Ms. Merrell began her training at Jordan Academy of Dance in her hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. At the age of 15 she became a full scholarship student at the School of American Ballet in New York City where she was featured in the annual Workshop Performances. Ms. Merrell joined Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella as an apprentice in 1994 and rose through the ranks to Principal Dancer in 2003. Her many roles include Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Agon, Western Symphony, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperments, Bugaku, Apollo, Elegie, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Who Cares? and Prodigal Son. She has performed Taylor’s Company B and Funny Papers, Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, Ashton’s Les Patineurs and Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering as well as numerous Gamonet de los Heros ballets. Ms. Merrell has originated roles in Villella’s Waltz; Our Lady of Oblivion and Gismonti as well as portraying Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis in Giselle and the role of Prayer in Coppelia. She retired from the stage in 2006. Ms. Merrell has extensive teaching experience instructing students at Miami City Ballet School Summer Intensive, Jordan Academy of Dance Summer Intensive, Indianapolis School of Ballet, Jordan Academy of Dance, Stage One Dance Academy and as a company teacher for Dance Kaleidoscope. In 2008 she was faculty at the Regional Dance America Mid-States Festival.