Melanie Moyer-Williams started dancing 26 years ago when she was barely 4 years old.

Her mother was a dancer, and she also studied under Cullman Ballet Society Director Elaine Willingham before eventually moving to the biggest stage she could find to follow her dream: New York City.

After nine years as a New Yorker, the Cullman native is living just off Times Square and has become the artistic director and co-founder of The Red Fern Theatre Company.

Moyer-Williams said there is something that makes her company a little bit different than most New York theaters.

“We do socially conscious plays,” she said. “We pair productions with philanthropy and some of the proceeds go toward that cause.”

Even with all of the success she has found elsewhere, Moyer-Williams said her hometown still holds a special place in her heart.

“My family is still here,” she said. “It’s a big difference between Cullman and New York City. It’s just so great to be home.”

Even when she comes back to her hometown to take a break, or in this case take in her brother’s wedding, she never stops working.

Moyer-Williams has spent at least a few hours of almost every day she has been back in Cullman at the Cullman Ballet Society, sharing her craft with a new generation — something she does whenever she comes home for summer visits.

“I teach original Broadway choreography, and it’s so neat when the kids come back and say ‘I remember that from last year,’” she said. “I love to see them get excited and support the theater and the arts.”

Though she enjoys teaching children, Moyer-Williams said it is something she doesn’t get many chances to do living in New York.

“I don’t get the opportunity to work with kids in the city very much,” she said. “This is a nice way to get to do that.”

Moyer-Williams said she believes teaching children Broadway choreography is a great way to get them excited about theatre and interested in the arts.

“The kids will want to go see the plays they learn,” she said. “They’ll want to go see these things when the Broadway companies come through.”

Even when things get hectic in her life, Moyer-Williams said she is so happy to be doing what she loves for a living.

“It’s been a lot of fun and there have been a lot of challenges,” she said.

For more information on the Cullman Ballet Society visit http://www.cullmanballettheatre.com. For more information on Moyer-Williams’ theater company, The Red Fern Theatre Company, visit http://www.redferntheatre.org.

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