LANE ALEXANDER

Lane Alexander – choreographer, teacher, performer and percussive dance advocate – co-founded and directs the Chicago Human Rhythm Project – the oldest and most comprehensive festival of American tap in the US – and the American Rhythm Center – a shared, dance/arts incubator in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building. Lane has performed Morton Gould’s Tap Dance Concerto at Carnegie Hall, The Royal Festival Hall in London, Avery Fisher Hall and with orchestras around the world. Lane curated and directed the historic, first-ever tap concert on a major stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and co-directed the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance. He has received an NEA American Masterpieces Award through the Illinois Arts Council, two Ruth Page Awards for Service to the Field and Outstanding Solo Performance, the North Texas Dance Council’s Buster Cooper Tap Legend Award, Rhapsody in Taps Tap Legacy Award, Third Coast Rhythm Project’s Service to the Field Award and the Tommy Sutton Legacy Award among others. Lane served on Rahm Emanuel’s cultural policy team which helped to develop Chicago’s Cultural Plan and has been recognized as a Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, as a Creative Spirit Fellow by the Chicago Cultural Mile and three times as one of Chicago’s 50 Cultural Leaders by New City.

LISA LA TOUCHE

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Lisa’s recent credit includes original cast member of SHUFFLE ALONG on Broadway choreographed by Savion Glover and directed by George C. Wolfe. With the cast she was appeared at the 70th annual TONY Awards and Maya & Marty on NBC and became recipient of the Fred Astaire award for “Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway show” and the A.C.C.A. Actor’s Equity Award for “Outstanding Broadway Chorus”. She appears as a principal dancer in an episode of Amazon’s Original TV series Z- The Beginning of Everything starring Christina Ricci, Directed by Shane Black and choreography by John Carrafa. Previous highlights have also included touring with Savion Glover productions in STEPZ, and also performing in both New York’s Off-Broadway and the North American touring casts of STOMP. She was also in the original ensemble of Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards “Sophisticated Ladies” where they performed weekly at The Cotton Club in Harlem and also a member of Jason Samuel Smith’s company A.C.G.I. Lisa has performed, choreographed and taught world wide on various independent projects and was also faculty member of the School of Jacob’s pillow under the direction of her mentor Dianne Walker. She appears as guest faculty at Broadway Dance Center in New York City and loves sharing her passion within eager up and coming professionals of all ages. She is currently continuing her studies in acting at both Matthew Newton and Susan Batson Studios, and works with vocal coaches Shelton Becton and Susan Eichborn Young. She believes whole heartedly that we are all to trust and follow our inspirations and welcome a journey of unlimited opportunities. www.lisalatouche.com

SARAH SAVELLI

Sarah Credits Her Exceptional Mother, Dianne, For Her Love Of Dance And Early Training In Northeast Ohio. After Relocating To Chicago, She Served As Dancer/Co-Choreographer And Then Eventually As Artistic Director For Rhythm ISS…, An All-Female, Chicago-Based Tap Company She Co-Founded In 1995 With Idella Reed-Davis And Sharon Rushing. She Was Featured In The PBS Documentary “Juba! The Masters Of Tap And Percussive Dance”, And Has Taught And Performed Extensively Throughout The Country As A Soloist And As A Member Of Several Different Tap Companies, Including Manhattan Tap, Especially Tap Chicago, And Roxane Butterfly’s “Beauteez And The Beat”.

In 2006, Sarah Co-Founded Tandem Act Productions With Ayodele Casel And Created Multiple Critically Acclaimed Tap Performances And Workshops. Sarah Was Also Commissioned Three Times To Create, Choreograph And Present Her Original Work, “Tap In2 Peace”, By PlayhouseSquare In Cleveland, And Is Currently The Director Of Three Tap Crews, Located In Cleveland, Detroit, And Chicago. She Is Also Thrilled To Be Performing With Savion Glover In His Newest Show, “Stepz” Which Is Touring The U.S. After A Fantastic Three Week Run At The Joyce Theater In NYC.

