© DanceHorizons Ballet School Dubai.


Melissa Ivette Gutierrez Uscanga


Principal DanceHorizons

Melissa was born in the Mexican state of Veracruz where she started attending ballet classes at the Royal Ballet School of Veracruz at the age of 4. The foundations of ballet and dance was taught to Melissa by her first mentor and teacher Patricia Salazar who studied ballet technique at the Royal Ballet in Mexico from 1975 to 1988 and subsequently opened the Royal Ballet Scholl of Veracruz, a ballet academy known to create many young teachers who later on become independent to open and run their own school. While in Veracruz she studied the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD London) up to Advanced level and eventually was awarded the title of Associate of the RAD (ARAD).

Exploring dance as a career.
As with most dancers the initial desire to work towards a career as a dancer was priority. Throughout her years Melissa attended several dance competitions in Mexico, Argentina, the USA etc competing in Jazz and Ballet dance.

After several years of practicing dance in all forms she performed in front of Ana Jurado, the Director of ISP in Mexico and was recommended to join the established Zayi dance school (Zayi Estudio de Danza) which she founded and where Melissa could learn from experienced teachers such as Monica Truffi (Examiner of the RAD) in Guadalajara. This marked her first step into a professional dance career. Even though training on a full time basis was rigorous Melissa also studied part time at university for a Bachelor in Marketing and Publicity.

A new chapter in Dubai
In 2010 Melissa moved to Dubai along with her parents. There her first task was to find a quality institution where she could continue to practice her dance skills and further develop and undergo a program to obtain her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). In DanceHorizons and Nicola Trotter (founder and the former Principal of DanceHorizons Dubai), Melissa found an institution and mentor that had the ability to complete her studies to the highest standards ensuring her to obtain the final skills to realize her ambition to teach her own students the skills she acquired over the years. After having thought under the supervision and mentorship of Nicola Trotter (winner of the RAD Centenary Dance Teacher Award Outstanding Mentor Award 2020) Melissa advanced her studies to RAD Advanced 2 and continued teaching students for over 8 years. In 2018, Nicola Trotter expressed to seek a successor to her role at DanceHorizons and asked Melissa to take the reigns over from her as she wished to step back in her leadership and management role at DanceHorizons and saw in Melissa the right candidate to continue her legacy in developing DanceHorizons further into a dance institution for a vibrant city like Dubai.