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Tap City 2014 Performers

Chloe 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

Ryan P. Casey trained under Thelma Goldberg and Kelly Kaleta with the Legacy Dance Company of The Dance Inn in Lexington, MA, where he is now on faculty. He was Dance Captain of Aaron Tolson’s New England Tap Ensemble and is a founding member of Dorrance Dance. You may have seen him on So You Think You Can Dance or read one of his articles for Dance Studio Life, Dance Spirit or Dance Teacher. He was featured in the December 2013 issue of Dance Studio Life and in the music video for Chas Bronz's "Love Only You." Currently teaching at Boston University and choreographing for the University of Connecticut, Ryan is a proud alumnus of NYU Gallatin, The School at Jacob’s Pillow and the National YoungArts Foundation. This summer, he will present work with the Inside/Out series at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Felipe Galganni was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. He has worked choreographing and performing in several Musicals, TV shows, and Movies. 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 Tony Waag, Lynn Schwab, Chikako Iwahori, Max Pollak (Rumba Tap), Ray Hesselink, Michelle Dorrance, Alicia Monaco and Claudia Rahardjanoto. He has performed at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Joseph Papp's Public Theater (Joe's Pub), The NY Summer Stage and The Cotton Club. Felipe currently performs regularly on Sundays at LAVO NYC and is on faculty at Steps on Broadway.

Derick K. Grant is a performer, choreographer, director who has an established career that spans over three decades. Under the direction of Tony Award winning director George C. Wolfe, he was an original company member and Dance Captain for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk at both The Public Theater and on Broadway and starred in the role of ‘da beat for the first National Tour of Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. Mr. Grant created the critically acclaimed show Imagine Tap! and was appointed as the Co-Artistic Director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Summer Festival. His choreography was featured on Fox’s hit series So You Think You Can Dance and he has performed and recorded with Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes. Mr. Grant was the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artist, The Helen Hayes Award (Washington D.C.) for Outstanding Featured Actor as well as two additional for his role in Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. Mr. Grant also received two Los Angeles Ovation Awards for choreography and for best Ensemble performance in Noise/Funk, and was most recently recognized for Best Choreography for Imagine Tap! He is currently a corporate Tap spokesperson for SoDanca and continues to transform and inspire dance communities around the world.

Janille Hill is a performer, trainer, founding member and artistic director of Momentum Step Company. She developed a passion for step dance in 1998 as a member of Alpha & Omega step squad at Jubilee Church. Since then, Janille’s passion for the performing arts has grown, and she cofounded Momentum (formerly A Chosen Few, Inc.) as a means to promote, engage and advance step dance as a viable career path in a growing industry of percussive dance. Since relocating to New York, Janille built a career teaching step in various public and charter schools. She loves being able to work with students to teach the fundamentals of stepping as she believes that great character is built through the dance. Janille has seen great growth in her students and from that her love for the dance has deepened as well. Janille currently lives in Harlem, NY with her husband Khalid and children Jayda, Anaya, Khalid jr. and Azai. She works as a life coach, teaching artist and consultant for various organizations in the New York area. Her credits include performances in The Urban Nutcracker in Boston, Chosen the conference in North Carolina, The Prison Break conference in Rhode Island and various performances and workshops throughout the East Coast. She has also taught and performed abroad with Compagnia de’ Colombari in Orvieto (Italy), and for Rick Owens as a featured dancer and model for the Paris Fashion Week in 2013.

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.

Lisa La Touche proudly Canadian originally from Calgary, Alberta, Lisa is an internationally sought after tap dancer, teacher, choreographer and director and cast member in both the New York City and North American tour of STOMP.  Career highlights also include 3 years of performing at legendary Cotton Club, faculty member of School of Jacob's Pillow, performing in the International Body Music Festival in Istanbul, working at Beijing International Dance Festival via Chicago Human Rhythm Project as a dancer, choreographer and American media spokesperson, and also Co-Director and host of C.H.R.P.'s “Spotlight on Canada” where she proudly stood as a leader in representing Canadian’s talent and legacy in concert as part of the Rhythm World dance festival.

