Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, a 2016 Bessie Award Winner for Innovative Achievement in Dance, is a New York City based b-girl, dancer and choreographer. As artistic director of Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) she has presented work at the Apollo Theater, FiraTarrega, Jacob’s Pillow, New York Live Arts, Summerstage, and the Yard, among others. Ephrat has received numerous awards to support her work including a Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award, a Mondo Cane! commission from Dixon Place, a Creative Development Residency from Jacob's Pillow and an Extended Life Residency from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her first evening length work, A Single Ride, received two Bessie nominations in 2012 for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and Outstanding Sound Design by Marty Beller. Ephrat has worked and collaborated with Doug Elkins, Rennie Harris, Bil Irwin, David Parsons, Gus Solomons Jr and Buddha Stretch, among others. She is on faculty at Wesleyan University and Broadway Dance Center and is a founding member of the all-female house dance collective, MAWU. Ephrat earned her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in Italian and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she researched the vernacular jazz dance roots of contemporary street and club dances. For more information please visit www.ephratasherie.com.
Christopher Broughton, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Chris began dancing at the age of 11 and has never looked back. Under the instruction of Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance, he became a member of The Kennedy Tap Company, receiving the national NAACP ACT-SO Award twice. He now travels worldwide both as a soloist and with Jason Samuels Smith’s A.C.G.I., Rasta Thomas’ Tap Stars, and Dorrance Dance. Performances include New York City Center’s Cotton Club Parade; Juba! Master’s of Tap & Percussive Dance at the Kennedy Center; and Broadway’s Tony & Astaire award-winning production After Midnight.
Elizabeth Burke (Rehearsal Director/Dancer) is a Chapel Hill, North Carolina native who spent 11 years under the direction of her mentor, Gene Medler, in the acclaimed North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. Burke has been with Dorrance Dance since its inception in 2010. She pursues her own choreographic work, teaches and performs as a soloist on occasion. She is an alumna of the School at Jacob's Pillow and Marymount Manhattan College (BA Political Science, BA Communication Arts, magna cum laude).
Warren Craft is a New York City tap dancer who has trained in ballet with both the American Ballet Theatre and the School of American Ballet. He has been a member of Brenda Bufalino’s New American Tap Dance Orchestra, Max Pollak’s RumbaTap, and Dorrance Dance. He moves with "bizarre physicality," and "unconventional eloquence." (The New York Times)
Karida Griffith is from Portland, Oregon! Stage: Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel, Radio City Rockettes, Black and Blue (Henry LeTang & Dianne Walker), NY City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, Sinatra (Des MacAnuff & Casey Nicholaw), Spoleto Festival USA, CTFD Gala (Randy Skinner), CREATIONS (Producer), NYC Tap Festival, Jacob’s Pillow. Television: Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Tony Awards, The Today Show. Companies: Dorrance Dance, Cotton Club Sophisticated Ladies, Barbara Duffy & Co, and the Children’s Theatre Company (Board of Directors). Karida loves teaching students of all ages, and is currently on the Tap Faculty at Broadway Dance Center. (www.karidagriffith.com)
Carson Murphy has had the fortune to travel the world tap dancing and working with incredible artists. Recent performances include dancing with Dorrance Dance at the acclaimed Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, with the Hip Tap Project in France throughout fall 2013, ‘The Buster Brown Celebration’ with Michela Marino-Lerman at Swing 46 in NYC, ‘Focal Point’ with SoundMovement dance company at the Alvin Aliley Theater in NYC, with Sarah Petronio at the Soul to Sole Tap Festival in Austin, Texas, at Jacob’s Pillow, the Dancespace series at St. Mark’s Church and the Chicago Human Rhythm Project as a member of Michelle Dorrance’s “Dorrance Dance”, as well as dancing with the phenomenal Sarah Petronio, Leela Petronio and Nicholas Young in Sarah’s “Jazz in Motion”, in Les Ulis, France.
Carson has also performed with and for – Ted Levy, Leela Petronio’s Hip Tap Project, Max Pollak’s “Rumba Tap”, Barbara Duffy and Company, Katherine Kramer, Mable Lee, Michela Marino-Lerman, Nicholas Young’s SoundMovement, Chloe Arnold’s “Syncopated Ladies”, Tap City, Josh Hilberman, Sarah Savelli, Ayodele Casel, was a part of the original recreation of Harold Cromer’s “Opus One”, toured the U.S. with Broadway’s “42nd Street”, has been seen dancing on Times Square’s JumboTron and has been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine.
