Artists in Residence

Our Artist in Residency Program supports professional tap dancers recognized for their unique vision and personal style. Artists receive weekly studio space to support their creative process, create new work and mobilize their on-going activities and career.

 

The ATDF is dedicated to nurturing a creative environment for artists to connect, explore and share their talent with other artists, students, ATDF faculty and the community. The ATDF encourages artists to pass on a tradition. A tradition of teaching, learning, exploring and then passing it on to the next generation.  ATDF programming is designed to connect the tap professional to our student body. Each artist contributes to the Tap Conservatory by teaching special master classes, making guest appearances in ATDF events and performances and by creating and placing new contemporary choreography on the Tap City Youth Ensemble. The ATDF steward's innovation, fosters exploration, provides support and resources and provides a forum for each artist to reach his or her full potential as a working professional in the field. To learn more about this program contact Tony Waag at: twaag@atdf.org

Chloé Arnold is an International Tap Star. Her latest hit, BEYONCE TAP SALUTE by her company Chloé's Syncopated Ladies, has gone viral, reaching over 400,000 hits in under 36 hours from the endorsed by Beyonce herself, "They Killed It". (syncopatedladies.com). As a leading lady in the Art Form of Tap, Chloé has wooed audiences in over 21 countries and 35 states. Her work can be seen on film, television, and stages worldwide. Co-Founder of DC Tap Festival and Co-Director of LA Tap Festival, Chloé's most recent highlights include a recurring role as an Onyx Girl on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Choreographing a commercial for Canon, performing at Madison Square Garden for the opening of the NY Knicks 2013-2014 season, working with Beyonce on the 2013 Pepsi and H&M campaigns, guest performing on NBC's America's Got Talent, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars and FOX's So You Think You Can Dance, a sold-out NY run of her One Woman show My Life. My Diary. My Dance. at La MaMa in New York City, Global Fusion Concert in Dubai with 10 of the world's most accomplished musicians, and performing with Chloé's Syncopated Ladies at the star-studded “One Night Only” Homecoming Gala Concert Cabaret at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. Chloé is also a female entrepreneur that holds an Ivy League degree from Columbia University. She and her sister co-founded Chloé and Maud Productions and DC Tap Festival, and currently produce a travel web series, Chloé's World and co-producing a documentary TAP WORLD with Hollywood Executive Producer Dean Hargrove. For more information: www.chloearnold.com

Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley has an interdisciplinary approach in using the power of the arts to uplift and inspire the human spirit. Through heredity and the mentorship of her father Alfred Bruce Bradley, Mable Lee, Dianne Walker, and others, Bradley has been studying performing arts since the age of 3 years. After all the early exposure of professional shows and opportunities to share the stage with pioneers and legendary artists, Bradley decided to moved to New York and pursue her career. While attending Marymount Manhattan College as a theater major in acting, she was blessed to work and train professionally in Savion Glover’s tap company Tii Dii. In 2004, Ali began working on her solo performance showcasing her vocals, compositions, dance, and poetry. She has performed at Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar, Bowery Poetry Club and Joes Pub with Reg E Gaines, and at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA in George Faison’s adaptation of Bubblin’ Brown Sugar starring Diahnn Carroll. She also performed at Witzigman Palazzo in Hamburg, Germany for 4 months as a solo vocalist and dancer. Ali has recorded vocals singing on Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets childrens album, songs called “Butterfly am I” and “We are One”. Once returned back to the U.S., Ali moved to Philadelphia in 2005 to further enhance her solo career while teaching and organizing arts programs. She began managing artist and producing shows through Tapology Tap Festival for Youth which is a family based non-profit organization in Flint, Michgan, and created her own Philadelphia based program called Sound and Movement, LLC, funded by the Art and Change Leeway Foundation Grant.

 

In 2008, Ali debuted one of her original compositions Stono Rebellion, a tribute to the Africans who fought for freedom and rebelled against slavery in South Carolina in 1739. She was selected as an evolving choreographer in the Harlem Stage’s E-Moves 9 showcase of professional dancers and choreographers. She also toured Canada and the United States in Roxanne Butterfly’s World Beats: Journey of the Migrating Sole as a dancer and vocalist. She is also an award winning playwright, garnering Best Short Play at the 2011 Downtown Urban Theater Festival for her one woman show called Steps. As a teacher she has been an adjunct professor teaching tap at Queens College and Long Island University and was honored to be a panelist along with Germaine Ingram and Dianne Walker at Columbia University as apart of the jazz studies lecture series moderated by Jacqui Malone. Ali has been a teaching artist in residence at the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Young Audiences of New Jersey, and the Carr Center in Detroit.