MARTIN “TRE” DUMAS

“Tre” Dumas Is A Tap Dancer And Choreographer From Chicago, IL. Mr. Dumas Received Most Of His Early Dance Training And His First Teaching Experience At Tommy Sutton’s Mayfair Academy Of Fine Arts On Chicago’s South Side. He’s A Graduate Of Clark Atlanta University With A B.A. In Mass Media Arts With A Concentration In Speech And Theatre Arts.

Since 1995 He’s Taught And Performed Regularly At Various Festivals Including The Chicago Human Rhythm Project, The L.A. Tap Fest, The St. Louis Tap Festival, Maui Tap Experience, Detroit Tap Festival, Third Coast Rhythm Project, Calgary Tap Summit, Chicago Tap Summit (Which He Co-Founded), North Carolina Rhythm Tap Festival, Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival And Columbus Taps Among Others.

From 1998 Through 2000, Mr. Dumas Was Featured In The North American And European Tours Of “Riverdance”. In 2001 Mr. Dumas Partnered With Bril Barrett To Create M.A.D.D Rhythms, And The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy From September 2001-February 2002, Mr. Dumas Lived In Stuttgart, Germany, Creating An All Ages/All Levels Tap Program At The New York City Dance School, And Performing At Jazz And R&B Clubs By Night.

In 2004 He Performed Duke Ellington’s Classic, “David Danced” (Originally Danced By Dr. Bunny Briggs) With Bill Russo, Orbert Davis And The Chicago Jazz Ensemble. In The Summer Of 2006, He Portrayed A Fiery Tap Dancing Preacher In The Vignette “Dance Like David” In Director/Choreographer Derick Grant’s “Imagine Tap”, And Co-Starred W/Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards In The Critically Acclaimed Independent Film “The Rise And Fall Of Miss Thang”.  He Was Also Seen On The Only Aired Episode Of Secret Talents Of The Stars Dancing With R&B Songstress Turned Tap Dancer, Mya.

In 2007, Mr. Dumas Stepped Down From His Position As M.A.D.D. Rhythms Co-Artistic And Technical Director And Also Became A Member Of Jason Samuels Smith’s ACGI. Shortly Thereafter, He Created Chicago’s Newest Professional Tap Ensemble, Jus’LisTeN. Most Recently, Mr. Dumas Accepted A Position As An Associate Director With The Chicago Human Rhythm Project. He’s Taught And Performed Extensively Throughout The U.S., Canada And Germany As Well As Other Parts Of Europe, And South America.  In October 2011, Mr. Dumas Proudly Debuted His First Full Production Featuring Jus’LisTeN Entitled, “Tap Like Water” As Part Of The Annual Dance Chicago Performance Series.

Aside From His Beautiful Daughter, Lauren, His Greatest Joy Lies In Dancing And Sharing His Love And Knowledge Of His Art Form With Others And Receiving The Same As Well.

JAY FAGAN

Jay Fagan Hails From Chicago, And Is Amongst The Most Sought After Artists In The Industry Today.  Entering His Third Decade Of International Dance Experience, His Mastery Of Rhythm Tap Has Been Performed, Taught, And Choreographed. After Completing Two Years With OKCU In Its Artist In Residency Program, Mr. Fagan Is Once Again Touring With Festivals, Workshops, And Conventions.

Technically, He Has Been Trained By The Very Best Tap Dancers In The Business Including, Gregory Hines, Henry LaTang, Sam Weber And Savion Glover. He Has Shared The Stage With, Dianne Walker, Lane Alexander, Acia Gray, Barbara Phillips, Ayodele Casel, And Sarah Savelli To Name A Few. His Polished Performances Have Been Seen By The President Of The United States, At The Kupio Dance Festival In Finland, Trump Plaza In Atlantic City, Canada’s Windsor Casino Showroom, And Las Vegas’ Flamingo, Luxor And Suncoast Hotels.

