Lynn Dally, Artistic Director • Gayle Hooks, Managing Director • email@example.com • 310.475.4412 • 1416 Westwood Blvd., Ste 207 L.A. CA 90024
"It will make you jump out of your shoes and beat your feet."
- Wall Street Journal
MIRIAM NELSON began dance studies in her native Chicago and later New York where she studied tap with Ernest Carlos. At the age of 14, in a borrowed pair of toe shoes, she auditioned for Billy Rose's Casa Mañana, but instead made her professional debut with an act playing Troy and Schnectady. She eventually played the Casa Mañana and next, the Mayfair Club in Boston. After making her Broadway debut in 1938 in Sing Out the News, she went on to appear in Yokel Boy and Very Warm For May ('39), Higher and Higher and Panama Hattie ('40) and Let's Face It ('41), working with choreographers Robert Alton, Billy Daniel and Charles Walters and often selected to be line-captain. When her husband, Gene Nelson, joined the Signal Corps, Miriam went to Hollywood, where she signed an acting-dancing contract with Paramount and was featured in Double Indemnity and Here Come the Waves ('44), Duffy's Tavern and Incendiary Blonde ('45) and Naughty Nanette (a '46 short) and in Cover Girl ('44) and The Jolson Story ('46) for Columbia. First assisting Paramount dance director Danny Dare, she began choreographing and when Gene was signed by Warner Bros. to star in a series of musical films, she co-created many of his solo routines and coached Doris Day and his other female costars. Divorced from Nelson, she continued as one of Hollywood's busiest TV and film choreographers (along with her tap expertise, she specialized in staging party sequences), as well as being one of the pioneers of spectacular Arena show staging with Disney on Parade in 1969. As one of the founders of SHARE, she has staged and produced their annual fund-raising Boomtown shows for decades and, as a member of the Professional Dancer's Society (PDS) Board of Directors, she also co-produces and stages their annual tributes to dancers and choreographers. Widowed after her second husband's, producer Jack Meyers, death, she returned to the stage in longtime- friend Marge Champion's production of Ballroom at the Long Beach CLO in 1992. Juggling the roles of choreographer, tap instructor and lecturer, director and producer (as well as mother and grandmother), she is in the process of writing her autobiography.
LYNN DALLY co-founded the JAZZ TAP ENSEMBLE in 1979. As dancer and choreographer, she has created a large body of original tap choreographies for the concert stage and performed worldwide, touring with the JTE. She has appeared often with tap legends Honi Coles, Eddie Brown, Steve Condos, the Nicholas Brothers, Brenda Bufalino, Dianne Walker, Sarah Petronio, Jimmy Slyde, and Gregory Hines in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Apollo. Dally has received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, James Irvine Foundation, COLA and CAC Fellowships, and a Guggenheim for Choreography. Now Adjunct Professor in UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures, where she created her first cross cultural dvd, SOLEA, Dally continues to teach and perform internationally. Her recent project with JTE is American Tap Masterpiece: The Hollywood Journey.
MICHELLE DORRANCE began tap dancing under Gene Medler and the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. A founding member of Savion Glover's 'Ti Dii', deez and deez, and Derick Grant's 'Imagine Tap', Michelle has also worked with Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy & Co., TapCity, Mable Lee, Jason Samuels Smith’s “Charlie’s Angels” and Jazz Tap Ensemble to name a few. She teaches, choreographs and performs throughout the US and abroad, is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center, holds a B.A. from NYU, and is proud to have just joined the New York City cast of the Off-Broadway production, “STOMP”. She is honored to be a part of “Women In Tap” with her greatest inspirations.
DORMESHIA SUMBRY-EDWARDS, a Los Angeles native, began tap dancing lessons at 3 with Paul and Arlene Kennedy, performed in Rome at the Tip Tap Festival at age 8, and made her Broadway debut at age 12, in Black and Blue with greats Jimmy Slyde, Bunny Briggs, Buster Brown and Savion Glover. Other Broadway credits include Tony Award winning Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk., and she was the only female principal dancer and understudy to the lead role in the International Tour which followed. Dormeshia toured nationally with Wild Woman Blues and performed in Jazz Tap Ensemble’s 25th anniversary celebration at the Joyce Theatre, NYC. Her film credits include “TAP” (1989) with Gregory Hines, Spike Lee's “Bamboozled” (2000) with Savion Glover, and most recently “The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang” (2007). Sumbry-Edwards’ choreography has been featured in the off-Broadway show TAAP: The Art & Appreciation of Percussion for the all-female tap quartet R.I.F.F. and in Michael Jackson's music video “Rock Your World”. Dormeshia has been featured in Jump Magazine, Essence, New York Times, Hartford Courant, Village Voice, Dance Magazine Dance Spirit and with her tap dancing family for Capezio.
