Daria Lynne Atanian Melendez

May 3, 1955 - September 17, 2017
Daria Lynne Atanian Melendez

Daria Lynne Atanian Melendez, 62, passed away suddenly on September 17, 2017 in Trinity, FL with her loved ones by her side. She was born in Worcester, MA on May 3, 1955 to the late Anthony and Florence Atanian. Daria was a graduate of Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester. In addition to her parents, Daria is predeceased by her dear brother, Darryl Atanian. She is survived by her loving husband of 33 years, Nelson; precious daughter, Bianca Starr; brother, Dana Atanian (Carole); nieces, Devan Bolinder (Matt) and Kathleen Atanian (fiancé Alex); grandnephew, Liam Bolinder; beloved cousins and numerous dear friends.

Daria’s 5-6-7-8 began in Massachusetts where she owned and operated her own dance studio prior to pursuing a career in NYC. Training with such greats as Luigi, Phil Black, Frank Hatchett, Jaime Rogers, David Howard, Judy Ann Bassing and Leo Theodore of American Dance Machine became her stepping stone to success as a dancer, teacher, and mentor to so many aspiring artists. While studying ballroom dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studio (NYC), she met her future husband, Nelson. They were later blessed with their darling daughter, Bianca.

Paramount in Daria’s life was her strong, unwavering belief in God. She embraced her spirituality by devoting herself to a Bible Study Fellowship. Many of her dearest friendships have grown out of her association with the Fellowship. Her beliefs held strong in her marriage to Nelson, her high standard for Bianca’s upbringing, love of her work, her art, her cherished friends.

Training, judging and coaching have been Daria’s passions throughout her journey in the dance industry, as demonstrated by her teaching for Dance Masters of America, The Newark School of Ballet, Fred Astaire Dance Studio (NYC) and many schools and workshops throughout the United States. At the time of her passing she was serving as Choreographer for the hit show Menopause the Musical, under the auspices of GFour Productions, currently touring throughout the United States and Canada. Despite her demanding schedule, she unselfishly cared for her brother, Darryl, and mother, “Flo”, until their recent deaths.

“Teaching my students to believe in themselves is what I do…the 5-6-7-8 is only the beginning of the journey.” To be coached and mentored by Daria was life-changing; her belief in you so powerful, you were ashamed not to believe in yourself. To be her friend was a privilege, though she always made it seem the other way around, her love so deep it was sometimes hard to live up to. No matter what role we may have played in her daily life, she was kind and loving and cherished us all. Our fierce and fiery Daria – we love you madly, we will miss you every day – you will live forever in our hearts.

Bianca remains your shining star.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” -Kahlil Gibran

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Service

Saturday, September 23, 2017
7:00 PM

Michels & Lundquist Funeral Home - Directions
5228 Trouble Creek Road
New Port Richey, FL 34652
727-845-1957

Visitation

Saturday, September 23, 2017
1:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Michels & Lundquist Funeral Home - Directions
5228 Trouble Creek Road
New Port Richey, FL 34652
727-845-1957

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  • September 21, 2017
    Jennifer Mara says:
    My heart is broken over the loss of the amazing Daria. I was blessed to have worked with her but more blessed to have had her influence on my life. I learned so much from her in a short time and I will be forever grateful. Bless you Daria, for all of the love that you showed me. You will never be forgotten. Thank you for the love and patience you showed Micayla while fine tuning her tapping skills. You taught her to stick with something even though it's hard and see it through. A lesson in life that she will never lose. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • September 21, 2017
    Mark, Juany & Nicole Harbert says:
    Befriending Daria, was such a nice surprise. She was such a blessing in connecting us with our community in Trinity, FL. Always willing to learn what we had to share from our own learnings of God's Word. Having Daria in our lives was an adventure. So thankful to her for teaching our daughter a dance choreography for her Talent Show, at school. Great wife, mother and friend; will always be remembered. If the Lord comes back soon, you'll be ahead of us...

