SAS SELFJORD | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Sas (Sandra) Selfjord, began the first phase of her career in the investment industry that began with mutual fund financial management to the hectic and demanding task as Head Stock Trader for several leading brokerage firms. In the early 80’s as consultant and educator, she developed and delivered seminars designed to empower women with financial and stock market knowledge in the successful “Women and Investing” courses.
Armed with a financial background, Sas entered the non-profit arena with BC largest non-government social service agency becoming engaged in board development, volunteer support, program delivery, risk management and governance best practices. The non-profit sector matched Sas’ values and she continued her studies completing a degree in Non-Profit Management at Simon Fraser University.
As long as she can remember, Sas has loved tap dance and through her passion for tap dance, and her knowledge and awareness of the art form evolved. At 39, she decided it was time to take some tap lessons! Thus began the tap journey; she co-founded the Vancouver Tap Dance Society in 1995 and in 1999 assumed the role of Executive Director.
Under Sas’s leadership, VanTap is recognized as an innovator leader in the promotion of tap dance and is dedicated to developing awareness of the art form.
As an advocate for the arts, Sas has been dedicated to individuals, artists, and organizations in the development of processes that strengthen community arts development. Her life is richer because of tap dance and she values the relationships within the tap community. Tap dance is a blessing in her life.
ANNA DUECK | ACADEMY MANAGER
Born in Calgary, Alberta Anna recently graduated from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University with a BFA in Dance. Growing up, she trained in multiple styles at an extensive arts program in her high school and for 10 years as a competitive dancer in jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, pointe and hip hop. She comes to us from The Dance Centre where she worked in a variety of roles. She also is assistant to Ralph Escamillan, a Vancouver contemporary and vogueing artist.
She is a dance teacher at Roundhouse Community Centre, Jewish Community Centre, Renfrew Park Community Centre and UBC Wesbrook Community Centre and previously iDance Studios, and Baza Dance Studios. Anna most recently taught at workshops in Calgary, AB and Sidney, BC and emceed in North Battelford, Sask.
Her performance repertoire includes working with Crystal Pite, Gioconda Barbuto, Rob Kitsos, Gail Lotenberg, Amber Funk Barton, and most Catherine Lee of the Historical Performance Ensemble.
JESSICA WIEBE | GRAPHIC DESIGNER + RECEPTIONIST
Jessica is a visual artist with a special love for watercolour painting and illustration. She also specializes in social media marketing and graphic design. In addition to the artsy stuff, she is an actor with experience in both stage and film and has a passion for creating and connecting with people. Joining VanTap as Reception and Marketing Administrator, she feels that this is a wonderful opportunity to do just that. Being new to the tap world, she is very excited to join the VanTap team and jump into new experiences with this awesome organization!
KRISTINA LINDEN | TAPCO ARTISTIC DIRECTOR + YOUTH TAP INSTRUCTOR
Born and raised in Vancouver, Kristina began performing at a young age and soon developed a passion for the stage. She was seen as a principle tap dancer in the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics and has been an opening act for American recording artist, Mya. Her television credits include: The X-Files, Hellcats and Psych. Theatre credits include: Graziella in West Side Story (Vancouver Playhouse), Singin’ in the Rain (Tuts), Anything Goes (Metro), 42nd Street (RCMT), featured tap dancer in the Vancouver Spring Show (Queen Elizabeth Theatre).
Kristina is currently the Artistic Director of TapCo, a company based out of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society and has been a faculty member for the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival. She has performed in Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Barcelona, and Germany. Kristina has been heavily influenced by many tap greats such as: Dr. Jimmy Slyde, Dr. Jeni LeGon, and Dr. Harold Cromer, to name a few. Having studied education in University, Kristina is a passionate dancer, choreographer, and teacher who shares her love for performing and creating every chance she gets!
ALESIA DICICCO | TAPCO, YOUTH + ADULT TAP INSTRUCTOR
Alesia began dancing at a young age and hasn’t stopped since! She is trained in many styles of dance but has pursued tap dance most devotedly. Alesia recently graduated from SFU with her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physiology. She is a former student of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society and a graduate of TapCo, the Society’s youth performance ensemble. In this company she performed in over 40 school and community shows and was a cast member of the touring semi- professional show “It’s About Time”. She has trained at tap festivals in NYC and Vancouver, and is fortunate to have learned from renowned artists such as Michelle Dorrance, Lisa LaTouche, Terry Brock, Jessie Sawyers, and Danny Nielsen. For Alesia, tap dance is a passion and she finds teaching an exciting and rewarding way to share that passion.
