About Emerson

Dance
& Performing Arts


Emerson has over twenty years of experience in the performing arts with extensive training in classical ballet, as well as training in contemporary, modern, tap, jazz, ballroom & Latin, drama, and comedic improv. She has performed in over forty shows and a multitude of individual pieces throughout her time in the arts, and her performing credits include Minnesota Ballet Company, The Moscow Ballet, Störling Dance Theater, Lexington Ballet Company, VidaDance Company, Anazao Dance Company, Infinity Company, and The Culture House Conservatory of the Arts. 

She has worked with many respected instructors and choreographers throughout the years, including world-renowned dancer and choreographer Michael Vernon of the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy graduate and company soloist Dmitri Suslov, founder of Manhattan Dance Project Bill Hotaling, Emmy-Award-winning choreographer and Broadway performer Josh Bergasse, Tony-Award-winning Broadway choreographer and performer Chet Walker, National Ballet of China soloist Jenny Chiang, Cirque du Soleil casting talent scout and former Dance Theatre of Harlem Ballet Mistress Charmaine Hunter, Lexington Ballet Directors and former Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers Luis and Nancy Dominguez, Ken Braso and Elizabeth Hartwell of Louisville Ballet, and Mona Störling-Enna of Störling Dance Theater.

Emerson’s primary pre-professional training began with the Lexington Ballet School, the official school of the Kansas City Ballet, and the University of Missouri, Kansas City where she attended collegiate level ballet classes by invitation of Paula Weber. She furthered her dance studies through intensive training with Indiana University, BalletMet, Alanzo King LINES Ballet, Manhattan Dance Project, Coterie Theatre, and several others, having been offered seven different scholarships over the years. At age sixteen she became one of Störling Dance Theater’s youngest company trainees, and while there she completed two years of the Störling Conservatory of Dance day training program (formerly known as the Artist Development Program). 

Her professional work as a company member includes VidaDance and East Coast Ballet, as well as her own contemporary ballet company, Anazao Dance, which she began directing at age seventeen. By nineteen, Emerson became the youngest instructor for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet where she taught weekly ballet classes for the professional company. Other dance schools with which Emerson has been an instructor or a guest instructor include Elevate Art in Kansas City, East Coast Ballet School, Missouri Contemporary Ballet School, Columbia Performing Arts Centre, and Columbia Summer Ballet Intensive, among others.

EmersonMertens.com

Emerson has also created her own original choreography for various productions, including Reflections In A Puddle Art Series, Störling Dance Theater’s “DANCE“ concert, charity events, and Project Dance. While training with the Indiana University Intensive program, her Sherlock Holmes-inspired piece, Discombobulate, was the only student piece chosen by the Jacobs School of Music Chair of Ballet Michael Vernon to be presented at the intensive showcase that year. Along with choreographing for various dance productions, Emerson has also been the sole choreographer for full musical productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan produced by Battle High’s Vocal Arts Department. 

Emerson has performed soloist and lead roles in many productions over the years, including the lead role of Clara in Minnesota Ballet’s The Nutcracker under the direction of Robert Gardner, Infinity Company’s Little Serenade Suite and the director’s original contemporary modern piece “Way Over Yonder”, Molly Mouse and the Royal Princess of Norway in a production of Cinderella, and the lead role of Swanhilda in an excerpt from Coppelia. As an ensemble and corps de ballet dancer she has also performed in many notable productions such as Lexington Ballet’s Nutcracker, VidaDance’s Into the Night showcase, and Störling Dance Theater’s Butterfly

Along with being a freelance dancer, instructor, and choreographer, Emerson now also produces her own video training sessions and virtual lessons for dancers and dance enthusiasts alike to learn more about dance and participate in classes from home. 

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close