Beyond His Mastery Of Tap, He Has Studied All Mediums Of Dance Including, Jazz, Modern And Ballet. His Choreographic Works Have Consistently And Always Placed Within All Top Ranking National Competitions. He Has Worked With DEA (Dance Educators Of America), DMA (Dance Masters Of America), CNADM (Chicago National Association Of Dance Masters),  Dance Olympus, Starquest, The Kansas Tap Festival, Southeast Tap Explosion, Chicago Dance Connection, Third Coast Rhythm Project And The Chicago Human Rhythm Project.

A Recipient Of Both The Presidential Scholar Award And The American Dance Award, Jay Has Also Developed And Choreographed A Unique New Brother/Sister Novelty Act “SIBLING RIVALRY”. Fagan Takes A Back Seat When Presenting The Duo On Stage. The Act Has Performed At Chicago’s Famed Drury Lane Theater To Sell Out, Standing Ovation Crowds, As Well As Numerous Showrooms In Las Vegas.

NICOLE HOCKENBERRY

Nicole B. Hockenberry, a PA native, has been tap dancing professionally for over 20 years. Nicole became a performing member of A&G Dance in 1991, under the Artistic Direction of Germaine Salsberg and Manhattan Tap in 1992, under the Artistic Direction of Heather Cornell.

As the founder and director of T.A.P. (1995-2006 & 2013-ongoing), Nicole has been asked to teach and perform with the New York Foundation for the Arts, the St. Louis Tap Festival, Soul to Sole (Austin, TX), Columbus Taps, Third Coast Rhythm Project (San Antonio, TX), Southeastern Tap Explosion (Atlanta, GA), Everything on Tap! (Dallas, TX), Traditions in Tap (New York City), Tap Jam (Albuquerque, NM), Chicago Human Rhythm Project, The Big Apple Tap Festival, SoFlo Tap Fest and Tap City: The New York Tap Festival.

Nicole’s choreography has been commissioned by tap companies throughout the country, including RPM (San Antonio, TX), Tap Ties (Allentown, PA) and In Motion (Chester, NJ). Nicole joined Germaine Ingram, tap partner to La Vaughn Robinson, for performances in the Philadelphia DanceBoom! Series in 2005, held at the famous WILMA Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. Nicole was a founding member of the women’s tap trio, The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers, under the Artistic Direction of Shelley Oliver and the Musical Direction of David Leonhardt from 1997 – 2002. Nicole is a featured speaker and performer on behalf of Dr. James ‘Buster’ Brown, in the Doctors of Dance Documentary filmed in February 2002, at Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma.

Nicole spent twelve years as an adjunct professor of Dance at Cedar Crest College (Allentown, PA) and three years a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA), teaching tap courses involving Musical Structure, Tap History and Improvisation as well as directing both the Cedar Crest and UArts Tap Ensembles. Currently, Nicole is a part-time Lecturer of Tap in the Dance Department of Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA) and runs the MCDC Tap program.

In 2013, TAP – Teach All People was recreated by Nicole and her husband Mark. TAP produces a Fall TAP Workshop & a summer event, TAP Fest. TAP’s events have included such world renowned tap artists as Nicole Hockenberry, Dianne Walker, Jimmy Tate, Lisa Hopkins, Martin Tre Dumas, Lisa La Touche, Derick Grant and Karissa Royster.

Nicole, along with her husband Mark and children Julia and Alan, make their home in Eastern Pennsylvania and are also the proud owners of Crafty Nicole, (www.craftynicole.com), an online custom designed, clay charm & pendant business.

BARBARA PHILLIPS

Dancer, teacher, choreographer and producer, Barbara is the founder/ director of Third Coast Rhythm Project, now celebrating their 20th season. She has appeared as a guest artist with Especially Tap Chicago, Soul to Sole Festival in Austin, “Everything on Tap” in Dallas, Hoofin Ground Festival in Charlotte, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Summer Festival, “The Legacy Tap Project”, Rhythm Body and Soul in Calgary AB, and in the live concert series of “JUBA” Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance with Mr. Lane Alexander.
Barbara is artistic director of R.P.M. ( Rhythm.Percussion.Motion ) Youth Tap Ensemble, teaches and heads the tap program at Third Coast Rhythm Project’s Tap Academy in San Antonio, and teaches as a faculty member and guest artist in both public and private dance institutions. She is the producer and artistic director of Third Coast Rhythm Project’s Annual Summer Tap Festival, bringing together world class artists and musicians to San Antonio in a rhythm packed 4 day educational program.

