Guest Faculty

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Michelle Dorrance

Michelle Dorrance is a tap dancer and choreographer breathing new life into a uniquely American art form in works that combine the musicality of tap with the choreographic intricacies of contemporary dance. Dorrance uses her deep understanding of the technique and history of tap dancing to deconstruct and reimagine its artistic possibilities.

Michelle Dorrance received a B.A. (2001) from the Gallatin School at New York University. A member of the faculty of the Broadway Dance Center since 2002, Dorrance has performed with preeminent tap companies and has taught and choreographed for institutions and groups across the United States and abroad. She toured with the Off-Broadway production of STOMP (2007–2011) before founding Dorrance Dance/New York. The troupe has performed Dorrance’s choreographic works at such venues as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Joyce Theatre, and Danspace Project, as well as at numerous festivals throughout North America and Europe.

Derick Grant

Derick K. Grant is a native of Boston, MA and an award-winning tap performer and choreographer. He began his training at the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts and studied “hoofin” style from master tap dancer, Dianne Walker. He went on to train at Universal Dance Design Studio with Paul Kennedy and spent three years with the Jazz Tap Ensemble touring the world. He was given the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artist and The Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Featured Actor for his role in Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk. Recently returning from his three-month tour of A Night Out: Tap!, Grant’s newest choreography and performance with Jazz Tap Ensemble, held at the Joyce Theater, has been praised by the The New York Times stating, “Mr. Grant let gusts of rhythm propel him with remarkable velocity!”

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Brenda Bufalino

Ms. Bufalino is a mixed genre artist: dancer, choreographer, author, and ceramicist. 

As a soloist, and choreographer/director of The American Tap Dance Orchestra, Ms Bufalino has performed and taught Internationally for over 30 years. Her collaborations with her partner and mentor the great Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, and her many performances with Gregory Hines, The Nicholas Brothers, and the many giants of tap dance has infused her with the essence of the form that she now shares with her stories, teaching, and dances. Her own experimental work, with taps, electronics and poetry has influenced the next two generations of tap artists, and she is still creating new experimental and traditional tap works and performances. 

She has performed solo and with her company “The American Tap Dance Orchestra” at all the major venues; Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy center and major theaters across America and Europe.  For the State Department the ATDO toured Eastern Europe introducing the newly democratic theaters to the world of Tap Dance.  With her company she appeared in the PBS special Tap Dance in America...with Gregory Hines.  

Ms. Bufalino has been awarded several awards from the National Endowment for The Arts.  The NEA deemed two of her choreographies for the ATDO, American Masterpieces.   Her choreography has been performed by several noted companies, most recently her piece "Jump Monk," was performed by Dorrance Dance at City Center, n\NYC.

 

As an author Ms Bufalino has written many articles and wrote the foreword and afterward for the book Jazz Dance by Marshall and Jean Stearns. Her memoir "Tapping the Source...Tap dance, stories, theory and practice" and a book of poems "Circular Migrations" have both been published by Codhill Press. and her recent novella "Song of the Split Elm", is published by Outskirts Press.

She has been awarded: The Flobert Award, The Tapestry Award, The Tap City Hall of Fame Award, The Dance Magazine, and the prestigious Bessie Award, all for outstanding achievement and contributions to the field of tap dance. 

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Elizabeth Burke

Elizabeth Burke is a Chapel Hill, North Carolina native and proud alumna of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, with whom she spent eleven seasons. As an ensemble member, Burke served as a choreographer and performed extensively throughout the United States at venues such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Tap City: The New York City Tap Festival, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Southeastern Tap Explosion in Atlanta, GA, as well as in Finland, Canada, Mexico, and Germany, where she made her international debut as a soloist. She also had the opportunity to collaborate and choreograph with Jim Ketch and the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, and her work was presented at the University of North Carolina’s Memorial Hall and at the Durham Performing Arts Council.

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Dianne 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, as well as principal and assistant choreographer in the Broadway production; Walker is considered by many female tap dance artists as the transitional figure between the young generation of female dancers (such as Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Germaine Ingram, Ayodele Casel), and the "forgotten mothers of tap," such as Edith "Baby" Edwards, Jeni LeGon, Lois Miller, and Florence Covan.

