Merle Park was born in Salisbury, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), in 1937. She joined the Royal Ballet in 1954, became soloist 1958 and principal 1959. She was very musical and had a perfect technique.
Created the role of Clara in Nureyev's staging of The Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet. She was also successful in Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and La Fille Mal Gardee, La Bayadère, Manon and Mayerling.