BACK TO TAP CITY INDEX

Tap City Faculty & Teachers

Chloe Arnold (Teacher) 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 upon endorsement by Beyonce herself: (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 former 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 & Muscat 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 who holds an Ivy League degree from Columbia University. She and her sister co-founded Chloé and Maud Productions and DC Tap Festival; currently produce a travel web series "Chloé's World”; and co-producing the documentary TAP WORLD with Hollywood Executive Producer Dean Hargrove. For more information: www.chloearnold.com.

Brenda Bufalino (ATDF Artistic Mentor/Teacher) is a mixed genre performer.  As a Tap Dance soloist, and choreographer/director of The American Tap Dance Orchestra, she has performed and taught Internationally for over 25 years.   Her collaborations with her partner and mentor the great Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, has infused her with the essence of the form that she now shares, with her stories, teaching, and dances.   Her International guest appearances, master classes and One Person Shows have influenced the next two generations of tap artists, and she is still creating new experimental and traditional tap works and performances.  She has performed solo and with her company “The American Tap Dance Orchestra” at all the major venues; Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy center and major theaters across America and Europe and appeared with her company on PBS "Tap Dance in America with Gregory Hines."  As an international Master Tap Teacher, Mentor and Lecturer she was instrumental in the creation of Tap Festivals, which are still thriving throughout the world. Ms. Bufalino has been awarded several National Endowment for The Arts Awards.  She has been awarded: The Flobert Award, The Tapestry Award, The Tap City Hall of Fame Award, and The Dance Magazine award, all for outstanding achievement and contributions to the field of tap dance.  She has created many DVD’s, and CD’s, which along with her memoir "Tapping The Source," and her poetry book “Circular Migrations,’ published by Codhill Press, are all available on her website: BrendaBufalino.com
Photo by Lois Greenfield

Heather Cornell (Teacher) is known for her deeply musical approach to the art form of tap dance. As a performer she is an intuitive musician, and her recent endeavors have been in creating music ensembles where she functions as the percussionist. “Making Music Dance”, a cross fusion of flamenco, tap, sand and wood, and world music, premiered at Jazz en Rafele, Montreal in 2013 and will be releasing their first CD in the spring.  “Finding Synesthesia”, with pianist Andy Milne, cello and vocals, was commissioned by UK’s London Jazz Festival in 2007. Ms. Cornell co-created (with Thanos Daskalopoulos) a music/percussion summit in Lefkada, Greece, that ran for 8 seasons, where her concepts of training free thinking “bilingual” artists in music and dance were put into action. “CanTap”, performs internationally, and brings together Canada’s finest tap dancers and musicians for evenings of choreography and new approaches to improvisation.  Ms. Cornell is artistic director and choreographer for the acclaimed Manhattan Tap, one of the busiest music/dance companies in the world in the 80’s and 90’s.  Ms. Cornell became known as one of the mover’s and shaker’s of the tap dance renaissance and was credited for creating a style of choreography dubbed as “visual music” by the NY Times.  She is co director (with Anna de la Paz) of “Walk to the Beat”, in Nyack, NY, recently awarded a national commission from New Music USA. This year the 25th Anniversary of Heather’s Rhythm Tap Intensive with Live Music will be held July 20 – 31, 2015 at Flamenco Vivo in NYC.   Through this event, as well as Manhattan Tap, her university teaching and her international touring, Ms. Cornell has directed, taught and inspired three generations of tap dancers, musicians and actors. Called “the Oscar Peterson of hoofing” (Globe and Mail, Toronto, Canada), she was apprentice to six of America’s tap masters and is one of a handful of dancers who trained directly with this generation.  Known for her innovative collaborations on original music for tap, Ms. Cornell was the only tap dancer chosen and mentored by the infamous bassist, Ray Brown.  She is a pioneer of concert tap and of working with world music.  She choreographed the “The Play What I Wrote” for Broadway and trained the actors for “Three Penny Opera” for Atalaya Theater Company in Sevilla, Spain. TV, radio and film credits:  “Thinking on Their Feet, Women of the Tap Renaissance” (Jenai Cutcher), “Gotta Move, Women in Tap” (Lynn Daly), ”“KQED special w. Honi Coles and the Jazz Tap Ensemble; “Gregory Hines’ Tap Dance in America” for PBS; featured MT special on “Sounds Impressive”; WYNC’s live radio show, “Around New York” for 5 years.  Awards: “Legend of Tap” (2008), Vancouver, Canada; Tapestry Award (2010) Boston, MA; JUBA! Award (2011), Chicago Human Rhythm Project; Flobert, (2012) NYC Committee for National Tap Day.  She is grateful to be the recipient of this year’s Tap City “Hoofers Award”. For more information:  www.manhattantap.org

