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Co-owner of Oakland's Full Out Studios and co-founder and Executive Artistic Director of the award-winning Bay Area dance company Funkanometry SF, Emerson has been dancing for 18 years and is well known in the hip-hop choreography scene. His reach extends into the professional LA music and dance industry with former students that have gone on to lead global workshops and performances. Notable protegés include dancers Shaun Evaristo, Kyle Hanagami, and Mariel Madrid. Evaristo went on to found the choreography management company Movement Lifestyle, and choreographs for artists like Se7en, Tae Yang, and Travis Garland, along with K-pop mega groups Big Bang and 2NE1. Hanagami and Madrid have both choreographed for popular television shows “The X Factor” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” respectively. Hanagami has also toured with the likes of Justin Bieber and The Black Eyed Peas, while Madrid has performed on The Ellen Show. “These are dancers I used to train, so it’s a very humbling experience,” Emerson says. “But I’m so proud of them.” Emerson’s first inspiration came from watching Janet Jackson’s funky street-style choreography in her “Nasty” music video. He later trained formally in locking before moving on to incorporate other elements of dance into his choreography. His exact style is hard to categorize and is not confined within the boundaries of one dance genre. Students and dancers are attracted to Emerson’s classes because of how he embodies the feeling of music and integrates dance into a larger story. What he passes on to his students is more than simply technical proficiency, it’s emotional understanding.