Breaking Ground: Melissa UgoliniItalian-born contemporary dancer Melissa Ugolini talks about the role of dance in Turkish culture.

Breaking Ground: Melissa UgoliniItalian-born contemporary dancer Melissa Ugolini talks about the role of dance in Turkish culture.

"Dance is empowering. It helps us release our emotions and sets us free."

How did you start dancing?

Growing up, both my parents were musicians. I didn’t play any instruments, but I needed a way to interact with the music and dancing came naturally to me.

What prompted the transition from dancing in your living room to becoming a professional?

I was accepted into a dance academy in Florence, studying ballet, and graduated while I was still attending high school. As I grew older, I found myself detaching more and more from ballet. When I was 19, I thought I was through with dancing; I wanted to study medicine instead. When my ballet teacher heard, he decided to send out tapes of my solo performances to contemporary dance schools around the world. I was accepted into a few of them and ended up going to the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, En...

ISSUE 52

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