Melissa Pintar Obenauf is a co-founder and executive/dance director of ŽIVILI, a dance company based in Granville, OH, which performs the dances, songs, and music of the peoples of the southern Slavic nations. Together with co-director Pam Kelley, Obenauf won several awards for her choreography, including fellowships for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council. In March of 2001, ŽIVILI and co-directors Kelley and Obenauf were awarded the prestigious Artistic Excellence Award from the Greater Columbus (OH) Arts Council. Obenauf has also served on many statewide boards in service to dance, the arts, and education in general, and is a freelance consultant. Prior to creating ŽIVILI, Obenauf was an elementary school teacher. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and was raised in Miami, FL where she studied classical ballet, violin, piano, and cello. In 2017, Obenauf served as an LOI panelist in Performance.