SUSAN NASE | ADULT TAP INSTRUCTOR
Susan Nase is a tap dancer, singer, and Scottish highland dancer. In 2008 in NYC she was selected to perform with 7 other world-class tap dancers in the US tour of “Thank You Gregory! A Tribute to the Legends of Tap” featuring Maurice Hines. During her 4-year stay in NYC she had the pleasure to perform with some of the city’s top choreographers, including Bessie Award winning Michelle Dorrance, Max Pollak and his troupe Rumba Tap, and fellow Canadian Lisa LaTouche. Susan has traveled to international festivals in Spain, Turkey, Italy, USA, Brazil and Greece to perform and study tap, world and body music.
ALEXIS WHATLEY | JAZZ, TAP + MUSICAL THEATRE YOUTH INSTRUCTOR
Alexis’ career in the performing arts has seen her both on and off the international stage as a dancer, choreographer, instructor, and adjudicator. She has worked with such companies as Princess Cruise Lines, Legends Alive, Champagne Entertainment, David Atkins Enterprises (2010 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremonies with Michael Bublé) and the CFL’s BC Lions dance team, the Felions. She is a regular adjudicator for various dance competitions in Alberta and is the coach and choreographer for the NLL’s uber-talented Vancouver Stealth dance team, the Bombshells.
BRYN KINDERS | YOUTH + ADULT INSTRUCTOR
Bryn began dancing the age of 2. As soon as she was walking, she was tapping! Although she specializes in tap dance, she has also trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary and modern dance. Bryn has traveled the world to train with world renowned artists like Michelle Dorrance, Nicholas Young, Savion Glover, Dianne Walker and Sarah Reich. She recently traveled to NYC for 3 months to train and grow as an artist. She has performed across Canada and the USA in places including, the world stage in L.A, at Vancouver tap dance festival in the Cholly project and in Chicago on the MCA stage alongside other young professionals and masters. Bryn has an endless passion for the tap dance and its rich history and is excited to share this with her students!
TOSH SUTHERLAND | TAP ARTISTRY DIRECTOR, YOUTH + ADULT TAP INSTRUCTOR
Tosh Sutherland is a Vancouver based tap dancer and actor. He began his training with Bonnie-Jean Anderson and has since had the opportunity to train under various tap dance instructors from all over North America. Most notably, he attended the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival under the direction of Dianne Walker with guest artists Derick Grant, Lisa La Touche, Brenda Buffalino and Lane Alexander.
Tosh has been teaching and sharing all he has learned for almost a decade to all ages from 4 to 70. Recent performing credits include Danny Nielsen’s show ‘Love.Be.Best.Free” and ‘The Music Man’ with Gateway Theatre. By utilizing his previous experience and training in several arts disciplines, he brings a sense of curiousity and exploration into his teaching methods. He is very excited to be a part of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society faculty!
SHELBY SIMMONS | YOUTH TAP INSTRUCTOR
Shelby was born with toes tapping! She has experience teaching both “tiny tappers,” and teenagers for Riverside Secondary’s “Anything Goes.” Shelby has her Special Education Assistant Certificate and is excited to merge her passions for education and dance at VanTap. She is determined to make students feel accomplished through a fun approach and constructive guidance.
EUGENIA KHRAMTSOVA | HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR
Eugenia has performed at many reputable events such as World of Dance Vancouver and competitions throughout the lower mainland.Her crews D-Tension (hip hop) and Synchronus (breakdance) are known for staying true to old-school hip hop whilst also incorporating technique of many other hip hop styles such as popping, locking and waacking. Eugenia has trained with Alex Pesusich at Peggy Peat’s School of Dance and continues to work with Yoshi Hisanaga at Dancin’ Stars. She is excited to join the VanTap team for 2017-18!
Terry’s background includes multiple choreographic works, an international performing career and teaching internationally. Terry has shared the stage with the likes of Gregory Hines, The Nicholas Brothers and Ben Vereen. She’s created repertory and appeared with major symphonies. A long-term member of the Jazz Tap Ensemble, she collaborated with Mercer Ellington in a tribute to his father, Duke. She’s a conservator of Eleanor Powell’s choreography—right down to her tap shoes and travel trunk.
From New Jersey began his tap dance instruction under Ms. Deborah Mitchell and was the first charter member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble. He was a member of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble under the direction of Gene Medler. His first professional company was Tapestry DanceCompany in Austin TX, under the direction of Acia Gray as a principal dancer for 5 years. Derick Grant invited Jason to be in his show Imagine Tap! and changed his life. Other credits include “Souls of our Feet” with Tapestry Dance Company, “Wonderland” with Sara Savelli and Ayodele Casel, and recently co-choreographed and was featured in “Tap Stars” with Rasta Thomas. He has taught at tap festivals around the world. He loves to tap dance. He loves to learn from other dancers and about those tappers who came before him.
Bookkeeping: David Taylor
Paul Conner – City Baptist Church
Bruce Mason – Words@Work
Michael Aihoshi – Reverie Graphics
Tim Harrison – Grants
Bonnie Allen – Public Relations
Kathy McGrenera, Tanya Sedlacek, Elesine Dantienn