Reaching Heart School of Ballet
Reaching Heart School of Ballet

Reaching Heart Dance Instructors

MELISSA HAYES HEART - Ballet , Pointe, Creative Movement


Ballet/ Creative Movement/ Pointe/ Director

Melissa is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.  Melissa is delighted that Reaching Heart Center is in it's 16th year!  The school was founded in 2001 in Chatham where it remained for 9 years. Our new location in West Harwich opened in July of 2010 and is a unique renovated antique enchanted  barn which  is a magical place to work, dance and flourish!  Melissa is grateful to have such a beautiful studio to  teach in.


Melissa's early training includes three years dancing at Walnut Hill School in Natick, where she graduated high school and one year dancing at the Royal Ballet School in London. Melissa is a graduate of Connecticut College where she majored in Child Development, and minored in dance.  She has been teaching ballet for over 36 years and could not imagine a better job in the world. She is grateful to have such an amazing staff  and wonderful committed students who are all passionate about dance! 


 Melissa is delighted that several of her students are continuing to  dance as a major or minor in college. She  has had students of hers attend SAB, Walnut Hill, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, PNB, Miami City Ballet and ABT in both NYC and Alabama during recent summers. She has high hopes that some of her current students will also go on to a professional career in the dance field!  Melissa is delighted to be offering several wonderful master class teachers to her students at Reaching Heart this Spring and during our 8 week summer ballet intensive.

SARA KING - Ballet, Creative Movement


Ballet/Creative Movement/Pointe

Sara is a wonderful teacher who has been with Reaching Heart for 10 years.  She is exceptional in her ability to communicate corrections to both the youngest of dancers and our older students as well. Sara's early training was with Ms. Virginia Zango Traube at the Mid-Cape School of Ballet and then at Nutmeg Conservatory.  She is the proud mother of two beautiful children!

SUZETTE HUTCHINSON - Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical


Contemporary/ Jazz/ Lyrical

Suzette has taught at Reaching Heart Center for 14 years!  She is a wonderful inspiration to us all. Students of all ages love her creative choreography.  Suzette also teaches at the Harwich Junior Theatre and at The Academy of Performing Arts.

FRANCESCA RUINI - Ballet, Pointe

Francesca was born in Sassuolo, a small town in the north of Italy. She studied at the "Marie Taglioni" ballet school near Modena (Italy) from five years of age until she was 13 years old. She continued her studies of Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary Dance in France at the International Ballet School "Ecole Superieure de Danse De Cannes". At the age of 15, she returned from France and continued to take classes of Ballet at a professional level, studying with Donatella Sturam. Francesca is great lover of the Arts and has studied Mime, Opera Singing, and has a background in theatrical set design. In the summer of 2005, she earned a degree in Interior Decorating. Francesca is fluent in Italian, French and English! She has 17 years of experience in teaching classes of Pre-Ballet , Ballet and Choreography. Francesca also teaches Floor barre. The methods she uses to teach ballet are French, Italian (Cecchetti) and Russian (Vaganova).

VICTORIA BESSETTE - Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary

Victoria studied at the Reaching Heart School of Ballet starting at the age of three. Throughout her time at the studio, she studied ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, tap, and hip hop. At the age of 13, she found her love of teaching after becoming a ballet assistant to Miss Melissa. After graduation from high school, Victoria pursued a Bachelor's degree in Forensic Science with minors in Dance and Criminal Justice. Each Summer and Winter Victoria would continue teaching classes with RHSB, and now that she has graduated, she is looking forward to teaching in the Fall and Spring as well!

Victoria loves to focus on ballet, pointe, and contemporary/modern, as well as choreography. 

Todd Hall - Ballet, Partnering

Todd Hall has studied at some of the most prestigious ballet schools in the country, including: The Boston Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet and the School of American Ballet.  Todd has danced professionally with the Washington Ballet, the Boston Ballet and many other companies throughout the U.S. and Europe. While in Boston, Todd earned a degree at Emerson College.  Due to some serious eye problems, he had to curtail his performing career, and as a result developed a love of teaching dance! He has taught ballet and pas de deux classes across the country from as far away as Alaska and up and down the east coast.  Todd's classes are energetic and challenge students to reach beyond their potential.  We are delighted to have Todd joining our staff as a frequent guest artist.  

Located in the heart 

of Cape Cod!!


Reaching Heart School of Ballet

27 Route 28
West Harwich, MA 02671

Contact Us




Classes start 9/28/2020

Welcoming new students!

Our COVID-19 Statement

Dear RHSB families,

Over the course of the past few months, RHSB has evolved to accomodate the COVID-19 virus. We are so proud of our students and families for working with us during this time.

 We are happy to announce that we are planning to open the studio to in-person classes this fall! First and foremost, we are dedicated to the safety of our students, teachers, and faculty. Therefore, we are implementing many preventative measures, including:

  • Class sizes have been reduced to comply with the CDC recommended 6 ft social distance guidelines. Measures will be implemented to ensure this distance is maintained for all students for the duration of class.
  • Thorough cleaning will be done between each class. This will include, but not be limited to, wiping down barres, stereos, and other shared items with disinfectant.
  • All classes have been spaced 15 minutes apart to allow ample time for students to leave or enter class without overlap from other classes. Students are expected to wear a face mask whenever entering or exiting the building.
  • Teachers and students will be required to wear masks at all times. 

Thank you for working with us during this difficult and unforseen time. We strive to create the safest environment possible for our students. We have carefully reviewed many options to create a plan that would work best for our school.

We cannot wait to see our lovely dancers return to the studio in the fall!


Register Now

We are currently enrolling students for our 2020/2021 school year.  We begin our Fall season on Saturday September 12th. Please call the studio and we will be happy to help you decide on the best class for your child.

Our dance studio is open by appointment to parents during the Fall. We appreciate calling ahead as it aids us in ensuring that we can maintain social distancing standards.

Virtual Nutcracker 2020

Unfortunately, we will not be holding live Nutcracker perfomances this December. However, we here at RHSB are still bringing the Nutcracker to your home this holiday season!

We will be holding a Virtual Nutcracker! This will be a reimagined version of our Nutcracker to accommodate current COVID guidelines. We will cast and film exerpts of the Nutcracker, and make the finished product available to families in December. We are excited to undergo this project and emerge with a video showing the resilience and passion of our RHSB community during this difficult time.

More information on our Virtual Nutcracker can be found under our "Performances" tab.


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