On Monday, November 5th, Metropolitan’s full-time Academy is hosting an Open House to share some of its magic with new prospective students.  Join us to learn from Washington, D.C.-native and professional soprano, Nova Y. Payton, and Melissa Rector from Koresh Dance in Philadelphia to realize how you don’t necessarily have to live in New York City or Hollywood to make it as a performer.

Nova Payton has star power. What is most unique about her is that she has had offers in New York City and chooses to stay in Washington, D.C.  Matt Nall, the Director of Metropolitan’s Music Program says he has seen her in several local productions and thought “How is she not in a Broadway show?” Her choice is to live here and raise a family. That has not stopped her from making a living in D.C.  “She works ALL the time and is a sought after actress for any number of things in the area. It is important to show our students that you can be a successful actor and make a living here in DC,” Nall says.

Melissa Rector, our other guest teacher, comes recommended as an outstanding teacher and Assistant Director by Roni Koresh, Founder and Director of Koresh Dance Company.  Koresh Dance Company produces passionate and interesting work. Koresh’s background comes from Batsheva Dance company, Alvin Ailey, and folk dance to Luigi Jazz. This work is so vast and varied it shows in his works and ability to be innovative, creative, bold and thoughtful.

Koresh has established a respected, well-known professional touring company in the Philadelphia community with strong classically trained dancers.

Master Classes are an opportunity for our students to compare what we teach them to what they hear and see from professional actors, dancers, and vocalists.  Through various connections, we are able to bring in talent from D.C., but also from all over the country. It’s worth mentioning that our faculty’s philosophy is to always keep learning too, which also makes these Master Classes a priority.  Our goal is to create successful students and learning from professionals is good for the students as well as the faculty.

At Metropolitan School of the Arts’ Academy, our students receive individualized attention.  Every week the faculty as a team sits down and discusses every student to see how they are progressing in each of their classes. In doing so, we are able to see their successes whether big or small, as well as look for problems or concerns that we need to address. We also aim to have an open dialogue with the parents of our students about everything.  Faculty, parents and students work together to reach the students’ highest goals.

If you are serious about training in dance, music or theater, and are a rising 7th – 12th grader, register for our Academy Open House November 5 from 9am – 1pm here.

Learn  more about our visiting Master Class teachers:

Nova Y. Payton.  Chances are that you’ve heard the amazing soprano voice of Nova Y. Payton with the internationally staged musical, 3 Mo’ Divas, on television, or in countless regional theatre productions across the country. Boasting a prolific catalog of artist collaborations, the former American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) student has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Levi Kreis, Bobby McFerrin, John Michael Higgins, Yolanda Adams, Betsy Wolfe, Michael Uris and Anthony Hamilton. She has also opened for heavyweights like Ashford and Simpson, Will Downing, Stephanie Mills, Melba Moore, The Chi-Lites and the Dramatics. Nova has performed in over 150 major cities in the US, as well as Canada, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Europe.




Melissa Rector.  Ms. Rector is Assistant Artistic Director and Dancer of Koresh Dance Company. Originally from West Virginia, Melissa started dancing at a young age with Monica Folio. She graduated from the University of the Arts in 1993. Melissa has been dancing with Koresh Dance Company since its inception in 1991 and is the company’s Assistant Artistic Director. She is also an instructor at the Koresh School of Dance, where she teaches her unique style that blends modern jazz and Luigi technique. Her work has been performed locally at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the Annenberg Center, Drexel University, the Grier School and Brandywine Ballet. She frequently travels around the country to perform, teach master classes and set choreography on students. In 2008, Melissa helped to establish the Koresh Youth Ensemble and serves as their artistic director, setting both original choreography and company repertory on the group.