Barbara is dedicated to sharing the joy of tap dancing with the adult community, passing it on to the next generation, mentoring young dancers through accessible programming, scholarship opportunities, community outreach, concert performances and collaborations within the extended dance community.
Barbara was recognized by San Antonio Women magazine as San Antonio’s first lady of tap, is the recipient of the 2009 Texas Tap Legend award by the Dallas Dance Council for her contribution to the art form, artistic and educational achievement and service to the tap community, and honored at Space City Tap Fest for her outstanding contribution to the Texas Tap Community.

KARISSA ROYSTER

Karissa Royster began studying tap dancing when she joined RPM Tap Ensemble under the direction of Barbara Phillips in 2006. Originally from San Antonio, Karissa is a recent graduate of NYU, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and was a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar. While in New York, Karissa had the opportunity to dance with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards’ “Sophisticated Ladies” at Harlem’s historic Cotton Club and also appeared at Brooklyn Dance Festival as part of Jason Samuels Smith’s A.C.G.I. Tap Company. This past year, she performed in Savion Glover’s “STePz” in Charlotte, NC.

In April 2016, she made her Broadway debut as the Dance Captain and as a member of the dance ensemble in Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 & All That Followed, choreographed by Savion Glover and directed by George C. Wolfe. Karissa performed at the 70th Annual Tony Awards with the company of Shuffle Along, nominated for Best Musical and Best Choreography, as well as on ABC’s broadcast of “Taking the Stage: Changing America”, in which she had the honor of performing with Savion Glover and fellow cast members for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. She is passionate about preserving, sharing, and being a student of the Dance as well as exploring tap dance’s roots in American history.

Karissa is endlessly thankful to her mother and father for supporting her artistic endeavors, and to her many incredible teachers – Barbara Phillips, Derick Grant, and Marshall Davis, Jr., amongst others – for their generosity in dance education.

DERICK K GRANT

Derick K. Grant (Performer, Choreographer, Director) has an established career that spans over three decades. Under the direction of two time Tony Award winning director George C. Wolfe, he was an original company member and Dance Captain for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk at both The Public Theater and on Broadway and also starred in the role of ‘da beat for the first National Tour of Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. He created the critically acclaimed show Imagine Tap! and was appointed as the Co-Artistic Director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Summer Festival.

Mr. Grant was the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artist, The Helen Hayes Award (Washington D.C.) for Outstanding Featured Actor as well as two additional for his role in Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. Grant has received a Princess Grace Award, two Ovation Awards (Best Choreographer and Best Ensemble Performance), and a Lester Horton Dance Award.

Choreography and performance credits also include The Apollo Theatre’s Get On The Good Foot (James Brown Tribute) local and national tour; The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ AFRICAN ODYSSEY program (EXPRESIONES LATINAS Festival); Opening number for Daniela Mercury with Brazilian artist Nego Gato; The Aaron Davis Hall Black History Month Celebration; The Queens Symphony Opera’s DUKE ELLINGTON CONCERT, Ann Arbor’s ARTS FESTIVAL; The Embassy in Portugal; THE CONNECTICUT BALLET COMPANY’s celebration of MEN IN DANCE with Brett Raphael; and as a special guest artist with The Jazz Tap Ensemble. Mr. Grant’s own production of the history of tap, A NIGHT OUT: TAP! toured the country successfully for three months. Mr. Grant also joined Mr. in Yonkers, NY, Vermont and Boston. He also appeared with violinist Sa-Idah for a tribute commemorating The Colonial African Heritage’s African Burial Ground Reinterment produced by the Schomburg Center.

