Biography and Resume

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Emerson’s love of performing began at age 11 when she was chosen to perform the lead role of Clara in The Nutcracker with the Minnesota Ballet Company. Having tried and loved her first ballet class at age four, she began serious study of classical ballet by age eight. Throughout the years she added additional training in Contemporary and Neoclassical Ballet, Pas De Deux, Modern, Jazz, Ballroom & Latin (Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Samba, West & East Coast Swing, Cha Cha), acting, and various other dance styles. She began choreographing at age nine, which led to her beginning her dance ministry at age fourteen. After graduating high school at age 16, she trained and performed with the Storling Dance Theater professional company. When Emerson was 17, she grew her dance ministry into a professional classical and contemporary ballet company, Anazao Dance Company. At age 19, she was honored to become an instructor for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet professional company.

Emerson has been a company member with VidaDance Company, East Coast Ballet Company, Anazao Dance Company, and Infinity Company, and has also performed as a soloist and/or ensemble dancer with The Moscow BalletThe Culture House, Lexington Ballet Youth Company, Kansas City Ballet Company School, Mid-Missouri Dance Theater and others.

Emerson has performed in over 50 individual pieces and 30 shows, as well as create her own original choreography. Her Sherlock Holmes-inspired ensemble group piece, Discombobulate, was selected to be the featured student choreography in the Indiana University Ballet Intensive showcase, and many of her other pieces have been featured in multiple productions including Reflections In A Puddle Art Series, Storling Dance Theater’s “DANCE concert,  Southland Christian Church – KY, Steps Dance Studio, an Easter Passion Play, charity events, and Project Dance.

A few of the places she has studied include Kansas City Ballet, Kansas School of Classical Ballet, Lexington Ballet, Ballet North, BalletMet, and Indiana University, and she has worked with many respected instructors and choreographers throughout the years, including world-renowned dancer/choreographer and Indiana University’s Chair of Dance Michael Vernon; Bill Hotaling, founder of Manhattan Dance Project; Juan Trujillo and Stefani Schrimpf of Kansas City Ballet; Luis and Nancy Dominguez of Lexington Ballet Company and Dance Theatre of Harlem; Jennifer Owen of Owen-Cox Dance; and Mona Storling-Enna and Tobin James of Storling Dance Theater.

She has earned a Associate of Arts in Religion and a Certificate in Biblical Studies from Liberty University while pursuing a degree in Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies. She also has earned an Apologetics Certificate from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Academy.

 

FULL RESUME:

DANCER, INSTRUCTOR, CHOREOGRAPHER, and PHOTOGRAPHER

 


 

Anazao Dance
Company Founder/Director Since 2009

 


TEACHING

CURRENT:

> Private Ballet Instructor (Classical & Contemporary) | Beginner through Professional levels

Columbia Performing Arts Centre | Assistant Ballet Instructor

Columbia Summer Ballet Intensive | Ballet, Tap, Variations, Skills Set (Technique Skills, Class Etiquette, Musicality, How to Teach and Choreograph, Pointe Shoe Tips)

Dance for the Theater Arts Intensive | Ballet

PAST:

> VidaDance Studio | Workshop Instructor – Lyrical, Contemporary, Broadway-Style/Musical Theater Jazz and Soft Shoe Tap

> East Coast Ballet School | Ballet, Pointe, Broadway-Style/Musical Theater Jazz and Soft Shoe Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary

> East Coast Ballet Summer Intensive (2016) | Broadway-Style/Musical Theater Jazz and Soft Shoe Tap, Contemporary, NeoClassical Ballet

> Missouri Contemporary Ballet | Ballet Instructor for the Professional Ballet Company; Substitute Ballet Instructor for the MCB School (Beginning through Pre-Professional levels; Adult Ballet)

> Studio B Ballroom | Adult Ballet Instructor (Beginning through Professional level Ballet)

> Manhattan Dance Project (Mini Workshop) | Teacher’s Assistant to Bill Hotaling
(Jazz; 2010 – KC Tour)

> The Culture House Conservatory of the Arts | Assistant Instructor (Creative Movement/ Pre-Ballet)

 

 

ORIGINAL CHOREOGRAPHY

Current Repertoire

 

> “The Greatest Show” (tap) | Choreographer | CSBI Showcase (2018)

> “Puttin’ On the Ritz” (tap) | Choreographer | CSBI Showcase (2018)

