Merly De La Hoz-Cookson is a Dance Instructor and Choreographer born in Colombia, dedicated to promoting her cultural heritage all over the world through the art of dance. Merly was La Reina del Folclor Colombiano in 2005, becoming the ambassador of Colombian culture to the world. She has performed in hundreds of local, regional, national, and international dance showcases. Merly teaches creative movement and baby sign language to young children through the library programs in the Middletown area. She is also part of the dance faculty at The Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven CT and works as a Teacher Assistant in ACES at CHASE middle school. During her college years, she discovered the joy for modern dance, and since then she has been working as a dancer for Megan Boyd Dance Theater. In 2023 Merly join River Valley Dance Project.