Sam Weber

Sam Weber is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed performing artist, master teacher and choreographer who regularly appears throughout the world.  A protege of Stan Kahn in San Francisco, Sam has shared the stage with such tap luminaries as Charles, “Honi” Coles, Steve Condos, and Gregory Hines.

 

Sam continues to teach at tap festivals worldwide.  He has taught in the dance departments of UCLA, Cal State L.A., Cal State Fullerton and San Francisco State University and currently teaches regular classes at ODC Dance Commons and City Dance in San Francisco.

 

Sam is the recipient of numerous awards( including the “Juba” award from the Chicago Human Rhythm Project) and was the first tap dancer to receive a “Bessie” award, presented in 1993 in recognition of outstanding creative achievement in his work with the Jazz Tap Ensemble.  He has received the “Giant Steps” award for his lifelong contribution to the development of tap dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and was the recipient of the “Legacy Award” from the Third Coast Rhythm Project for his work as a teacher and performer.  On July 11th, 2017, Sam received the “Hoofer Award,” presented by the American Tap Dance Foundation.

Linda Sohl-Ellison

Linda Sohl-Ellison is the Artistic Director, choreographer, and soloist with Rhapsody In Taps, a Long Beach, CA based touring company featuring seven tap dancers and six musicians that she founded with Toni Tack in 1981. Linda has a BFA from Ohio University in Dance and Graphic Design and an MA from UCLA. Her training includes studies under the great tap masters Foster Johnson, Eddie Brown, Honi Coles and Buster Brown. She collaborated with Gregory Hines, staging and performing in his first choreographic work, Toeing the 3rd and Fifth made for Rhapsody In Taps in 1990, and she has re-staged this work several times, most recently in 2016 for the company’s 35th Anniversary. Linda has toured the United States, Mexico, Asia, Indonesia, France and Germany teaching and performing as a soloist, with Rhapsody In Taps, and with her husband, percussionist Monti Ellison.

Recognized for her choreographic innovation in tap, she has been awarded five Choreographers’ Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Irvine Fellowships in Dance (1999, 2001) and a 2006 Dance: Creation to Performance grant from the James Irvine Foundation. In 1999 Linda was nominated for the prestigious Alpert Award in Dance. She has received Artist’s Fellowships from the California Arts Council, Arts Council for Long Beach, Public Corporation for the Arts, National Association for Regional Ballet, and California Community Foundation. Ms. Sohl-Ellison received a 1st place choreography award from the Palm Desert Choreography Festival (2003), a Lester Horton Dance Award for Outstanding Choreography from the Dance Resource Center and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio University (2006), a Milestone Award from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for more than 25 years of performances, programs and arts leadership in Los Angeles (2007), a Tapestry Award from the Soul to Sole tap festival in Austin Texas for 30 years of contributions to the field of tap dance (2010) and a 2017 award from the Orange County Tap Festival. Linda is Emeritus Professor of Dance at Orange Coast College where she taught many dance forms, directed student concerts and mentored dancers for 37 years, and currently teaches int/adv tap and modern dance as a part time faculty member. Her film credits include the movie TAP, and three documentaries: Thinking on their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, You Gotta Move and JUBA. For more info: rhapsodyintaps.com

Monti Ellison

Monti Ellison is an accomplished percussionist/drummer, composer and vocalist. He has performed worldwide as a soloist with Harry Belafonte, Stephanie Mills, Lonnie Liston Smith, Little Steven and others. As a dance musician he spent 15 years at the Alvin Ailey School in New York where he was head staff musician. Monti teaches African dance, hand percussion, drumming and bucket drumming; he is an accompanist and/or faculty member at Loyola Marymount University, Orange Coast College, CSU Long Beach, The Wooden Floor and he teaches master classes internationally. He has composed numerous dance scores: Judith Jamison’s Divining for the Alvin Ailey company, a percussion score for the New York based Urban Arts Corps’ production of Alice in Wonderland directed by Vinette Carroll and choreographed by Talley Beatty, J5A6Z7Z8 for jazz choreographer Jose Meier, as well as Dat’s Right, Espiritu, Riptide, Stroke of the Oarsmen, Deciduous Dances, Wade, Ode To Hummingbirds, Chugarump and FOIL/Copper, Zinc, Brass, for Rhapsody In Taps, plus many compositions for the Monti Ellison Percussion Ensemble.