While doing philanthropic work in the community of Philadelphia, Ali landed a principle role in a show called Cotton Club Parade produced by City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York directed by Warren Carlyle and Wynton Marsalis. Additionally she was casted as a member of the off-broadway show STOMP. A feature tap dancer in Gerri Allen's Great Women of Jazz at the Apollo sharing the stage with Dianne Reaves, Lizz Wright, Terri Lynne Carrington, and Tia Fuller. She was the 1st tap dancer to be invited to the University of Pittsburgh 43rd Annual Jazz Concerts and Seminar featuring Ravi Coltrane, Jeff "Tain" Watts, and great line up of jazz all stars. Currently she serves as a board member for Flint Red Ink Local 432 ,program director of Beyond Words, and artistic director of Destination Forever,LLC. Her debut album called Destination Forever: Vol.1 which encompasses original compositions created through sounds of tap, song, and poetry was awarded the “Vox Populi” meaning Voice of the People Award by the Independent Music Awards in the Urban EP Category. As a choreographer she was recently commissioned by Harlem Stage for their E-Moves Dance Series to create a piece called Black Matter. She uses the essence and influence of James Baldwin and his ability to articulate the struggles of Black Americans. Through Afro futuristic, spirituality, and traditions, this journey of music and expression explores stigmatism and social injustice issues that still exist today. Brinae Ali and a company of dancers and musicians celebrate the innovators and freedom fighters by tapping into the higher consciousness of ourselves that vibrates with the universe while healing from the traumatic experiences of our past. Her latest accomplishment was joining the cast and becoming the assistant dance captain of the Broadway show Shuffle Along: the 1921 Sensation and All That Followed directed by George C.Wolfe and choreographed by Savion Glover.

Brenda Bufalino is a mixed genre artist; choreographer and tap dancer, a dancer who sings, tells stories, writes books, works clay into shapes that dance, and paints pictures. She has performed her one person shows Internationally and has appeared as a guest soloist at Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center among other major venues. In February 2009, she premiered her latest show “Primordial Memories” at the Judson Church in NYC as part of Tony Waag’s “Sound Check Series.” She mentors, lectures and teaches master classes internationally and teaches many workshop series for the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York City throughout the year. As artistic director/ choreographer of The American Tap Dance Orchestra she toured America and Europe with her company, and appeared at The Joyce Theatre, and on PBS “Great Performances…..Tap Dance in America with Gregory Hines.” For many years Ms. Bufalino collaborated and toured extensively with her mentor Charles “Honi” Coles. She has received consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and is a NYFA fellow. Her critically acclaimed book “Tapping the Source…. tap dance stories, theory and practice” is published by Cod Hill Press. She has created numerous DVD’s and CD’s…. tapping, singing, teaching and telling stories, which are available from her web-site. She is the recipient of the Flobert Award, The Tapestry Award, and The Tap City Hoofers Award, all for outstanding achievement and contributions to the field of tap dance.
Visit: brendabufalino.com  Visit: Brenda's Blog  Photo by Lois Greenfield

Christina Carminucci, born and raised in New Jersey, is a NYC based tap dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She began her training in NYC with the American Tap Dance Foundation's Tap City Youth Ensemble while also studying heavily under the mentorship of Derick Grant, Barbara Duffy, and Michelle Dorrance. Since then she has performed in works by Brenda Bufalino, Jason Janas, Derick Grant, Felipe Galganni, Leonardo Sandoval, Samara Seligsohn, and Tony Waag, and has danced with companies including Michelle Dorrance’s Dorrance Dance and Chloe Arnold’s Apartment 33. Over the past few years, Christina has performed throughout the NYC area in acclaimed venues including the Duke on 42nd, New Victory Theater, and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). She has most recently appeared at both the New York City Capezio A.C.E Awards and the 2016 Bessie Awards, and can now be seen performing as one of the newest members of the historic Cotton Club’s Sophisticated Ladies. Christina, a proud alumna of the Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program, currently teaches at the American Tap Dance Foundation where she is also in her first season as an Artist in Residence. She graduated Cum Laude from Pace University (2016) with a BBA in Arts and Entertainment Management, and, along with teaching, is focused on developing her own works and creating her own artistic voice in the dance community. 

