A native of Manchester, New Hampshire, Aaron Tolson continues to make his mark by championing the movement of the art form of Tap in several arenas. Mr. Tolson is a national spokesperson for dance wear company SoDanca, a consultant and writer for Dance Spirit Magazine, a Professor of Dance at Plymouth State University and the Boston Conservatory, as well as the assistant choreographer, co-creator and assistant producer of the acclaimed stage production Imagine Tap! Aaron started dancing at the age of ten in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Four years into his dance career he was performing in the Great Tap Reunion at the Apollo Theatre. He attended St. John's University obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications all the while honing his tap technique in Manhattan. His senior year of college landed him in the New York Shakespeare Festival tap program, also known as Funk U! Soon Aaron became a company member of Manhattan Tap and worked with the show Tap Dogs. Jumping feet first into choreography, he landed a job with Absolut with a tour called Absolut Tap! In 2005, Aaron completed a six-year run with Riverdance, the internationally acclaimed show with performances on Broadway and Radio City Music Hall where he was a featured soloist and dance captain. Since then, Aaron has performed and taught at numerous tap festivals, in addition to performing with Brookline Chorus’ Duke Ellington Sacred Concert, The Late Late Show with Liam O’Conner in Ireland and on Globo TV representing the Brazil International Tap Festival. Most recently, Aaron was featured on Dance.com and has choreographed, produced and directed Something to Tap About and Tapped and Tapped In - featuring New England Tap Ensemble. Aaron formed New England Tap Ensemble in May of 2007 to promote the art of tap in the community while fostering a sense of individuality in a professional artist.
CONTEMPORARY/BALLET/ JAZZ/MUSICAL THEATER
Amelia Lowe is most famously known for her time on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 as a member of their top 20. In addition to this she made it into the top 12, allowing her the opportunity to perform across the country with the So You Think You Can Dance tour. Since her time on the show, Amelia has appeared as a principal dancer in episodes of Boardwalk Empire and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She's also been featured in multiple commercials including a nationwide commercial for Wendy's, Target, the New York Stock Exchange, General Electric and American Express. Amelia got the chance to be a featured dancer at the premiere for The Great Gatsby. She has performed for emerging choreographer, Lindsay Nelko at the Capezio Ace Awards and Warren Carlysle at the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards. She is currently living in New York and dancing for fellow So You Think You Can Dance alum, Ellenore Scott in Ellenore's up and coming company, ELSCO.
Billy Griffin is a New York City based artist who received his BFA from New York University/Tisch School Of The Arts. Billy's performing credits include the Broadway/1st National Tour productions of Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, and White Christmas, as well as Jeff Amsden's A Few Good Men Dancin’, The Electric Company on PBS, and the video game 'Dance on Broadway' for Nintendo Wii. As a director/choreographer Billy has created work for Waldameer Park, The Miss America Organization, The National YoungArts Foundation, Fleet Week at South Street Seaport, The Neighborhood Playhouse and NYU. Associate/assistant credits include working with Andy Blankenbuehler on Only Gold, Joshua Bergasse on episodes of NBC’s SMASH, Marlo Hunter on My Life Is A Musical at Bay Street Theater/Duke on 42nd, and Al Blackstone on Broadway Backwards, BC Beat, the new musical Crazy In Love, and most recently Freddie Falls In Love at the Pershing Square Signature Center, and the Fire Island Dance Festival. Billy also travels the country setting choreography for many dance studios and serves as an adjudicator and master class teacher for various conventions and competitions.
