Amber J. Merrick was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, USA. Her mother recognized her talent and poise for dance at an early age so she kept her enrolled in local summer camps and dance ministries. Amber began her classical training at the Baltimore School For The Arts’ after school program, T.W.I.G.S. (To Work In Gaining Skills). She then went on to attend BSA’s rigorous high school, where she continued to train in ballet and modern dance. She graduated with scholarships and having danced many lead roles.
Merrick continued her training by attending summer intensive programs at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Miami City Ballet, and American Ballet Theater. A semester after transferring into Towson University as a Dance Major, she was chosen as one of two inaugural students to enroll in the dance department’s new study abroad program. She studied at PaluccaSchule Dresden in Dresden Germany for a semester. While abroad, Amber was among selected students to perform as guest artists in Die Theater Chemnitz’s production of Romeo & Juliet.
At Towson, Merrick had many performance opportunities including performing works by Linda- Denise Fisher-Harrell, Runqiao Du, Bill T. Jones and Alvin Ailey. As well as choreographing works of her own. Amber graduated from Towson University with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance.
Merrick’s professional journey has been one leap of faith to the next. After school, she moved to California and danced with Oakland Ballet Company; working with choreographers such as Graham Lustig and Amy Seiwart. After one season with OBC, Amber joined Dallas Black Dance Theatre. There she worked with Christopher Huggins, Bridget L. Moore, Diane McIntyre, Baba Chuck Davis and many more. She also performed lead roles in historic works like Ulysses S. Dove’s Vespers and Alvin Ailey’s Escapades. Over the course of three years with the company, Amber performed in Canada, Belize, Scotland, New York City and toured other various cities across the US.
In the summer of 2014, Amber began performing the role of Peacock Goddess in Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna. She finished off the North American leg of the tour having performed in 5 major US cities over the course of 9 months. Merrick was an ensemble member in Cirque du Soleil's first Broadway musical, Paramour from its inception until its final bow in 2017.
Following Paramour’s closing, Amber moved back to hometown of Baltimore. Click here to read more about her journey as a dance educator…