Warren Craft is a New York City tap dancer who has trained in ballet with both the American Ballet Theatre and the School of American Ballet.  As a tap dancer he has been a member of Brenda Bufalino's New American Tap Dance Orchestra, Max Pollak's RumbaTap, and the Tap City Youth Ensemble, and has worked with Ayodele Casel, Derick K. Grant, Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuels Smith, Barbara Duffy, Michela Marino-Lerman, Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards and Jared Grimes.  He has performed at City Center, Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop, and Central Park's Summer Stage and toured with Tony Waag's Tap City on Tour.  Warren has been featured on the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine and in the Dance Magazine article, "Child Prodigies in Dance."  The definitive history of tap, Tap Dancing America, claims that Warren “has reincarnated the elegant tap dancing style of Fred Astaire," while The New York Times calls him “a New Wave hoofer...with killer feet." Warren is a past recipient of ATDF's Gregory Hines scholarship award.  He is also the drummer for singer/songwriter Michael Ferraiuolo and is working on his own solo music.

Michelle Dorrance is a New York City based performer, choreographer, teacher and director. A 2012 Princess Grace Award Winner, 2012 Rockefeller Foundation & Mertz Gilmore sponsored Field Dance Fund Recipient, and 2011 Bessie Award Winner, Michelle is the founder and artistic director of Dorrance Dance. She is one of the most sought after tap dancers of her generation and “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” (The New Yorker). Mentored by Gene Medler, Michelle grew up performing with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble and has since performed with: STOMP, Manhattan Tap, Savion Glover's 'Ti Dii', Barbara Duffy & Co, JazzTap Ensemble, CPD, Tap City on Tour, Ritmico, Rumba Tap, Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, Harold Cromer’s original Opus One, Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap and Jason Samuels Smith’s Chasing the Bird to rave reviews. A highly sought-after instructor at festivals, universities, conventions and studios throughout the world, Michelle embodies a true passion for teaching and strives to share this passion wherever she goes. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, plays bass for indie-pop star, Darwin Deez, and is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center. For more information please visit: www.michelledorrance.com & www.dorrancedance.com Visit: Michelle Dorrance.com Photo by Matthew Murphy

Felipe Galganni, tap dancer, teacher, and choreographer, is known for his unique style and versatility in blending tap dance as an American art form with his Brazilian roots. Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Felipe Galganni started his training in dance and theater at the age of 9. Mentored by Heather Cornell (Manhattan Tap), Felipe moved to New York City in the summer of 2010 to further his education in tap. Since then he has had the honor of working with such great names on the tap scene as Tony Waag, Max Pollak (Rumba Tap), Chikako Iwahori, Lynn Schwab, Ray Hesselink, Michelle Dorrance, and Derick K. Grant. He has also studied under the master Brenda Bufalino and recently performed in one of her newest works.

In the nearly 15 years of his career, Felipe has taught at the best dance schools in Brazil, New York and worldwide. He is currently a faculty member at several well-known studios in New York City including Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and the American Tap Dance Foundation. He is also honored to have helped Joffrey’s artistic director, Jo Matos, create the Joffrey Ballet School’s Tap Spectacular in Miami, FL, for which he was instrumental in everything from creating the program’s curriculum to auditioning all applicants, as well as teaching at this now annual program. Felipe is currently focused on his teaching and choreography as a means of revealing the unique Brazilian influence in his expression of tap dance. He also develops his own work with his Company in New York City. Regarding his 2014 piece “Fuga”, The New York Times writes, "...Felipe Galganni juxtaposed the precision of tap with the curvaceousness of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art. As two crouching, cartwheeling capoeiristas and six tappers wove through one another to Baden Powell's 'Berimbau,' their musicality was contagious." Felipe has performed at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Joseph Papp's Public Theater (Joe's Pub), The NY Summer Stage, The Citigroup Alvin Ailey Theater, The Cotton Club, The Metropolitan Room, The Bronx Museum, The New York City Center, Lavo NYC, Arlington Club, The Duke on 42nd Street, New Victory Theater, and others.

