e-mail Emily

Emily Mayne is a versatile dancer who has researched dance world wide.  She has a BA in dance from Antioch University and an MA in dance from UCLA, and she has been on the dance faculty of Los Angeles City College, East Los Angeles College, Pierce College, College of the Canyons, and UC Santa Cruz.

Her dance studies started with a ballet background which began at the age of five.  She was fortunate to have had many fine ballet teachers.  Her classical dance studies later expanded with studies of the classical dances of other countries.  In 1974 she began the study of Bharata Natyam (the classical dance of south India) with T. Balasaraswati, the legendary Bharata Natyam master.  She underwent a thorough, traditional course of training under Balasaraswati, both in the US and in India, that included training in the south Indian rhythm system and in the demanding and intricate system of mime that Indian dance is noted for.  These studies sparked an interest in mime and characterization which inspired her to spend three years (including a Fulbright fellowship) in India, Indonesia, southeast Asia, and Japan exploring the techniques and approaches to the arts of gesture and expression found in the performance forms of these cultures.

These studies of movement and gesture, coupled with studies in kinesiology, have given her unique insights into the science of posture, gesture, and movement.  She has been hired to coach character movement to performers in the Cirque du Soleil shows "Zed," "KA," and "O," and to teach classes and workshops in characterization and gesture to animators at the Walt Disney Feature Animation studios in Burbank, Orlando, and Paris; the Walt Disney TV Animation studio; the Pixar Animation studio; Industrial Light and Magic; Sony Imageworks; Pacific Data Images; Blue Sky Studios; and the San Francisco Academy of Art's animation program.

She is a versitile performer and her skills range from dance and mime to stage combat and swing dance aerial stunts.  She has given countless solo concerts including California, New York, Oregon, Hawaii, Mexico, and India.  She is co-director, with musician Ron Wagner, of the performance company, "Rhythmic Visions." 

She has worked as a dance director for the following dance and exercise videos produced by Goldhil Home Media: Bellydance - Suhaila Salimpour, Veena and Neena Bidasha, Rania, Jayna; Hip Hop - Madonna Grimes; Salsa - Joby Brava; Yoga - Rainbeau Mars


video excerpts



“Pure mime.  A sensitive face controlling emotion, reflecting anger, pleasure, hatred, mischief, coyness, and tenderness.” - The Hindu, Madras, India

“...vibrant...” - Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles

“...she rivets us to our seats in suspense, her interpretive movement, at once amusing and engaging, leaves us spellbound and somber...” - Whole Life Times, Los Angeles

“Mayne displays the skillful control of the face, particularly the eyes, arms and hands characteristic of Eastern dance.  Her attention to detail, use of facial expression and visible involvement in what she is doing, often missing from Western dance, are a pleasure to see.” - Community Spirit, Santa Cruz

“. . . rhythmically crisp and animated. . . liveliness and clarity.” - India West

Emily Mayne is available for:

The Nattuvanar's Art