Carson is endlessly inspired by these artists and many more, and is eternally grateful to spend her life teaching and dancing. Carson is the owner and Director of Sound Movement Pilates and Gyrotonic ® in Larchmont, New York. www.soundmovementny.com
Claudia Rahardjanoto, born and raised in Berlin, Germany, started dancing professionally at the age of nine at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Named one of “25 To Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2010 and featured on the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine in 2011, Claudia has danced with and learned from Andreas Dänel, Sven Göttlicher, Dianne Walker, Ted Levy, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, Brenda Bufalino, Roxane Butterfly, Andrew Nemr, Barbara Duffy, Jane Goldberg, Jared Grimes, Max Pollak, Michael Minery, the late Harold ‘Stumpy’ Cromer, and the legendary Mable Lee, amongst others. She is grateful to be able to share her passion and love for tap dance through her performances and teaching worldwide.
Leonardo Sandoval has established a reputation in the tap world and beyond for his musicality, and for adding his own Brazilian flavor to tap. Leo co-founded the Cia Carioca de Sapateado in Rio de Janeiro, bringing tap to a wider audience in Brazil. Since moving to New York in 2013, he has performed with Dorrance Dance, as a solo artist, and presented work as a choreographer at venues across the US and abroad.
Byron Tittle has been dancing since the age of 7 in his hometown of New York. Starting with tap and ballet, he soon grew to enjoy the different genres and aesthetics in the entire realm of dance. He began tap dancing with David Rider and then with the American Tap Dance Foundation’s Tap City Youth Ensemble. There, he met Michelle Dorrance and continually took her master classes and workshops. He joined the company in 2014 and has been consistently involved since then. Commercially, he has danced for Janet Jackson and Nicki Minaj but feels most fulfilled on stage with Dorrance Dance.
Matthew “Megawatt” West started dancing at 16 on his church’s dance team in Queens, New York, and with the company On Point Choreography, with whom he learned challenging choreography and mastered different styles within hip hop dance. He has competed in several Bboy competitions, and strives to impart knowledge and wisdom on the next generation of dancers: he has taught at Coney Island’s Shining Angels Studio and at after school programs in Queens. Mega is an avid listener of House music and a dedicated student of House dance, training with the NYC crew MAWU, Conrad Rochester, and James "Cricket" Colter.
Gabe Winns Ortiz, 27, was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He started dancing at the age of 11, and his love for the art form has continued to grow ever since. He has toured worldwide with the critically acclaimed stage show Tap Kids, and since moving to New York City he has worked with various companies, including RumbaTap, Dorrance Dance and Swing FX. He also directs his own group called the Students of Sound, and teaches at the American Tap Dance Foundation. Television credits include America’s Most Talented Kids (2002), America’s Got Talent (2011), and FakeOff (2014).
Nicholas Van Young (Co-Creator ETM: Double Down) is a dancer, musician, choreographer, and a 2014 Bessie Award recipient. He began his professional career at age 16 under Acia Gray and Deidre Strand with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, TX, eventually rising to principal dancer and resident choreographer. Since moving to New York, he has performed with Manhattan Tap, RumbaTap, Dorrance Dance, “Beat the Donkey,” has toured as a drummer for Darwin Deez, and spent almost a decade performing with STOMP, where he performed the lead role and acted as rehearsal director. Nicholas tours both nationally and internationally teaching and performing at various Tap Festivals, and founded Sound Movement dance company and IFTRA, Institute for The Rhythmic Arts. He is thrilled to have found a home with Dorrance Dance, co-creating and developing ETM: Double Down, and the Guggenheim Rotunda Project, both collaborative efforts with Michelle Dorrance.
Derick K. Grant (Co-Choreographer/Creator/Soloist, The Blues Project) is a performer, choreographer, director who has an established career that spans over three decades. Under the direction of Tony Award winner, 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 starred in the role of ‘da beat for the first National Tour. Mr. Grant created the critically acclaimed show Imagine Tap!; his choreography has been featured on Fox’s hit series So You Think You Can Dance; and he has performed and recorded with Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes. Mr. Grant was the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artist and The Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Featured Actor, two Los Angeles Ovation Awards for choreography and Best Ensemble Performance in Noise/Funk, and was most recently recognized for Best Choreography for Imagine Tap!. He is currently a corporate Tap spokesperson for SoDanca and continues to transform and inspire dance communities around the world.
