TAPOLOGY FALL FESTIVAL OF TAP DANCE: Honoring Women in Tap
Tapology Hosted by Flint Institute of Music (1025 E. Kearsley, Flint, MI 48503)
- Workshops for Beginning - Intermediate - Advanced - Adults
- October 24 thru October 27, 2019 (Daily) See schedule for your class times
- Flint Institute of Music, Flint Cultural Center, ( Use Crapo St. Parking Lot Entrance for Tapology activities)
Melba Ayco * 2019 Tapology Living Legend Honoree
Melba Ayco, founder and Artistic Director of Northwest Tap Connection, is a Gullah-Geechee and Creole Storyteller, Tap Dance Historian, and Choreographer. Born in a small town on the north shores of New Orleans, she describes her life as a three-part harmony: born into segregation, survived integration, and enlightenment through cultural diversity. Her life commitment is to define and share the African American experience through the performing arts. Ms. Melba is the creator of African American Odyssey, a touring performance inclusive of spoken word, dance, and music that expresses the history and struggles of African Americans from a place of pride. Her new work, Odyssey, explores the common threads of culture, inclusive of dance, music, food, art, and traditions of African Americans and people of African Diaspora.
Dianne "Lady-Di" Walker
Dianne Walker, jazz tap dancer known for her elegant and fluid style of dancing that is delicate yet rhythmically complex, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Walker received the Dance Magazine Award in 2012 for lifetime achievement in dance. Principal dancer in the Paris production of Black and Blue. A mentor to tap dance luminary Savion Glover and an impressive dancer herself, Dianne "Lady Di" Walker has been a link between the classic age of tap dancing and its modern revival and development. One of a small but growing number of women to attain international recognition in the tap field, Walker studied with tap masters Leon Collins and Jimmy Slyde.
Constance Valis-Hill (Historian)
As a Five College Professor of Dance at Hampshire College, Professor Hill teaches courses in dance history, performance theory, jazz studies, choreography on camera, and feminist performance; and is working with her colleagues to establish a black studies core curriculum. Constance Valis Hill, Five College professor emerita of dance, has a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University; M.A. in Dance Research and Reconstruction from City College of the University of New York; Bronze Certificate from the International Society of Ballroom Dance; Neutral and a Character Mask certificate from Pierre LeFevre at the Juilliard School.
Star Dixon is Assistant Director, choreographer, and original principal dancer of world renowned tap company, MADD Rhythms. Performed with Dorrance Dance; with Savion Glover's "All Funk'd Up"; internationally (Poland, Japan, and Brazil). Participates with After School Matters She is the younger sister of Bril Barrett who started M.A.D.D. Rhythms where she is one of the original members of the 9-year running tap company. With M.A.D.D. Rhythms, she has performed all over the U.S. including The L.A. Tap Festival, The St. Louis Tap Festival, The Detroit Tap Festival, and Northern Illinois University. As well as performing, she also teaches and has been since the age of 16. Her teaching experience includes Alyo Children’s dance theater, Najwa, Chicago Park District, The Imani Dance Center, and the M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy.
Josette Wiggan-Freund began dancing with Paul and Arlene Kennedy in Los Angeles. Her love for performing was fostered by the Kennedy’s and refined as an adult with Lynn Dally’s Jazz Tap ensemble. A graduate of UCLA, Wiggan-Freund’s career highlights include the 2001 Spotlight Award winner, 1st National Broadway Tour of 42nd Street, and studying with Germaine Acogny in Senegal. Alongside her brother, she was part of two original casts of Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel and the Michael Jackson:Immortal World Tour. As well as performing with her brother in TIRELESS: A Tap Dance Experience, a show curated by Michelle Dorrance, Wiggan-Freund is a part of Dorrance’s all-woman quartet that premiered Until the Real Comes Along and All Good Things Come to an End in 2018. Wiggan-Freund is a sought-after teacher, choreographer, and performer who resides in Tel Aviv. She can also be seen dancing with her husband’s band Ron and the Red Beans.
A graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., Quynn Johnson is a native of Flint, Michigan. Nicknamed the “Sole Rebelle,” Ms. Johnson has studied dance under masters of tap and West African dance. Quynn is not only a dancer, but is a skilled and talented performer and author. Ms. Johnson, a multi-award winning performing artist, has been described as having a “deliciously buoyant movement quality and a natural organic rhythm.” In 2014, she won the Individual Artist Award for Dance Choreography from the Maryland State Arts Council. Quynn’s newest production, SOLE Defined (co-created with Ryan Johnson), is a show with incredible fusion of tap dance and body percussion.
