Dance educator, choreographer, and entrepreneur Emily Gray has a heart for the artistic, creative and character building nature of dance education. Her early years of training were spent at The Florida Ballet in Jacksonville, Fla., Art of Dance and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She received her B.S. in Communications and Public Relations with a minor in Professional Education from the University of North Florida and feels privileged to have been a part of the Jacksonville University 2022 cohort while achieving her M.F.A. in Choreography. She is certified in cheerleading levels one and two through the United States All Star Federation and has also studied with the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum program. Emily is an ABT® Certified Teacher and has successfully completed the ABT® National Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5.
In 2005, Emily created and developed the dance program at Jacksonville Country Day School and worked as the JCDS Dance Department Director until 2017. Throughout her teaching career, she has always placed a high emphasis on cultivating an appreciation for the arts and strong technique within her students' dance education while also fostering teamwork and encouraging creative thinking. Emily is an active member in the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the International Dance Entrepreneurs Association (IDEA). Since 2010, Emily’s school-based competitive dance teams have consistently won national titles with the National Dance Alliance and the Universal Dance Association along with significant recognition for good sportsmanship and community outreach, specifically for Wolfson Children's Hospital's fundraising effort - the Wolfson Children's Challenge.
As an experienced artist, Emily spent many years performing professionally with JamCo and Soundstage tap and clogging companies in Gainesville, Fla., and then moved on to performing for four seasons as a professional cheerleader with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars as a part of The Roar of the Jaguars. JamCo and Soundstage not only afforded Emily the ability to enjoy a performance oriented career as a younger artist but also the opportunity to teach dance within the Alachua County public schools. The Jaguars provided a similar experience such that Emily's work was able to extend past the football field to mentoring and teaching dance at The Bridge of Northeast Florida, an after-school, non-profit organization developed to educate and support low income and troubled neighborhoods, the Children's Home Society of Florida, a non-profit organization that helps support families before foster care becomes an option, and within the schools of Negril, Jamaica. She has also spent time choreographing and teaching for Infinity Allstars Cheerleading and Gymnastics, Professional Cheerleaders Alumni, Camp Musical Theatre Stars, the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and various organizations within the University of North Florida. Emily was also one of the founding directors for the annual musical theatre summer program Camp Spotlight, which has successfully been in existence since 2006 and caters to North Florida students ages 7-15.
Most recently, Emily founded the Campus Dance Academy, LLC and is currently the Owner and Artistic Director. CDA is an auxiliary and school curriculum supporting dance and cheerleading program designed for pre-school through middle school students and caters to several schools in the North Florida area. Emily also invented and designed the patent for the choreographic and pedagogical tool The Dance Dots, which she has used throughout her teaching career. The Dance Dots is a system that enhances organization, classroom management and student focus within the dance and music classroom setting and assists with the transition process from studio to stage. Emily has trained thousands of dancers using this product, and dance and music teachers around the North Florida area now are incorporating The Dance Dots into their curriculum and teaching methodology.
"The Noblest Art Is That Of Making Others Happy." - P.T. Barnum