TAP STARS

Christopher Erk is from Connecticut and has been dancing since the age of 4. His classical training came from the School of the Hartford Ballet, and theatrical training from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Starting at the age of 15, Christopher toured with the international production of Tap Dogs. He later relocated to New York City where he worked on Gil Stroming’s Break the Floor events as a teacher, judge, and Creative Coordinator. Christopher also has a performed and choreographed for Tee & Jam Productions, with whom he has worked on over 100 Corporate sponsored functions worldwide. Teaching venues include Broadway Dance Center, Steps, for Dance Masters of America. As a member of Jared Grimes’s company, TADAH and he were an original cast member of the off-Broadway showcase, Broadway Underground. Currently, Christopher lives in Dayton, Ohio, and is full-time student. He is proud to be teaching tap at Wright State University and Sinclair Community College. He is also the founder of The Tap Factor, a group that is raising tap dance awareness in Dayton through community outreach and performance opportunities.

Christopher Broughton

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Chris 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 such tap greats as Savion Glover, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derick Grant. At age 16 and 18, he received the national award for the NAACP Axle. Broughton’s dancing led him in travels from St. Louis and Washington D.C. to Finland and Cuba. However, in 2007 hardship struck Broughton’s life. He spent over a year recovering from three gunshot wounds to the left leg but has returned at the peak of his game. Since his triumph, Broughton has performed with such greats as Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold, R&B singer Mya, and Ted Levy. He now embarks on his solo career as his choreography, courage, and charisma are currently in the highest demand. 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.

Jason Janas originally hails from the Northern New Jersey area. His dance education is highlighted by his tenure as a charter member of The New Jersey Tap Ensemble, where Jason began his rhythm tap career under the direction of Mrs. Deborah Mitchell. He has performed at the Supper Club in NYC with Mike Minery, with Adrienne Canterna in Washington, DC for the Vice President Dick Cheney, and much more. Jason has taught for Dance Power Express, Dance Masters of America, Starpower’s Power Pak, and Stepp With Me Dance Conventions. His tap choreography has won awards from coast – to – coast. Jason is a principal dancer with the Tapestry Dance Company, under the direction of Acia Gray. He has also started his own tap festival called, Hoofin’ Ground in Charlotte, NC. Recently Jason was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine, along with the rest of the cast of Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap. The show was a critical success and featured some America’s best-known tap dancers. In the past year, Jason has been keeping busy as a National spokesperson for Capezio Tap Shoes appearing in ads in every major dance magazine in the country. He also has been a feature dancer in Ayodele Casel’s “Wonderland (A tribute to Stevie Wonder)” and “Diary of a Tap Dancer”, which was premiered at the world famous Apollo Theater in New York.

Michael Keefe trained from an early age at Kerry Smith’s Academy of  Dance Arts and K&M Studio, Inc. in Massachusetts. He was also a featured dancer with The Massachusetts Youth Ballet.  A diverse, competition dancer, Mike won numerous individual titles including “Mr. Headliner”. He then went on to expand his training at NYU’s Tisch School for the Performing Arts. In addition to performing Mike has gained acclaim as a choreographer, has held multiple teaching positions across the country and was a judge for Hall of Fame Dance Competitions. His professional credits include dancing with recording artist JoJo, performing at the New York City Fringe Festival and being a featured soloist in Rhythmic Circus’ “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now”. He was also a featured tap dancer at the 2005 Presidential Inauguration Celebration & the off-Broadway show, Mike Minery & Friends. He is a proud member of Bad Boys of Dance and has been a featured performer in “Rock the Ballet” since it’s debut in 2008.

Jason Luks

Originally from Northern New Jersey, Jason grew up training in tap, jazz, and ballet.  At the age of 16, he won the title of Adult World Tap Champion at the IDO World Tap Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany.  He has a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His credits include Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Broadway Company), Saturday Night Live, MTV VMAs, and Mike Minery’s Tapaholics. Most recently, Jason had the exciting opportunity to tap at the Kennedy Center for Ted Kennedy’s Birthday Celebration and present his own tap choreography at the Joyce Theater.

Anthony Russo’s  career began at 15, when he was offered his first Equity contract in “Anything Goes” at The Muny in Forest Park, St. Louis. Two years later, Anthony was hired for the 6th national tour of Tap Dogs and continued with the show for 8 years performing 4 of 6 roles in the show. Russo also danced with the Tap Dogs at various festivals, industrials, and an NFL halftime show in 2003. Other performances and choreography credits include the Off-Broadway production of “At the Diner”, Seven Off-Broadway productions of “Break The Floor”, and “Iron Beats” China Tour and Tampa Bay – Busch Gardens. He was recently part of the creation and featured tap dancer in the original cast of Cirque Du Soleil’s vaudeville project, “Banana Shpeel”. This show also made an appearance on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009. Anthony has entertained for 25+ corporations including Microsoft, Circuit City, Chevrolet/GMC, Mitsubishi, MTX Audio, Charles Schwabb, and Marriott Hotels. Anthony created TAPademics INC. in 2003 and continues to travel the world, both teaching and performing.