CHLOE ARNOLD, a Columbia University graduate, is Co-Director of the L.A. Tap Festival, performs and choreographs internationally, and has produced 20+ shows. Performances: Debbie Allen’s Alex in Wonderland, Brothers of the Knight, Soul Possessed, & Sammy; Savion Glover’s All Star Tap Revue, Imagine Tap, and Jason Samuels Smith’s ACGI. Film/TV: Outkast’s Idlewild; Nickelodeon’s Brothers Garcia, UPN’s The Parkers and One on One, Jerry Lewis-Emmy Number, Tap Heat, and Beyonce's Dance Double-Upgrade You. Choreographer/AC: ABC’s American Celebration, Debbie Allen’s Alex in Wonderland and Pearl; Syncopated Ladies. Directing:CUERPASO, a TV pilot and DVD. 2nd unit - Eve, and Kylie Minogue. Thanks to all the phenomenal women who have paved the way!
BRENDA BUFALINO is recognized throughout the world as a leading exponent and innovator in the tap world. She performs, lectures, and teaches internationally. A trailblazer in the renaissance of jazz and tap, she has been one of the guiding forces in the creation of numerous Tap Festivals, Summits, and Reunions all around the world. In l975 she produced and directed the award winning documentary, “Great Feats of Feet” featuring Charles “Honi” Coles and the Copasetics. The duet concert of Coles and Bufalino toured internationally for 8 years. In 1986, she founded The American Tap Dance Orchestra with Tony Waag and the late Charles “Honi” Coles. In 1989 they created Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center, producing ongoing educational activities and performances year-round. Most recently, she wrote "Tapping the Source, ” her tap memoirs.
DIANNE “LADY DI” WALKER, a pioneer in tap dancing’s resurgence has a 30 year career spanning Broadway, Television, Film and International Jazz Dance Concerts and Festivals. Savion Glover and his contemporaries affectionately call her, “Aunt Dianne,” acknowledging her unique role as mentor, teacher and confidante. Ms. Walker holds a Master’s degree in Education, and has taught at Harvard, Williams College, University of Michigan, UCLA, Bates, and Wesleyan. She serves on the board of several tap organizations, and served 10 years on the board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Grant awards include The National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Jacobs Pillow, and New England Foundation for the Arts. She received Oklahoma City University’s 1998 “Living Treasure In American Dance Award,” adding to a long line of awards and lifetime tributes recognizing her contribution to the art form and excellence in teaching. Dianne is Artistic Director of “TapDancin, Inc." (Boston), and Rhythm World (CHRP Summer Tap Festival), and a consultant to Bloch. She is currently collaborating with schools in Minneapolis and Toyko.
ACIA GRAY is influenced by many legends in the field including Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, Jimmy Slyde & Steve Condos among many others, Ms. Gray has danced and taught extensively across the U.S. and abroad since 1982. As Artistic Director of Tapestry Dance Company, based in Austin, Texas, her production of The Souls of Our Feet is currently on a National Endowment for the Arts - American Masterpieces tour through 2009! Her critically acclaimed book The Souls of Your Feet – A Tap Dance Guide for Rhythm Explorers is also available at all major bookstores and has been translated in the Czech Republic and soon in China.