Casie Goshow, aka B-Girl 'Tynee' is hip hop choreographer and break dancer, who has been teaching both hip hop and break dancing for over the last 10 years around the country. She is originally from a small town in Pennsylvania and went to live in New York City after college, before making the move to Los Angeles. She has worked in the commercial entertainment industry working a variety of jobs as she pursues her dreams. Casie has worked side by side with various artists and organizations such as Chris Brown, Lil John, Psy, French Montana, Beats Superbowl Commercial, the NBA, Adidas and was a Las Vegas Season 12 Street Finalist on So You Think You Can Dance? Currently she is touring around the country teaching kids of all ages at studios, conventions and competitions. Casie owns her own clothing line, Goshow Yourself, which was created in response to the bullying occurring around the country. She wanted a clothing line that inspired people of all ages and walks of life to have the courage and confidence to be themselves
Charmaine Hunter began her formal dance training at the Hartford Ballet School. Charmaine moved to New York City to study with Arthur Mitchell, Artistic Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem while continuing her formal education at the Professional Children's School. She rose through the ranks quickly eventually becoming principal dancer and one of the company's leading ballerinas. Among the highlights of Charmaine's career are command performances for European royalty and historic engagement at London's Royal Opera House. She also performed for luminaries such as Quincy Jones, Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Cicely Tyson, President and Mrs. Clinton, President and Mrs. Bush, Mr. and Mrs. Colin Powell, just to name a few. Ms. Hunter eventually relocated to Las Vegas Nevada to work in Casting with the Cirque du Soleil. She was also invited to teach on the production of A New Day at the Coliseum in Caesars Palace, which featured Celine Dion. While in Vegas, she Co- founded the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater with dancer Bernard Gaddis formerly of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. LVCDT is a multi-cultural institution that attracts professional dancers and students from around the world. Charmaine later accepted a full-time faculty position with Texas Ballet Theater. She directs the Professional Division and teaches in the Academy of Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth, Texas under the guidance and leadership of Ben Stevenson O.B.E. Artistic Director of Texas Ballet Theater and Director Emeritus of Houston Ballet.
Cristina McKeever is a desert native to the Coachella Valley, originally from Palm Springs, CA. Cristina graduated Summa Cum Laude from Chapman University in Orange, CA, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance and a minor in Italian Studies. Upon the completion of her education, Cristina moved to Los Angeles and is currently signed with Go2Talent Agency. She has trained extensively in Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, Ballroom, and Irish Dance, mentored by industry professionals, Chloé and Maud Arnold, Parris and Rashida Khan-Mann, Will Johnston, Brandee Lara, Jennifer Backhaus, and Melinda Sullivan. Since moving to Los Angeles, Cristina has performed multiple times with Chloe Arnold's “Syncopated Ladies” as an official understudy for the company in performances including: L.A. Sparks @ The Staples Center, Maria Shriver’s “It’s Our Turn” Women’s Conference, Fox News, and most recently "Syncopated Ladies: Live!" in Oxnard and Escondido, CA. She has also worked with Chloé Arnold and Ava Bernstein as a Stand-In on CBS’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and NBC's "A Legendary Christmas". She also appeared as a soloist for Casa Romantica Cultural Center’s, “Celebrating Tap Dance Legends”, and recently performed in New York City for choreographer, Riley Roberts, in the 2018 Capezio A.C.E. Awards. She was also featured in J.ournal Poem’s music video, “9/12” choreographed by Victoria Pizzo, and in Steady Holiday’s newest music video, “Who’s Gonna Stop Us”, choreographed by Dana Wilson. Additionally, Cristina also choreographed, “The List”, the newest official music video for L.A. based and internationally touring band, Moonchild, which recently hit 1 million views on YouTube. Besides pursuing her performance and choreographic career, Cristina cares deeply about creating a formative and supportive educational environment for young dancers. She is on faculty in Los Angeles at The Gabriella Foundation's, "Everybody Dance" and has been an instructor at several studios in the Southern California region. Her passion for arts education has also allowed her to perform on behalf of Oasis Center International alongside Jason Rodgers, for their arts education program entitled, “Making Music”, bringing Tap Dance and live music to public schools.
Curtis "Trix" Pearson is a very talented performer/Dance Choreographer. His passion and love for dance goes a long way. Former Dance Member of Round 1, and goes by the name "Trix". He has 11 years of dance experience and 9 years of teaching experience. He's had the pleasure of teaching at the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington County, Gifted Students Camp at Princeton University, Musical Movents Dance Theater, Bucks County Technical High School, Artist in Motion, Arabesque Dance Studio and Modeling, Beyond Dance in Brooklyn and many other dance studios. One Of the Top Instructors At LA Fitness Instructing Hip Hop and Zumba Cardio Work Outs. He also appeared and performed on BET's 106 & Park with His Dance Group Round 1 many times. Very self-motivated to stay positive and continue to do what he loves with moving forward to bigger and better things. Also, a Las Vegas Contestant For The Television Show "So you think you can dance!! Currently a Cast Member of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida performing in the shows and Parades Such as, Disney Channel Rocks, Star Wars Hyperspace Hoopla, Monsters University, and The Move it Shake it Celebrate it Street Party. Was Recently Placed in the Data Base for Upcoming Contracts With Disney Live And Cirque Du Soleil after a successful audition Process.
