Melissa Elstein

Teaching Artist

Melissa Elstein founded Good Energy Movement & Wellness to bring the joy of movement to students of all ages and levels in her dance and yoga classes.  As a young dancer, she trained at Balanchine’s School of American Ballet and performed with NYCB, Berlin Opera Ballet, and Royal Danish Ballet. Her teachers at SAB included Stanley Williams, Madame Danilova, and Suki Schurer.  During Summer breaks, Melissa studied at Ballet West, and in NYC with Melissa Hayden, Willie Burmann, Madame Darvash, and David Howard (where she became a scholarship student).  She was accepted into the Pennsylvania Ballet Company her last year of high school. Melissa performed with that company for several years until an injury sidelined her professional ballet career. 

Shifting to academics, Melissa graduated from Barnard College and Columbia Law School. She completed Federal clerkships, before joining NYPD’s legal bureau. Her life took another turn when she trained in yoga, qigong, Pilates, Reiki, and other healing modalities. Returning to her first passion (ballet), Melissa graduated from Finis Jhung’s teacher training, performed in three of his instructional DVDs, and taught adult ballet for him at Alvin Ailey’s Extension Program. She completed children’s teacher trainings with Yogi Beans and American Ballet Theater and has taught children’s and teen ballet at the School at Steps on Broadway and as a guest teacher in the Berkshires. 

Her website:

Teaching Courses:

Berkshire Pulse