Michelle Dorrance (Teacher) 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

Photo by: Matthew Murphy and Kenn Tamm

Barbara Duffy (Teacher) Barbara Duffys performance highlights include “THE GREGORY HINES SHOW”, where she was a featured dancer, actress and choreographer, “GALA FOR THE PRESIDENT”, performing with Gregory Hines before President and Mrs. Bill Clinton and as dance captain and featured dancer in Brenda Bufalino’s AMERICAN TAP DANCE ORCHESTRA. Barbara performs as a featured soloist across the United States and overseas, including London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, where she was hailed as “a riveting performer” by the Independent. Her all women ensemble, Barbara Duffy & Company has performed at the Duke Theatre, NYC, the Joyce Theater, NYC, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, NYC, the University of Richmond, the Tanz Haus Theatre in Dusseldorf, Germany, Jacob’s Pillow and with Tap City On Tour. In August, 2008, Barbara received the “Rhythm World Award” for preserving and passing on the legacy of Leon Collins. She was also the recipient of the American Tap Dance Foundations’ prestigious “Hoofer Award “ in July 2013. A highly sought after teacher, Barbara has taught at numerous workshops and festivals in 20 countries. When not on the road, Barbara teaches classes in New York City at Steps On Broadway and The American Tap Dance Center. Her greatest inspirations are Brenda Bufalino, the late Leon Collins and the late Gregory Hines.
Felipe Galganni (Teacher) Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Felipe Galganni started his training in dance and theater at the age of 10. 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 given tap dance lessons at the best schools in Brazil, as well as worldwide for such well-known studios as Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York City. He is also honored to be auditioning and teaching the summer program of the Joffrey Ballet School in Miami-FL. He has worked as a choreographer in shows and movies. 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 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, and others. As a Team Leader of New York’s Tap City festival, Felipe was interviewed by NBC Channel 4 in 2014.
Follow:  Instagram: @galganni - FB : fb.com/galgannitap - Twitter: @FelipeGalganni
Germaine Goodson (Teacher) was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She began studying ballet at age three. By the age of seven she was given the opportunity to study tap and jazz dancing, acrobatics, swimming, violin, piano and drama. Rhythms have always motivated her to dance, express and communicate her thoughts and feelings. Germaine always wanted to become a great tap dancer. Germaine was a principal dancer in the Broadway production of "Black and Blue," and was last seen on Broadway in Duke Ellington's "Play On." She was also an original cast member of the Paris, France production of "Black and Blue" featured as one of The Rhythm Queens as well as in an Off Broadway production of "Back in the Big Time" starring Harold Nicholas. In additon to her career as a tap dancer, audiences have seen her performances on television commercials, daytime soaps, primetime dramas and special TV programs. Germaine has had several opportunities to perform in films, fashion extravaganzas, regional theatrical productions and with several famous dance companies. Germaine is one half of the fantastic tap dancing duo, known as The Rhythm Queens. She and her partner, Deborah Mitchell, have performed together, nationally and internationally for twenty-five fabulous years. They have toured with the legendary Cab Calloway and the Hi-Di-Ho Orchestera. Deborah Mitchell is also the Artistic Director of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble. Ms. Goodson teaches at New Dance Group, Steps on Broadway and the Alvin Ailey Extension School in New York City. She also teaches master classes in tap and jazz for universities, dance studios, tap companies and for private classes both internationally and in the U.S. Germaine has taught master classes and choreographed for the Hong Kong Acadamey of Performing Arts, The Norweigan College of Dance in Oslo, and Danse Stage 8, in Saint Cyprien, France with legendary jazz master, Matt Mattox. She was also the Assistant choreographer for the Georgia Shakespeare Festival's production of "Shrew the Holiday Musical." Students eagerly respond to the uniquness of her talent, style and technique. Germaine teaches and choreographs dances that are inspired by her students. Her style can be described as a cross between Fred Astaire and Henry Le Tang. She executes energetic flash and intricate footwork with effortless precision. Germaine continues to encourage her students to reach their goals of becoming great dancers. She loves her students and has faith in their growth and creative achievements. Faith, hope and love continue to be the success of all she has accomplished.
Acia Gray (Teacher) As soloist, choreographer and master teacher, Ms. Gray has toured extensively across the U.S. and abroad to include England, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Spain, Brazil, Canada and Austria. In 1989, she co-founded Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, TX with Deirdre Strand and currently serves as Producing Artistic Director as well as the Artistic Director of The Soul to Sole Tap Festival in Austin. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts/NYC, Ms. Gray has shared the stage with such tap greats as Lon Chaney, Chuck Green, Steve Condos, Brenda Bufalino, Donald O’Connor, Fayard Nicholas, Buster Brown, Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, Sarah Petronio, Dianne Walker and many others in such productions as The Great Tap Reunion, Tap Do/Wop, Just Friends, Masters of Tap, Tap City, Chicago on Tap and The Soul to Sole Festival to name a few. Ms. Gray was chosen as one of 12 dancers to work with the late tap legend Charles ‘Honi’ Coles in America’s first creative residency for tap at The Colorado Dance Festival in 1989 and again in 1990 with Jimmy Slyde and was also featured in the documentary A Class Act: The Magic of Honi Coles. Along with Tapestry Dance Company, she was a founding member and Managing Director of the touring company Austin on Tap throughout the l980’s, served on the Steering Committee of The International Tap Association and was a featured soloist in the l990 Dance Magazine calendar. Ms. Gray’s work, in collaboration with Tapestry co-founder Deirdre Strand, has shared the stage with numerous international dance companies including NYC Ballet, David Parsons Dance Project and Doug Varone to name a few as well as solo collaborative works with such dance artists as Bill Evans, Lambros Lambrou and Stephen Mills among others. Ms. Gray has also danced, choreographed and taught for numerous dance and academic organizations across America and abroad including Columbia College, The Colorado Dance Festival, International Summer School/Cyprus, Dance Masters of America, TASIS/London, Tanzsommer/Austria, The University of Texas, The St. Louis Tap Festival, The Chicago Human Rhythm Project, The NYC Tap Festival, Le Festival De Danse Encore and many others. In June/2002, Ms. Gray was inducted as a premiere member of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame and was nominated for a prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts as well as being a choreographer chosen for the 2003 NEA National College Choreography Initiative. Her critically acclaimed book and Amazon.com category bestseller The Souls of Your Feet – A Tap Dance Guide for Rhythm Explorers is available at all major bookstores and has been translated in the Czech Republic and China. Recently profiled in Dance Teacher Now magazine, Ms. Gray also served on the NEA funded Steering Committee for the National Tap Plan, recognized as a leader in the field in Lynn Dally’s UCLA event Women In Tap and is the current Board President of the International Tap Association. Ms. Gray toured her work The Souls of Our Feet – A Celebration of American Tap Dance through the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative across the US and abroad including a five week tour of China. Ms. Gray has been awarded the Third Coast Rhythm Project’s “Legacy Award," the "Tapologist Award" by Tapology, honored as the “2008 Texas Tap Legend” by the Dallas Dance Council, honored by Houston's Space City Tap Festival in 2009 and is the 2010 recipient of the "Hoofer Award" by Tap City - The New York City Tap Festival. She is currently touring her Souls of Your Feet Workshop for dancers of all ages and levels sharing the power of rhythm in one's life on and off the stage.
Susan Hebach (ATDF Youth Program/ TCYE Director/Teacher) 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". 
Ray Hessilink (Teacher) is a Director/Choreographer living and working in New York City. Ray has presented choreography at various festivals and venues around NYC. Ray specializes in creating character driven choreography and excels at comedic storytelling through dance. Ray loves to make people laugh! As a dance instructor, Ray has had the privilege to help train the children who performed in Broadway's Billy Elliot: The Musical. Ray is on Faculty at Juilliard, Broadway Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway in NYC. He also coaches actors privately. Ray holds a B.A. from the School of Theater at UCLA.

