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Tap City Faculty & Staff

Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley (Teacher) 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.

Megan Bartula (Teacher) Born and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Megan Bartula stepped into her first dance class at the age of 4.  A tap enthusiast from the start, her early beginnings soon spread to include intensive training in ballet and jazz at Deborah's Stage Door Center for the Performing Arts, where she spent 10 years as a member of their national award-winning competition team.  While completing a liberal arts degree at the University of Michigan, Megan was an executive member, dancer, and choreographer for the Michigan Rhythm Tap Ensemble. 

 

Megan moved to New York in 2008 and has since worked with such legendary tap choreographers as Derick K. Grant, Lynn Schwab, Ray Hesselink and Lisa La Touche, and is currently a member of Bessie Award winner Michelle Dorrance’s company Dorrance Dance.  Recent performance credits include Inside/Out at Jacob’s Pillow, Chicago’s Harris Theater, Motor City Movement and NYC’s Summer Stage.  Megan has also served as dance captain on numerous projects, can often be found assisting Derick Grant at tap festivals around the country, and continues to train, perform and teach in New York City and in the Midwest.

Christopher Broughton (Teacher) Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Christopher Broughton began dancing at the age of 12 and never looked back. Under the instruction of Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance, he immediately became a member of the Kennedy Tap company, world renowned and responsible for such tap greats as Derick Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, the latter of which he had the pleasure of performing as cast mates in his first Tony, Astaire and Drama Desk Award winning Broadway show After Midnight. Broughton's dancing has also led to National recognition with the NAACP ACT-SO Award not once, but twice. An an instructor, performer and choreographer, his art has taken him everywhere from St. Louis and Washington D.C. to Brazil, Finland, Cuba, Italy, Germany and beyond. 

In 2007, hardship struck Broughton's life when he spent over a year recovering from three gunshot wounds to the left leg. He has very much returned at the peak of his game. Since his triumph,  Broughton has performed and toured the world with such greats as Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold, R&B singer MYA and Ted Levy. Company work has included national and international tours at pretigious venues with Dorrance Dance,  Rasta Thomas’ Tap Stars, Jason Samuels Smith's A.C.G.I. and Magic Of The Dance; as well as participating in both acclaimed runs of The Cotton Club Parade at NY City Center. Christopher’s athletic choreography, courage and charisma are currently in the highest demand and he tours worldwide as a featured soloist, instructor and coach. Christopher Broughton owes his sincerest gratitude to his sister Chantel Heath, who introduced him to the world of dance, Tonie Nicholas, son of the legendary Fayard Nicholas, and Paul and Arlene Kennedy; without whom, he wouldn't be where he is today. 

Brenda Bufalino (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) 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

Ayodele Casel (2017 Hoofer Award Recipient, Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) is a native New Yorker and has worked professionally as an actor and tap dancer for nearly two decades. She began her professional training at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is also a graduate of The William Esper Studio in NYC, having studied directly with the masterful William Esper.

Hailed by the legendary Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world,” Casel has been creating and presenting her own work since 1999 and adds Spoleto Festival USA to her list of eager recipients this season in her World Premiere.

Ms. Casel’s television and film credits include “Third Watch,” “Law and Order”, “The Jamie Foxx Show”, “Bojangles”, “Savion Glover’s Nu York”. Ayodele originated the role of Yvonne in Nelsan Ellis’ heart-wrenching play “UGLy” to great reviews at NYC’s Fringe Festival and Santa Monica Playhouse. She also originated the role of “The Doll” in Derick Grant’s “Imagine Tap!” which premiered at The Harris Theater in Chicago. Ayodele currently serves on the Artist Board for New York City Center’s Encores! Under the artistic direction of Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori.

She has earned her commissions from Aaron Davis Hall/Harlem Stage and the Apollo’s Salon Series, where she presented “Diary of a Tap Dancer”. She was also selected by acclaimed composer Rob Kapilow to collaborate on a Tap dance concerto which premiered at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Ayodele co-choreographed “Tap Into Peace”; a show with the incredible music of Stevie Wonder as its inspiration and soundtrack. The show has been presented at NY City Center’s Fall for Dance and Playhouse Square in Cleveland.