In the fall of 2016, Felipe was accepted to the fourth consecutive Emerging Choreographer Series 2017 (ECS#4) presented by Queens-based performance company Mare Nostrum Elements (MNE) and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC). As a participant in this prestigious series, Felipe choreographed a new work, which he will perform in February 2017 in the ECS Showcase as its premiere.  Felipe is also currently preparing for his production of another new work, a tap dance concert: “TAP&TOM,” which premieres in April 2017. For more information visit:.felipegalganni.com

 

Susan Hebach considers herself a graduate of “Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center” where she was fortunate to study with a diverse group of master tap artists such as her mentor, Brenda Bufalino, and other inspirational teachers such as Barbara Duffy, Robin Tribble, Margaret Morrison, Josh Hilberman, Lynn Dally, and Diane Walker to name a few. As a choreographer, she enjoys developing new works and collaborating with fellow dancers of “The Tap Collective”, a tap company she founded in 1996. Her choreography has been featured in events such as “VII Nit de Claque” in Barcelona, Spain, to the offbeat “Vaudeville 2000” at LaMama ETC Theater and “The Elegance of Comedy of Tap”, hosted by Bill Irwin at NYC Town Hall, Tap City, The New York City Tap Festival, and more recently the Rhythm In Motion series at the 14th St. Y in Manhattan. Susan is currently the director of the ATDF Youth Program, as well as the Tap City Youth Ensemble, and the Pre-Professional Program at Tap City. She was featured on the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine in May 2009, and has served on the dance faculty for Oklahoma City University and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri as visiting guest artist. She has also taught the residency of Pete Nugent's "Breezin" at Tap City in 2008,  & co-curated the Teachers Intensive for the NYC Tap Festival in 2011 & 12, and is part of the teaching team for the new “Tap Teacher Training Program” at ATDF with Margaret Morrison. Susan also wrote a book for an after school young reader series, called “Tap Dance”, by Rosen Publishing. She also recently had the unique opportunity to coach Christine Baranski in "soft shoe", for New York City Center's Encore Series production of "On Your Toes". 

Sean Jackson is a tap dancer and musician. Originally from Rome, NY, Sean was raised amongst the ballet school of his parents Stephen and Canan Jackson. This was a very fortunate circumstance to be around such artistry and beauty from the beginning of his life. As a tap dancer, Sean has had the honor of sharing the stage with acclaimed artists such as Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuels Smith, Michela Marino Lerman, and Lisa La Touche within various works over the past 7 years. Sean has and continues to teach his certain style of tap dance in upstate New York and in New York City. He has also been a guest faculty member at Broadway Dance Center. Sean’s solo work “Shahn Shahn” is a soundscape and rhythmic exploration which has been shared in his hometown of Rome, Toronto, and New York City with intention to continue to share wherever there is interest.

In 2014, Sean was nominated for a Bessie Award in the outstanding performer of the year category for his work as an improvisational soloist in Lisa La Touche’s excerpts of “We Used To Hold” in The American Tap Dance Foundation’s Rhythm In Motion Performances.

Kazu Kumagai was born in Sendai City, Japan. He started tap dancing at the age of 15 and came to NY at the age of 19. As he was attending the New York University at the age of 20, he also trained in the New York Institute of Tap`s "FUNK UNIVERSITY," which was the  training workshop for the big hit Broadway Musical "Bring in Da` Noise Bring in Da` Funk.  He studied with Ted Levy, Buster Brown, Gregory Hines, Barbara Duffy, and Derick K. Grant. Since then, he has been performed in many NYC downtown clubs such as the Knitting Factory, Tonic, and the Puppet Jazz Club. From 2002 to 2010, he performed for in Tony Waag’s Tap City, the New York City Tap Festival nine times, and was dubbed by the Village Voice as the "Japanese Gregory Hines." In 2006, He was selected as "25 to Watch" in Dance Magazine.  After Kaz went back to Japan in 2002, he made numerous solo appearances all over the country and collaborated with many artists and musicians, and appeared in several television commercials, such as SONY CYBERSHOT. He also performed in a  MIHARAYASUHIRO fashion show in Milan, Italy, where he succeeded in opening up a new field of the Arts. In 2008, he opened his first tap dance studio "KAZ TAP STUDIO" in Japan, and has subsequently taught throughout Japan including in his home town of Sendai City, where there was severe damage due to the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami. Kaz dedicates his passion and love for the art of Tap Dance to the great masters such as his mentor Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines and others, as well as to his hometown Tohoku where his family and friends live. Photo by Leslie Kee

