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History

Melinda C. Samperi, the founder of ABDC, was involved in dance for 26 years, many of which were devoted to teaching. She received most of her training at Northeast School of Dance in Fort Wayne, Indiana, under the direction of Beth Schiebel. Melinda became an assistant instructor at Northeast at the age of 14, teaching classes in Pre-Ballet, Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Gymnastics, and taught at Northeast while completing her B.S. in accounting at Indiana University, where she continued to study dance. Upon graduation, Melinda moved to the Boston area, where she practiced as a certified public accountant for several years.

Inspired by watching her young daughter begin dance classes at another studio, Melinda felt compelled to return to dance and opened Acton-Boxborough Dance Center in 1994. In addition to directing and teaching at her studio, Melinda choreographed four musicals for Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, including Anything Goes, My Favorite Year, Footloose, and 42nd Street (starring her daughter Hayley). She also choreographed several productions for R.J. Grey Junior High, including Oliver with a Twist, One Magic Moment, and Peter Pan. Many of these productions received recognition from, or won, the Moss Hart Awards. In 2006 Melinda received the Spotlight Award for Best Choreographer from North Shore Music Theatre, for her work on 42nd Street.

Melinda lived with her family in Boxborough before losing her battle with breast cancer in early January 2007. We all miss her dearly at the studio, but continue to be inspired by her creativity and love of dance. Melinda’s nurturing spirit and passion for community are with us during every class.