Polaris Dance Troupe was born in 2001 with the goal of bringing quality choreographic works of integrity and heart to rural communities. Inspired by the belief that everyone has their own North Star – their own Polaris – to by which to navigate their life, founder Melinda Miller-Klopfer assembled a group of artists who believed in the transformative powers of dance, and began performing. Their pieces range from the ridiculous to the sublime – from tassel-twirling, booty-shaking burlesque to political protest pieces and ritualistic dances rooted in Paganism and Neo-Feminism. Polaris Dance Troupe is dedicated to bringing social awareness to the stage, and to spreading the healing powers of dance to performers and audiences alike throughout Northern California.
Melinda Miller-Klopfer is a native of Mendocino County, but spent much of her childhood in the back of a Volkswagon van on her way to or from ballet lessons in the Bay Area. She trained with Deborah Palesch and Maria Vegh, and at the American Academy of Ballet and the Virginia School of the Arts, before injuries forced her out of her pointe shoes. She began teaching ballet in 1998, at the Point Arena Dance Studio and at Second Story Studios. She served as Rehearsal Mistress for Mendocino Ballet, and later taught Classical Ballet and Creative Movement at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she also received degress in Philosophy, History of Mathematics, Ancient Languages, and Classics.
Returning to Northern California in 2007, Melinda taught ballet, pointe, and creative movement in a private practice, and has sent students on to such prestigious academies as the School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Idylwild, and Interlochen. In 2009 Melinda was invited to join a burlesque troupe in Berlin, Germany, where burlesque performers are often former classical ballerinas who, due to injuries, can no longer perform as ballet requires them to. She flirted with the idea – ‘running away to join the circus’ – and returned to the States inspired, bitten by the Burlesque Bug. Two years and a chance invitation from a beloved bald bartender later, and she formed Les Filles Rouges. Melinda teaches master classes in Northern California and in Berlin, is constantly dreaming up new and exciting way to take her clothes off, and has a pink rabbit whom she is teaching to dance.