ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: MIKA KOMATSU
Born and raised in Japan, Mika’s significant engagement with the Vancouver Tap Dance Society from 1997 onwards has left a very clear artistic footprint on VanTap. She has been shaped by so many of the masters: Dianne Walker, Gene Medler, Terry Brock, Sam Weber and Dr. Jeni LeGon, just to name a few. Mika is known for her original choreography, a delicate approach to the dance, and developing young dancers. She has been away in Japan for the past six years and is thrilled to be joining the community as VanTap’s Artist in Residence.
GUEST ARTIST: LEE HOW
Lee Howard, better known by his stage name Lee How, is a Chicago native Tap Dancer, MC, Songwriter, Music Producer, and Actor. The multi-talented entertainer began his professional career as a tap dancer and is internationally known as one of the best of his generation. Lee recently made his Broadway debut in the original cast of “Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed” directed by George C. Wolfe and choreographed by Savion Glover.
The word ‘talent’ only scratches the surface when talking about Lee How who has received worldwide recognition for his versatility and undeniable ability to produce a unique perspective on art. With over ten years of experience under his belt, Lee How is committed to expressing his passion for art all over the globe.
Check out his website here for more information.
GUEST ARTIST: TERRY BROCK
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.
Alesia is trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and musical theatre. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physiology at SFU. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society. In TapCo, 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 and worked with renowned artists Lisa LaTouche, Terry Brock, Jessie Sawyers, and Danny Nielsen. For Alesia, dance is a passion and she finds teaching an exciting and rewarding way to share that passion.
Jamie has been teaching in the Vancouver area for six years and recently graduated with her Bachelor of Kinesiology from The University of British Columbia. In 2009, Jamie graduated from the University of Utah with a Master of Fine Arts in Ballet—Emphasis in Teaching and Choreography. Prior to this, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Calgary where she specialized in ballet. Jamie also holds her Associate Diploma in Imperial Ballet from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.
Amelia began training at an early age in ballet, jazz, tap, vocal’s and stage, continuing on to contemporary, hip-hop, and musical theatre. After her first “real job” in the musical The King and I (Citadel Theatre), she went on to perform in productions such as The Women, Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker, and Beauty and the Beast. Live credits include Vancouver PNE’s outdoor production; City Rhythm; NBA’s Hoop It Up Half Time Show; Wency Calderon; Jabbawockeez; George; and Politic Live. Her choreography was featured in HMP Productions’ Western Canadian Tour and Mackenzie Dayle’s debut concert, The Wait is Over.
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 pop singer, Mya. Her television credits include Hellcats and Psych. Theatre credits include Graziella in West Side Story (Troy McLaughlin’s Tap Collective), Singin’ in the Rain (TUTS), Anything Goes (Metro), and 42nd Street (RCMT).
Kristina is a founding member of VanCity Sound, a Vancouver-based tap crew. She has performed in Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Barcelona, and Germany; in 2005, she represented Canada at the World Tap Dance Championships. 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, she is a passionate dancer and teacher who shares her love for performing every chance she gets!
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.
Starting at an early age, Gabe trained in many different styles of hip-hop, looking to fill free time after school. He was first trained as a freestyle dancer under Eric Malapad but eventually pushed outside the box to include choreography. Gabe has gone on to train under Vancouver choreographer Marc Generoso; has performed for the likes of Disney, T-Pain and Swollen Members, and has competed locally and nationally with his crew, Footclan.
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.