In an effort to celebrate, nurture and cultivate the future of the art form of tap, Mr. Grant continues to teach locally as a faculty member at Steps On Broadway and at venues worldwide, offering group and private instruction as well as lecture demonstrations. He is currently the national tap spokesperson for So Danca.

Derick K. Grant’s dancing has been described as having “gusts of rhythm propel him with remarkable velocity” (Jack Anderson, The New York Times).

 

MAX POLLAK

Max Pollak is a 2011 Hoofer Award Winner, 2011 Bessie Award nominee, 2010 Individual Artist Grantee of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and 2008 fellow in Choreography from the New York Foundation of the Arts. He is one of the most prestigious names on the international tap scene today. He is recognized worldwide for his superior musicianship and his highly individual style as the first person to merge authentic Afro-Cuban music and dance with American rhythm tap and body music to create RumbaTap. His original a-cappella vocal arrangements have been hailed by the NY Times , his work with classical composers, symphonic and chamber orchestras is unique in the world.

Originator of Cuba’s first tap festival, he has been teaching and performing there since 1998, and has worked with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Cuba’s top Rumba group, Chucho Valdés, Lila Downs and jazz legends Ray Brown, Phil Woods, Gregory Hines, Paquito D’Rivera, Slide Hampton and Danilo Perez. He toured with Cyro Baptista’s percussion ensemble Beat The Donkey, Manhattan Tap, Urban Tap, Rennie Harris Pure Movement, Feet 2 The Beat, Roxane Butterfly, Grupo Los Santos and more…

He is also recognized for making European and South American classical music more accessible by playing with classical ensembles in prestigious venues like Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Musikverein, Schleswig Holstein Musik Fest, Orford Festival, Musique de Chambre a Giverny, Havana’s Teatro Nacional and Teatro Amadeo Roldan. He has performed with members of the Vienna Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy as well as the Duluth Superior and Plano Symphony Orchestras.

On faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, he travels the world with his group RumbaTap and is about to release his first CD recording.

 

MARK RUBINSTEIN

Mark Rubinstein’s wide range of interests, his insatiable curiosity, and the unusual scope of his abilities have combined to generate a unique and diverse musical career.  Mark’s main instrument is piano, but he has played drums in punk bands, electric bass in salsa groups, and accordion in settings ranging from symphony orchestras to avant-garde theatre pieces.  His interest in ethnic music has led him to seek out performance opportunities in Greek, French, German, Italian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Brazilian, and traditional Jewish music.  Mr. Rubinstein’s work as a recording engineer has led to Grammy nominations and platinum records for his clients, and his productions are noted for their clarity of sound and attention to detail.  Career highlights include: music direction for the recent production of “The Blue Flower” by American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, as well as an earlier production by Prospect Theater Company in New York; music direction for regional tap dance festivals “Soul To Sole” in Austin, TX and “Third Coast Tap Festival/Jazz on Tap” in San Antonio, TX; performances (on piano) with legendary jazz flutist Herbie Mann, seminal jazz bassist Eddie Gomez, saxophonist Bunky Green, and legendary tap dancers Arthur Duncan, Dianne Walker, and Sarah Petronio; European tours with noted songwriters Dirk Hamilton and George Carver; membership in influential early Texas punk band The Rejects; and recordings (as engineer) with many noted artists including: Grover Washington, Jr., Shirley Horn, Cher, Liza Minelli, Judy Collins, Najee, Gerald Levert, Scarface, George Duke, Bobby Womack, Backstreet Boys, and Natalie Cole.

Mark is currently the Audio Engineer for School of Music at The Ohio State University, where he teaches classes in audio recording, oversees recording activities for the school, and collaborates in the development of curriculum for the Music, Media, and Enterprise program.

Mr. Rubinstein assumed the presidency of the Musicians’ Society of San Antonio, Local 23, American Federation of Musicians in January 2009. He is a voting member of NARAS and a member of AES.

In November 2008, Mark attained Digidesign certification as a Pro Tools HD Music Expert, one of fewer than 100 in the world at present. He also holds Digidesign Pro Tools HD Operator and VENUE Operator certifications.