Brenna Kuhn (Teacher) Nominated best dancer by the 2007 Austin Critics Table for her work in Tapestry Dance Company’s award winning National Endowment for the Arts: Masterpiece Dance production of The Souls of Our Feet, Brenna Kuhn was a principal dancer with Tapestry for 9 years and served as the Executive Director of Tapestry Dance Company. A performer, an educator and choreographer, diversity describes Brenna’s tap background. She started her dance journey in Detroit at the age of 12 as a member of the Lloyd Storey Tap Ensemble. In New Mexico, Brenna was a member of the Bill Evans Dance Company. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance from the University of New Mexico.  She is a published co-author in Medical Problems of Performing Artists and an avid reader in dance studies. In 2000, Brenna moved to Chicago to perform with Especially Tap Chicago. In addition, she was the rehearsal director and a founding member of Chicago Tap Theatre with Mark Yonally and directed Visual Rhythm, a youth dance company. Brenna served as the Academy Director for Tapestry Dance Company Academy from 2004 to 2007 where she taught tap and jazz and oversaw a curriculum that included classes in tap, ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop for youth ages 3 to 18 years and adults.  Brenna’s teaching credits also include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Giordano Dance Center in Evanston, Illinois; Brant Lake Dance Camp in upstate New York; American College Dance Festival; Tap West; the New Mexico Rhythm Tap Festival; the Maui Tap Experience; the Third Coast Rhythm Project and Austin’s Soul to Sole Tap Festival. Brenna’s choreography is in demand by many students and companies around North America.  She has won awards for her tap choreography and has set pieces on Tapestry Dance Company, Visual Rhythm, Chicago Tap Theatre, Visions in Rhythm, Fusion Dance Company and Kingwood Ballet Theatre. In 2009, Brenna co-founded FootNotes with Michael Stevens.  FootNotes, as their name suggests, is the intersection of music and dance, sparking conversation in the universal language of rhythm and music. She is currently teaching her beautiful students at Shirley McPhail School of Dance, where she founded the Austin Tap Ensemble in 2013.  Brenna is also a 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher with the National Yoga Alliance and is grateful for the support of her loving husband, Kevin.

