TESTIMONIALS

 

Bill May

My name is Bill May and I am an open water swimmer, a synchronized swimmer, and a performer. I was the first male to win a National and International title in synchronized swimming and in 2015 became the first male to become the World Champion at the inaugural Mixed Duet event in the World Aquatic Championships. I am also the current Masters Champion for the 10 Kilometers Open water swim. I continue to compete and am in preparation for the 2019 World Aquatic Championships in Korea for the Mixed Duet in synchronized swimming. I also perform as a main character with Cirque Du Soleil's O, and have collaborated with the Nevada Ballet, One Night for One Drop and various performance companies throughout the world. I also continue to coach younger athletes all the way up to Olympic Teams.

I first met Michael and Melinda when they came to do an acting workshop at "O," over 10 years ago. From then on my relationship with Michael and Melinda has continued to grow, as I have continued to do multiple fundraisers, theatrical shows, as well as personal fitness training with them. 

I have always been very impressed with their work ethic as well as their ability and desire to help others. The first show I performed with them was a heavy dancing show, and I am not a trained dancer, but they patiently worked with me until I learned the steps and choreography. 

They are incredible teachers and are very generous with their time, always offering assistance to each individual's well being, often putting other's needs in front of their own. 

I look up to Michael and Melinda and admire their ability to continue to strive for greatness, which in turn, inspires others to reach beyond their own boundaries. 

They have taught me that settling is not an option and, through example, greatness and success is earned rather than granted. 

I am very grateful for the opportunity to work and learn from such a caring, loving, and talented duo. They have helped me grow as an athlete, performer, and person. I am honored to call Michael and Melinda mentors and friends. 

Edward Villella

Artistic Director, C.E.O, Miami City Ballet

I have had the privilege of knowing M&M for several years and have been aware of their work. We were fortunate to have the opportunity of their working with our company and our school. For the company they choreographed Rock Carmen, an interesting, challenging and controversial piece for one of our presentations.

They also taught for our schools Summer Intensive and gave a presentation with more than 150 of the students.

M&M were inspiring to and well liked by our dancers and students. Their joyful and encouraging style was also well liked by the audience at both presentations I had the pleasure of witnessing.

Toby Towson

(6 time US National Gymnastics Floor Ex Champion, Original “Barkely the Dog” on Sesame Street, Creator of Musawwir Gymnastic Dance Technique, Star of US Pro Gymnastics Classic, USGF Coach and Judge)

I have known, danced, collaborated, performed with, and enjoyed Michael Kessler since the mid 1970s and was happy to attend his wedding with Melinda Jackson a few years later, also having the pleasure of teaching them both gymnastics while at the same time learning about dance, song and performance from them. They are superb artists at their core, brilliant on stage and off, and have moved hundreds of thousands of people with their collaboration in M&M American Dance Theatre.

Michael is a delightful elf by nature and Melinda a seductive mermaid of the sea.

Together they are fire and ice, beauty and the beast, mom and pop, athlete and diva, Ram and Shiva, George and Gracie, Fred and Ginger, Oh, I can go on and on. You get my point. Performers of great talent, commitment, beauty, humor, compassion, and Grace.

Besides their many talents in the theatrical arts, Michael and Melinda are also gifted in the healing arts. They start with themselves always striving for optimal health and also share their knowledge about physical healing working at their studio with Pilates, Gyrotonic, Swimming, and Yoga. I have been lucky to be on the receiving side of Michael’s healing ability many years ago, when with a simple treatment, Michael relieved the swelling in my ankle within minutes of an injury. I recommend them to you with a happy heart.

May all beings be well. May all beings be happy. Peace. Peace. Peace.

Ricky Tripp

Broadway Performer and Choreographer

Melinda Jackson. What isn’t there to say about this charismatic, passionate, funny, direct, loving artist and human being? Ever since our paths crossed she’s been a driven force in helping myself and others navigate and understand the importance of Zena Rommett’s Floor-Barre Technique. Because of her innate ability and need for consistency we walk away with not only feeling better but with clarity and a refined focus. I’ve learned that through her commitment and dedication what it means to sustain, honor and cherish a legacy. 

Now with that I’m able to approach my work as a performer and choreographer for Broadway and Television with poise and assertiveness. Such work includes “Hamilton, Once on this Island-TONY Award for Best Revival 2018 and Jesus Christ Superstar Live-EMMY for Outstanding Variety Special”. Her words and guidance frequently come to mind as I’m directing and teaching others how to move with grace and versatility. I’d say I’m a blessed fellow to know her.

-Dean Balan

Associate Music Director, R&H’s CINDERELLA (2nd National Tour)

Music Director, Sin City Opera

Michael and Melinda are world-class artists with hearts of gold. Getting to work with them early in my journey was one of the best things that could have happened to me, and they have encouraged and supported me ever since. 

