Dance, soccer make for a perfect pair

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Joshua Bradley (far right) talks with players during halftime against Napa Valley. Photo by Paul Muyskens
Joshua Bradley (far right) talks with players during halftime against Napa Valley. Photo by Paul Muyskens

“Together We Can.” 

It’s a motto coach Joshua Bradley uses with the men’s soccer team. It’s also one he uses in his personal life, where the star  Delta College coach and professor is married to a talented dance choreographer and dance professor, Milissa Payne-Bradley. 

The couple met in quite an interesting way. Milissa was on her way to Humboldt where she would be a guest performer for a showing of the Nutcracker. She stopped at a gas station and locked her keys in her car. 

Joshua stopped at the same gas station while on his way to meet soccer friends from Humboldt when he noticed Milissa standing in the rain frustrated. He asked if she needed assistance and she assured him AAA was on its way and it was ok for him to go. 

When heading back into the gas station, a woman who worked there told her “you’re going to marry that man.” 

Milissa Payne-Bradley. Photo courtesy Milissa Payne-Bradley.
Milissa Payne-Bradley. Photo courtesy Milissa Payne-Bradley.

Before leaving the station, Joshua wrote his number on the back of a lottery ticket. “To this day, I still have that lottery ticket,” Milissa said.

Both Joshua and Milissa have traveled the globe making a name for themselves from New York to Australia. 

Joshua became interested in soccer at the age of three. He’s never let go of that passion as part of the Olympic Development Program and joining Humboldt State Men’s Soccer team, where he studied Marine Biology. 

Milissa began dancing at a dance school in Fresno ran by Diane Mosie, at the age of five. She began her professional career in 2005 with the Oakland Ballet Company. After years of being a professional dancer, she decided to go back to school at 28. 

Milissa thanks her husband for helping her get the gist of school again from writing papers, signing up for classes, and help to balance school with life. 

“She was fearless and fully charged back into school,” Josh said. Milissa was able to obtain her undergrad in Performing Arts and Master’s in Fine Arts at St. Mary’s College. She is now obtaining her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Stanislaus State. 

Josh heard Delta College was hiring in 2014 for a Men’s soccer coach and earned the position as coach and athletic professor. Since then he has taken the team to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. Since then he’s been approved to teach biology. 

Milissa was hired for the position of a dance professor. She inspires her students to be fearless and to become comfortable with their bodies. She finds music her students would respond to and teaches them where certain forms of dance come from and how they could relate to each form of dance, she said. 

Milissa also has her own company, the Milissa Payne Project, where she teaches and inspires students outside of the classroom. 

The couple said their schedules tend to be full, but agree the most important thing is spending time together, just like the soccer team’s motto. The Bradley’s always manage to work together to make their schedules meet to spend time together and put their family first.