Lisa La Touche (Teacher) 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!

Deborah Mitchell (Teacher) proudly celebrates 19 years as Founder and Artistic Director of New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble.  This St. Louis, MO native is known throughout the New York area as a distinguished tap professional. She is the protégé of Leslie “Bubba” Gaines of the Copasetics and student of many tap masters including Broadway Choreographer Henry LeTang.   Her many credits include The Cotton Club Motion Picture, Broadway and Paris Productions of Black and Blue, PBS Great Performances, 5 international tours with the legendary Cab Calloway, and a partnership with Philadelphia native Germaine Goodson as The Rhythm Queens. Under the direction of Ms. Mitchell, New Jersey Tap Ensemble is one of the most prominent touring tap dance companies in the state of New Jersey.  Ensemble tours have included New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, The Duke on 42nd Street, Tilles Center, Princeton and NJ Symphonies and the Joyce. She is producer of the NJTAP Touring Tap Boot Camp and participates annually in festivals such as New York City Tap Festival, St. Louis Tap Festival, Bay Area Tap Festival and Traditions In Tap.   She was a guest panelist on the subject of tap as an American art form at the Dance in the Millennium Conference, Washington, D.C. and participates in national and international programs such as the International Tap Association that focus on the promotion and perpetuation of tap dancing. Having attained a Masters Degree in Social Work from Indiana-Purdue University, Ms. Mitchell is a strong advocate for arts education. As a Principal Affiliate of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center she participated in the Center’s Dance Academy both as a tap an instructor and as a workshop facilitator.  Ms. Mitchell was instrumental in establishing tap dance as a technique to be offered to children participating in the Dance Academy. A master teacher and motivational speaker about the art form in many educational venues especially in New Jersey and throughout the tri-state, she also provides In-Service Training to teachers and dance educators. Ms. Mitchell is author, director and choreographer of the Doll Shop, an Arts in Education musical specifically developed for school age children grades K-5th. An extension of her work with the NJ Tap Touring Ensemble is NJTAP2 the pre-professional division of the company serving young artists ages 12-17. These young artists tour the state presenting the popular Generation Tap, an arts education musical appropriate for grades K-8th.    Ms. Mitchell served as Chairman of the Tap Department of Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, Montclair, NJ for 8 years, is on the advisory Board of Tony Waag’s Tap City in NY, is Assistant Director/Choreographer for Theater Workshop/Peppermint Players, Marie Foster and a proud second generation Silver Bell, Geraldine Kennedy, Founder.  Ms. Mitchell’s dedication, commitment and contribution to the art form has resulted in numerous awards, honors and citations.  On National Tap Dance Day 2006, Savion Glover presented Ms. Mitchell with an award for giving tirelessly to the spirit and legacy of tap dancing.  In March 2007, Dean John Bedford and Jo Rowan, Dance Department Chairman of Oklahoma City University, Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts management presented her with the Living Treasure Award “for preserving our American culture in her feet, in her mind and in her spirit.”  In May 2007, Ms. Mitchell was chosen by The New York Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day as one of the Flo-Bert Honorees and in July 2007, she received The Hoofer Award from the American Tap Dance Foundation.  She is one of the many subjects included in Tap Dancing America, A Cultural History by Constance Valis Hill.  Most recently, she received the 2012 Living Legend Award in Flint, Michigan for her extraordinary contribution to the art form of tap dancing.
Margaret Morrison (ATDF Education Advisor/Teacher) is a rhythm tap soloist, playwright, and researcher who performs and teaches across the US , Europe and Brazil . This year, she wrote, starred and tap danced in her first play “Home In Her Heart,” which ran for eight months in New York City. Margaret completed her MFA in Dance through the American Dance Festival/Hollins University and is committed to creative performance projects, scholarly research, and writing that explores gender, race, social meaning, and history in tap dance. She is developing several new theater works, including one on Bert Whitman of the Whitman Sister’s Troupe; she contributed several essays on tap for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism and the Dance Heritage Coalition; her research paper "Juanita Pitts: Gender, Race, and the Female Hoofer" is forthcoming. 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.
