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Perfect Pitch: Melissa Gerstein

Founder, Producer, Dancer

Current City: NYC

Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Dance and Television Producer - Focus on Supporting Dancers and Choreographers

Notable Prior Jobs: Co-Founder; I Heart Dance NYC, Co-Founder, The MOMS Network, SiriusXM Host, Television Host, CNN Producer, CNBC Producer.

When I Started Performing: 8 years old (The White Mouse in The Nutcracker).

Performing Arts Background: Started ballet lessons at the age of 5. Studied Ballet in the summers with The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Performed with The St Louis Ballet Company (productions included The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty variations), Performed in The Muny, Assisted Tony award winning Broadway Producers, Board Member for Concerts in Motion and Ballet and Beyond NYC. Co-Founder of I Heart Dance NYC. Played the violin all through middle and high school.

How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? When you are a dancer, former dancer or performing artist there is this innate competition built within yourself and a drive and pursuit for improvement everyday. Throughout my life and career, the constant driving force behind all my pursuits, no matter what they have been is when someone tells me "it can't be done," or "there are too many obstacles." This has always fueled me. When others see challenges, I see solutions. When it comes to entrepreneurship and dance, there is a deep rooted love for what you do and they both come with mental and physical limitations that you have to always push through. If you don't have passion or this "cut throat" nature one won't succeed. It is a fearless, driven, creative, competitive nature that makes up an entrepreneur. Having my own personal dance background filled with rejection and reinvention is what propels me forward everyday in my entrepreneurship life. Having been on stage and connecting with an audience empowers me to create more opportunities and reach more people. Having a deep foundation and love for dance allowed me to build and create my latest venture; I Heart Dance NYC. As a former performer who understands the relentless tireless work of a dancer and now as a "dance activist" I am able to build upon that foundation and give back to the performing arts community.

Favorite Performer: Baryshnikov ( nobody will ever compare).

Follow Melissa Gerstein:

Instagram - @melissagerstein @iheartdancenyc

Facebook - melissa.gerstein.9

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