Lane Alexander

Lane Alexander, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s co-founder and director for 25 years, has performed, choreographed, taught and advocated for American tap and percussive dance for more than 40 years. He has performed Morton Gould’s Tap Dance Concerto with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, The London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra at the Pritzer Pavilion and the Little Orchestra Society at Lincoln Center among many others. Lane co-directed the Emmy nominated PBS documentary JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance, curated the first full-length tap concert on a main stage at the Kennedy Center and led more than 80 American tap dancers to China to represent the United States at the 5th Annual Beijing International Dance Festival. Lane has been a driving force behind the development of a new, collaborative dance/arts space in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building – the American Rhythm Center.

Lane received a National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces grant through the Illinois Arts Council, two Ruth Page Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Field and Solo Performance, two Illinois Arts Council Choreography Fellowships and has been recognized by the Chicago Tribune as “Chicagoan of the Year” and three times in Chicago’s New City as one of the city’s 50 Players. Lane was honored to serve on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s transition team for arts and cultural policy. Lane continues to teach, choreograph and perform around the world and has served on many dance faculties including the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Gus Giordano Dance Studio, Northwestern University, Columbia College and at Jacob’s Pillow. Lane currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Beijing Contemporary Music Academy and Chairman of the Board of the International Tap Association.

Yukiko "Smilie" Misumi

Yukiko “Smilie” Misumi

Tap dancer, Tap percussionist, choreographer, teacher and Director of Artistic Rhythm Tap Network.

She tap dances like a fairy, yet her sharp rhythm and percussive tone creates her own “Misumi World”.

She studied in NY under the great tap master -Henry Le Tang in 1980’s and he named her “smilie”. And late1980’s she studied rhythm tap under Brenda Bafalino. Later she has studied with many great tap master. Especialy she has been affected by Dr.Jimmy Slyde and Dianne Walker.

In Japan, she was a soloist of Jam Tap Dance Company (Kuniyasu Kato /Founder and artistic director) where she was a dance captain, choreographer and assistant to stage director. In 1993, 1996, 2004 and 2006, she co-starred with Dr. Jimmy Slyde at the company’s performance.

1997 she left the company and started Solo activity. In 1999, she started “African Rhythm Tap Series”. She perform at November Eleventh which is a live-bistro owned by Ryudo Uzaki and Yoko Agi (both well-known artist in Japan), Sweet basil139 ,American Club, Theater Apple and more.
In the year of 2000, she made her first appearance at NATIONAL TAP DAY in Japan. And she appeared at St.Louis Tap Festival as one of the representative member from Japan.
2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Smilie operated Artisitic Rhythm Tap Network through dance studios of Chacott. And she opened own studio named ARTN Tap Dance Studio in central Tokyo in 2001.
She hopes to spread tap more in Japan and to promote international cultural exchange through tap dancing.

Tre Dumas

Tre Dumas is a Chicago native and currently works as co-Artistic Director of M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Tap dancing since the age of 8, Tre first began attracting the tap community’s attention by representing Tommy Sutton’s Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts as an instructor at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Soon after, Tre was cast in the national touring revival of Broadway’s “The Tap Dance Kid” where he first worked with Bril Barrett. Shortly thereafter, Tre joined Bril’s existing group “Steppin’ Out” and they started performing together in numerous tap festivals and events. He was then featured in the North-American and European tours of “Riverdance”, dancing with the show for nearly 3 years. Upon his return to his home town, he continued his association with Mr. Barrett developing a vision that was once an idea into an internationally renowned company, M.A.D.D Rhythms.

Within his pursuits, Tre has had the privilege of learning from and sharing stages with Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Robert L. Reed, Van “The Man” Porter, Paris Mann, and George “Mo Leggs” Patterson III, among others. He has performed and taught for the St. Louis Tap Festival, the Los Angeles Tap Festival, the Detroit Tap Festival, The Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Columbus Taps and with M.A.D.D. Rhythms Canada while also working at countless workshops across North America and Europe. This includes a six month teaching excursion in Stuttgart, Germany. With a highly musical style and a fun and positive approach to teaching, Tre has become one of the country’s brightest up-and-coming tap influences.