Leela Petronio (Teacher) Born and brought up in Paris, LeeLa Petronio is a tap dancer, body percussionist. choreographer, teacher and producer of dance-related events. Part of  the European cast of STOMP since 2001, she founded the Hip Tap Project, a percussive dance ensemble whose work blends rhythm tap, hip hop, body percussion and live music. Leela's eclectic approach has led her to participate in many different projects : performances with the Cirque du Soleil in Italy, a tap concerto performed with a symphonic orchestra at the Paris Opéra Comique, Soul to Sole Festival in Austin, commissioned choreography (New York's "Tap City") for younger dancers at the Joyce Theatre.  She has perfomed for the International Body Music Festival in San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Istanbul and Terni. Special guest performance with the Jazz Tap Ensemble at the Salzburg Jazz Festival and special guest with acclaimed French singer Camille at the Cirque d'Hiver. In 2012, she was part of the Olympics closing ceremonies with STOMP.  In Paris she has performed at the Quai Branly Museum, Jamel Debouze’s Comedy Club, the Festival of Urban Cultures of La Villette, the Centre National de la Danse, the Maison des métallos... LeeLa studied with tap masters Sarah Petronio, Jimmy Slyde and Steve Condos.  She has studied and shared the spotlight with Tap greats Honi Coles, Cholly Atkins. Chuck Green, Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Ted Levy and Lon Chaney at different festivals.  She has performed in "Jazz in Motion" with Sarah Petronio at Jazz clubs and festivals : New Morning in Paris, Tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Barcelona in Europe, "Perth International Arts Festival" in Australia, "Tap Dance Day 2004" at the Kennedy Center in Washington. LeeLa has taught rhythm tap and body music workshops in Europe, Brazil, Senegal, Australia, Turkey Israel, and at many of the international tap festivals in the USA.  In France she works regularly with professional multi-disciplined dancers at the French National Dance Center .
Sarah Petronio (Teacher) was born and raised in India. She immigrated to New York at the age of 19 and later moved to Paris, France, where she became the dancing partner of Tap Legend Jimmy Slyde for a short while in the '70's. The duo performed in “It's About Time - an evening of tap and jazz” at concerts, and Jazz festivals. A master teacher and performer and a major force in introducing rhythm tap to French audiences, Petronio founded the Gît-le-Coeur Cultural Center, the Paris Tap Dance Company and the Tap Dance Department of the American Center in Paris. In 1994, she joined the faculty of the Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago and created the “Chicago on Tap" festival. She has appeared at festivals in New York, Colorado, Portland, Boston, Texas, Saint Louis, Kansas, Montana, Chicago, Israel, Hamburg, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Tokyo, Russia, Spain, Netherlands...Sarah has been the recipient of Russia’s Tapparade award for Recognition of Accomplishments in Teaching and Performing Tap Dancing, The Lexington Tapestry award for teaching with passion, dedication and inspiration, The Soul to Sole award for Timeless Dedication to the Art of Tap Dancing and the 2005 Hoofer award at New York's Tap City Festival. In 2007, she was requested by the French National Dance Center to teach the prestigious “La Grande Léçon” giving the audience an intimate, inside look at a master teacher at work. She has appeared in the film “Honi Coles, A Class Act” and has been a part of several French television documentaries on Tap Dancing including “Les Claquettes, quel pied!” She has broken ground as a woman in the jazz world, bringing her special style of rhythms and improvisation to jazz clubs and jazz festivals: Umbria Jazz, Jazz Yatra India, Juan les Pins, Antibes, Avignon, Cannes, Ravinia, Fremantle Jazz.. Sarah has shared the stage with Gregory Hines, Honi Coles, Steve Condos, Lon Chaney, Chuck Green, the Nicholas Brothers, LaVaughn Robinson, Savion Glover, Brenda Bufalino, Dianne Walker, Lynn Dally, Acia Gray and many other very talented tap dancers...Currently residing in Paris, she regularly performs her “Jazz In Motion”©, “When Tap Meets Jazz”© and “Tap Messengers”© concerts with Leela Petronio, and guest artists, accompanied by some of Europe's finest musicians. She continues to conduct intensive master classes for dancers and teachers.
Max Pollak (Teacher), 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.
Sarah Reich (Teacher) is a performer, choreographer and instructor who has emerged as one of the new leaders in the Art Form of Tap Dance. At the young age of 15, this Los Angeles native was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine’s article, “20 Hot Tappers Under 20” and was named one of the “25 To Watch” in the 2009 Dance Magazine article. Ever since, Sarah has been sought after to perform, choreograph, and teach in over thirteen countries outside of the United States including France, Spain, China, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Honduras, Belgium, Canada, Sweden, Croatia, Taiwan, and Australia. Sarah was most recently seen on Season 11 of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance with Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies and returned as the Winner of the Dance Crew Battle from Episode #1 to perform live on the show. With her own company, Tap Music Project, she choreographed and performed at the Ford Amphitheatre, UCLA’s JazzReggae Festival and the LA County Holiday Celebration. Sarah was also a performer at Madison Square Garden for the opening of the NY Knicks 2013-2014 season. In addition to her vast international travels and countless television appearances, Sarah has had the honor to perform at some of the most prestigious venues back home in Los Angeles such as The Hollywood Bowl, the Ford Amphitheatre, the Greek Theater with Mexican Pop-Star, Cristian Castro and the Kodak Theater with the great Herbie Hancock. Currently Sarah is developing new exciting works with her company, Tap Music Project and Sole Sisters – a collaboration with Melinda Sullivan. Sarah produces a weekly class/tap jam for the Los Angeles tap community, Monday Night Tap Experience. She also frequently performs around the city with popular local bands, Magnolia Memoir, Oskar Cartaya's Latin Jazz Band and Dessy DiLauro.

