Canadian actress, pop star and dancer Melissa Molinaro (aka Melissa Smith) may be best known as a fierce competitor on both Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For the Next Doll and Making The Band 3, but she's much more.
Melissa is the attraction in Old Navy's national 'super C-T-E campaign, has a major role in the upcoming dance/romance film, Honey 2 and has just released her new single and video, Dance Floor.
Dance Floor was produced by Fuego, credited with Jason Derulo's #1 hit, Whatcha Say, The video showcases Melissa's dancing skills, with choreography by JaQuel Knight, the mastermind behind Beyonce's epic routine in the 'single Ladies.
Melissa's acting credits include a co-starring role as a sexy pop-star held hostage in action film, Command Performance; a recurring role on The Young and the Restless, appearances on TV's How I Met Your Mother," "Brothers," "Grounded for Life," "Rodney" and "Happy Family and commercials/print ads for Del Taco, Microsoft, Xbox, Skechers and Nivea.
Melissa's first love has always been music. Through her experiences on Making The Band and Pussycat Dolls Melissa honed her skills as a performer and has directed her energies into becoming a successful solo artist.
In 2008, she recorded her debut solo single, I Believed with producer Rex Rideout, while the video has received over one million views on YouTube.
Melissa has just completed work on her upcoming debut album, The Love/Dance Project that features contributions from Grammy-winning Black Eyed Peas producer Keith Harris and Grammy-nominated mixer/engineer Ari Levine of The Smeezingtons, among others.
As a co-writer on the majority of the songs, Melissa said, I had a lot of freedom to help shape the creative direction of the album. Each song is 'snapshot of the various emotions I was experiencing throughout the process and Im so very happy with the end result.
The aforementioned Dance Floor, is The Love/Dance Project's infectious lead track. While it sounds like pure club bliss, Melissa says that even a song as free and fun as Dance Floor has some feeling behind it.
If you listen closely, Dance Floor is actually about someone going to the club to escape a relationship that's under stress, said Melissa.
The dance floor itself becomes like a substitute boyfriend at least for the night anyway. And that rings so true to me. I never feel more free than when Im dancing!
Melissa Molinaro was born Melissa Ann Smith in Toronto, Ontario, to a Canadian father and an Italian mother (a former Miss Italia).
Her family moved to Rochester Hills, Michigan near Detroit when she was 13 and her father and brother still work in the automotive industry in Detroit. She has been studying acting for over a decade and continues to do so, sighting the late, great Elizabeth Taylor as one of her favorite actresses and inspirations.
Melissa recently adopted her mother's maiden name "Molinaro," as her professional surname to pay homage to her mother's proud native Italian roots.