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Sam Weber

Sam Weber is an award winning artist who has gained a global
reputation in the world of tap dance and is in demand internationally as
a performer, master teacher and choreographer. A protege of tap
master Stan Kahn in San Francisco, he was a principal dancer and
choreographer with the Jazz Tap Ensemble from 1986 to 2009 and
received acclaim throughout the U.S. and abroad while touring with the
company. He was the first tap dancer to receive New York’s “Bessie”
award for outstanding artistic achievement. He continues to appear at
international tap festivals since the first Colorado Tap Festival in 1986.
Sam has taught and performed with such legendary tap masters as
Charles “Honi” Coles, Jimmy Slyde, Steve Condos, Buster Brown,
Gregory Hines and the Nicholas Brothers. He has taught at UCLA, Cal
State U. Fullerton and Cal State U. L.A and San Francisco State U. He
currently teaches at ODC Dance Commons, Stagebridge and City
Dance in San Francisco. Sam is the recipient of numerous tap dance
awards, including the Legacy Award from the Third Coast Rhythm
Project, the Giant Steps Award from the San Francisco Tap Festival,
the Juba Award from the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the Hoofers
Award from the American Tap Dance Foundation and most recently the
legacy award from the Orange County Tap Festival.

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Star Dixon

Star Dixon is an assistant director, choreographer, and original principal dancer of world renowned tap company, MADD Rhythms. She has taught and performed at the most distinguished tap festivals in the country including The L.A. Tap Fest, DC Tap Fest, RIFF Dallas, Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Rhythm World, and MADD Rhythms own Chicago Tap Summit. She’s performed internationally in Poland, Japan, and Brazil to name a few. Performance venues include Jacob’s Pillow, Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln Center. Outside of MADD Rhythms, she's performed as a guest with such companies as Michelle Dorrance's Dorrance Dance and Savion Glover’s All Funk’d Up. Most recently named 2021 Chicago Dance Makers Forum lab artist awardee. 

Christopher Broughton

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Christopher Broughton began dancing at the age of 12 and never looked back. Under the instruction of Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance, he immediately became a member of the Kennedy Tap company, world renowned and responsible for tap greats such as Derick Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, the latter of which he had the pleasure of performing as cast mates in his first Tony, Astaire and Drama Desk Award winning Broadway show After Midnight. Broughton's dancing has also led to National recognition with the NAACP ACT-SO Award not once, but twice. As an instructor, performer and choreographer, his art has taken him everywhere from St. Louis and Washington D.C. to Brazil, Finland, Cuba, Italy, Germany and beyond.

In 2007, hardship struck Broughton's life when he spent over a year recovering from a major injury to his left leg. He has very much since returned and is at the peak of his game. Since his triumph, Broughton has performed and toured the world with greats such as Jason Samuels Smith, R&B singer MYA, Ted Levy and Chloe Arnold to name a few. Company work has included national and international tours with Dorrance Dance, including Bessie Award winning work The Blues Project co-created/choreographed by Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Derick K. Grant, and Toshi Reagon. He has also performed as a featured dancer on the 25th Anniversary International tour of Riverdance; a critically acclaimed run of the Signature Theatre's revival of Jelly's Last Jam featuring choreography by Jared Grimes; Magic of The Dance; Rasta Thomas' Tap Stars; The Cotton Club Parade at NY City Center; and the national tribute tour of Thank You Gregory!. Christopher's athletic choreography, courage and charisma are in the highest demand and he continues to learn and grow his art. Christopher Broughton owes his sincerest gratitude to his sister Chantel Heath, who introduced him to the world of dance, Tonie Nicholas, son of the legendary Fayard Nicholas, and Paul and Arlene Kennedy; without whom, he wouldn't be where he is today.

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Luke Hickey

Luke Hickey is a NYC based tap dancer, choreographer, and actor hailing from Chapel Hill, NC. Named by Dance Magazine among their "25 To Watch" in 2020, Hickey began studying with his lifelong mentor, JUBA Award recipient Gene Medler, at the age of eight. Under the tutelage of Mr. Medler, Hickey completed 10 consecutive seasons studying and touring with the internationally acclaimed North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble (NCYTE). Hickey is an alumna of the School at Jacob’s Pillow and Pace University NYC (BA Film & Screen Studies, BA Communications Studies, cum laude). In the Fall of 2018, Hickey made his choreographic and directorial debut with his work A Little Old, A Little New at the world famous Birdland Jazz Club in NYC. The show has since traveled across the country, including to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Battery Dance Festival and most recently the Chelsea Factory in partnership with the Joyce Theater. Hickey's choreography can also be seen in Patrick Wang’s feature film, A Bread Factory, which was listed on The New Yorker's "The Best Movies of 2018." Stage credits include Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room, The Kennedy Center, the Guggenheim Museum, Oslo Jazz Festival, The Joyce Theater, MGM National Harbor, and New York City Center.