For more information: www.sarahreich.com

Courtney Runft, (ATDF Education Associate/Registrar and Teacher) began her early dance training with Sharon Rogers at Rogers Ballet Inc. in Wichita, Kansas where she continues to go back to guest teach. She continued her training as a ballet dancer at Friends University with Sharon and Stan Rogers as well as Melonie Buchanan, Fransisco Martinez, and Dominic Walsh. Since moving to New York City in 2005, Courtney has had the opportunity to study with and/or perform choreography by Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, Barbara Duffy, Brenda Bufalino, Jared Grimes, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Melinda Sullivan. She is one of Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, has performed in a number of Tap City and Tap Extravaganza performances, Jared Grimes’ Broadway Underground and is a member of the C3 Tap Cooperative. She can be seen in the April 2010 issue of Dance Spirit magazine. Courtney is the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Education Assistant/Registrar and a faculty member in the Year Round Youth Program, and she is currently the Assistant to the Choreographer on Cirque du Soleil’s newest show “Banana Shpeel” at the Beacon Theater in New York City.

Lynn Schwab (Teacher/Co-Director & Choreographer of Tap it Out) 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.

Ellie Sciarra (Teacher) brings an impassioned, joyful approach to tap dance.  Her deep knowledge of technique combines with her experience as a massage therapist to create a whole body approach to dance. Sciarra has decades of performance, choreography, and teaching experience -- all influenced by early experiences in Henry LeTang's studio. LeTang taught by a series of routines, each increasingly difficult and stylistically unique.  In honor of his influence, Sciarra currently offers the Henry LeTang Workshop, a series of classes based on LeTang's work, designed to inspire teachers and students to excel technically. Sciarra also trained with Brenda Bufalino, Paul Draper, and Danny Daniels. In addition to the LeTang Worksops, offered at universities and studios across the nation, Sciarra recently choreographed 42nd Street at the University of Central Michigan and offered a week-long tap intensive in Manila, Philippines. Sciarra also conceived and co-choreographed Taps Are Talking: Women In Tap, produced in the Denver metro area, detailing the gendered aspects of tap. She received a Boulder County Arts Alliance Fellowship for this work. Sciarra toured the U.S. and Europe with NYC TAPworks, performed on PBS' Draper on Tap, in Sondheim’s Follies at Lincoln Center, and at The Duke Theater in NYC.  She has been guest teacher and choreographer at many universities across the west, in addition to the Snowy Range Summer Dance Festival, American College Dance Festival, Interlochen Arts Academy, Black Hills Dance Theater, Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop, Colorado Dance Festival, and New Orleans Jazz Project. Sciarra is the president of Taps Are Talking, Inc., dedicated to promoting tap dance. Her dance advocacy and love of writing led to the creation of Sole Stories, a web-based archive representing a celebration of female tap dancers. Currently, Sciarra is writing a book linking tap and life lessons. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.  tapwithellie.com  solestories.com