Joseph Monroe Webb  Award-winning actor, dancer, and poet Joseph Monroe Webb has showcased his talent in a number of performances throughout the years including the Tony Award-winning Broadway production, Bring in ‘Da Noise Bring in ‘Da Funk with notable tap dancer, Savion Glover.  Following his Broadway success, Webb ventured into acting an appearance in the Martin Scorsese film Bringing Out The Dead and appeared in numerous print and television ads. He has also performed on talk shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.  A true artist, Webb decided to pursue another artistic interest and formed his own band, The Joseph Webb Quartet. Their music is a blend of hip-hop, jazz, soul, tap dance and spoken word.  Connecting live instrumentation with an incredible rhythm and horn section, Webb creates an engaging and interactive atmosphere denoting sheer inspiration.  He is a Maryland Distinguished Scholar, one of the National Foundation For Advancement in the Arts Level I awardees, and a Presidential Scholar. Joseph is a 2001 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts. Joseph Webb is a Full-Time Lecturer at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY, and has been on the staff of Harlem School of the Arts for the past six years. He also was a special guest artist at the 25th Anniversary of Gala Des Etoiles Dance Gala in Montreal Canada in September 2008. Most recently Mr. Webb and his band were a part of the Red Hook Festival in Brooklyn, NY.  So far in 2009, he has been a guest teacher and performer at the 2009 D.C. and L.A. Tap Festivals and a special guest artist at the 2009 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington, Delaware and executed a stellar performance at the Tap City Concert in NYC which was reviewed by the New York Times. He is currently in the cast of Thank You Gregory which is touring the United States. Understanding that his talent and achievements are attributed to more than his commitment and contribution to the journey, Webb gives thanks for that which has no name but can only be felt, that which has neither beginning nor end.

Jumaane Taylor, a Chicago native, has been tap dancing since the age of 7. He began his training at the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre where he currently teaches. He has had the esteemed opportunity to perform and study with Idella Reed Davis, Martin Dumas III, Jimmy Payne Jr., Lisa LaTouche, Sarah Savelli and George Patterson III. Jumaane made his professional debut with the group M.A.D.D. Rhythms founded by Bril Barrett. He now serves as Assistant Director of the company. Jumaane has performed and taught nationally and internationally. Some of his credits include the Chicago Tap Summit, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Cleveland Tap Intensive, L.A. Tap Fest and numerous shows with ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Attending ETA, Jumaane has studied Dunham Technique from Geri Williams and acting from Runako Jahi. He was featured in “Dance Spirit Magazine” as “One of the Top 20 Hoofers under 20” and in 2006, he was proclaimed in The Chicago Tribune as one of the top five dancers in Chicago. Taylor was a part of the ensemble for “Imagine Tap!” which was directed and choreographed by Derick Grant. In 2008, he joined the cast of “A La Recherche De Josephine” that toured France. He was also a principal dancer for a production entitled “Wonderland: A Tap Tribute To Steve Wonder” directed and choreographed by Sarah Savelli and Ayodele Casel. Jumaane continues to dance both locally, nationally, and abroad in such places as Canada and Europe. In Chicago, he became a band member of a jazz sextet, Abstrakt Pulse, established by trumpeter Corey Wilkes and an instrumentalist in the group Sidewalk Chalk. All the while performing at jazz events throughout the city of Chicago.

Cartier Williams is a hoofer, choreographer, filmmaker, and performer hailing from Washington, D.C. He began his tap dancing career at the age of four. Cartier learned his first tap steps from his grandmother Audrey Williams. At the age of six Cartier performed a piece choreographed by Mýa Cartier won Apollo Kids at The prestigious Apollo Theater Distinguished as one of The Apollo Theater’s youngest “Apollo Legends”. Later that year Cartier was invited to the Kennedy Center Honors alongside Robert Downey Jr.  Mr. Williams studied at The Washington School of Ballet under the tutelage of Mary Day. When he was 10 years old, Cartier Co-Starred with Tap Legends Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde and Dianne Walker in the International tour of FOOTNOTES. Cartier considers it a blessing to have danced and shared the stage with tap pioneers and masters Peg Leg Bates, The Nicholas Brothers, and Gregory Hines. He has appeared on THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, THE TONIGHT SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, and CNN. He has performed for 2 U.S. Presidents, and in 1998 Co-Starred in the PBS Special: In Performance at The White House with President Clinton. He toured the U.S. and Japan in the Tony Award Winning BRING IN ‘da NOISE, BRING IN ‘da FUNK, Co-starring with Savion Glover.He has performed at The Joyce Theatre, New York City Center as well as the L.A Kodak Theatre where he performed The AFI Awards: A Tribute to Tom Hanks. Other appearances include a performance at Usher’s birthday bash in New York City performances for the FCC, The CIA, The State Department and Department of Justice. Now 20, Cartier is currently performing his latest production A BEAUTIFUL CHAOS  which is slated to tour in 2011 created by Cartier and two New York Film Academy friends Matt Denoma and Max Schiano. He is collaborating with Harold Cromer on a new work which will premiere in Spring 2011.  He is a student of The New York Film Academy. As a Filmmaker, Cartier has written, directed and produced: Phone Bait, The Violinist, and My Love Awaits. He’s appeared in Spike Lee’s Film Bamboozled. Cartier also performed at The Opening of the Cannes Film Festival for Moulin Rouge. He released his first Instructional DVD:  CARTIER WILLIAMS’ HOOFING WITH THE BASICS in March 2010.