JIM KALSON

Jim Has Been A Professional Bass Player Since The Age Of Thirteen.  Early In His Career, He Was A Member Of The Kalson Family Band That Toured The Country.  They Were Managed And Booked By The Lavender Blake Agency And Shared The Stage With Artists Such As George Jones, Tammy Wynette, The Statler Brothers And Ronnie Milsap, To Name A Few.Jim Started His Solo Career At 18, And Has Been Playing Jazz And Contemporary Pop Music Since.  He Has Performed Extensively With Jazz Artists Paul English, Joe LoCascio And David Caceres, And Has Been Featured With Renowned Jazz Professionals Including Gordon Goodwin, Bob Mintzer, Jon Faddis, Ignacio Berroa, Ndugu Chancler, Paquito D’Rivera And Kirk Whalum. Currently, He Is Working On A New Project With Kirk Covington, Drummer Of Tribal Tech And The Zawinul Syndicate.

Jim Is No Stranger To The Music Studio Either, With Many Hours Spent In Local Studios Including BAM Studio, BGM Studio, Chaton Studio, Salmon Peak And Keith Harter Music. His Dozens Of Album Credits Include Performances With Willie Nelson, Little Joe Y La Familia, Rick Cavender, Jazz PR, Terri Hendrix, Ron Wilkins And Footprints. Jim Is Very Proud To Be A Part Of Dick Wagner’s Desert Dreams Productions In Phoenix Arizona. Other Studio Credits Include Television And Radio Commercials, Jingles And Demos For Companies Including Ancira, Taco Cabana, Bud Light, Red Lobster, Coca Cola, Western Sizzlin, HEB, SBC Call Notes And Hair Club For Men.

Jim Has Spent His Time In The Orchestra Pit, As Well, With Touring Broadway Musicals Such As Grease, Menopause The Musical And A Chorus Line.  He Has Had Numerous San Antonio Symphony Pops Performances With Artists Such As Martin Short, Joel Grey, Vicki Carr, Danny Gans, Clint Holmes, Patsy Torres And High Class Brass. He Performed In 2007 At  La Villita Assembly Hall In San Antonio, Texas With Legendary Drummer Buddy Miles. Jim Is Currently Touring With Donald Braswell Of “America’s Got Talent” Fame.

Jim Served As An Electric Bass Instructor At U.T.S.A For Twelve Years And Has Been An Instructor With St. Mary’s University Since 2002, And The Bulverde Academy Of Music Since 2006. He Is Excited To Have Joined The Faculty At San Antonio College In The Fall Of 2010.

 ROBERT KAZENEL

A Force In The Canadian Popular Music Scene Of The Mid Eighties And Early Nineties As Both A Sideman And Composer, Robert Kazenel Performed On And Co-Wrote Hit Songs And Top 20 Records With Canadian Bands Such As BootSauce, The Groove Kings And Seven Sisters Before Taking A Hiatus To Pursue And Complete A Music Degree. With A New Found Post Academic Focus On Jazz Music, Robert Performed With Numerous Canadian Jazz Greats Such Steve Amirault, Dave Turner, Charlie Biddle, Nelson Symonds, Touring Extensively With The Group NOMA Before Moving To Austin Texas, “Live Music Capital Of The World.”

Having Successfully Straddled The Worlds Of Jazz, Popular And Roots Music, Upon His Arrival In Austin Robert Found Himself Performing With Artist Such As Elias Haslanger, Ephraim Owens, Eric Johnson, Mitch Watkins, Red Young, Monte Montgomery While Working As A Frequent Session Player At Sugar Hill Studios In Houston. Robert Appears On Recordings With And For Various Artists Such As Johnny Bush, Ray Benson, Jake Langley, Cindy Cashdollar And On Award Winning Recordings With John Mills’ “Times Ten” And The Bordertown Bootleggers.

Currently Robert Maintains A Busy Schedule Performing Widely, Both Live And In Studio, As Well As Teaching The Next Generation Of Musicians.