Ray Mercer, is a native of Omaha, NE. He is currently in the Broadway cast of The Lion King, NY. Ray started his dance training at the age of 17, where he studied at the University of New Orleans, Chicago, and New York. He has danced with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.Chicago, and the Boston Ballet (guest artist). He has worked with Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, , Kevin “Iega Jeff”, George Faison , Louis Johnson and Garth Fagan. He was awarded Joffrey Ballet's Choreographers of Color Award 2012, and Pensacola Ballet Choreographers Award. He has been the resident choreographer for Ailey B.F.A program since 2012. He has Directed and Choreographed for the Smithsonian Oman Project. Ray was a 2011 Capezio Ace Awards Finalist. He has won Broadway’s Gypsy of the Year Award for best onstage performance in 2005,2008,2011,2012,2013 and 2014, the most in BCEFA history. Ray has won the Michigan Dance Council Award, and the Black Theater Alliance Award/Chicago, for his choreography. Ray was the resident choreographer for All-City Dance Co in Detroit and Chicago.
He has worked with several outreach programs and dance institutions, including the Alvin Ailey Summer Camp Program, Ailey Fordham B.F.A Program, Joffrey Ballet Educational Program, E-Moves Choreographers Showcase (New York), and the National High School Dance Exchange. He was recently commissioned to choreograph a work for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. He has set ballets on various companies and Universities across the country, such as AileyII, Philadanco, Giordano Dance Chicago, Dayton Contemporary Dance Co.,New Jersey Ballet,Dallas Black Dance Theater, Pensacola Ballet, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, and DRA:Dancers Responding to Aids/New York. Ray has choreographed for the New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF2015). Ray is also an Adjunct Professor for the Howard University Dance Department. He has taught classes and master series all over the world. Ray was recently acknowledge in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, and Movmnt Magazine for his work.