Melissa was raised in a small town Northeast of Dallas and grew up as a studio-trained dancer from a young age. She first discovered her passion for the drill team in middle school and participated throughout high school. She was honored to be selected as 1st Lieutenant her Junior year and Head Dance Captain her Senior year. She then auditioned for the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles and was thrilled to continue her love of dance at the collegiate level for two years. As an Apache Belle, Melissa traveled to Dublin, Ireland, and performed in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Lord Mayor’s Ball. Other performance credits include Dallas Cowboys pre-games and halftimes, a feature on Texas Country Reporter, participation in Houston’s Bank of America Thanksgiving Day Parades, Tyler Rose Parades, and performing at Disney World. Melissa was honored to serve as Chaplain her Sophomore year of Apache Belles. Throughout her dance career, she consistently received both personal and team top honors, awards and scholarships throughout camps, competitions, and conventions. Following TJC, Melissa then attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations. She has continued to stay actively involved in the Apache Belle alumni organization as well as local fitness and dance organizations wherever she has lived. As a coach and mentor, she places high value on poise, discipline, precision, and teamwork all within a fun and encouraging atmosphere for her students. Melissa has served as the Assistant Director of the Cougarettes for two seasons and is excited for the opportunity to share her passion as Director in her third season with the team. Following college, Melissa lived in Houston and Dallas for 10 years before returning to East Texas in 2013 with her family. Her daughters, Caroline and Natalie, are students of Grace Community School, and all are members of First Baptist Church, Tyler.