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         PERFORMER
       FILMMAKER
     CHOREOGRAPHER
    DIRECTOR
  CHARITY OFFICER
     GRANT WRITER
        FUNDRAISING ADVISOR
          INNOVATER
           EVENT MANAGER

Melissa Heywood is a dynamic and resourceful freelance portfolio worker based in Edinburgh known for her versatility and creativity. With a passion for weaving together her diverse skills, Melissa navigates the dance, charity and wellbeing landscapes with adaptability and innovation.

Melissa has a rich background in supporting, managing, and contributing to a variety of creative projects across these industries. Some noteworthy experiences include the co-founding of her dance collective The Grounding Project, her position as Charity Officer at Fire & Peace Recovery and her recent performance in “Sanctuary” as a dancer with EQ Dance Company. From crafting compelling narratives to handling project logistics, Melissa brings a holistic and organised approach to each endeavour.

Melissa’s formal education includes rigorous training in London at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she attained a first-class BA(Hons) in Contemporary Dance. Subsequently, in Edinburgh, she achieved a distinguished HND in Musical Theatre Performance from The MGA Academy of Performing Arts.

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Melissa Heywood:

The Freelance Dance Artist 

As a performer Melissa has a striking and confident stage presence. Her theatre training means that she is trained in a variety of dance styles and has experience presenting text, song and character on stage. She has worked with a variety of artists from Hip Hop fusion duo Fubunation, visual artist Emily Speed, choreographer Bridie Gane to classical Indian interdisciplinary dancer Divya Kasturi.

As a choreographer and director Melissa strives to push the boundaries of contemporary dance performance and physical theatre, exploring human relationships and storytelling often inspired by her own outdoor adventures. Her work has been presented in venues across the UK like The Bonnie Bird Theatre (London), Staffordshire Street Gallery (London), Aberdeen Art Gallery during the DanceLive Festival (Aberdeen) and at the Creatiful Festival (Dundee).

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Melissa Heywood:

The Filmmaker

Under the umbrella of her work as a dance artist Melissa has now produced multiple filmic works within the UK. Her proudest achievement has been winning the Trinity Laban Innovation Award 22/23 for her work with The Grounding Project to produce “The Water Series”, a three part documentary dance series. Her films often have an environmental edge to them and are shot in rural sites where she often works both in front and behind the camera. You can see more of Melissa’s filmic flare as part of her “Rediscovering Landscapes” installation.

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Melissa Heywood:

The Grant Writer 

As an artist Melissa has written a multitude of applications for her own creative projects and to take part in performance opportunities; however, perhaps more noteworthy is her experience of grant writing for the Charity Fire & Peace Recovery SC050662. Since beginning work with the charity in May 2023 Melissa has successfully augmented the charity's annual income by an impressive 63% through applications to charitable grants and foundations. Alongside these skills Melissa has experience managing and creating internal and external communication systems for large and small teams alongside supporting marketing and directing web design.

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Melissa Heywood:

The Events Manager

If you want to make it happen, whatever “it” is… perhaps a fundraising event? A film screening? Or simply a weekly team meeting? Melissa can help you do it. Having created, hosted and delivered a variety of online and in person events over the past 3 years Melissa has brought people together over and over again to make meaningful connections and to make good things happen. From 2020 - 2023 Melissa committed herself to fundraising £6,200 for Dig Deep as a volunteer before climbing Kilimanjaro in August 2023 in support of their mission. Over the course of this time she created and hosted 7 unique fundraising events. One of her personal highlights was the Dig Deep Digital Dash online distance challenge which ran online from Jan - March 2021 and raised a huge total of over £1500 while the community covered 7500 km. This event was awarded National Student Fundraising Association's "Virtual Event of the Year" and  "Fundraising Event of the Year" at the Dig Deep Fundraising Awards 2021.

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