Melissa Hamilton is a First Soloist of the Royal Ballet in London, England. She joined the company in 2007 as an Artist and was promoted to First Artist in 2009, Soloist in 2010, and First Soloist in 2013. She created a role in Wayne McGregor’s Infra in 2008 and has since created several roles for McGregor, including in Yugen, Woolf Works, Limen, Carbon Life, Human Seasons and Acis and Galatea. In the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, she took a leave of absence from the Royal Ballet to dance with Semperoper Ballett, Dresden as a principal, making role debuts as Nikiya, Princess Aurora, and Odette/Odile.
Hamilton was born in Belfast and grew up in Dromore, County Down. She began dancing at age four and trained at the Jennifer Bullick School of Ballet. From ages 16-18, she trained at the Elmhurst School of Dance, then studied privately with Masha Mukhamedov in Athens. She won the 2007 Youth American Grand Prix and entered the Royal Ballet that year.
Hamilton’s accolades include Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) at the 2009 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and gold medal in the Eighth International Seoul Ballet Competition in 2011. In 2013, she was part of a group from the Royal Ballet that took part in special gala performances in Derry as part of its celebrations for the UK City of Culture, and that year, she was named an Allianz Arts and Cultural Brand Ambassador for Northern Ireland.