Edward is ecstatic to be joining STG & returning to Florida from New York City. Originally from central California, he has trained in numerous styles of dance under the direction of Broadway veterans, JP Christensen & David Rosales. He has worked in TV, film, and stage for over the past 12 years. Performing credits include the upcoming film version of ‘In The Heights’, multiple productions of ‘In The Heights’ as Graffiti Pete, Ensemble dancer for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Feat. Dancer for Fire Island Dance Festival, Disney World (Dance Capt./Swing), ABC’s Disney Parks Christmas Parade with Neil Patrick Harris, Jordin Sparks, Tokyo Disney, Universal Studios (US & Japan), and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Along with performing he has served as an associate choreographer for Tuachan Amphitheater and has assisted NYC choreographers Michael Mindlin, Billy Griffin, Chip Abbot and Emmy award winning choreographer Al Blackstone. Currently he teaches Musical Theater & Jazz for Joffrey Ballet’s Jazz & Contemporary program in NYC. He also is honored to be a guest teacher/judge for multiple competitions, conventions, and intensives around the US. Getting to combine human emotions, storytelling, and movement is such a joy for Edward. He hopes to continue to inspire dancers to step a little more out of their comfort zones so that they may grow into their most full artistic potential.
Elijah Richardson, born and raised in San Jose, California, started with versatile training in figure skating, musical theatre, and classical choir. His curiosity for storytelling led him to earn a BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University in 2018. Elijah has also spent comprehensive summers training at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance where he worked with Alex Ketley and Bobbi Jene Smith. Elijah currently dances with DanceWorks Chicago directed by Julie Nakagawa. With DWC, he has toured nationally and throughout Germany performing and teaching works by Shannon Alvis, Charissa Lee-Barton, Hanna Brictson, and Joshua Manculich among others. As a freelancer, he has performed with Anaheim Ballet, Backhausdance, The Cambrians, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and DWC & Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances. His choreography and dance films have been presented in California, Chicago, and twice at the Mobile Dance Film Festival in New York. Beyond his fulfillment as a dancer, he is grateful to exercise his skills as an adjudicator, teacher, and community builder.
Jalen, grew up training extensively in Ballet, Jazz, Modern (specifically Horton), and Hip Hop. Early on, I was fortunate enough to train and be mentored by several teachers from LINES Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Dance Theater of Harlem. Around the age of 13, I started attending conventions and quickly started winning scholarships and national titles. Those opportunities lead to me traveling with various conventions and assisting many commercial choreographers - including: Brian Friedman, LaurieAnn Gibson, Mia Michaels, NappyTabs, Tessandra Chavez, Teddy Forance, etc. The experience I gained from working so closely with these master teachers helped shape the passionate and dynamic teacher I am today. I have taught masterclasses, workshops, and at conventions all over the world, including: Canada, Mexico, China, Ukraine, Italy, etc. I have experience judging for multiple competitions in the US and Mexico as well. Connecting with people from all walks of life is a huge passion of mine and I'm 100% invested in always giving my students the best experience possible when I teach. He is currently touring with Mariah Carey.
Jona Biddle, dance choreographer extraordinaire, originally from Atlantic City, NJ, made his mark in New York conquering his big city dreams with a dance formula for success. Jona entertained audiences from his hometown in NJ, to sold out stadiums in Virginia while studying at Virginia State University, and then relocated to New York City to pursue his entertainment career in the big apple. Jona's credits include, Usher National Tours, Beyonce's TARGET in-store, Willow Smith, Pop artist Danni Ai, VH1 reality show, "Love & Hip-Hop", Ahsan Watts, Mary J. Blige's & Def Jam/Matriarch Recording artist, Katlyn Nichol. Whether Jona Biddle is dancing, working with celebrity clientele, choreographing for his dance company, conducting regional Hip-Hop Workshops, & Master classes, or mentoring for Camp Mariah, J.B. is always looking to take his career, his dancers, and prodigies to another level.
