Emma Giselle Mertens
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Emma Giselle Mertens was born and raised in Torrance, California. At the age of three her parents enrolled in her first ballet class and she fell in love with the joy of movement. She began training at Peninsula School of Performing Arts (PSPA) during middle school, under the tutelage of Vera Ninkovic, Roberto Almaguer, Hasmik Amirian, Tita Boulger and Marina Kalinina. During her time at PSPA, Mertens performed many lead roles such as Kitri from Don Quixote, Swanilda from Coppelia, and the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker. She also competed in YAGP, California Dance Classics, and the Spotlight Awards, winning multiple medals and prizes. Mertens soon graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. While attending UCI she trained under Molly Lynch, Tong Wang, Diane Diefenderfer, and Vitor Luis. It was at UCI where she found her interest in choreographing. In her senior year she choreographed a piece titled “Ascendant” in UCI’s annual undergraduate dance concert, Physical Graffiti. She is very excited to be presenting “Ascendant” again during BalletFest. This October she will be starting her professional dance career at Golden State Ballet as an apprentice
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