> “On a Slow Boat to China” (tap) | Choreographer | CSBI Showcase (2018)

> “Peace Is Here For You” – “Arrest These Merry Gentlemen” Christmas Show (ballet) | Choreographer | Forum Christian Church

> “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (musical theater/broadway-style jazz) | Choreographer |
East Coast Ballet Summer Intensive (2016); VidaDance Workshop (2016)

> “Beautiful” – Project Dance – KC (contemporary) | Choreographer/Ensemble Dancer | Anazao Dance Company

> “Learning to Fly” – Project Dance – KC (neoclassical ballet) | Choreographer/Soloist | Anazao Dance Company

> “Slow Me Down” – various productions; guest artist for Steps Dance Studio (contemporary) | Choreographer/Soloist

> “Dead Man (Carry Me)” – various productions (contemporary) | Choreographer/Ensemble Dancer

> “The Fairies” – DANCE – Storling Dance Theater Trainee Showcase (classical ballet) | Co-Choreographer/Dancer

> “Discombobulate” – Indiana University Intensive: Featured Student Choreography (neoclassical ballet) | Choreographer

> “Arise My Love (Angel Dance)”  – The Whip, Hammer, and Cross Easter Play: Excelsior Springs, MO church (contemporary ballet) | Choreographer/Soloist

> “Revelation Song” – Southland Christian Church, KY Easter service (ballet) | Choreographer/Duet Dancer

> “Come Be My Angel” – Finke Opera House Charity Performance (improvisational ballet) | Choreographer/Soloist

> “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” – Finke Opera House Charity Performance (classical ballet) | Choreographer/Soloist

> “Arabian Dance” [“The Nutcracker” Variation] – Finke Opera House Charity Performance (classical ballet) | Choreographer/Soloist

> “Unbreakable” – Kathy Roe Ultimate Dance (contemporary) |  Choreographer/Soloist

> “Book of Days” – Manhattan Dance Project Student Showcase (ballet) | Choreographer/Soloist

 

 

FEATURED LEAD and OTHER ROLES (Dance and Acting)
Current: Director/Company Member with Anazao Dance
Past: Company Member with VidaDance Company | Company Member with East Coast Ballet Company | Company Member with Infinity Company | Company Trainee with Storling Dance Theater

“Swanhilda and Her Friends” (Excerpt from Coppelia) | Swanhilda (Lead/Soloist) | Staged/Choreographed by Michelle Morris

“Dream of Dreams” | Featured Ensemble Dancer | Lisa Geger, Choreographer

> “Beginning Again” | Ensemble Soloist Dancer | VidaDance (Lindsey Smith, Director) 

> “Sweet Sorrow” | Ensemble Dancer | VidaDance (Lindsey Smith, Director)

> “Moonlight Sonata” | Ensemble, Duet Dancer | Julie Artemova-Schauwecker, Choreographer

> Butterfly | Ensemble – Storling Dance Theater | Mona Storling-Enna, Director

> DANCE | Janjara (Tobin James, Chgph.); Deep Cries Out (Tawny Clement, Chgph.); The Prayer (Suzanne Ryan-Strati, Chgph.); Manifesto (Stephanie Estcourt-Doherty, Chgph.); Dead Man [Carry Me] (Emerson Mertens; Chgph.); Slow Me Down (Emerson Mertens, Chgph.); The Fairies (Stephanie Estcourt-Doherty & Emerson Mertens, Chgphs.)
– Storling Dance Theater (Trainee Showcase) | Mona Storling-Enna, Director

> Cinderella | Molly Mouse (Lead/Soloist); Princess of Norway (Lead/Soloist); Fairy (Ensemble)
– Storling Dance Theater/TCH | Mona Storling-Enna, Director

> Red Studio Live | Slow Me Down (Emerson Mertens, Choreographer and Dancer); Improv Comedic Vocal Actress (TCH Improv Acting Troupe – Daniel Boothe, Director)
– The Culture House School of Dance and Theater | Daniel Boothe, Director

> St. Joseph Charity Performance | Way Over Yonder (Solo Artist – Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Chgph.) – Infinity Company | Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Director

> Storling/TCH Showcase | Way Over Yonder (Solo Artist – Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Chgph.); Little Serenade Suite (Soloist; Ensemble – Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Chgph.)
– Infinity Company | Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Director

