this summer, Mah began the ultimate dream job: performing on Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable World Tour, with creative direction from Gil Duldulao. Want to know more? Read on for The Dirt. —JO

(Photo by Jino Abad, courtesy Melanie Mah)

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

A doctor. I've always loved math and science, and I actually completed my first year of university in biomedical sciences.

Who is your dance role model?

Dawn Rappitt—my teacher from my home studio Elite Danceworx. She was the first person to believe in me as a dancer and she pushed me to chase after all my dreams.

Who can always make you laugh?

My dad...even if he's not trying ot. He can be such a goofball.

What’s one food you can’t live without?

NOODLES. Nothing's better than a big bowl of soup noodles! (Thanks mom.)

Do you have any nicknames?

Me. Mel Mah. Melly. Smelly. Kwan. Elly Ma. Mah Mah-ella. Mahy Mahy. Mah-chine...I get a lot of nicknames. It's rare people call me "Melanie!"

What’s your favorite activity—other than dance?

I love yoga. I'm a certified instructor and I've been teaching vinyasa yoga for the past three years.

What’s your favoriteJanet Jackson song?

"All For You"! It's such a fun song and it always brings back good memories. My friends and I would blast the song in the car and sing at the top of our lungs. And the choreography is EPIC!

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