Lisa La Touche Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, some of Lisa's performance highlights have included touring with Savion Glover's production, STEPZ, and also performing in both New York's Off-Broadway and the North American touring casts of STOMP.   She has previously worked with and performed in  Jason Samuels Smith's company A.C.G.I and in excerpts from "Chasin' the Bird", and has also performed alongside Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards as part of the original  The Cotton Club ensemble in Harlem.   Other companies she has worked with have included Max Pollak’s Rumba Tap, Barbara Duffy and Company, Tre Dumas' JusLisTeN, M.A.D.D. Rhythms, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and also The Cab Calloway Foundation Inc.   Lisa has produced and directed her own concerts within North America and is continuously working as performer, choreographer and teacher internationally in countries such as Brazil, China, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and across Canada to name a few.   She is also a previous faculty member of the School of Jacob's pillow under the Direction of Dianne Walker and has appeared as an artist in residence at The American Tap Dance Foundation and the Vancouver Tap Dance Society and as guest faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in NYC.  

 

Michela Marino-Lerman first appeared on Sesame Street at the age of 5. In February 2002 she was showcased on the cover of Dance Teacher magazine with Gregory Hines. In 2005, she was named by Dance Spirit magazine as one of the 20 hottest tap dancers under 20 and in 2008, Dancemagazine named her as the only female tap dancer in its “25 to Watch in 2008.” Michela has appeared in both the Tap Extravaganza and Tap City numerous times over the past ten years. She won first prize in the Harlem Jazz Dance Festival’s, “Hoofer’s Challenge” in both 2002 and 2003. In 2002, Michela performed with Jennifer Holliday on Broadway in Nothing Like A Dame and also in 21 Belowat Town Hall. In 2003, she was inducted into the famed Copasetics as their first and only female lifetime honorary member. In 2004-2006, Michela toured Spain and Japan with Rafael Amargo’s Enramblao. In the fall of 2005, her choreography was featured in the tap section of the opening number for the Bermuda Music Festival with UDP, starring Al Green, Angie Stone, and Patti LaBelle. At the age of 19, she was commissioned by Dixon Place to create and direct her own show, entitled AM+bu$h+ED. 2007 saw Michela tour Europe for 3 months as a lead dancer in the hit show Magic of the Dance and also appear in Sarah Savelli and Ayodele Casel’s Tappy Holidays. In 2008-2009, she was featured in the show hit “Wonderland,” an all tap show set to Stevie Wonder’s music and also in Chris Scott’s show W-L-U-V. In 2008 she appeared on CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars with Grammy award singer Mya, performing the choreography of Emmy award winner Jason Samuels Smith. Since 2007, Michela has been a featured performer at NYC’s hottest nightclub, The Box. She recently danced with the Roy Hargrove at the Jazz Gallery and the Village Vanguard. She has also been commissioned by the American Tap Dance Foundation and HarlemStage to show her new work entitled Tapsploitation. Recently she has been co-creator in forming the tap dance company The Tap Messengers who have performed at the CareFusion Jazz Festival with Talib Kweli and Nicholas Payton in the Revive Da Live Big Band, Joe’s Pub, and HarlemStage opening for Marcus Strickland. Michela is grateful for the mentoring and guidance given to her by Buster Brown, Gregory Hines, and Leroy Myers. She has also studied with Jason Samuels Smith, Henry LeTang, Baakari Wilder, Ayodele Casel, Derek Grant, Dianne Walker, and many other gifted teachers. She has taught in numerous schools, studios, programs, and festivals throughout the world. As a performer, teacher, director, and choreographer Michela is dedicated to spreading the art of tap around the world.
Margaret Morrison is a rhythm tap soloist, choreographer, and researcher who performs and teaches across the US , Europe and Brazil . In 2010 she completed her MFA in Dance through the American Dance Festival/Hollins University. Margaret's current tap performance and writing projects explore gender, race, social meaning, and history in tap dance. In 2011 she is developing a tap/theater work on Alice and Bert Whitman, she will present new research on women tap dancers at the Congress on Research in Dance, and will publish her research paper "Juanita Pitts: Gender, Race, and the Female Hoofer." Margaret began her performing career in 1986 as a founding member of the American Tap Dance Orchestra, directed by Brenda Bufalino. As a soloist she has been hailed by critics as "feather-footed and musically astute," and a "consummate artist who breaks the mold.” Margaret’s tap workshops emphasize musicality and creativity, with a particular emphasis on improvisation, composition, and performance skills. As Education Advisor of the ATDF, she over-sees the Foundation’s training programs, including Tap City , the New York City Tap Festival. She is a graduate of Barnard College , where she is currently on the faculty of the Dance Department, directing the Tap Ensemble, teaching tap technique and a history course "Tap as an American Art Form." Visit www.MargaretMorrison.com.

