A newly initiated Montverde Academy “Eagle Spirit Dance Team” has been created to teach interested students multiple dance styles that include, but are not limited to: jazz, hip-hop, and pom. The decision to establish a contemporary-based dance program at MVA originated from many years of interest communicated to the Academy by the MVA student body and community. The new program will combine elements of the arts and physical education to be physically challenging, personally rewarding, and be included as an official MVA Varsity-Letter athletics activity.

Under the creative direction of Mrs. Melissa Urquhart, the MVA Eagle Spirit Dance Team will hold practices five days a week in order to properly educate students in learning the important fundamentals and skills associated with modern dance choreography, dance technique, and miscellaneous dance styles – as well as to assist them with preparation for Academy performances and presentations at MVA athletic contests. Student-dancers will be creatively inspired, and acquire valuable techniques and methods of retaining a healthy and strong body and mind. The Academy’s Eagle Spirit Dance Team’s mission seeks to empower its members and to serve as a supportive conduit for helping to rally the MVA athletic community, and develop school spirit for existing athletic teams while also “…mastering the creative, artistic, and competitive nature that accompanies participating on the team.”  Montverde Academy Eagle Spirit Dance Team members will also gain:

  • Strength and flexibility through regular warm-up, stretching, and toning exercises.
  • Performance skills, which is achieved through confidence, practice and performing in front of an audience. These skills will be taught throughout the season.
  • Leadership and sportsmanship skills by working with your team, other varsity sports teams at MVA, and other dance teams throughout the state.
  • The support and friendship of a TEAM!
  • Memories to last a lifetime.

MVA’s Eagle Spirit Dance Team will be holding an informational meeting for Upper and Middle school students and parents on Monday, April 20th, 2015, at 5:00PM inside the Sandra O. Stephens Fine Arts Auditorium.  At this meeting, Mrs. Urquhart will share the audition (try-out) schedule which will take place during the week of April 20th as well (TBD).  Students who participated in MVA’s former cheerleading program during the 2014-15 school year are especially encouraged to attend the informational meeting. For more information regarding the MVA Dance /Spirit Team, please contact Mrs. Urquhart at Melissa.urquhart@montverde.org.

Mrs. Melissa Urquhart possesses an impressively extensive dance education background that includes teaching a variety of dance styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, creative movement, tumbling, character/musical theatre, lyrical, pointe, contemporary, and hip hop. Her artistic career in dance education includes working at the Clermont Academy of Dance as a teacher and Choreographer (2006 to 2014), as a Montverde Academy Lower School, Ballet Teacher (2010-2011), a dance team and choreography coach at the Liza Jackson Preparatory School ( 2004-2006), and as a teacher and choreographer with the Crestview High School (2004), the Fort Walton Beach High School: Stars Dance Team (2002-2005), and Katharine’s Studio One Dance Center (1996-2006).

According to her biography, Mrs. Urquhart’s ballet, tap, and jazz training “…began with Susan Becker in Chicago, and after moving to Fort Walton Beach, she continued her ballet and jazz training at the Ballet Academy, which is today the Northwest Florida Ballet. In high school, Melissa was an officer of the Stars Dance Team at Fort Walton Beach High School, winning first place in national competition and the choreography award from NCA All-Star. She received extensive training in jazz, pom, funk/hip-hop and prop/novelty from NCA All-Star and from the Universal Dance Association and won NCA’s prestigious All-Star Award. Her stage credits include performances in Miami, Orlando, and Chicago as well as local productions of the Nutcracker.  In addition to her studio teaching, Melissa coached Fort Walton Beach High School’s Stars Dance Team, leading the team to back-to-back second-place national rankings in the prop/novelty category in 2004 and 2005. In 2005, the team won a first-place ranking in both state and national competition for hip-hop. Melissa frequently judges try-outs for local studios and for high school dance teams. During her tenure at Clermont Academy of Dance, teams have won multiple national titles, including Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Competition. She has also worked with the dance teams at Crestview High School and at Liza Jackson Preparatory School, led an after-school ballet activity at Montverde Academy, and served as a volunteer at area elementary schools.”

Mrs. Melissa Urquhart has also achieved excellence as:

  • An enthusiastic and motivational teacher of all ages, from age two through adult.
  • A dance teacher with nineteen years studio experience as a dance instructor and choreographer.
  • A dance choreographer and dance instructor with nineteen years studio experience with costume, prop, and set design and construction.
  • An arts manager with nineteen years with experience with front-end studio operations, including reception, invoicing, payment processing, and customer inquiries.