She has performed at New York City Center, The White House, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and Off-Broadway in Savion Glover’s Downtown: Live Communication. Ms. Casel also choreographed and was featured on PBS’ “Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty”. She has been creating and presenting her own works since 1999 in venues that include The Apollo, New York City Center, Aaron Davis Hall/The Gatehouse, The Lisner Auditorium, Lincoln Center “Out of Doors”, Symphony Space, Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop, The Triad Theater and Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater.

Ms. Casel has appeared on the cover of Dance Spirit, American Theater Magazine, The Village Voice and has been featured in many other magazine articles. She has worked and performed with the greatest tap dancers and companies including the late great Gregory Hines, Jazz Tap Ensemble, American Tap Dance Orchestra and Savion Glover as the only female in his company N.Y.O.T.s. (Not Your Ordinary Tappers). Her work has been presented nationally and internationally and she continues striving to make Tap Dancing a relevant presence in the arts.

Ayodele, also a Capezio Athlete, was featured alongside Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff in Off-Center Encores! Jamboree! at New York City Center and performed her work “While I Have The Floor” at City Center’s Fall for Dance this Fall. She was most recently seen performing at the St. James Theater in NYC for a “Broadway For Hillary” Fundraiser with Michael Mayer as director. She is on faculty at A BroaderWay, LA Dance Magic, and Marymount Manhattan College. She is the co-director of Original Tap House and Operation:Tap.

Barbara Duffy (Teacher) Barbara' s 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 OutofDoors, NYC, the University of Richmond , the Tanz Haus Theatre in Dusseldorf, Germany, Jacob’s Pillow and with Tony Waag’s 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 Foundation’s prestigious “ Hoofer Award “ in July, 2013 and National Tap Day Committee’s “ FloBert Award” in May, 2015.


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.

Photo: Julie Lemberger

Mercedes Ellington (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) Juilliard graduate; choreographed ten companies of Play On!, from San Diego's Old Globe Theater to Broadway, and PBS's Great Performances; Choreographed Ambassador Satch, starring André De Shields, Prince Theater, Philadelphia, Helen Hayes Theater, Nyack, New York and The Performing Arts Center, White Plains; choreographer of segments of CTFD Galas 2004 and 2002, at City Center. Directed/staged/produced, Society of Singers-East, Louis Armstrong Award to Bobby Short at The Pierre; directed and staged 2001 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Tribute to the Spirit of Harlem; directed: Four Women and Cotton Club Rhapsody at Club La Mama; choreographed/directed Mood Ellington featuring André De Shields; appeared in several segments of Ken Burns' TV documentary, Jazz ; profiled by Dr. Billy Taylor on CBS Sunday Morning; choreographed sixteen productions at the St. Louis MUNY; artistic director, BalleTap,USA, aka DancEllington, Inc.(1982-1992); directed/choreographed Cotton Club Rhapsody at Club La MaMa; hostess of the Swedish Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall and Sweden; workshop program: Home To Harlem, for Radio City Music Hall Rockettes; choreographer/performer: Lincoln Center's Reel To Real Series: Story T'Ellington; choreographer: Yankee Doodle Boys; Carnegie Hall debut: 1999; Metropolitan Opera House debut: 2002; New York City Opera debut: 1977; choreographer: George M, for Gay Pride Series; choreographer: Queen Esther Morrow's Walk Tall Gospel Show- European Tour 2002-2003; Harlem Gospel Singers European Tour 2003-2004; director/choreographer for In Mahalia's Light, Passage Theater, Trenton, NJ; director/musical staging, In A Miller/ Basie Mood, at the Lucille Lortel Theater, NYC; choreographer: Talk of The Town, Bank Street Theater, NYC; choreographer: Crowns, St. Louis Rep and Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park; Crowns, for Arizona Theater Company etc.;serves on the Boards of Career Transition For Dancers, Society of Singers- East, The Martha Hill Foundation, The New Jersey Tap Ensemble, Board of Governors Friars Club. April 2003, awarded an honorary citizenship of Paris. She is currently serving on the TONY nominating committee.