Co-Founder & Director of the National Institute of Arts in St. Maarten. Holds a diploma in Dance Theater Production, past student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Merce Cunningham Dance Studio. Choreographs Caribbean Dance for Tapology Summer Tap Intensive. High intensity classes
Alexandria "Brinae Ali" Bradley:
Performed in Cotton Club Parade, STOMP - off Broadway, toured the U.S., Canada; and Germany as tap dancer and vocalist. Also performed at Ashford & Simpson's "Sugar Bar", "Joe's Pub" with Reg E. Gaines, and in George Faison's Bubblin' Brown Sugar.
Taught at American Tap Dance Foundation, The Brooklyn Waldorf School, Black Girls Rock! year long program, Carol Morgan School of Santo Domingo, and National Institute of Arts of St. Maarten. Addressed the United Nations of Geneva, Switzerland - with Black Women's Blueprint - Brooklyn.
Adult instructor of tap dance, performed in Debbie Allen's The Chocolate Nutcracker, performed a closing act in New Orleans Meets Luxembourg Jazz Festival, involved in the Central Park Summer Stage Series as featured vocalist with Dance Company - Ballet Noir.
Tapology Outreach Director; Tap Instructor in Flint & Detroit Area dance schools. Trained with Susie Carcia and the Miami Heat Dancers, Urban Bush Women, Performed for So You Think You Can Dance preliminaries; choreographed for varied Operas & organizations in South Florida.
Directs the Dayton Dance Project, instructed at; the Ohio Dance Festival, Dayton Dance Conservatory; featured performer for The Signature: A Poetic Medley, also featuring hip hop artist "Common". Instructor at Tapology Dance Festivals in Summer and Fall.
Teacher and performer with youth in Europe, Asia and the U.S. Worked with "Virginia Stage Company", Harlem's "Negro Ensemble Company", and Long Island University. Patiently works with newcomers, encouraging the art of 'trying' rather than being perfect. 2nd Gen. Flintstone Hoofer.
Jason Samuels Smith
Co-starred in Dean Hargrove's "Tap Heat", a short film available on DVD. featured dancer in HBO/Universal Pictures's motion picture "Idlewild" starring Outkast. Debbie Allen has featured his talents in several productions including the AMC television series "Cool Women", Sammy (a tribute to the life of Sammy Davis jr.), Choreography and film credits include Black Nativity (associate tap choreographer/security guard #1); Hit Series Psych; CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars (MYA); So You Think You Can Dance; Dancing with The Stars; UPAJ:Improvise; Dean Hargrove’s Tap World and Tap Heat, Outkast’s Idlewild; Debbie Allen’s Cool Women.
Performed in Bring in da Noise, Bring In da Funk, won Showtime at The Apollo, performed at Zurich's Theater Spektakel w/ Bare Sounds, and appeared with jazz musicians Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut, and Thelonius Monk III.
Jason Janas is originally from New Jersey. He began his tap dance instruction under Ms. Deborah Mitchell and was the first charter member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble. He then found a love for the dance and continued to learn and study the art form. He also trained and was a member of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble under the direction of Gene Medler. Jason's first professional company after high school was Tapestry Dance Company in Austin TX, under the direction of Acia Gray. He was a principal dancer there for 5 years. His hard work ethic began to take notice and Derick Grant invited Jason to be in his show Imagine Tap!
Joseph performed in the american tour of Riverdance, tap dance musical Imagine Tap! (choreographed by Derick K. Grant), and toured France and abroad in Jerome Savary's musical comedy À la Recherche de Joséphine.Joseph made his broadway debut in George C. Wolfe's Shuffle Along at the Music Box Theater. As a teacher he has shared his artistry with people in Sweden, Japan, France, Guatemala, and Taiwan to name a few. He has been a cultural exchange performer in Cuba, Peru, and Russia. Also, a featured guest in concert with Orlando Poleo, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Strickland, and Wynton Marsalis.
TAPOLOGY OUTREACH Featuring Community Teaching Workshops: Workshops for Beginning - Advanced Beginners- Adults
October thru June 2019-2020 (Evenings, Weekends) See schedule for other locations near you
Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, Saginaw St., Flint, MI ( Use Rear Parking Lot for Entrance )
Oct 28, 2019
What a wonderful Festival Event
Thanks to all who participated.
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Need information about Afterschool classes in Flint?
Contact us at: 810 787-0197
PO Box 5040
Flint, MI 48505