Transitions | Eternal Beauty (Mary Marshall; Chgph.); Janjara (Tobin James, Chgph.);
The Prayer (Suzanne Ryan-Strati, Chgph.); Deep Cries Out (Tawny Clement, Chgph.);
Dead Man [Carry Me] (Emerson Mertens, Chgph.) – Reflections in a Puddle Series

La Vie de Cosette [Les Miserables] | Sister Simplice (Lead/Soloist); Valjean’s Emotion (Soloist); Bridesmaid (Soloist/Ensemble); Friends of the ABC Member (Ensemble) 
– Storling Dance Theater/The Culture House | Mona Storling-Enna, Director

> New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball Performance | New Year’s Masquerade Dance (Ensemble) – Infinity Company | Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Director

> Easter Performance | Christian Fellowship Church Dance
(Ensemble) – Christian Fellowship Church

> BalletMet Intensive Showcase | selected by Dimitri Suslov to perform in “Swanhilda and Her Friends” Variation from Coppelia (Corps de Ballet – restaged by Dimitri Suslov); Character Suite (Ensemble; Hisham Omardien); Modern Suite (Ensemble); Bollywood-inspired Jazz piece (Ensemble) – BalletMet Intensive

> Indiana University Intensive Showcase | multiple ensemble ballet pieces by Michael Vernon and Guo Ping Wang; “Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadere (Corps. de Ballet – restaged by Hisham Omardien)
– Indiana University | Michael Vernon, Department of Ballet Chair and Intensive Director

> Alice In Wonderland | Pansy Flower (Vocal Actress); White Pawn (Vocal Actress)
– Ibsen Theater Acting Troupe | Van Ibsen, Director

> The Nutcracker [2 years] | Clara (Lead/Soloist); Mirliton (Duet); Party Girl 
– Minnesota Ballet Company | Robert Gardner & Allen Fields, Directors

> Kansas City Ballet School Showcase | The Disappeared (Suzanne Ryan-Strati, Chgph.); Les Sylphides (excerpt – restaged) – Kansas City Ballet Company School

> “Mary Did You Know” | Christmas Event Dance
(Ensemble) – Liberty, MO Church

> The Nutcracker | Flower Corps.; Russian Corps.
– Lexington Ballet Youth Company/School | Luis & Nancy Dominguez, Directors

> Magical Tales of Beatrix Potter | Jeremy Fisher (Ensemble)
– Lexington Ballet Youth Company/School | Luis & Nancy Dominguez, Directors

> The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker | Butterfly (Duet)
The Moscow Ballet Company (USA Tour)

Mid Missouri Dance Theater Productions (2 years) | Delibeschens (Duet; Ensemble); ballet pieces by Halcyone Perlman (Ensemble)
– Mid Missouri Dance Theater | Halcyone Perlman, Director

 

TRAINING
Eighteen years of dance experience, training, and performing

BALLET/POINTE/PAS DE DEUX  | Classical, Contemporary, Neo-Classical

MODERN | Graham, Horton, Limon, Various Styles

CONTEMPORARY, JAZZ, THEATER/BROADWAY STYLE, BALLROOM & LATIN (Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Samba, West & East Coast Swing, Cha Cha), LYRICAL, TAP, HIP HOP, CHARACTER, FLAMENCO, ACTING, IMPROVISATIONAL DANCE AND ACTING, VOICE

Storling Dance Theater Company Trainee; The Culture House School of Performing Arts (Dance and Acting); Kansas School of Classical Ballet; University of Missouri, Kansas City (Ballet Classes); Miller Marley School of Dance and VoiceKansas City Ballet Company SchoolLexington Ballet Company School (Scholarship);
Ballet NorthIbsen Dance Theater (Acting)

Primary Instructors – Mona Storling-Enna and Tobin James of Storling Dance Theater; Luis and Nancy Dominguez of Dance Theatre of Harlem; Jennifer Owen of Owen-Cox Dance; Christopher Barksdale, Juan Trujillo, and Stefani Schrimpf of Kansas City Ballet; Paula Weber (Chair of Dance – UMKC); Ronald Tice (Associate Professor of Dance – UMKC); Julie Artemova-Schauwecker (trained by and danced with the Bolshoi Ballet – Moscow, Russia); Ken Braso of Ballet Austin and Louisville Ballet

 

INTENSIVE TRAINING / MASTER CLASSES

Private Instruction, Intensive Training, and Mentorship:
Michael Vernon, Indiana University Ballet Department Chair