Randy Skinner (Teacher) is an award winning American director, choreographer and performer. He has been nominated three times for Tony Awards and twice for Drama Desk Awards for choreography. Skinner graduated from Ohio State University and is a guest teacher at various colleges. He moved to New York in 1976 seeking dancing jobs, and Gower Champion asked him to be a dance assistant on 42nd Street in 1980. In 1985, Ginger Rogers cast him as Val opposite Karen Ziemba and asked him to choreograph a production of Babes in Arms that she directed in upstate New York and in Connecticut. His Broadway work as a choreographer includes the musicals White Christmas and State Fair. He choreographed the Broadway revival of 42nd Street in 2001 and also choreographed and staged the London, Australia and two U.S. national companies and the Amsterdam production of the musical. He has choreographed several staged productions for the City Center Encores! series, including No, No Nanette (May 2008). His Off-Broadway and regional theatre choreography work includes productions of White Christmas around the U.S., An American in Paris (2008 in Houston, Texas), Happy Days (2006 in Los Angeles), Lone Star Love (2004 Off-Broadway; 2007 Seattle), Babes in Arms (2002 at the Goodspeed Opera House), Abby's Song (1999 Off-Broadway, also directing) and Lucky in the Rain (1997 at Goodspeed).

Jason Samuels Smith (Teacher) has emerged as a multi-talented leader in the Art form of Tap. Over the course of his extensive travels, he has

influenced, and at times, introduced the culture of tap dance to audiences of all ages and social economic backgrounds. Accolades include a Dance Magazine Award, an Emmy and an American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography”. Mr. Samuels-Smith has also received Bessie recognition (NY Dance and Performance Awards); the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award; ATDF’s Hoofer Award; Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for creating the First Annual Los Angeles Tap Festival (2003); Proclamation declaring April 23rd “Jason Samuels Day” from the City of Shreveport, Louisiana; the “Ivy of Education” from Brainerd Institute; the “President Kenny Award” from Stony Brook; an Andrew Mellon Grant/Joyce Foundation Residency; an Alpert/ McDowell Residency Award; an Arts International Grant; National Performance Network and Map funding among others in support of his work. Choreography and special guest performances include movies “Idlewild” w/ Outkast; Black Nativity; TV hit series Psych with Dule Hill as well as for Comicon; Mya on CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars; Fox’s hit series “So You Think You Can Dance” (solo & company special guest performances); and ABC’s Dancing with The Stars. Other television and film credits include the TV One Christmas Special (2013), Dean Hargrove’s award-winning short film “Tap Heat” (co-star); co-star of dance documentary UPAJ to air on PBS (2014); Nostalgia:A Tap Film; AlleyOop Films “Kaleidoscope” and “Nautilus”; and Debbie Allen’s AMC series Cool Womento name a few. Performances include Sammy (tribute to Sammy Davis jr.); Soul Possessed (leading role); Tony Award winning Broadway show Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (principal and lead roles); and Imagine Tap! (leading role). Mr. Samuels Smith continues to tour the world with his own tap company formerly known as A.C.G.I (Anybody Can Get It); India Jazz Suites co-starring with Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das; JaJa Productions Band; Chasing The Bird - A Charlie Parker inspired work; and most recently “Transformation: Rhythm’s Roots , a collaboration with critically acclaimed musician Owen “Fiidla” Brown (commissioned by the Charles & Joan Gross Family Foundation. As a humanitarian, his work has supported organizations such as Dancers Responding to Aids, Tied to Greatness, Career Transitions for Dancers, Groove With Me and Tap Into A Cure to name a few. Recent projects include Tap World, a documentary spotlighting original stories of Tap Dancers around the globe and Tap Dreams, a worldwide documentary/global exchange awarding young aspiring dancers scholarships to attend the most popular tap festivals within the US. As the official Tap representative for BLOCH he has successfully developed his own professional tap shoe. Mr. Samuels Smith aims to promote respect for the art form and create opportunities for tap dancers, as he continues to provide leadership as a spokesman for tap around the world.

