Faculty

GUEST FACULTY 2016-17

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 HOWimg_7585-2

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 BROCKterry

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.


VTDS TEACHING FACULTY

ALESIA DICICCOalesia

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.


KRISTINA LINDENkristina-headshot-2

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 NASEsusan

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.


GABE RICHARDgabe-richard

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 WHATLEYalexis_headshot_2015

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

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

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

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.