Max Pollak, named one of the "25 to Watch in 2007" by Dance Magazine, was inspired by the virtuosic footwork displayed by many of the greats in American film, and most importantly, jazz music. A native of Austria, he has been tapping since the age of 11, and playing drums and percussion since the age of 14. At age 17 Max was first exposed to the African American style of rhythm tap when seventy-one-year-old Carnell Lyons became his first mentor. Lyons, a Kansas City-born childhood friend of Charlie Parker, had toured the world successfully as a member of the vaudeville acrobatic tap act "Jesse, James and Carnell". Settling in West Berlin in the 1960s, Lyons became the pioneer of rhythm tap pedagogy in Europe. While completing his theater degree at the Theater-an-der-Wien Musical Theater School in Vienna, from 1988-1990, Pollak became an accomplished professional drummer and tap improviser. After working in several large musical theater productions in Germany and Austria, including one under the direction of Broadway choreographer Michael Shawn, he moved to New York City at the invitation of Heather Cornell, artistic director of the Bebop tap quartet Manhattan Tap. His tenure with the company lasted until 1997. During the early 1990s, the most important breeding ground for emerging tap talent was the weekly tap jam session hosted by tap legends Dr. Jimmy Slyde, Dr. Buster Brown, Chuck Green, and Lon Chaney at the New York City jazz club La Cave. Pollak was a regular, taken under the wing of the masters. For three years, he also co-hosted a weekly tap jam session at the East Village club Deanna's. Pollak also furthered his musical studies in jazz at New York's prestigious New School, graduating in May 1995. It was Latin percussion master Bobby Sanabria, though, who introduced Pollak to the earth shattering power and spiritual depth of Afro-Cuban music. Pollak soon began incorporating elements of Afro-Cuban jazz and folkloric music in his performances, developing the concept he calls "RumbaTap", a melding of Afro-Cuban music and dance, American jazz, body percussion, and tap dance. One of Pollak's crowning achievements was to receive a grant from Arts International in 2001 to help establish Cuba's first tap festival in Havana. Today Pollak is recognized worldwide as the creator of "RumbaTap." So respected is Pollak for this concept that his performances, teaching schedule, university lectures, and residencies take him throughout the US, Europe, Asia, Central and South America. Pollak has published articles on tap dance in several international publications and is the 2008 recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Choreography.

Visit: Rhumba Tap   Photo by Lois Greenfield

NYC born and bred Ana Rokafella Garcia has represented Hip-hop dance over the past two decades and co founded Full Circle Prod Inc- NYC's only non-profit Break Dance Theater company with her husband veteran Bboy Kwikstep, generating evening length theater pieces, a monthly dance party known as "Behind The Groove", and a documentary highlighting the Bgirl lifestyle entitled All The Ladies Say which premiered at Lincoln Center's Dance on Camera Film Festival. As her alter ego "La Roka" she performs her original music based on her experiences growing up in Hip-hop's Mecca  She is hired internationally to judge Break dance competitions based on her mastery of the classic Hip-hop dance style and teaches unique workshops aimed at evolving and preserving its technical and cultural aspects. The NYC public and private schools, as well as local community centers present her workshops to aspiring dancers as part of mentorship programs. Presently she is an adjunct professor at The New School University, a year round dance instructor with Brooklyn Academy of Music and was a member of the NYC Bessie's Dance and Performance Awards selection committee. She has been featured in pivotal Rap music videos, tours, film and commercials as well as choreographed for diverse festival concerts such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Rokafella is a multi faceted Hip-hop artist who references street and Latino culture as her foundation.