 

After earlier years of teaching, performing, producing and directing in her hometown in Canada, she established root in the American community by way of Chicago, where she worked extensively with renowned organizations M.A.D.D. Rhythms and the Chicago Human Rhythm Project.  Her career then transitioned to New York in 2008 and continued to grow with such opportunities as "A.C.G.I." and "Charlie's Angels" with Emmy Award winning dancer/choreographer Jason Samuels Smith, working with Bessie Award winner Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards at the Cotton Club and in her Michael Jackson tribute production “Blood on the dance floor" and working consistently with Max Pollak and his company Rumba Tap.  She's also danced in touring production of “Sophisticated Ladies” honoring the music of Duke Ellington, worked extensively with “Barbara Duffy and Co.”, Ayodele Casel and Sarah Savelli’s “Tap n2 Peace” and also The Cab Calloway Foundation Inc.  Lisa has been featured in numerous international dance festivals in Brazil, China, Germany, Turkey, UK, Switzerland, Canada and across the US.  She has appeared on faculty at Steps on Broadway and the American Tap Dance Foundation and still works with her own group "Tap Phonics”.  She currently is based in New York City and proudly works worldwide!

Momentum Step Company (formerly "A Chosen Few") was initially founded in 2002 as a Step ministry in Boston.  The group was reinvented and relocated to NYC in January 2013 and re-launched as a professional step company.  Momentum now exists as a creative outlet for steppers to create music and movement.

Each stepper in Momentum has a personal story detailing their journey as an artist, musician and dancer. The company operates as a collective, with each member contributing to choreography and performance concept.

Momentum has done several school assemblies in New York and taught classes and workshops around the city. They have worked in collaboration with theater company, Compagnia de’ Colombari and were featured in Rick Owens Paris Fashion Week runway show as a part of Team Vicious. The company is currently working on a show that tells the story of their experiences and the hope that causes them to dance. Momentum sees the beauty in step dance and creates movement based on that idea wherever they go.

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.
Claudia Rahardjanoto Born and raised in Berlin/Germany, Claudia was trained in ballet, jazz and later in tap. She fell in love with tap dancing immediately and has extensively studied tap with Sam Weber, Andreas Dänel, Sven Göttlicher and Pascal Hulin. She has danced in numerous tap dance-shows in Europe (Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Holland) and has been on tour with several touring productions around Europe as well as the United States ("Magic Of The Dance", "Dancing Feet", "Dancing On Common Ground"). After moving to NYC in 2003 to continue her education and pursue a career in dance in the US, Claudia has since appeared on the 'Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon' with Andrew Nemr's CPD Plus, appeared on MTV's 'TRL' as part of a 'Happy Feet'-segment with Robin Williams and Elijah Wood and has been a featured dancer in an evening called ‘Dianne Walker and Friends’. Claudia has been extremely blessed and fortunate to have met and spend valuable time (on or off stage) with masters like Dr.Jimmy Slyde, Dr.Bunny Briggs, Dr.Henry LeTang, Dr.Buster Brown, Harold Cromer, Mable Lee, Dianne Walker, Ted Levy, and Savion Glover and others. She is very grateful to have been able to dance with Dianne 'Lady Di' Walker, Michelle Dorrance, Roxanne Butterfly’s WORLDBEATS, Andrew J. Nemr's CPD Plus, Susan Hebach’s TAP COLLECTIVE, Barbara Duffy and Company, Jared Grimes' T.A.D.A.H., Max Pollak’s RUMBATAP, Michael Minery's Tapaholics and alongside the fabulous Miss Mable Lee as one of her Dancing Ladies. Claudia is currently on faculty at Steps On Broadway and Broadway Dance Center.

