The only way we live beyond our lives is to connect and carve ourselves into the souls of those we love
— Michael John LaChiusa

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Elise Melendez is a Chicago-based arts manager, dance educator and nonprofit marketer with a strong commitment to fostering community. Beyond her work with Motivated Movers, Elise continues her commitment to the dance community as managing director of Denman Theatre & Dance Co, a New York based company dedicated to developing hybrid theatrical works using movement/dance as a primary storytelling device.  

With a bachelor’s in American Dance Pedagogy from Oklahoma City University and a master’s in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management from Columbia College Chicago, Elise has over a decade of experience in arts education and management. 

Off the dance floor Elise also serves as marketing manager for the American Marketing Association, the world’s largest community-based marketing association. Her past roles include casting director and assistant to the artistic director at Hangar Theatre; client services account executive for Prevail Strategic Marketing & Communications; strategic planning consultant for NPH USA, Chicago Woman magazine and World Future Society; and development consultant for Chicago Youth Shakespeare. Elise has also been a guest teaching artist/choreographer for arts organizations and educational institutions such as Hangar Theatre, Palace Theatre New Hampshire, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Applause, St. Norbert College and Oklahoma City University.

Work with Elise