Who she is: Melissa Rycroft Strickland, “Dancing with the Stars” champion and mom of Ava Grace
Why we love her: To say that I struggle with “the fitness” would be a bit of an understatement. I’m bad about making time to exercise (i.e. I don’t). So I am decidedly in awe of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” champion and Melissa Rycroft Strickland. Big time.
A UNT graduate, Melissa is hosting the university’s annual Emerald Eagle Honors on April 15 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. The Kennedy Center Honors-type stage production allows the UNT Foundation to celebrate former students who have made a profound impact on our culture. Honorees for the inaugural year include Rock and Roll icon, the late Roy Orbison (‘55)(represented by his family) and Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm (‘74, ‘84). The evening will benefit UNT’s Emerald Eagle Honors Scholars Program. Get the full details on this very cool event and purchase tickets here.
Herewith a peek into Melissa’s world…
On heavy rotation: I love listening to most types of music, but Top 40 pop is my total guilty pleasure. We love music in our house. We have a dance party almost nightly where we play music in the living room and Ava dances around! I love upbeat music, things I can sing and dance to.
What she’s reading: I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I just finished the Fifty Shades trilogy…Right now I’m reading Heaven is for Real. My husband suggested it, and I have to admit, it’s pretty amazing to read. Whether you believe it or not, it’s fascinating to think about.
Always in her handbag: I always have: baby wipes, gum, ChapStick, hand sanitizer, Band-Aids, and a change of pants for Ava…all the time!
Her uniform: I’m a total jeans and t-shirt girl — my go to outfit is a V-neck tee and some boyfriend jeans.
Her go-to restaurants: For family dinners, we opt for easy comfort food and quick service. For date night, we LOVE sushi. Sushi Zushi is one of our all-time favorites. We try to do date nights at least once a week (and Ava gets to spend some quality time with the grandparents for a few hours).
Favorite family outing in Dallas: We love going to the Fort Worth Zoo and the Aquarium
Her tip for balancing work and family: There is no perfect balance for everyone, and all family dynamics are different, so you have to find what fits for your family…what works for some won’t work for others. For us, it’s about keeping the family first and the family together, so we travel together a lot. It works for us now since Ava is not in school, so we’re taking advantage of it!