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Mary Mele

Mary Mele

Owner & Creative Director, IndepenDANCE Studio 

Mary Mele turned her childhood dream into fruition by opening IndepenDANCE. She oversees the business and serves as a dance class teacher, coach and choreographer for their competitive team. Mele describes her role as second mom, friend, therapist, graphic designer, janitor, personal shopper, hair and makeup stylist, booboo healer, cheerleader and tough-love giver. 

In 2020, during the pandemic shutdown, she faced the possibility of losing her studio. Mele used her creativity and determination to shift her end-of-year recital model into an outdoor festival. The innovative plan provided joy for children during an uncertain time. Mele presented the successful outcome at the International Dance Entrepreneurs Association Dancelife Conference.  

She is grateful for the unique opportunity to help develop valuable qualities in hundreds of children each week as they study an artform that is extremely athletic. Mele is not only teaching dance, but the skills of teamwork, communication, socialization, self-awareness and vulnerability while developing artistic ability, physical strength and stamina. “My life’s work is to inspire and help other young people to grow up to be their own version of fierce,” she said. 

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The University of Florida graduate feels raising children into successful adults is the most important work in life and is honored to be part of the dance studio families’ village. She hopes parents find the support she offers helpful on their journey.  

 “I believe in supporting and investing in the Greater Gainesville community. The business owners and leaders are beyond inspiring, and I am honored and proud to be among such fierceness.” 

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