About Tap 2 You

Tap2You was created as a way to educate people about tap dancing, and is a new kind of dance competition.  Instead of rewarding bigger, faster and flashier tap routines, Tap2You is about rhythm, musicality and timing with a strong focus on performance and education.

Meet Our Directors

Aaron TolsonAaron Tolson

A native of Manchester, New Hampshire, Aaron is a national spokesperson for SoDanca, a consultant and writer for Dance Spirit Magazine, a Professor of Dance at Plymouth State University and the Boston Conservatory as well as the assistant choreographer, co-creator and assistant producer of Imagine Tap!

Aaron started dancing at the age of ten in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Four years into his dance career he was performing in the Great Tap Reunion at the Apollo Theatre. He attended St. John's University obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications all the while honing his tap technique in Manhattan. His senior year of college landed him in the New York Shakespeare Festival tap program, also known as Funk U! Soon Aaron became a company member of Manhattan Tap and worked with the show Tap Dogs. Jumping feet first into choreography, he landed a job with Absolut with a tour called Absolut Tap!

In 2005, Aaron completed a six-year run with Riverdance the show where he was a featured soloist. It brought him to Broadway and Radio City Music Hall and was also the captain of the Tap Dancers. Since then, Aaron has performed and taught at numerous tap festivals, in addition to performing with Brookline Chorus’ Duke Ellington Sacred Concert and The Late Show with Liam O’Conner in Ireland.

Most recently, Aaron choreographed, produced and directed Something to Tap About, Tapped and Tapped In - featuring New England Tap Ensemble. Aaron formed New England Tap Ensemble in May of 2007 to promote the art of tap in the community while fostering a sense of individuality in a professional artist.

 

Derick K. GrantDerick K. Grant

A native of Boston, Derick K. Grant has been tapping for 27 years. He was an original company member and dance captain for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk at both The Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival and on Broadway. Derick recreated Savion Glover's choreography and starred in the role of 'da beat for the first National Tour.

Derick began his training at the age of two at The Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts, and by the time he was eight years old, he has learned the "hoofin" style of tap from the master tap dancer Diane Walker. Derick furthered his training in Los Angeles at Universal Dance Design Studio under the tutelage of Paul Kennedy. Derick spent three years with the Jazz Tap Ensemble touring the world.

He is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artists as well as The Helen Hayes Award (Washington D.C.) for Outstanding Featured Actor for his role in Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. Derick was featured at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts African Odyssey program, part of the Expresiones Latinas Festival. He collaborated on a piece that incorporated tap and capoeira with renowned Brazilian artist Nego Gato, which opened the festivities for singer Daniella Mercury. He also choreographed and performed in a piece on the history of tap that launched the Black History Month 2001 celebration at Aaron Davis Hall. Recent compositions were featured in The Queens Symphony Opera's Duke Ellington Concert in Ann Arbor's Arts Festival.

Derick's own creation A Night Out: Tap! toured the country for three months. Recent choreography and performance with Jazz Tap Ensemble at the Joyce Theater in NYC the New York Times said "Mr. Grant let gusts of rhythm propel him with remarkable velocity!"

In the summer of 2006, he choreographed and directed Imagine Tap!, which had a four-week run at Chicago's Harris Theater with a cast including several of the best tap dancers of his generation.

Most recently, Derick was added to the So You Think You Can Dance staff as a featured choreographer for tap dancers.


Emily TolsonEmily Tolson

Emily discovered dance at the age of 8, where she immediately gained a sense of appreciation and love for tap dancing. From watching greats like Eleanor Powell and Gene Kelly in That’s Entertainment over and over as a child to taking class, competing and performing herself.  In 2006 Emily’s talent won her the title of Miss New Hampshire, where she then went on to compete in Las Vegas for the title of Miss America 2007. As a result, her scholarships paid for a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies as well as a Master’s in Elementary Education. Emily currently teaches second grade in Bedford, NH. When not in the classroom, Emily enjoys performing with her husband’s company, New England Tap Ensemble.

 

 

Judges and Teachers

 

chloeChloe Arnold

Chloe Arnold is a radiant American Performer and Choreographer, best known internationally as a tap dancer. She has performed extensively throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia, working hard to unite people globally through the arts. Ms. Arnold graduated with a degree in Film from Columbia University, and has directed a variety of

projects, in addition to working alongside high-profile directors and artists. Chloe recently choreographed the opening number of the 2008 Jerry Lewis MDA

Telethon, debuted her one woman show "My Life, My Diary, My Dance" for which the city of Springfield, Massachusetts name Feb. 11th "Chloe Arnold Day", co starred in Jason Samuels Smith "Charlie's Angel's"  off Broadway at the Kitchen, and launched Chloe & Maud Productions, presenting the Third Annual DC Tap Festival- www.dctapfestival.com.

 

Performance Credits: Debbie Allen's Alex in Wonderland, Brothers of the Knight, Soul Possessed, and Sammy The Musical (dance captain);Savion Glover's All Star Tap Revue; India Jazz Progressions; Imagine Tap; and Jason Samuels

Smith's A.C.G.I. and Charlie's Angels: A Tribute to Charlie Parker. Film/TV Credits: Outkast's Idlewild (Universal Pictures/HBO); Brothers Garcia

(Nickelodeon), The Parkers and One on One (UPN), The Opening of the Jerry Lewis/MDA Telethon's Emmy Award Winning Number, Dean Hargrove's

Award Winning Short "Tap Heat", AMC's Cool Women, and tap dancer in Sean Paul's "Give It Up To Me" (Soundtrack for the movie Step Up). Choreographer/ AC Credits: ABC's American Celebration, DebbieAllen's Alex in Wonderland and Pearl; and for her own company Syncopated Ladies. Directing Credits CUERPASO, a TV pilot and DVD, Music Videos, and commercials; Assistant Director to Melina on Music Videos for Beyonce, Eve, Jennifer Lopez, Neyo, Snoop Dogg, Kylie Minogue and more. Chloe recently launched her "I love Tap" clothing line on sale now.