Katee Shean trained early on in ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, and tap. She attended Chapman University where she participated in the dance department and graduated with a BA in Early Childcare Development. She first got her start in the industry with award shows and stage performances before going on to compete on Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance where she was the female winner. She has performed with many artists such as Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Jenifer Lopez, Adam Lambert, Jordan Sparks, and was also the dance captain for Taylor Swift's World Tour. Katee's credits include the VMAs, Oscars, Teen Choice, Emmys, Grammys, American Music Awards, Country Music Awards, and more. Some of her and television and film credits include Glee, Drop Dead Diva, General Hospital, Nickelodeon, Ellen, Hannah Montana, Step Up 3-D, and Leading Ladies. Currently enjoys teaching master classes and choreograph for dancers. In addition to dance, Katee can also be seen acting on shows such as New Girl, Rosewood, and Shut Eye.
Keenan Cooks began dancing at the age of 14. In 2008, Keenan moved to New York City to pursue dance professionally and has danced with artist such as Big Sean, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Ne-Yo, Flo-Rida, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Prince Royce, iHeartMemphis, Spencer Ludwig, and Hailee Steinfeld. You may have seen him dancing on Saturday Night Live, America’s Got Talent, Today Show, Good Morning America, MTV Music Video Awards, BET Awards, The Grammy’s, and Lip Sync Battles. As a choreographer Keenan has choreographed for Cardi B, Meek Mill, David Guetta, J Balvin, Bebe Rehxa and Yo Gotti. His choreography has been seen on The MTV Music Video Awards, The Bet Awards and, A Gap Commercial. He was also the on-site choreographer for an episode of NBC’s “Blindspot”. Keenan has taught internationally and is also on faculty at New York City’s top Studio Broadway Dance Center and is on guest faculty at Movement Lifestyle and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles.
Kelly King was a Radio City Rockette for 12 years and has performed extensively for television, stage and film. She toured nationally with Fosse and Anything Goes and performed in Gregory Hines In Concert with Gregory Hines and Busker Alley with Tommy Tune. Other credits include Alvin Ailey NY, Sinatra "His World, His Way, His Voice," The Tonight Show, MTV Music Awards, NBC's WOW Awards at Lincoln Center, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Today Show and with the Pussycat Dolls at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. As a teacher, Ms. King held the resident faculty choreographer position at the Broadway Theatre Project for 11 years at the University of South Florida directed under Ann Reinking. She is involved in The Performing Arts Project as head of the dance department at Wake Forrest University and as a guest teacher for Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She recently finished teaching at GENDARC Dance Summer Intensive, with over 50 apprentices, held at Alvin Ailey in NYC.
Rory Freeman earned his BFA in Modern Dance from SUNY Purchase (NY) in 2010. This gave him the opportunity to perform pieces by Bill T. Jones, Paul Taylor, Bella Lewitsky, and Luca Veggetti. In 2010, he joined the world-renowned dance company, MOMIX, and performed globally. After moving to Los Angeles in 2013, Rory had the honor of working and performing with companies like Commonality, Escape Artists, and Royal Flux. He has also been fortunate enough to work with music artists such as Earth, Wind, & Fire, Taylor Swift, Paula Abdul, Jack Wagner, among others. Rory had the pleasure of being a part of the skeleton crew to create a portion of the Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Rory is also a part of the faculty and judges for various national conventions and competitions. He has taught and choreographed at numerous studios across America and is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Move: The Initiative, a weekend dance intensive that takes place in his home state of Rhode Island. Rory first became a member of Shaping Sound in 2013, where he was part of the company's first ever-national tour, performed at the International Festival Dans Encore, the Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala, and Dancer Palooza. Rory is thrilled to be able to work with Shaping Sound for a second season!
Shannon Atkins moved to New York four years ago from Australia, and since then her talent and passion for dance has led her to travel throughout the US, UK, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Australia regularly judging and setting award-winning choreography and company repertoire. Most recently, Shannon taught at the Victorian Dance Festival in Melbourne, Australia alongside Travis Wall as the US representatives. She is a coach for the USA Dance Team/American Dance Company, who represent their country in the International Dance Organization’s annual Jazz/Modern competition in Poland. She is also a judge for the World Dance Championships and has appeared on Lifetime TV’s Dance Moms. Shannon loves to share her knowledge and experience as a regular panel speaker and advisor at Star Dance Alliance seminars. She is best at offering guidance to international dancers wanting to make the transition to the US. Prior to her worldwide career, Shannon was a successful Australian performer appearing in musicals such as 42nd Street and Oklahoma, where she also took on the role of dance captain. She is also an established choreographer, having created many musicals including the ever-popular High School Musical 2. She effectively directed and owned Dance Technique which is a leading performing arts school on the Gold Coast that has seen numerous students secure sought after roles on Broadway and in reputable schools and companies such as The Juilliard School and The English National Ballet. She was also a founding dance professor at the prestigious Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia. She loves to create a “feel good” atmosphere in her classes while also challenging the dancers technically. Fun fact: Shannon also has a law/psychology degree.