DEBORAH MITCHELL, Founder/Artistic Director, New Jersey Tap Ensemble, received training and mentoring from one of the great Tap Masters, Copasetic member, Leslie “Bubba” Gaines. Her credits include The Cotton Club Motion Picture, Broadway and Paris Productions of Black and Blue, PBS Great Performances, 5 international Cab Calloway tours, and a partnership with Philadelphia native Germaine Goodson as The Rhythm Queens. She is the recipient of The Flo-Bert Award, The Living Treasure Award, The Hoofer Award, and the 2006 Savion Glover Award for contributing tirelessly to the advancement of tap dance. She is Chairperson of the Tap Department at Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, teaches master classes and workshops nationally, is author and director of the Doll Shop an Arts in Education musical for children grades K-5th and Assistant Director/Choreographer for Marie Thomas Foster’s Theater Workshop/Peppermint Players.
LINDA SOHL-ELLISON, Artistic Director/Choreographer, co-founded Rhapsody In Taps, a Los Angeles based tap and live jazz/world music company in 1981. Her mentors include tap masters Foster Johnson, Eddie Brown, Honi Coles and Buster Brown, and a collaborative choreography project with Gregory Hines. A leader in the tap resurgence, Ms. Sohl-Ellison is recognized for her choreographic innovation and has been awarded five NEA Choreographers' Fellowships, three James Irvine Foundation grants and Artist Fellowships from California Arts Council, and more. She recently received a Lester Horton Dance Award, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio University College of Fine Arts. Linda Sohl-Ellison is a Professor of Dance at Orange Coast College, since 1978, where she teaches several dance forms, directs student productions and mentors dancers. She has toured throughout the United States, Asia, France, Germany, Bali and Japan teaching and performing. She and her husband, percussionist/dancer Monti Ellison, teach residencies and perform a duet repertoire.
HEATHER CORNELL recently premiered her solo show “Finding Synesthesia” at the London Jazz Festival. Called “the Oscar Peterson of tap”, she is grateful to have been taken “under the wings” of Buster Brown, Eddie Brown, Cookie Cook, Harriet Browne, Steve Condos and Chuck Green. She is artistic director and choreographer for Manhattan Tap, and is known for her innovative collaborations with musicians such as Ray Brown, Keith Terry, Chango Spasiuk and Leon Parker. A pioneer in concert tap, she has traveled worldwide with her company and as a soloist. She choreographed “The Play What I Wrote” for Broadway and was choreographic consultant for “Three Penny Opera”, by Atalaya theatre company in Seville, Spain. Coming this season: “Short Stories”, a collaboration with Vienna based artists for German premiere in May and “Rhythms 2010’” a company of Canadian tap artists and musicians under her direction. Ms. Cornell’s greatest collaborators are her kids: Soné, 7 and Eoghan, 5.
BARBARA DUFFY is “one of the most inventive tappers around”, said Gregory Hines. Barbara’s performance highlights include “THE GREGORY HINES SHOW”, where she was a featured dancer, actress and choreographer, “GALA FOR THE PRESIDENT”, with Gregory
Hines before President Bill Clinton and as dance captain and featured dancer in Brenda Bufalino’s AMERICAN TAPDANCE ORCHESTRA. Barbara performs as a featured soloist across the United States and overseas. Her all women ensemble, Barbara Duffy & Company, has performed at the Duke Theatre, NYC, Joyce Theater, NYC, University of Richmond, Tanz Haus Theatre in Dusseldorf, Germany and Tap City On Tour. Barbara has taught workshops and festivals in 20 countries. Barbara teaches classes in NYC at Broadway Dance Center and Steps On Broadway. Her greatest inspirations are Brenda Bufalino, late greats Leon Collins and Gregory Hines.
TERRY BROCK’s diverse background includes multiple choreographic works and an international performing career. She has performed and taught at numerous International Tap Festivals, from Portland to Prague to New York's Tap City. Terry is currently an Artistic advisor for Vancouver Tap Society, and resident tap teacher at Portland's arts focused academy-A.C.M.A. She has shared the stage with tap legends, and respected contemporaries. Terry's choreographed and danced for the Seattle and Oregon Symphony's. She's a former member of Jazz Tap Ensemble, and is proud to have been a long-term dancer, support and friend of J.T.E. Her passion for tap thrives.