> BalletMet Intensive (Scholarship; Dance and Acting) – Columbus, OH; Gerard Charles, Artistic Director

> Indiana University Intensive (Legacy Arts Scholarship)
– Bloomington, IN; Michael Vernon, Chair

> Kacico Contemporary Dance Apprentice Program
– Kansas City, MO; Michelle Brown and Lindsey Tate, Artistic Directors

> Lar Lubovitch Dance Company Workshop – Kansas City, KS Tour

> Alonzo King LINES Ballet Workshop – Kansas City, MO Tour

> Kansas City Ballet Intensive (Scholarship) – Kansas City, MO; William Whitener, Director

> Lexington Ballet Intensive (Dance and Acting) – Lexington, KY; Luis Dominguez, Director

> Manhattan Dance Project (7 years) – Kansas City, MO Tour – Bill Hotaling, Director

> Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice Intensive (Dance and Acting) – Kansas City, MO; Shirley Marley, Owner

> Coterie Theater Intensive (Acting) – Kansas City, MO

 

Other Master Class and/or Intensive Instructors Include:
> Michael Vernon | Indiana University Department of Ballet Chair; Former Dancer with the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera Ballet, and the London Festival Ballet; Former Company Instructor for ABT, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
(Indiana University Intensive; Manhattan Dance Project)
> Hisham Omardien | BalletMet Ballet Master (Indiana U. Intensive; BalletMet Intensive)
> Dmitri Suslov | Former Soloist for the Bolshoi Ballet; BalletMet Academy Artistic Director (BalletMet Intensive)
> Guo Ping Wang | Senior Lecturer in Music (Ballet) for Indiana University; Former Dancer with Shanghai Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and Joffrey Ballet of Chicago (Indiana University Intensive)
> Jenny Chiang | Former Soloist with the National Ballet of China; Former Prima Ballerina for Northern Ballet Theater – England (Indiana University Intensive)
> Bill Hotaling | Founder of Manhattan Dance Project (Manhattan Dance Project)
> Josh Bergasse | EMMY Award Winning Choreographer; Featured Choreographer on SYTYCD; Performer in Broadway’s Hairspray and West Side Story (Manhattan Dance Project)
> Chet Walker | Award Winning Director/Choreographer; Performer in multiple Broadway shows (Manhattan Dance Project)
> Shannon Durig | Former Star of Hairspray on Broadway

Daniel Boothe (Acting Mentor); Todd Shanks; Eugene Fleming; Keith Lee; Charmaine Hunter; Micael Simms; Elena Kunikova; Suzanne Ryan-Strati; Jerri Kumery; Kristin Sudeikis; Shirley Marley

SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
BalletMet Intensive; Lexington Ballet Company School; Legacy Arts (2 years);
Ballet Chicago Intensive (7–week Summer Course and Advanced Intensive)


TECHNICAL/PRODUCTION

Backstage/Prop Coordination for Professional Productions such as Storling Dance Theater’s Underground; Audition Judge and Casting for Steps Dance Studio (Osage Beach); Costume Design; Lighting Design; Production Planning; Media Production Work; Media and Video Production work for CF Church; Volunteer Work for the Jesus Prom event at Southland Christian Church

 

PHOTOGRAPHY WORK

Photographer and Photo Artist at Imaginations Photography; Dance Class and Performance Photographer for Columbia Summer Ballet Intensive (2017); Photographer for CF Church Events; Photography and Videography work for 7Cubed LLC

 

DANCE MODELING

East Coast Ballet Company Dance Photo Model (as a Company Member) for Promotional Media for the Company and School; J. Smith innovations Photography Dance Photo Model (2012); Promotional/Website Dance Photo Model for Kansas School of Classical Ballet Promotional Media/Website Content (2011); Dance Model for Susan Righter Art (Featured in Righter’s Painting “Dancer in the Park”)

 

OTHER SKILLS AND INTERESTS
Dance Outreach; Singing; Writing; Photography and Editing; Video Editing; Art and Drawing; Computer Media Design; Charity and Volunteer Work; Ministry Work

 

COLLEGE LEVEL EDUCATION

Associates of Arts in Religion from Liberty University; Certificate in Biblical Studies from Liberty University; Certificate in Apologetics from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Online Academy (Completed Core Module); Pursuing a degree in Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies at Liberty University