Felipe Galganni (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) 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
Follow:  Instagram: @galganni - FB : fb.com/galgannitap - Twitter: @FelipeGalganni

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.

Ryan Johnson (Teacher), named a “virtuosic tapper” by The Washington Post is a Baltimore, Maryland native that began dancing under the direction of his mother Vanessa Jac...kson Johnson at Turn Out Performing Arts Center. He continued to develop his passion for dance at Mary Slater’s Dance Studio in Annapolis, Maryland. He is a well-known national and international performer that has been called “purely amazing” by Septime Weber, Artist Director of The Washington Ballet.

At the age of twenty-five Johnson co-created SOLE Defined, an award-winning production that takes an exciting twist on theater and percussive dance by creating a free flowing conversation through movement and music. The Washington Post has noted Sole Defined as performing “the coolest number of the night with its high-stepping and toe tapping blend of styles.”

Johnson's achievements include being cited for his choreography and solo dance performances, receiving a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2008, being the 2010 award winner of the DC Metro Dance Awards: Outstanding Solo Performance, and being a finalist for the Emerging Artist Award. Johnson has performed in Cirque Du Soleil, STOMP, Step Afrika!, and The Washington Ballet's “The Great Gatsby” as a their resident tap dancer. He was also the lead choreographer for the 2010 Season Premier of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, in Baltimore, MD where he created a Step Extravaganza. He has premiered new works at the International Body Music Festival in Brazil, New York City Tap Festival: Tap International, and Cirque Du Soleil with The Nevada Ballet's "A Chorographers’ Showcase" in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review Journal wrote “Urban Jungle: The Village, by Ryan Johnson of The Beatles LOVE, is a burst of pure feeling, the most infectious entry of the program.”

Johnson has performed on stages across the world including the United States, South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco, South America, Canada, and South East Asia. He is currently performing with The Beatles LOVE by Cirque Du Soleil, in Las Vegas, NV.

Lisa LaTouche (Teacher) 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.

Deborah Mitchell (Teacher) proudly celebrates 23 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.

Max Pollak (Teacher),a prestigious name on the international tap and world music scene, is the only non-Cuban member of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Cuba’s famous Rumba ambassadors. A Hoofer Award winner, Bessie Award nominee, NYFA Choreography Fellow, critics and peers worldwide acknowledge his superior musicianship and his highly individual style called “RumbaTap” - a pioneering blend of Afro-Cuban song and dance with American tap and body music.

 

His innovative a cappella vocal arrangements received critical praise in The New York Times. Originator of Cuba’s first tap festival, he has been teaching and performing there since 1998. Among others, he worked with Gregory Hines, Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, Chucho Valdés, Lila Downs, Ray Brown, Phil Woods, Paquito D’Rivera, Heather Cornell, Manhattan Tap, Tamango, Roxane Butterfly, Rod Ferrone.

He has performed as soloist with members of the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonic, London and Montreal Symphony, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons Du Roy and more. Many internationally acclaimed composers have written orchestral works expressly for him. He is a recording artist, published writer, Sarah Lawrence College faculty, and artist-in-residence at American Tap Dance Foundation. He also makes a great Apfelstrudel... www.mxpllk.com

Claudia Rahardjanoto (Teacher) 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.

Sarah Reich (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) 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, (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.

Germaine Salsburg (Teacher) began her career as a child actress, appearing on radio and television in her native Canada. After 10 years as a modern dancer with the Toronto Dance Theatre touring throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe, she discovered tap dancing. She has been on the faculty of Broadway Dance Center for over 20 years, as well as Steps on Broadway, Germaine teaches anyone from Broadway professionals to people who "just love to tap." She teaches at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Ed And Marymount Manhatten College.