JOSETTE WIGGAN started dancing at the age of 12 at Paul and Arlene Kennedy’s Universal Dance Designs in Los Angeles. Under their tutelage as a member of the Kennedy Tap Co., she discovered her passion for stage and theater. Josette joined JTE’s Caravan Project in ----and was invited to perform nationally with the Ensemble in ---- She is a recent graduate of UCLA, Department of World Arts and Cultures. Career highlights include being the first tap dancer to win the LA Spotlight Awards, performing in the first National Tour of 42nd Street, the 2003 Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, the movie Idlewild 2005, the Baker-Tarpaga contemporary African Dance Project in 2006, and studies with Germaine Acogny in Senegal at the Ecole des Sables.
SCHOLARS & AUTHORS
SALI ANN KRIEGSMAN has served as president of the Dance Heritage Coalition, executive director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, director of the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Program, dance consultant to the Smithsonian Institution, and executive editor at The American Film Institute. She created “The American Dance Experience” series for the Smithsonian Institution, 1979-1983. With Marda Kirn, she co-produced the first Colorado Tap Festival in 1986. Among her awards is a 1997 Flo-Bert; the 1999 Preservation of our Heritage--American Dance Award from Oklahoma City University; the 2002 Tap Preservation Award from the New York Tap Festival and a 2006 Tradition in Tap Award. Her book, “Modern Dance in America: The Bennington Years,” was hailed by The New York Times as “a vivid and human picture of a crucial chapter in American culture.”
CONSTANCE VALIS HILL is a jazz dancer, choreographer, and scholar of performance studies whose writings have appeared in Dance Magazine, Village Voice, Dance Research Journal, Studies in Dance History, and Discourses in Dance, as well as Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African-American Dance (2002) and Taken by Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader (2003). She studied tap dance with Charles Cookie Cook and the Copsetics; directed Sole Sisters for the Changing Times Tap Dance Company;and with tap dancer Sarah Safford performed The Doilie Sisters at La Mama. Her book Brotherhood in Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers (Oxford University Press, 2000) won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. She is the recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2007 Rockefeller grant to write a cultural history of tap dancing in America since 1900. She has a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University and is a Five College Professor of Dance at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
ANN KILKELLY is a Professor of Theatre Arts and Women's Studies at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. As a dancer and scholar, she researches and writes about tap dancing as part of her desire to bridge the history and practice of tap and the social frameworks that shape the form. Her articles have appeared in Women and Performance, in the book collection Reflections on American Music: The Twentieth Century and the New Millennium, and in the ITA publication. She is co-author with Robert H. Leonard of the book Performing Communities. She received two Smithsonian Senior Fellowships and an NEH research award for Tapping the Margins, and research project exploring gender, race, and class dimensions of women's performance of tap dancing,
from which she expects to publish a book. As a Professor of Theatre Arts and Women's Studies at Virginia Tech, Ann produces and directs multi-disciplinary performance work and performance projects focusing on rhythm and story, including Jazzing Women (with Susan Goldbetter of New York's Circuit Productions and artists Tina Pratt, and Sarah Mc Lawler; FLAP! with Sons of Steel, a youth steel drum ensemble, and her own tap company, Footnotes; and Return Addresses, with song and percussive dance from Celtic, Appalachian, and African traditions. Ann has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Duke Theater during the New York Tap festival, and in many other venues in concerts of original music and dance. Of her feminist drag performance as the pink part of the Lloyd and Bunny comedy team, Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times remarked, "Kikelly brought down the house."
JANE GOLDBERG is a “rara avis”--a dancer who is also a writer. In 1972, the tap dancing of Fred and Ginger infected her imagination, and the virus spread. She began to study tap and write about dance for Boston newspapers. At Boston University, she majored in political science and worked as an anti-war activist and journalist. She approached tap with a political sensibility and as one of its first pioneers, set off to revive interest in the art in the mid 1970’s. She ferreted out many of the remaining giants of the 20th century, apprenticing herself to them, interviewing them, and documenting their work. In 1978, she brought shows to The American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow where tap hadn’t been performed in 18 and 37 years respectively. Goldberg’s company, Changing Times Tap, produced By Word of Foot: Tap Masters Pass on Their Tradition in 1980, 1982, and 1985, and Sole Sisters, the all women’s’ tap shows in 1985-86. She performs her solo comedy/dance one woman show, ‘Rhythm & Schmooze’ and just completed her memoirs, “Shoot Me While I’m Happy: My Tap Addiction….Memories From the Tap Goddess of the Lower East Side.