emily miller: a⎿ove⎿etter to the human experience (and her cat 🐱)


Hey San Diego DANCERS! It’s been a while since we’ve had a #teacherthursday,

and we couldn’t be more excited to kick off the silence and wrap up September with our

B O D Y W E E K choreographer Emily Miller.

When we sat down on the phone with Miller, it was as if we were talking to a friend. Her energy was so genuine and warm, we knew we had struck gold with this dance teacher. From the beauty in her movements, to the intensity and grace she emotes through her dancing, Emily shows us how she’s mapping out the Human Experience with one foot in front of the other.

First things first: Her foundation

" I Started training under Ms. Joanne (a ROCKETTE might we add) in classical ballet at North Coast Ballet. My parents realized I loved it. I Trained with my former teacher at Performing Arts Workshop studio (PAW).

At 15, I participated in a SD Dance Theater intensive. At 17, auditioned for the Alvin Ailey program in NY up 5 flights of stairs, no AC, no elevator in August, pretty rough!

I fell in love with modern through those avenues. I went out to college because it was clear I wasn’t going to be a ballerina, so I decided I needed to keep dancing. It exposed me to extending my ideas of dance and falling in love with it. I received my BFA in Dance Making from Columbia College Chicago."

How she became a #GIRLBOSS

"I was in New York and my former director who I grew up dancing under was done, asked if I wanted to take over. I said YES, that is what I want to do.I would come back once a year to teach the younger students, that’s how we kept our connection. I have owned the Performing Arts Workshop-DANCE PAW for the last 7 years. There is a learning curve.

I saw a way to make the vision of what I had for dance for others possible. A creative blank canvas, a place to give artists a home to express themselves, provide young people an education, I couldn’t pass it up."

Putting the FUN in fundamentals

"Classical ballet is really our foundation, still and always firmly believe it is THE foundation for a lot of concert dance forms. Ballet comes with a whole lot of history and a whole lot of BS. Art groups get born into popularity. With ballet, you get math, science, music, experience, community, awareness, language.

The way the system of ballet was designed has the most transferable skills. Once you do that you, can do almost anything else.

It never gets easier, somethings get easier but there is always something to work on. You must deal with your short comings to try to get better at the system. Ballet is really precise and skills are specific."

F I R E starter for creating

"HUMAN STUFF. I love human stuff and human stories and looking for what is true. We come as we are and the thing that inspires us all is the experience. I trust them (her dancers) to bring their whole selves to the table.

The thing that keeps people coming back to the theater, not being put into a pretzel, communicating wholly through the body to the people in audience. That is the thing that is interesting to me. Not interested in making pretty stuff. I'm interested in struggle and duration. Excruciatingly long and then just gone at the same time."

Keeping it Professional (#prodancelife)

"I GOT LUCKY. I began taking classes with Sadie Weinberg and we had been having great conversations about the dance world. She started her company almost 2.5 years ago. I started hosting Sunday class at the studio. From there, she (Weinberg) asked me to dance with them for their big piece then asked me to join the company (LITVAK)."

Love Letters

"I have one CAT, her name is Fat🐱

they don’t need me all the time and I have pretty intense time constraints.Their cute and sassy." -and to her humans... "Onwards and Upwards in truth, beauty, and the pursuit of excellence."

Thanks for tuning into the Emily Miller Experience San Diego Dancers! Emily could not have been more perfect for Part II of B O D Y W E E K. She is so focused on human experience, form, and emotion, and we hope she inspires you to invite the gritty into your dance life and remember how important ballet is to your dance training. You can find Miller performing next with LITVAK on November 2nd and 3rd at San Dieguito High School. Or head to and for more information about her dance studio and what she has to offer the dance community.