Melanie LaJoie began her dance career over 49 years ago where she developed her own dance school and company in Boston, Massachusetts plus other New England areas and performed at night clubs, festivals, colleges, schools and museums. Melanie studied with Middle Eastern dance premiere artists such as the late "Vina" Florence Haddad (sister to singer George Abdo) as her protege, the late Ibrahim Farrah, Phaedra and other members of Ibrahim Farrah's Near East Dance Group of NYC, the late LaMeri, Grand Dame of Ethnic Dance - an associate of Ruth St. Denis plus many other stellar artists.
Melanie performed and studied in Morocco developing her passion in studying dance ethnology and anthropology. She traveled to Egypt to pursue authentic Egyptian dance and culture and to perform on a Nile Cruise Ship. Melanie has also studied and worked with the Russian Moscow Circus under the direction of Nougzarov. She has studied a variety of ethnic dance from Brazilian, Calypso, Flamenco, African and martial arts (certified in Kung Fu,and Chi Gong). Melanie taught kickboxing at the National Karate Academy. Currently, she teaches group or private classes in Mid-East/Gypsy Belly Dance/Danse Orientale/Raks Sharqi/Debke/Saidi/Sha'Abi (& more!) locally in Orlando plus seminars/workshops nationally & internationally. Melanie is also an adjunct Professor at Valencia College (West Campus) teaching Belly Dance Aerobics (Phys Ed., Health & Fitness) and Zumba. Melanie continues Martial Arts training at WahLum Kung Fu (Wahlum.com) and won 4 Gold Medals plus numerous other medals in Kung Fu traditional hand forms, sword & staff weaponry.
Currently, Melanie directs A MAGI Entertainment/Dance Productions and performs, directs and produces A MAGI shows at theme parks and conventions at Universal Studios Orlando, Universal's Islands of Adventure, House of Blues, Disney, Sea World.
Melanie has directed other companies such as Pyramid Dance Company (Massachusetts), co-directed Oria Gypsy Dance Theatre, and was a principal dancer and soloist in DeSamba (Brazilian) Dance Company of Boston. She has performed in many cities throughout the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston. She has performed and/or taught at colleges such as Harvard Peabody Museum, Dartmouth College, Clark University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Puma Community College. She has also performed for American tour groups in Switzerland and in the Bahamas.
Melanie's TV and film credits include dance performances on Rosie O'Donnell, WB's Steve Harvey Show (both taped at Universal's Islands of Adventure), numerous commercials and prints for Universal Studios, Nickelodeon's "What Would You Do?" as Mid-East Dancer and instructor and Hawaiian Dancer. She and members of A MAGI were featured on E! Entertainment Network. Melanie choreographed and cast the music video for SNAP's RHYTHM IS A DANCER hit dance tune. Melanie performed as featured Mexican Dancer on Val Kilmer's TNT "Billy the Kid" movie filmed in Tucson. She was TV talk show co-host for Massachusetts cable TV show: INNERVISIONS.
In 1990, Melanie, among other administrative and performing duties at Universal Studios Orlando,was the original management member to kick off Universal's Special Event Entertainment department, supervising and stage managing entertainment for events and productions. 1993, after the birth of her daughter, she left Universal to form Magi Melanie psychic entertainment performing at theme parks and radio spots throughout Orlando. Melanie was also Senior Gakmeister for Nickelodeon Studios until their closing at Universal Studios in 2002. From developing an outstanding & legendary career in Orlando's world-class entertainment arena, Melanie has booked, produced entertainment and performed for many of the top producers, agents, theme parks & entertainment conglomerates and esteemed guests! So,if you are booking an event - contact Melanie LaJoie to develop & arrange engaging & exciting entertainment package designed with your vision in mind!
Melanie LaJoie is the "Grand Dame of Belly Dance" celebrating 31 years in Orlando being honored with many awards and honors. She has been dubbed "Legend of Belly Dance New England," along with many of her Boston and New England dance colleagues and friends, by New England Belly Dance Magazine, "Orlando's Crown Jewel Of Belly Dance Specialist (WKMG-TV)" plus 1st place for her choreography & A MAGI's performance at Orange County Talent Xtravaganza and 1st place troupe in National Oasis Award. Melanie has been honored by St. Jude's Children's Hospital for numerous fundraising performances. and with her A MAGI performers have participated in children charities' fundraisers for Give Kids the World, New Hope Charities, Covenant House and Women for Women International. Melanie has been awarded numerous arts grants including Massachusetts Arts Lottery and United Arts of Central Florida.
Melanie is also a singer, songwriter, musician and percussionist and has produced her own CD containing several of her own compositions entitled: ANTHOLOGY OF A MAGI. Additionally, Melanie is producing dance instructional and A MAGI performance videos. ANTHOLOGY OF A MAGI plus her song, "Expect Miracles" (formerly "Miracles or Bust") can be found in the Children's Miracle Network fundraiser CD: MUSIC FOR MIRACLES (for info & purchase, contact Melanie). Melanie is also a fire eater/balancer/dancer & inspiring Psychic Entertainer, MC & comedienne! Melanie is an Ordained Minister for the Universal LIfe Church and is available to officiate your ceremony!
"Live your Dreams - Or Delusions!" Melanie is often heard saying. Indeed, Melanie has developed an outstanding and legendary career by living her dreams and invites to her A MAGI Temple to fulfill your's!
Here's Melanie LaJoie performing at 2016 Boston Diva Crown where she received the "George Abdo Life Achievement Award!" https://www.facebook.com/cat.bruce1/videos/10208806269453160/