Shelby Tagge is a seasoned performer and choreographer. She has trained and worked all over the country including Salt Lake City, New York City, and Los Angeles. During her freshman year at Brigham Young University she toured as an assistant for NRG Dance Project, working closely with choreographers and learning valuable skills as an instructor. For the rest of her collegiate years she was a member of BYU Ballroom Company and Contemporary Dance Theatre, performing in China and Europe. She participated in the New Prague Dance Festival where her company won the Grande Prix. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, she began her professional dance career at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Shortly after she joined XY Dance Project, a contemporary ballet company in New York City. After working as a choreographer at Millennium Dance Complex, SLC, Shelby moved to Los Angeles, where she is currently working as a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor. Shelby hopes to inspire artists to recognize their unconditional value and undeniable voice.
Tara Jeanne’s work was most recently seen onstage in The Producers at the Olney Theatre Center, where she is an Artistic Associate. Her choreography for The King and I at the Olney received a nomination for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Choreography. Her work for that show, as well as The Little Mermaid was voted among the Best of DC Choreography 2013 by Metro Theatre Arts. Other regional work includes Annie (TUTS, Houston), Triumph of Love(OTC), and Annie (OTC), the latter of which was also nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Resident Musical. Tara Jeanne’s choreography was seen on Broadway in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, which also had a successful National Tour. She choreographed the Off-Broadway production of The Sphinx Winx at the Algonquin Theatre and Theatre Row (NYC), She Can’t Believe She Said That (NYMTF ’08), They’re Playing Our Song (Surflight, NJ), and Christmas Dreams(Branson, MO), and her work was chosen from hundreds of applicants to be a featured choreographer in DanceBreak 2010. Her live event choreography includes work for Qwest Communications and FCS. Ms. Vallee is proud to have served as Choreographer for the NFAA/young Arts programs in NYC, for Breakthrough (Ziegfeld, NYC) and Body and Soul (37 Arts, NYC). As Associate/Assistant: Camelot (Olney Theatre Center), 42nd Street (Goodspeed), Singin in the Rain (Goodspeed), The Music Man (National Tour), White Christmas (The Denver Center), The View: Welcome Back, Barbara (ABC). As a performer, Tara Jeanne is a Two Time World Tap Champion-Top Female Soloist, served as Dance Captain on the National Tours of The Music Man and My Fair Lady, as well as Singin in the Rain and 42nd Street at the Goodspeed Opera House, and performed in White Christmas (Denver Ctr), the National Tour of Footloose and The Music Man at North Carolina Theatre.
Zach Saunders Originally from Columbus, OH and currently residing in Los Angeles, CA, Zach has created a name for himself not only as a phenomenal dancer and performer, but also as a sought-after teacher and educator. His career as allowed him multiple performance opportunities across film, television, and stage. Select credits include: Warner Bros. feature film, ‘Project X,’ ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ assisting the legendary Michael Rooney on the television project, ‘Hit Record,’ starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tony Danza, a Ford Super Bowl commercial starring James Franco, performing with China’s top 5 artists on Hunan TV’s New Year’s Countdown, and a world tour with pop artist Adam Tyler. Most Recently he worked with the band Walk The Moon as the assistant choreographer for the popular “Shut Up and Dance” music video. Zach cites tap as his truest love, and credits much of his training and artistry to both Gregg Russell, as well as Parris Mann and Rashida Kahn. Zach has had the pleasure of teaching and choreographing at studios both nationally and internationally, and can be found on tour with Art of Movement national dance convention, as well as teaching for three competitive studios in the greater Los Angeles area, where he hopes to inspire the next generation to love and appreciate dance as much as he does. Zach’s goal is to approach every class with a kind and constructive eye, pushing the dancers to not only believe in their movement, but most importantly in themselves.