 

 

kelly_bioKelly Kaleeta
Kelly grew up and trained in western Massachusetts, beginning her dance career at the age of six. She began teaching at her studio while still in high school. Heading east to attend Boston University, she received her BA in Environmental Policy in 2003. While attending Boston University, she began teaching in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. Kelly now teaches up and down the east coast and Canada doing master classes, conventions, and workshops, and performs whenever possible. Her students have won many regional and national awards, and a group of students have just returned from the World Dance Championships held in Reese, Germany this past fall. She is also a choreographer for the youth tap company, the Legacy Dancers, from Lexington, MA, who have performed at numerous festivals and shows across the United States.

 

 

Jason JanasJason Janas

Jason hails from northern New Jersey where his dance education began. He started his rhythm tap career with the New Jersey Tap Ensemble under the direction of Ms. Deborah Mitchell. His move to Charlotte North Carolina didn't stop his determination; there he danced with North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Gene Medler. With his career un derway he joined Tapestry Dance Company in Austin Texas. In his 6 years at Tapestry Jason toured Souls of Our Feet with Tap Dance Greats like Arthur Duncan and Dianne Walker. He received many Austin Critics nominations for his choreography and improvisation. Jason has also produced his own tap festival, “Hoofin’ Ground” in Charlotte NC for the past 4 years, and also performed in Derrick Grant’s Imagine Tap in Chicago. Each summer he teaches at numerous tap festivals, including Soul to Sole, Vancouver Tap Fest, Everything on Tap, Festival International Danse Encore Montreal, DC Tap Festival, LA Tap Fest, Third Coast Rhythm Project, Tap City in NYC, & the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. In 2007 and 2008 under the direction of Ayodele Casel & Sarah Savelli, Jason performed in “Tap into Peace” in Cleveland & NYC, Tappy Holidays in NYC, and Diary of a Tap Dancer at the Apollo Theatre. Having recently moved back to the east coast from Austin TX he is very happy to call the DC Metro area his new home. Jason continues to teach and choreograph from coast-to-coast while he continues to grow as a Tap Dancer.

 

Michelle Dorrance

Michelle Dorrance

Michelle Dorrance has been tap dancing since the age of three and performing since the age of eight under youth tap trailblazer Gene Medler at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill. She performed and toured extensively with Medler’s North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble from festivals in St. Louis and Chicago to Vienna and Berlin. Michelle has since worked with Heather Cornell’s Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy and Company, Max Pollak’s Rumba Tap, Tap City on Tour and was a founding member of Savion Glover’s Ti Dii including performances at The Cannes Film Festival, The 2002 Winter Olympics and debut of Improvography at the Joyce Theater in New York.

She has taught and performed as a solo artist at the North Carolina Rhythm Tap Festival, the International FeetBeat Festival in Helsinki, both the Dusseldorf and the Heidelberg Stepptanz Festivals in Germany, Tap Encontro in Rio de Janeiro, as well as workshops and performances in Moscow and Tokyo.

Michelle’s choreography has been performed throughout the country and internationally, and has been featured at Jacob’s Pillow with Cintia Chameki’s Ritmico, at Birdland with members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, at the Joyce Theater & the Duke on 42nd Street Theater as a part of New York City Tap Festival’s Gala performances, as well as in a commercial for Toyota Taiwan. Most recently Michelle has been honored to be a part of Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, Harold Cromer’s Opus One and was critically acclaimed in the premiere of Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap! in Chicago.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University’s Gallatin School, and is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center.

 

claudia-bio Claudia Rahardjanoto

Born and raised in Berlin, Germany to Chinese-Indonesian parents, Claudia was trained in ballet, jazz and later in tap. She fell in love with tap dancing and has extensively studied with Sam Weber, Andreas Dänel, Sven Göttlicher and Pascal Hulin.

After having danced in numerous tap dance-shows in Europe (Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Holland) and having 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"), Claudia moved to New York City in 2003 to continue her dance education and pursue a career in dance in the US.

Since then her performance highlights have included tap dancing on 'The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon' with Andrew Nemr's CPD PLUS, at the International Body Music Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil & Istanbul,Turkey with Max Pollak's RUMBATAP, the famous Apollo Theater alongside the fabulous Miss Mable Lee, New York City's Cotton Club with the 'Cotton Club Sophisticated Ladies' and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, MTV's 'TRL' as part of a 'Happy Feet'-segment with Robin Williams and Elijah Wood and singing at Joe's Pub and New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall.

She has also had the opportunity to dance with Dianne 'Lady Di' Walker, Chloe Arnold, Derick Grant, Jane Goldberg,Michelle Dorrance and Dorrance Dance, Barbara Duffy & Company, Roxane Butterfly's WORLDBEATS, Jared Grimes' T.A.D.A.H. and many others.

In 2011, Claudia has been on the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine and has been featured as one of Dance Magazine's "25 To Watch" in 2010.

Currently, she is on faculty at Steps On Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York City.

Claudia has been extremely blessed and fortunate to have met and spend valuable time (on or off stage) with masters like the late Dr. Jimmy Slyde, Dr. Bunny Briggs, the late Dr.Henry LeTang, the late Dr. Buster Brown, Dr. Harold Cromer, Mable Lee, Dianne Walker, Ted Levy, Savion Glover among others and wants to thank them for all that they have shared.

She is looking forward to keep sharing her love for the art of tap dancing with everyone through her teaching and performing.


 
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