Leonardo Sandoval hails from Piracicaba, Brazil, and studied tap, ballet, jazz and hip-hop with Heloaldo Castelo Silva, Steven Harper, and Christiane Matallo among others. He also studied at Debbie Allen’s Summer Intensive, the LA Tap Fest, and at the School at Jacob’s Pillow. In Rio de Janeiro, Leo co-founded the tap company Cia Carioca de Sapateado, as well as working with other companies there. He also appeared on many TV and stage shows. In 2012 he was a finalist on Q’Viva! The Chosen, a talent show hosted by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, broadcast worldwide.

Since moving to New York, Leo has performed with Dorrance Dance, Chloe Arnold’s Apartment 33, and recently appeared in New York (Danspace Project, Tap City, Rhythm in Motion), the Jacob’s Pillow Festival, Chicago (Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World), Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Brazil, Belgium and Germany. He has also been a guest faculty at the Broadway Dance Center. Leo is particularly interested in bringing Brazilian rhythms and music to tap dance, and is collaborating with other dancers, musicians and visual artists, with a desire to push the boundaries of Tap.

Lynn Schwab is a member of Barbara Duffy and Company, RumbaTap, and The Tap Collective, has performed at such notable New York venues as The Duke on 42nd Street, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Town Hall, Off Broadway’s La MAMA, World Festival 2000, The International Street Performers Festival, The River to River Festival, Central Park’s SummerStage, Joe’s Pub, Studio 54, The Joyce and The Joyce SoHo Theatres. She has performed at Jacob’s Pillow and as a guest artist with Billy Siegenfeld and Jeannie Hill’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project. With members of The Tap Collective, she choreographed and performed the Morton Gould Tap Dance Concerto with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with The Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, and at festivals in the U.S., Germany, Spain, France, Holland, and Estonia. She continues to tour the U.S. with Tap City on Tour and in addition to her regular classes at Steps on Broadway in New York City, teaches and performs at festivals and workshops in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Samara Seligsohn, originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a NYC-based tap dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in dance from Barnard College (2012), where she used her studies as a platform to explore tap dance history and choreography. Upon graduation, she studied heavily under leading dancers such as Derick Grant, Lynn Schwab, and Nicholas Young. Currently, she is a member of Nicholas Young’s SoundMovement Dance Company and Chloe Arnold’s Apt#33, and has performed with these companies at major venues such as B.B. King Blues Club, Symphony Space, and the 14th Street Y. Samara has also performed works by Derick Grant, Max Pollak, Felipe Galganni, and Leonardo Sandoval. Samara is a core member of the up-and-coming dance/music collective TREES, The Rhythm Encompassing Every Sound, which showcases collaborative choreographic and musical work. She is a recent alumna of the Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program, and a faculty member at Steps on Broadway. Samara is honored and exciting to be premiering her work at Rhythm in Motion. 

Bessie Award-winner Caleb Teicher is an acclaimed tap dancer, musical theater performer, and choreographer based in New York City. He has been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Studio Life, and was included in Dance Magazine's 2012 "25 to Watch" list. He is currently represented by McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA). Caleb is currently a member of Michelle Dorrance's Dorrance Dance, Syncopated City Dance Company, and The Chase Brock Experience. He has also danced for choreographers Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Cartier Williams, Geoffrey Doig-Marx, Igal Perry, Richard J. Hinds, and others. In October 2011, Caleb received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Individual Performance for his work in A Shared Evening at Danspace Project (choreography by Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards). Other work in dance includes the touring production, Tap Kids, as well as One Second Past The Future, a program at Joe's Pub by Camille A. Brown and Dancers. Caleb made his debut as a performer and choreographer for musical theater in the NYC Fringe Festival production of The Seed of Abraham (director Sally Burtenshaw). Other performance credits include The Music Man at Riverside Theatre (director/choreographer Vince Pesce), the International Tour of West Side Story (director/choreographer Joey Mckneely), and Singin' In The Rain at Gateway Playhouse (director Rick Conant, choreographer Kelli Barclay), and Irving Berlin's White Christmas at Westchester Broadway Theatre (director/choreographer Randy Skinner). Caleb's choreography has been showcased at The Duke on 42nd Street, Symphony Space, Joe's Pub @ The Public, Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center in Miami, the Wheatland Music Festival, Choreographer's Canvas (2012), BC Beat (2013), and many other venues. He most recently finished, "The Most Wonderful Time", a choreographic commission for Chicago Tap Theatre. Caleb has also worked on the creative team of several projects. In addition to his work with the NYC Fringe Festival, he served as Choreographer Assistant to Sarah Reich for the short film, Nostalgia, and most recently was a Creative Team Alumni Fellow for the inaugural YoungArts Los Angeles event. He also created choreography for Julia Ogilvie's solo show, Freckle and Burn, as well as for Elizabeth Tryon's cabaret, There's A Phantom In My Opera. Caleb is also a Creative Director of YoungArts TakeOne. Caleb Teicher began his dance training at the age of 10 with Jennifer Dell, and was strongly influenced by his mentor David Rider. He is an alum of the School at Jacob’s Pillow and of the NFAA’s YoungArts program, for which he was a Silver Award winner in dance. Caleb has been an instructor at numerous dance and music festivals (2011 Beat Retreat, 2011/2013 Gypsy Jam, 2012 Wheatland Music Festival, 2013 Earful of Fiddle Camp, 2013 Big Apple Tap Festival), and he has taught private lessons and group lessons at various studios in New York City.

