Emma Stokes was raised in Adelaide, South Australia and from early on showed a passion for creativity and performance. Pursuing this love led Emma to dance, theatre and voice training.
Emma completed her Bachelor of Dance Performance Degree in 2007 at the Adelaide Centre for the Arts and was the recipient of the Helpmann Academy and Minter Ellison Rising Star Award. Whilst studying Emma had the opportunity to work with internationally acclaimed choreographers including Leanne Ringelstein, Professor Xiao Xiong Zhang, Lina Limosani, Aidan Kane Munn, Troy Mundy, Kynan Hughes and Peter Sheedy.
Since graduating, Emma has worked consistently in the South Australian independent dance scene and has been employed to teach and choreograph dance across the state.
Emma continued her working relationship with Limosani on the creative developments of The Tighter You Squeeze and A Delicate Situation before becoming a founding member of Katrina Lazaroff’s One Point 618 Dance Theatre and performing in Pomona Road. Her affiliation with this company has led her to work on developments of Involuntary and perform and tour the children’s show SKIP .
Emma has performed with the South Australian State Opera Company in Turandot and Rigaletto and international acts, Studio Festi’s’ Il Cielo che Danza (Adelaide Festival 2006) and La Fura dels Baus’ Le Grande Macabre (Adelaide Festival 2010).
Emma has also performed internationally at the 2004 Edinburgh Military Tattoo and in 2005 Oman Military Tattoo. In 2011 Emma was employed to work on the London development of 7th Time Around with creator Stephen Walker and Grammy and Primetime Emmy nominee Christopher Swann (director).
In 2010 Emma started work with Restless Dance Theatre as Assistant Director on Next of Kin. Emma continued this alliance and currently works as a Workshop Leader in weekly classes and projects. In 2013 Emma choreographed The Memory Keeper, a collaboration project between Restless Dance Theatre, Riverland Youth Theatre (RYT) and the Riverland Special School (RSS). Her second collaboration with RYT and the RSS led to Watermark, a production which premiered at the Australian Youth Dance Festival in 2014.
Emma was part of the Patch Theatre Artist in Residence Program at Sturt Street Primary School in 2014. She worked alongside actors, photographers, visual artists and designers to plan, partake in and evaluate workshops with the students.
In 2015 Emma directed What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing In A Place Like This? with Restless Dance Theatre’s Senior Ensemble.
In 2017 Emma led Come Dance With Me Again workshops for DreamBig Childrens Festival.
Emma continues as Workshop Leader for Links.