Stockholm born Dancer, Choreographer and Researcher, Mats Melin has worked professionally with traditional dance in Scotland since 1995 and in Ireland since 2005.
Mats is currently a Lecturer in Dance, Erasmus Academic co-ordinator and Course Director for the MA in Irish Dance Studies at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland.
He holds a first class honours MA degree in Ethnochoreology (2005); and a PhD (2012) with the University of Limerick for his research on Cape Breton Step Dancing. His thesis is named Exploring the Percussive Routes and Transmission Processes in Cape Breton Step Dancing.
Mats has been engaged in freelance dance teaching, researching and performance work nationally and internationally. He was Traditional Dancer in Residence for four Scottish Local Authorities (Shetland (1995-96), Sutherland (1996-98), Angus (1998-2002) and Perth and Kinross (2002-2003).
He co-started the dynamic Scottish performance group ‘Dannsa’ in 1999 and he has been commissioned to choreograph for the Northlands Festival, the St Magnus Festival and the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention.
Mats is currently a board member of the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland. He was a former member of the Scottish Arts Council’s Dance Committee; and a former office bearer for Dance Research Forum Ireland.
His book – One with the Music: Cape Breton step dance tradition and transmission – was published in 2015 by Cape Breton University Press.
Mats set up Lorg-Press in 2017 with an aim to publish more of his Scottish and Cape Breton dance research.
The books – A Story to Every Dance: The role of lore in enhancing the Scottish solo dance tradition was published in November 2018. In 2019 he published Hebridean Step Dancing outlining the legacy of solo dances from the teaching of nineteenth-century dancing master Ewen MacLachlan.
Dance Legacies of Scotland: The True Glen Orchy Kick in collaboration with Jennifer Schoonover was published by Routledge in 2021.