MELANIE PERSON began her early dance training in Jackson, Mississippi, at age 6. Upon moving to Columbia, South Carolina, a few years later, she continued her dance training at the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance while performing with the Columbia City Ballet. In the winter of 1976, by recommendation of her teacher Ann Brodie, she auditioned for the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) Summer Intensive and was offered a full scholarship. Upon completion of that program, she became an apprentice to the professional company and, in 1979, became a full member after graduating from Professional Children's School. For 12 years, Person performed with DTH, traveling around the world performing a diverse repertoire. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Empire State College. In 1999, Denise Jefferson invited her to join the Professional Performing Arts School ballet faculty at The Ailey School, and in 2000 Jefferson appointed Person as the co-director of the Junior Division alongside Tracy Inman. Shortly thereafter, she was made chair of the ballet department and president of the Emergency Fund for Student Dancers. Person has served as a judge for Seoul International Dance competition and Japanís Grand Prix. In 2009, she was named associate director of The Ailey School and in 2010, co-director with Tracy Inman.