Melinda Roy was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. She left home at age 12 to attend the School of American Ballet on scholarship. She completed her academic work at New York’s Professional Children’s School, and joined the corps of the New York City Ballet in 1978. She was promoted to the role of Soloist in 1984, and then to the rank of Principal Dancer in 1989.
During her tenure with the Company, she performed for audiences all over the world. Her most favorite repertoire included leading roles in George Balanchine’s Apollo, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Divertimento No. 15, Jewels, Liebeslieder Waltzer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Union Jack, and The Nutcracker, and in Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, Fancy Free, The Four Seasons, Gershwin Concerto, Goldberg Variations, and Interplay.
Ms. Roy also originated roles in Peter Martin’s Waltz Project, William Forseyth’s Behind the China Dogs, and Miriam Mahdaviani’s The Newcomers. She performed in China in 1980 with Jerome Robbins, as part of the government’s first cultural exchange program. She has also toured worldwide with Stars of American Ballet.
Her television appearances include the Dance in America program Balanchine in America, Dance in America’s Balanchine Celebration, and Live From Lincoln Center’s telecast of Ray Charles in concert with the New York City Ballet. Ms. Roy also appeared in the film version of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Accent on the Off Beat with Winton Marsalis and was a spokesperson for QVC. In addition, she is the co-creator of the New York City Ballet Workout, published by William Morrow, 1996.
Ms. Roy retired from New York City Ballet in 1996. She moved to Sanibel, Florida in 2000 to found Gulfshore Ballet. In addition to her teaching responsibilities for Gulfshore Ballet, she has turned her choreographic skills to Broadway. Ms. Roy was Choreographer for the Broadway version of the movie Urban Cowboy, for which she was nominated for a Tony in April 2003. Her other choreographic credits include the Broadway hit show Master Harold and the Boys, starring Danny Glover, Paparazzi with Tommy Tune, and an Encores Series production of Can Can for New York’s City Center starring Patty Lupone.
As the artistic leader of Gulfshore Ballet, Ms. Roy has, for the past six years, made it possible for audiences in the Fort Myers region, to see Stars of the New York City Ballet perform in a yearly fund raiser called Bravo Ballet. In the most resent of those events, some of her most advanced students danced with the NYCB on stage, as well as 48 young students that were auditioned from the three surrounding counties to be part of the cast and perform Jerome Robbins Circus Polka.
Melinda Roy and husband Roberto Muñoz are the founders and director of Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, SSDI. A Ballet program that takes place in the month of June and July in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Ms. Roy also won the Angel of the Arts Award for best Teacher in 2005.