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. In 2006, he also studied at Debbie Allen’s Summer Intensive and the LA Tap Fest. After moving to Rio and working with many companies there, and appearing on many TV and stage shows, Leo decided to move to New York to pursue his dream of a career in Tap. Since then he has performed with Dorrance Dance, Apartment 33, and is now working on his own show and ensemble Street Feet to be premiered in the summer in New York.  Leo is inspired by the city and its people, and enjoys performing in the streets and parks of New York and on the subway, carrying his board wherever he goes! He is particularly interested in mixing Brazilian rhythms and music with Tap, and is collaborating with other dancers, musicians and visual artists, with a desire to push the boundaries of Tap.

Lynn Schwab 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.

Tap and Tray Working together for nearly 30 years, Kurt Albert and Klaus Bleis have made “Tap and Tray” one of the most successful European tap acts of all time. Based in Germany, the duo has performed throughout the US (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Hartford, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Kansas City), Europe, and Russia with virtually all of the finest tap dancers in the world. Their training includes an apprenticeship with showbiz legend Carnell Lyons as well as intensive study with Motown legend Cholly Atkins, tap greats such as Charles “Honi” Coles and James “Buster” Brown, and tap guru Brenda Bufalino. Together they have worked with Bufalino’s “International Tap Dance Orchestra” in Germany and New York. With dancer Joshua Hilberman they produced the annual cult classic, “The World Championships of Paddle and Roll”, a parody of dance competitions.
The Tap City Youth Ensemble features the best and brightest young tappers from the New York City area. The ensemble was founded in 2006 by the American Tap Dance Foundation to give young tap dancers from the ages of 13 – 19 an opportunity to work with professional choreographers. The ensemble preserves the rich heritage of tap dance through learning classic/historical tap repertory and new contemporary works. The Tap City Youth Ensemble performs in a range of New York area venues including formal concerts, school shows, hospital shows, and free public events.

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.
Photo by: Christopher Duggan

Tony Waag (Producer/Artistic/Executive Director) founded the American Tap Dance Foundation (formerly known as the American Tap Dance Orchestra) in 1986, along with Brenda Bufalino and the late Charles "Honi" Coles. From 1989-1995, he co-created and operated, with Ms. Bufalino, Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center which became a model for numerous tap organizations and tap studios worldwide creating, producing, and presenting various educational programs for adults and children year-round, as well as annual winter tap intensives with master classes, courses and workshops taught by leading International artists and master tap dancers. I n 2001, he renamed the organization the American Tap Dance Foundation and created Tap City, the annual New York City Tap Festival with premiere performances of all styles of tap by artists from around the world, as well as an extensive training program for adults, teens and children, city wide events, tap jams, student showcases, panel discussions, lectures and film screenings. As a performer and choreographer, he has been featured in hundreds of concert, film and television productions including appearances at the legendary Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the United Nations, the Atlanta Arts Festival, the Utah Arts Festival, the Colorado Dance Festival, the Lincoln Center "Out-of-Doors" Festival, the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, PBS’s "Great Performances, a national Seagram's commercial, and in a French car commercial for Renault in Paris. I nternational appearances include USIA tours of Turkey, Poland, Cyprus, Latvia and Estonia, and recent American ambassador tours of Armenia and Romania with his production of Tap City on Tour. He has also taught and performed in Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, and Spain. Mr. Waag has received numerous grants towards the presentation and preservation of tap dance as a unique American art form. In 2002, he created the first International Tap Dance Hall of Fame honoring the contributions of legendary tap dancers by preserving their legacies for future generations to enjoy. He also created the annual Tap Preservation and Hoofer Awards, the Gregory Hines Youth Scholarship Fund, and the Gregory Hines Collection of American Tap Dance Archives which are now housed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. I n 2009, he created and staged the touring production of “Thank You Gregory”, a tribute to the Legends of Tap Dance which can now be seen in theaters across the country. I n January of 2010, he opened the American Tap Dance Center in New York City where he currently directs on-going education and training programs for tappers of all ages and levels.
Photo by Lois Greenfield