Melinda Sullivan (Teacher) In 2009, she played Zoe Finn in the American soap opera As The World Turns. The following year, she finished 9th place in the seventh season of the U.S. version of So You Think You Can Dance. Melinda has also toured with Emmy-Award winner Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I. tap company, which blends an improvisational style with tap dance choreography. Recently, Melinda's dancing and choreography on her work "Gone" won Dance Teacher magazine's Capezio A.C.E. Award and its $15,000 production budget to create a show in New York. "In weathered boots and dresses that could have crossed the plains in a covered wagon, six tap dancers not only drill it down with their feet, they use their full bodies to convey loss and grief", wrote Dance Magazine. "'Gone' is a moody work that blends the drama of modern dance with the heart-pumping thrill of rhythm tap." The magazine named her among the "25 to Watch" for 2013. An expanded version, Gone: A Sound and Theater Project, debuted at New York's Ailey Citigroup Theater on August 5, 2013, with a new score by Nikos Syropoulos. The Melinda Sullivan Dance Project has also been featured at the Pasadena Dance Festival, Dance For LIfe Palm Springs, and most recently at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT). Ms. Sullivan is on facultly at Trudi Zipper Dance Institute at The Colburn School, and travels the US with New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA).
Tamango Van Cayseele Stanislas (Teacher) is a dancer, musician and painter whose revolutionary approach to tap transforms his dance into music with a sharpened sense of style and awe-inspiring fluidity. Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, Tamango moved to Paris at age eight and began a formal education in art. He started tap dancing in his early 20's at the American Center in Paris and entered the renowned school of Beaux Arts in Paris before moving to America in the mid 80's. His first major performances in the early 1990's included The Majesty of Tap at Lincoln Center, New York; Philippe Decoufle’s 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville; and the Opera de Paris in Peut-on Dancer un Paysage, directed by Min Tanaka and Karel Appel.  He has shared the stage with dance legends Gregory Hines, Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green, Buster Brown, Lon Chaney, Sarah Petronio, Tina Pratt and Savion Glover. Tamango has collaborated with musicians Bobby McFerrin, David Murray, Chucho Valdes, Christian McBride, Barry Harris, Charlie Hunter, Richard Bona, Cheikh Tidiane Seck, Elvin Jones, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussein and gnawa master Mahmoud Guinea. In 2002, Tamango was featured in a documentary about his life on the French-German television channel ARTE. He appeared in Stomp's Imax film, Pulse, and on RFO Guyane national Television.  He has also performed in a music video with Tony Bennett. Tamango was a featured performer in the American and Australian productions of Riverdance in 1996. He co-directed and collaborated with hip hop master Rennie Harris on a production titled Cool Heat, Urban Beat which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and toured throughout the world.  A master tap dancer, Tamango incorporates a unique blend of jazz tap and Afro Caribbean dance which the press has recognized as his signature style. For over 15 years, Tamango has been a major force in the downtown New York City scene performing at underground joints and clubs like SOB's, The Cooler, P.S. 122, Metropolis and the Supper Club.  He later developed his work into URBAN TAP, a full ensemble evening bringing together a global mix of dancers and musicians in tap, capoeira, hip hop, jazz, Afro-Caribbean and other styles -- presented at The Kitchen in 1999 and for which he received a Bessie/New York Dance and Performance Award (2000). While he continues to tour with Urban Tap, Tamango is also engaged in starting a center for creative activity in his native French Guiana. In 2005 he was the sole tap dancer to receive the Kennedy Center Masters of African American Dance Award, and the youngest recipient. His latest work is Bay Mo Dilo (Give Me Water), based on the rhythms and mythology of his Creole culture. In 2007-08, Tamango was a guest artist in the French production of In Search of Josephine, a project bridging the times of Josephine Baker and “La Revue Nègre” with modern day political strife and racism issues revolving around New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. At the invitation of the Kodo Drummers of Japan, Tamango and his company were invited to the 2006 Earth Celebration – a three day pilgrimage to Sado Island, Japan – home of the Drummers and site of this annual celebration. The collaboration and melding of the two companies drew record crowds and Tamango was invited to return in 2007 for their 20th Anniversary and collaborate with artists throughout the world. Another recent project, Stepping Out, was a co-production of Urban Tap and the International Dance Festival Ireland. This project brought together traditional Irish musicians (fiddle, accordion, guitar) and a sean nos step dancer, Seosamh O’Neactain from the Connomara territory with a bongo player from Haiti, a jazz trumpeter from Italy and Tamango. For a week of collaboration leading into 3 sold out performances, the group closed the annual festival in Dublin with great success.

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

Baakari Wilder (Teacher) is internationally known for starring in the Broadway musical Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk where he received a Bessie Award for his performance. His dancing has delighted audiences in places such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, France, Africa, Germany, Japan, and Russia. He appeared in Spike Lee's Bamboozled, and Discovery Channel’s “Time Warp”.  Baakari has a BA degree in theatre from the University of Maryland at College Park. He is assistant artistic director of the Washington D.C. based company “Capitol Tap”. Baakari has been recently named the 2014 Pola Nirenska Award recipient for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.