Meet the CHAMPIONESS Choreographers

Meet Sam and Mel from SaMel Tanz‘s  CHAMPIONESS!

Melissa Hart is an established dance artist from Toronto with a B.F.A specializing in Dance from York University. With over a decade of experience as competitive figure skater paralleled with her education in classical ballet and contemporary dance, and passion for street and Latin dance styles, she has a widened vocabulary and brings a unique perspective to the stage.

Melissa is a member of Hip Hop Dance Crew DEUCEnDIP, who recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary. With this crew, Melissa has been fortunate to create and perform for international concerts such as WE DAY, Canada’s Walk of Fame and World Pride.

Melissa has developed a passion for helping to direct, manage and organize art showcases and is now the Lead choreographer for Bix Co. Blog Bespoke Entertainment where she creates and organizes custom performances in a variety of outdoor and indoor venues.

With over 20 years of dance experience, Samantha Schleese‘s versatility is evident through her craft as a performer and instructor. She has achieved a B.F.A from York University and a M.A. in Dance from the University of Chichester, England.  

Samantha is also a part of DEUCEnDIP, an all female Hip Hop crew who has recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary. With the crew, Samantha danced for events such as Pride, Unity, and Canada’s Walk of Fame Festivals, WE DAY, Bazaar, and TeenzFav Music Awards and much more. Other credits include: Pan Am Games, Samsung, Mirror Awards, Rusk Hair Show, Bud light Sensation Concert, IOGO, and CP24 Breakfast Television. Samantha has also worked and performed with such companies as Pratibha Arts, ABS Crew, and Evolution Dance Theatre.

Most recently, Samantha has received her Business Administration Diploma at Fanshawe College and is now a new mother and excited to see how her dance career will evolve!

CHAMPIONESS is an electrifying performance that combines boxing and contemporary, street, and Latin dance to explore notions of identity and mental health. Choreographers Sam Schleese and Mel Hart reflect on the power of solidarity amongst women as they face fears and navigate life-changing experiences, challenging society’s perceptions of winners and losers. 

Performances: November 16 – 18, 2023 at 8 pm at Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Tickets: Purchase online or call (416) 973-4000

CHAMPIONESS is presented by DanceWorks as part of its 2023/24 Season. Stay posted for artists interviews and behind the scenes sneak peeks! Connect with DanceWorks at or on our Instagram.

Image of SaMel Tanz by Fran Chudnoff


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