They have stellar careers and remarkable longevity as performing artists because they are relentlessly focused on the things that matter most: the quality of your work and your relationships with the people you create with. Michael and Melinda showed me - by their own example - that the thing that separates the “good” from the “greats” is having the humility to keep reviewing and improving your work, even after you’ve achieved success. 

One of the most fun things about working with M&M is their treasure trove of wisdom, experience, and backstage tales from their years working with other legendary artists in New York City and abroad. You just can’t help feeling inspired when they share those stories. Any artist would benefit tremendously from a chance to work with Michael and Melinda. 

Jodi Moccia

Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Broadway Bob Fosse's "Dancin", Choreographer of Broadway's "Arcadia", Associate Choreographer of "Miss Saigon", "Sunset Boulevard" and "Gypsy". Currently a Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Mentor.

Melinda Jackson is an experienced, well-trained professional. Her knowledge, qualities, and openness make collaboration seamlessly successful. Her direction results in performers/dancers feeling more empowered to deliver prideful performances. She is a force to be reckoned with in all areas. She is a pleasure and an inspiration to work with, and adds salient elements to anything and anyone she encounters.

Tony Caligagan

Performer, Choreographer, Professor, Producer, Father, Husband.

How do you describe an innovative dance couple that created a system for preparing the human body for the rigors of international touring? A fusion of Ballet, Jazz, Gymnastic, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Floor barre technique with the spiritual groundedness of meditation and connection to the higher power. How is this possible? Well this journey I embraced with Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson. We first met in the mid 1980’s and became very close friends, They became my mentors and on many levels became my saving grace. Besides being accomplished performers and having danced on stage besides some of the worlds best ballet and Broadway Legends, they created works with meaning and I had the honor of traveling all over Europe and U.S. with M and M American Dance Theater. Without listing all of the cities and countries we traveled to it was the training ground that allowed my to take my dance career to the next level. Working with M&M for 3 solid years prepared me for an audition that took me to the Broadway stage to work with Jerome Robbins and to commercials on the Silver Screen. Prior to dancing with M&M, I was injury prone and inconsistent with my training. With their help and mentoring I learned not only the physical aspects of dance, but also acting, mime and more. They are Master Instructors and innovators. Knowledge and Wisdom drawn from good ol’ blood, sweat and tears. They have a passion for always improving their ability to entertain their audiences. I am so grateful for my time with them as I have gone on to become a professor of Dance at UC San Diego. I directed my own Dance company for 13 years and produced shows and events for 25 years with Event Entertainment. I produced over 1400 corporate and special events including fundraisers for some of the top local and national charities, Obama Campaign and Mayors of San Diego and Chicago. I even choreographed Warren Buffet as the Phantom of the Opera as he appeared as a keynote in one of our productions at the Field Museum. These Moments in my career would not have been possible if it were not for M&M American Dance Theatre adm Michael Kessler & Melinda Jackson. I cannot say enough about what M&M have done for my career as a Performer, Choreographer, Professor, Producer, Father, Husband.

LuAnn Leanord-Johns

Radio City Rockette and Broadway performer in "The Will Rogers Follies", as well as many regional and international musical theatre productions. 

I have had both the honor and privilege of working with Melinda Jackson for the past several years, as mentors and instructors  for the Zena  Rommett Floor-Barre international certification. 

Melinda's knowledge and experience in both classical dance and musical theatre is amazing and has inspired many of us who have had the opportunity to work with her. 

I truly support any and all of Melinda 's endeavors in dance and theatre as she is a truly gifted teacher and performer.  I have learned a great deal from Melinda through the years. She is one of a kind!

Matthew Neenan
Co-founder, BalletX
choreographer in residence, Pennsylvania Ballet
choreographic commissions  - New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West, Washington Ballet, Ballet Met, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Juilliard, USC Kaufman School, among many others.

Years ago while working with Michael and Melinda as a young professional dancer, I discovered many issues about my body and ways to strengthen it that will last a lifetime. They understand the human form so well which is why they have been able to nurture, guide and inform people in every stage of their life.

Sandy Peltyn

Principal in Charge of Marketing and Community Relations

DeSimone Consulting Engineers

New York, Miami, San Francisco, New Haven, Las Vegas, Hong Kong

In the past year I have seen M&M perform as a duo and with their company on several occasions in different shows and events and I was awed by their performances. Their elegant classical technique, combined with their humorous, romantic and spectacular crowd-pleasing style is a perfect fit as a cultural representative of Las Vegas. I was always impressed by the warm and generous atmosphere of M & M's performances, and by the spirit of camaraderie and the energy of the company. I believe M & M provide leadership and are an effective and eloquent liaison with Las Vegas Society, donors and backers.