She has taught at Cap 21 and Pace University as well as throughout the US and internationally. She has gained a reputation for teaching a strong foundation of technique through rhythm elements that will carry into any area of tap dance. She assisted Tony Award Winner Danny Daniels for Broadway and National tours of "Tap Dance Kid" and has privately coached many actors including Liza Minnelli for the movie "Steppin Out." Germaine has choreographed such regional musical theater productions as 42nd Street, Anything Goes, George M!, Crazy For You, and Dames at Sea. She has performed tap in Edmonton's Fringe Festival, with the Jazz Tap Center on tour, as well as at Tap City in New York, and the Boston Tap Festival.  

After years of helping others to find technique and self expression through tap dance, she has entered her own journey of self discovery through choreography with her company, Les Femmes. Les Femmes have performed in colleges, street fairs, at Tap City and at the 92nd St Y. They "delight" audiences with dances that tell stories and converse with wit and irony.

Lynn Schwab (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) 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.

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).

Caleb Teicher (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) is a NYC-based dancer/choreographer. A 2011 Bessie Award Winner for Outstanding Individual Performance and one of Dance Magazine’s 2012 “25 to Watch”, his favorite performance credits include Dorrance Dance (founding company member!), The Chase Brock Experience, Syncopated City Dance Company West Side Story Int’l Tour, Irma La Douce at City Center Encores, A Shared Evening (Michelle Dorrance & Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards), and many others. Currently an artist-in-residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation and CUNY Queens College, he creates and presents work under the banner of Caleb Teicher & Company. Caleb also works as the Associate Choreographer to Chase Brock on theatrical productions (Gigantic Off-B’way, Be More Chill at Two River Theater, and the upcoming Golden Lotus for Broadway Asia), and he has been a guest instructor at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, The Juilliard School, and many other festivals and institutions. www.CalebTeicher.net 

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. In 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. www.tonywaag.org - Photo by Lois Greenfield

Sam Weber (2017 Hoofer Award Recipient, Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed performing artist, master teacher and choreographer who regularly appears throughout the world.   A protege of Stan Kahn in San Francisco, Sam Weber has appeared with such tap legends as Charles "Honi" Coles, Steve Condos, Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines and the Nicholas Brothers.  Sam's versatility has led him to performances in musical theater and television, where he has worked with such stars as Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Pat Boone and Sara Vaughn.  Sam co-starred in the award-winning German short film "Zwei Im Frack," directed by Christian Stahl in September, 2000.  Sam has also performed with the San Francisco Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theatre and Smuin Ballets/SF.  Sam Weber was frequently seen on PBS's "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" television show and is featured in the documentary "Juba! Masters of Percussive Dance" on Public Television. 

  

Sam is one of the few tap dancers in the world currently performing Morton Gould's "Tap Dance Concerto" and was the first tap dancer to receive a "Bessie" award, presented in New York City in 1993 in recognition of outstanding creative achievement.  In addition to his solo tap dancing career, Sam has toured internationally since 1986 as a principal dancer and choreographer with the Jazz Tap Ensemble. 
  

Sam Weber has performed and taught at tap dance workshops and festivals worldwide.  These have included the Chicago Human Rhythm Project as well as tap festivals in Boulder, CO, Portland, OR, St. Louis, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, B.C., Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Boston, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague, Kiev, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Wuerzburg, Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Duesseldorf, Zurich, Helsinki, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Rio De Janeiro, San Antonio, TX, Gainesville, FL and the San Francisco Tap Festival. Sam has taught in the dance departments of UCLA, Cal State University, L.A., Long Beach City College, Cal State Fullerton and San Francisco State University. Sam appears as guest artist in residence with Sierra Nevada Ballet www.sierranevadaballet.com. Sam Weber frequently performs the work of German composer/violinist/tap dancer Andreas Daenel.  The two dancers have performed Daenel's compositions for tap dancers and orchestra "Kontralog" and "SignADiapunktur," which premiered in the U.S. with the San Francisco Bay Area's Peninsula Symphony Orchestra in 2005. Sam is the recipient of several awards, including the "Legacy Award," from San Antonio's "Third Coast Rhythm Project," for his work as a teacher and performer. He has received the San Francisco Bay Area Tap Festival's "Giant Steps" award for his lifelong contribution to the development of tap dance in the Bay Area, and he has also received the prestigious "Juba" award from the Chicago Human Rhythm Project in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the art of tap dance. 