  • September 21, 2017
    Randi Lea Bradley says:
    We closed our eyes for but a moment and this our wild beautiful bird flew away. Our hearts are shredded and our minds cannot conceive living each day without you. Whether we remain or sleep we will meet you in the air at the sound of that final trump. Our God is not a man that He should lie and in Him there is no darkness or shadow of turning. He has promised ! For this reason we will carry on and honor your life, for the battles you fought , the commitments you kept , the lessons you taught , the love you shed along your walk. You are on your way HOME , where every chain is broken, every tear wiped away , every burden laid down. HOME where we belong and where we shall ever be. You will be deeply missed and dearly loved my friend .

  • September 22, 2017
    Edwin P. Olmo says:
    Words alone cannot express the lose of such a beautiful person like Daria. She was a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, and friend. An extremely talented individual full of life, and blessed by the God to bring love , peace , and happiness to everyone she encountered. We can all honor her by embracing the values that she shared. May she rest in peace and her memory live forever in our hearts.

  • September 22, 2017
    Edwin P. Olmo says:
    Words alone cannot express the lose of such a beautiful person like Darien. She was a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, and friend. An extremely talented individual blessed by the grace of God to inspired others and bring peace and love to everyone she encountered. We can all honor her by embracing the values that she shared with us. May she rest in peace and her memory remain in our hearts forever.

  • September 22, 2017
    John Leggio says:
    My dear friend, Daria Melendez. I loved her so much! She taught tap at my school in Spring Hill, Fl. John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts. She was Old School in the best way. I used to tell my kids that one day you will realize how important Daria is, Personally, I didn't need a someday, I realized it right then how important she was and the importance of what she said. Daria and I continued to grow closer over the years, including my time in NYC these past few years. Daria taught the foundation of tap, she taught it with clarity and respect for the art form. It was important that they knew it correctly and where it came from. She was one of a kind, she was cool. I loved her. I have one of the greatest gifts she ever game me over my television here in NYC, an Alvin Ailey Poster, I will keep this beautiful poster forever. I have the bottle of wine she gave me just a few weeks ago that is empty now, but will be used in a special way to remind me of Daria. I already miss you so much! Whenever Daria was giving a speech to our students in my school, I wanted to hear it. I learned from it too and I loved how she spoke, I loved her passion, I loved "Come on Guys, you gotta get this" just so many lines that run in my head. I want to hear her rough voice yelling at the kids or her soft voice encouraging me to "go for it and not give up". Daria wanted me to get back to nyc, and she encouraged me over and over to move on. I was torn and so sad to leave my kids, but she said, "you've done all the inspiring you can do for them, go and let them follow you, and cheer you on now". She said, "we will be ok here" She connected me to people here, and looked after me like a mom. I knew she wanted me to succeed. I'm so grateful she was able to see my show a few weeks ago in Florida. She got to see many of her students perform once again. She was proud! I thought I would see her again soon, where we would hang longer. I never thought her life would end so soon. I'm so grateful to have met you and learned from you! You will live on, I will make sure of that! Love you Daria!

  • September 22, 2017
    Jeannie Hill says:
    To the family of Daria Melendez, Daria was loving and giving to all that she met, respected and honored among her dance peers and a fierce Mom and devoted wife. She will be missed in the Body of Christ and we will look forward to the time in the future. Until the Lord Returns, know that you will all be in our prayers for comfort and joy.

  • September 23, 2017
    Danielle, Ken, Taylor, Madison and Riley Russ says:
    Sending prayers and strength for Bianca and family. We met Daria when she taught tap at Dance Time. My girls will always have fond memories of her. She will be missed.

  • September 23, 2017
    Vince and Jane Costello says:
    We will always cherish our memories of Daria. She demonstrated her talent not only in dance but in her life. Her passion for dance transferred to us on the dance floor. May she continue to teach in heaven.

  • September 17, 2018
    Kathy St. George says:
    Remembering our beautiful and talented friend, Daria, today and every day. Missing you.