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (Co-Choreographer/Creator/Soloist, The Blues Project) is known for setting high standards in the world of Tap Dance. Tap coach to the king of pop Michael Jackson over the course of 11 years, she received a Bessie Award for her featured performance in Jason Samuels Smith & Company at the Joyce, and an Astaire Award for Best Female Performer for her featured performance in Broadway’s After Midnight. She is currently on the board as the Tap Advisor for Dance Magazine and was the official Tap Spokesperson for Capezio being featured in their international advertising campaign. Performances include Tony award winning productions on Broadway such as After Midnight, Black and Blue and Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk; International Tour of Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (dance captain/principal dancer/understudy to the lead role); national tour of Wild Woman Blues; and Debbie Allen’s SAMMY (the life and times of Sammy Davis Jr.). She most recently performed as a special guest at NJPAC with Grammy Recording Artist and fellow After Midnight star Fantasia. Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards was also nominated for Best Actress for the starring role in “The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang” (Lavender House Films) that toured film festivals nationwide. Other notable film credits include “TAP” with Gregory Hines; Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” (Assistant Choreographer/actress); and “The Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty”. Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards’ choreography has been featured in national and international stages as well as in Michael Jackson’s music video “You Rock My World”; and in weekly shows at the world famous Cotton Club in Harlem.
Donovan Dorrance (Music Director, Piano, Myelination Composer) hails from Chapel Hill, NC where he studied piano, guitar, drums, and voice before attending The University of North Carolina for a B.A. in Philosophy. In 2014, Donovan moved to Brooklyn to assist his sister’s company and pursue his passion for music. In addition to composing music with Gregory Richardson for Dorrance Dance, Donovan composes music for film and theatre, collaborating with students from NYU and Columbia.
Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely (The Blues Project band) was founded in 1996. The band has performed at numerous concerts, Festivals and events including Central Park Summerstage NYC, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Clearwater Great Hudson Revival, Afro-punk, and many, many more. The current touring band for Dorrance Dance's The Blues Project includes Fred Cash, Juliette Jones, Shirazette Tinnin, and Adam Widoff. For more information, visit http://www.toshireagon.com/biglovely
Aaron Marcellus (Vocals, Myelination Composer), singer, vocal coach, writer, musician, dancer, and actor from Atlanta started in Gospel music and has performed around the world. He has recorded albums and was voted top 24 on American Idol in 2011. After a world tour, Aaron was featured in a Chapstick commercial, NBC’s “Next Caller” and was a cast member of STOMP. Marcellus also hosts a Burlesque show at Duane Park. Most importantly, he founded both Surrender To Love, LLC, a foundation that supports arts programs and seeks to feed the hungry and Adventure Voice, a training program offering vocal classes for groups and individuals.
Gregory Richardson (Bass, Myelination Composer) was born in Tucson, AZ and learned Rhythm and Blues at an early age from a family of musicians where everyone could play at least a little piano and everyone was expected to sing. As a member of the band Darwin Deez, Gregory has performed at many of the world's largest music festivals. In recent years, he’s found a second home with the New York City tap dance community, composing for and/or performing in several Dorrance Dance works, including Myelination, which was commissioned by the Fall for Dance Festival and premiered at New York City Center.
Toshi Reagon (The Blues Project Composer & Music Director) has been described as “a talented, versatile singer, composer, producer and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana— from folk to funk, from blues to rock” by critic/blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa of InfiniteBody. “She masters each of these genres with vocal strategies that easily spiral and swoop from the expressively sinuous to the hard-charging, a combination of warmth and mischief.” While her expansive career has landed her comfortably in residence at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House, and Madison Square Garden, you can just as easily find Reagon turning out a music festival, intimate venue, or local club. Her dance and theater collaborations include work with Urban Bush Women, Jane Comfort and Company, LAVA, and two operas with her mother Bernice Johnson Reagon and Robert Wilson. Reagon has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFTA) award for Music Composition and The Black Lily Music and Film Festival award for Outstanding Performance. She is a National Women’s History Month Honoree and is the 2010 recipient of OutMusic’s Heritage Award. In 2011 she received a Stonewall Honors Award with her partner J. Bob Alotta. Toshi founded the festival Word*Rock*& Sword: A FESTIVAL Celebration of Women’s Lives.(www.toshireagon.com)
Ryan P. Casey
Starinah "Star" Dixon
Jose "Boy Boi" Tena
Joseph C. Wiggan