Joseph Monroe Webb is an award winning actor, dancer, and poet that has showcased his talent in a number of performances throughout the years including the Tony Award winning Broadway production, Bring in 'Da Noise Bring in 'Da Funk with notable tap dancer, Savion Glover.  Following his Broadway success, Webb ventured into acting an appearance in the Martin Scorsese film Bringing Out The Dead, and appeared in numerous print and television ads. He has also performed on talk shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Live with Regis and Kathy Lee. 

A true artist, Webb decided to pursue another artistic interest and formed his own band, The Joseph Webb Quartet. Their music is a blend of hip-hop, jazz, soul, tap dance and spoken word.  Connecting live instrumentation with an incredible rhythm and horn section, Webb creates an engaging and interactive atmosphere denoting sheer inspiration.  He is a Maryland Distinguished Scholar, one of the National Foundation For Advancement in the Arts Level I awardees, and a Presidential Scholar. Joseph is a 2001 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts. Joseph Webb is a Full Time Lecturer at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY, and has been on the staff of Harlem School of the Arts for the past six years. He also was a special guest artist at the 25th Anniversary of Gala Des Etoiles Dance Gala in Montreal Canada in September 2008. Most recently Mr. Webb and his band was apart of the Red Hook Festival in Brooklyn, NY.  So far in 2009 he has been a guest teacher and performer at the 2009 D.C. and L.A. Tap Festivals and a special guest artist at the 2009 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington, Delaware and executed a stellar performance at the Tap City Concert in NYC which was reviewed by the New York Times. He is currently in the cast of Thank You Gregory which is touring the United States. Understanding that his talent and achievements are attributed to more than his commitment and contribution to the journey, Webb gives thanks for that which has no name but can only be felt, that which has neither beginning nor end.

Gabe Winns is from San Diego, CA, where he began dancing at the age of 11. Since then, his love for dance hasn’t stopped growing. He first began his professional career as a tap dancer at the age of 13 as a featured soloist on the television show “America’s Most Talented Kids.” For the past five years he has toured with the critically acclaimed stage show Tap Kids, and continues to perform and teach with them, both nationally and internationally. Since moving to New York City, he has worked with many dance companies, including Dorrance Dance, Rumba Tap, and SwingFX, and will continue to share his love for the art form as often as he can.

Nicholas Young began his professional dance carrier with Tapestry Dance Company, under the direction of Acia Gray, and Deirdre Strand. Moving to principle dancer, resident choreographer he spent more than 10 years with the company. Moving to New York, he began working with local Tap dancers and musicians, on various projects. Including Manhattan Tap, Hoofin to Hittin, Beat the Donkey, and Rumba Tap. Nicholas joined the Off Off Broadway production of STOMP in 2002 and is currently a performer and the rehearsal director for the American tour. Nicholas has taught master classes for the Soul to Sole, Third Coast Rhythm, and the Saint Louis Tap Festivals, among others. He would like to thank His mother for constant support and inspiration through art.