Melissa Decker, owner of Honey of the Hive, has been a Certified American Tribal Style® (also known as ATS®) belly dance instructor and FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studio since 2014 and a Certified SEEDs (Self-Esteem, Empowerment, and Education through Dance) Instructor since 2016. She currently teaches weekly American Tribal Style® belly dance classes in her hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan and is currently developing an after-school mentorship program (Dandelion SEEDs) for young women, which is expected to launch soon.
A dance student since the age of two, Melissa is experienced in tap, jazz, ballet, tribal fusion belly dance, and American Tribal Style® belly dance. After twelve years of study at Weaver School of Dance in Kalamazoo, she took a break during high school and college before returning to dance in 2013. Melissa specializes in ATS® belly dance and has taken numerous workshops with many of the great dancers of FatChanceBellyDance®, including Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman (creator of ATS®), Megha Gavin, Wendy Allen, Sandi Ball, Anita Lalwani, Kristine Adams, and Kae Montgomery. She has also had the pleasure to learn from tribal fusion belly dance master teachers such as Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Jill Parker, Ariellah, Amy Sigil, and more.
Melissa’s teaching style is warm and enthusiastic, and she balances emphasis on proper technique with heavy doses of humor and FUN! Her performances feature traditional FCBD® vocabulary paired with zilling (finger cymbals), and she has recently begun incorporating props into her dancing, including basket, fan veil, and palm torches. Melissa has also dabbled in oriental belly dance, African dance, Romany dance, Indian classical dance, and has experience in gymnastics and cheerleading. She is committed to digging deeper, learning as much as she can about every aspect of belly dance in order to grow both personally and professionally, share knowledge with other dancers, and educate the public about this wonderful art form.
Melissa studies belly dance within Michigan’s talented belly dance community, takes private lessons online, and she travels regularly withing the United States and Canada to study with North America’s prominent tribal dance instructors. Melissa loves performing, and has had the pleasure of dancing in professional showcases at Tribal Revolution, The Dangerous Curves Belly Dance Convention, and more. When she’s not belly dancing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her husbeast and her wacky dogs, cooking, gardening, and raising poultry at their little homestead in the countryside.
photo: Melissa headshot w/zill
LH image: FCBD-certified logo
★ Sister Studio to FatChanceBellyDance® ★
★ Certified American Tribal Style® Instructor ★
★ Certified SEEDs Instructor ★
RH image: FCBD Sister Studio