Melissa Molinaro is looking to shine a little northern light on Los Angeles with her chords, rhythm and smile.
The luminary-to-be has captured attention with her appearances on Making The Band 3 and The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll.
In both series, she was known as Melissa Smith, but with people commenting on how she didn’t look like a ‘Smith’ she took her mother’s maiden name to best exemplify her “sassy Italian background”.
Molinaro’s the first to admit she cannot split up her talented triumvirate of voice, feet and theatrics.
“With me, it’s acting and music but dance is where I started off,” she said. “I’m a performer so I couldn’t just get up there and sing a song, I’d have to incorporate dancing.”
Her dancing talent is from birth, as her parents got her started in her hometown, Whitby, Ont. With a father in hockey, almost drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s no surprise Molinaro got into figure skating. From there it was a natural progression to gymnastics, ballet and competitive dancing. After grade 5 General Motors transferred both her parents south of the border to Auburn Hills, Michigan.
“I have two homes because all my family is in Whitby and Oshawa except for my immediate family — mom, dad and brother are in Michigan,” she said.
When it comes to hockey however, there can only be one: Toronto Maple Leafs.
Playfully casting Canada’s game aside, Molinaro turns back to dance, saying ballet is the foundation.
“If you’re really good at ballet, you’ll pretty much be good
at anything,” she said. “(But) I wanted something more peppy, something more sass so I love jazz and hip-hop a little more.”
At the lead was Michael Jackson.
“I think when I was two years old I would walk around, dancing with the Thriller album cover,” Molinaro said. “Then I would just study him and watch him perform while growing up.”
As her career picks up in Tinsel Town, she’s being compared to Kim Kardashian, Nicole Scherzinger and Eva Longoria.
Molinaro says it’s only natural for people to identify with what they know. Still, she’ll keep dancing knowing she looks like Melissa Molinaro.
Her next project is her ‘dream movie’ Honey 2, the follow-up to the first movie starring Jessica Alba. It will pair her up
with Hollywood choreography standout Billie Woodruff, returning in the director’s chair.
With all this talk of acting and dance, the only thing missing is her singing career. No worries there, as her single ‘Dance Floor’ is keeping clubbers gyrating under the Klieg lights.
As for Molinaro, she’s keeping her feet firmly planted on the ground, in any one pair of shoes from an extensive footwear collection.
“I have a shoe problem,” she said, with a laugh. “It’s a little out of control.”