Melissa Pihos

Melissa Pihos – choreographer, dancer, filmmaker, dance educator

Melissa Pihos graduated from UNC Greensboro with an MFA in Choreography where she created  PIHOS A Moving Biography, a documentary dance/film performance that focuses on her father’s fight with Alzheimer’s disease and various aspects of his life and Dear Dad, an award-winning short documentary about how her relationship with her Dad has changed because of Alzheimer’s disease.

She was born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana but grew up in Winston-Salem, NC.  She has been dancing, performing and choreographing professionally for over 25 years.
She was a competitive gymnast until the age of 14.  She currently dances for The  Van Dyke Dance Group and John Gamble Dance Theatre. She has danced for Sidelong Dance Company and has performed in works by Martha Graham, Larry Keigwin and Twyla Tharp.

Her choreography is described as being complicated, gripping, evocative, moving and captivating.  She often uses multimedia technology in her work which adds a layer to the viewer’s visual experience.  Along with being a choreographer and dancer, she is an award-winning filmmaker. She created “Dear Dad,”in a documentary film production class in spring, 2009, which has since been screened all over the United States.  In spring 2010, she created a dance documentary called Accessing the Legacy of Martha Graham: Steps in the Street.   In 2011 she created Her Wrath, a dance for camera.

She has taught in the UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Charlotte, Salem College and High Point University. She is full time dance faculty at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. She is a national judge for Showstopper and Dance Machine. She does video and consulting work for Curtain Call Costumes.

She is available for teaching Master classes and choreographing.  She is interested in setting PIHOS A Moving Biography on dance companies and students at Universities and Colleges around the United States.

I have created Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser events by touring my production PIHOS Moving Biography to Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Manhattan. The show explores various aspects of my Dad’s life and his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. I traveled to Lubbock, TX in August 2013 to set PIHOS A Moving Biography on Flatlands Dance Theatre. The performance in Lubbock was performed on November 8 and 9, 2013 and in Santa Fe, NM in June 2014. I am helping to raise awareness to the devastating disease that plaques our nation and to raise financial support for the Alzheimer’s Association.

  -Melissa Pihos

PIHOS A Moving Biography Tour is a sponsored project of Artspire, a Program of NYFA, a 501(c)(3), tax exempt organization. Contributions on behalf of PIHOS: A Moving Biography Tour must be made payable to Artspire, a Program of NYFA, and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donations can be made online at 3

Contact Info:

The Alzheimer’s Association is extremely helpful for people with Alzheimer’s disease,their families and caregivers. If you need more information about the Alzheimer Association — or call 800-272-3900


4 thoughts on “Melissa Pihos

  1. Dear Melissa, Your documentary about your father is so precious! What a treasure you made for yourself and others. Blessings to you and your family. Gail (Van Buren) Nordskog

  2. Mellissa,

    I just had a chance to see your documentary “Dead Dad”…how touching and what a beautiful tribute to your father. I live in Canada but have always been a fan of the Eagles of the late 1940’s…with Steve Van Buren and company.

    I have done a lot of volunteer work up here in Canada in ensuring that our elderly receive access to high quality health care. Unfortunately, there is a lot of ageism in the system which is a barrier to that happening.

    Your merging of modern dance with the documentary is innovative and fascinating……this is certainly a presentation that would lend in Canada, if you ever get a chance to visit.

    I wish you well in all your work. No doubt your father is very proud of you.

    David Globerman
    Ottawa, Ontario

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