Portrait of the month: Marcel Mejia

Meet Marcel Mejia
Originally from Miami, Florida, Marcel Mejia studied at the New World School of the Arts. He was then admitted to the George Mason University School of Dance, directed by Susan Shields. During his summers, he attended dance programs such as Springboard Danse Montreal and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance’s summer intensive. Marcel was a faculty member at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet as well as a volunteer dance teacher at the Lotus House Shelter in Miami. He joined BJM in 2019 as an apprentice.

What made you want to study dance in college rather than immediately launching your career?
I felt that I wasn’t fully ready to begin a professional career at the age of 17. I knew that there was a whole spectrum of information that I could add to my knowledge of the greater dance/arts world by attending a university that felt like the proper fit for me, and I’m happy I felt that way because I now know it was the correct assumption. I truly feel that the decision to go to college for dance completely taught me what I would need to keep with me in my professional career, and my parents would absolutely agree.

Who is your dream choreographer to work with?
The first that comes to mind is Alejandro Cerrudo. I don’t remember a time where the opportunity to work with him has not been one of my greatest aspirations. I’ve had the opportunity to perform his work on two separate occasions, and both of those experiences are memories I look back on with the utmost gratitude. His work resonates with me on a visceral level that is difficult to explain but easy to feel.

At BJM, we work with all kinds of different music. What genre do you most enjoy dancing to?
I enjoy dancing to just about any music provided that I’m in the proper mood for it. What sounds I love dancing to shift with my emotional/mental state, so I don’t have just one answer. I can say, though, that I will always love dancing to Philip Glass.

What do you most enjoy about your hometown of Miami?
I love hearing Spanish everywhere. I went to college in Virginia, so I haven’t lived in a city that speaks Spanish as much as it does English since I was 17, and I really miss it sometimes. Hearing the people around me speak that language 100% gives me a sense of center and home.

What do you never leave for tour without?
Lots of socks and books, but I think that goes for everyone else, too.