Joseph Wiggan (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) is a native of Los Angeles where he began tap dance with Paul and Arlene Kennedy at the age of nine. At age 10, as a member of the Kennedy Tap Company, he began traveling throughout the states and other countries performing in a diverse spectrum of shows. Joseph then joined the Jazz Tap Ensemble, and later became a member of Jason Samuels Smith's tap company, A.C.G.I. Joseph has appeared as a performer and teacher in many tap and jazz dance festivals in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Stockholm, Sweden, Berlin, Germany, St. Petersburg, Russia, Paris, France, Tokyo, Japan, Vilnius, Lithuania, and Barcelona, Spain to name a few. Joseph is a 2003 Spotlight Award winner, 2004 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and winner of the 2005 Princess Grace-USA Award for outstanding artistic achievement. Joseph performed in the 2006 tap dance musical Imagine Tap!, choreographed by Derick K. Grant, and toured two years in France and abroad in the parisian production of Looking for Josephine, directed by Jerome Savary. He has since performed in concert as a featured guest with Orlando Poleo, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Strickland, and Wynton Marsalis. Joseph works in a tap duo act, The Double J's, with his older sister Josette, recently in Cirque du Soleil's Banana Shpeel, and Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. Joseph was accepted to the New School for Jazz and Contemporary music as a tap dancer, and hopes that other tap dancers will apply to university jazz programs worldwide.
Josette Wiggan (Teacher & Performer in Tap Ellington) began dancing at age 12, studying with Pau & Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance Designs in L.A. She was a member of Caravan Project performing extensively in L.A. She was the first tap dancer to win the coveted 2001 Spotlight Award at L.A.’s Music Center. She toured in the national cast of 42nd Street and then graduated from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures/Dance. She debuted with the Ensemble in NY, 2004 (disc 2) and toured to France that same year. She was in the original cast of American TAP Masterpieces, contributing a stunning solo tribute to Eleanor Powell. Josette now has a long career in Cirque du Soleil and currently tours in the Michael Jackson tribute.
Karen Callaway Williams (Teacher) is known for being both the first African-American female tap dancer and dance captain in RIVERDANCE - THE SHOW and the only African-American female tap dancer and dance captain in RIVERDANCE - ON BROADWAY. Other Broadway credits include the Tony Award nominated Duke Ellington musical PLAY ON.  She is currently featured on the cover of Flow Magazine and in the wonderful current documentary BEEN RICH ALL MY LIFE the story of the Silver Belles, having now received the honor of being a Second Generation Silver Belle. Karen has toured extensively having recently returned from Zurich Switzerland for the Zurich Tap Festival, The United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain) with the Duke Ellington Big Band, Armenia and Romania with TAP CITY ON TOUR through the Unites States Embassy, the ALL THAT TAP TAIPEI festival in Taiwan, on Canadian soil with TAP GIANTS and Tap TEL AVIV and in Beijing, China, Canada and North America with the RIVERDANCE Flying Squad and RIVERDANCE, Boyne Company. She was a featured tap solo artist with the Detroit, Toronto and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras and in ALL THAT JAZZ and the BSO HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In addition she was a soloist and special guest choreographer for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. In addition to performing, Ms. Williams has established herself as a prominent tap instructor teaching statewide on a weekly basis.