About San Juan Ballet

Emily Simpson Grandt, Director & Instructor













Emily began her career in the arts as a young student and performer with the Somerset Ballet Company and Camelot Academy in Kansas City. Throughout her childhood, she performed in ballets, musical theater shows, and in various dance disciplines. 

Emily attended the University of Kansas where she studied ballet under the instruction of former Joffery principal dancer, Jerel Hilding, and was part of the University Dance Company. After graduation, Emily returned to Kansas City and assisted in the transition of her home studio, Somerset Ballet, in becoming part of the Kansas City Ballet school. She furthered her training as a teacher under the direction of Ballet Mistress, Karen P. Brown. During this time, Emily was also the Assistant Director at a private Montessori school, where she developed her teaching philosophy and love for working with children and their families.

In 2012, Emily became the School Director for Kansas City Ballet, where she directed 530 academy students and worked with numerous teachers, musicians, guest artists and professional dancers including Rose Taylor Spann, Kimberly Cowen, and her former teachers Paula Weber and Peggy Ply.

Along with arts and school administration, and teaching ballet and theater, Emily has been a 3rd grade classroom teacher, and is an avid children's literature advocate. Her passions often collide in San Juan Ballet's performances which include dances set to stories narrated by local theater students. 

Emily Simpson Grandt opened the San Juan Ballet School in the fall of 2015 with the intention of providing children in Durango and the surrounding area a nurturing environment in which to study dance. Emily is the Durango Children's Coordinator for the State Street Ballet Company’s tour of The Nutcracker.


Each ballet student we meet is an individual with unique goals and aspirations. San Juan Ballet School feels it is our responsibility to guide students along the path that will help them reach their goals. It is our hope that our students find joy in building solid dance technique as they develop into performing artists.

We believe dance students are best served by training and performing in a variety of styles and disciplines. We incorporate various styles of ballet including the French, Italian and Russian schools when creating, teaching and setting class material and choreography. We also occasionally incorporate modern, jazz and musical theater into our classes. We hope to offer master classes and invite guest artists in as teachers in the future.

San Juan Ballet Children's Company

The Company

The San Juan Ballet Children’s Company had their debut performance, Peter and the Wolf, in Roshong Hall at Fort Lewis College in the Spring of 2016. We are very proud of their hard work and dedication and look forward to more performance opportunities in the coming year.

If your child is enrolled in Ballet I-IV, they are automatically a part of the company and will be invited to perform in our Spring Performance. Rehearsals are usually held during regular class time, though a few additional rehearsals will be required.



We have a burgeoning wardrobe which provides our company members with costumes for our performances. This spares parents the cost of purchasing multiple costumes, and allows everyone involved a more creative, artistic approach to dressing for the stage. Occasionally we may ask parents to help us by purchasing a specific color of leotard or tights, and do our best to provide an option for these at a minimal cost. If you are interested in volunteering to help alter costumes, or have costumes or pieces to donate, we warmly welcome your assistance. A costume fee of $20 per dancer is required each school year to help cover alterations and laundering.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

San Juan Ballet is happy to award scholarships and financial aid to our students. Please contact us to make a donation to our fund, or for more information on how your dancer may benefit.

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