October 6 and 7th, 2018


24/7 Dance Studio, Frederick, Md, 21701.


There are many hotels within 3 miles of 24/7 Dance Studio. A host hotel will be announced closer to the date.

This Year’s Faculty for Taps Alive

Star Dixon

Star Dixon is an assistant director, choreographer, and original principal dancer of world renowned tap company, MADD Rhythms. She has taught and performed at some of the most distinguished tap festivals including Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World, LA Tap Fest, DC Tap Fest, New Orleans Jazz City, Motor City Tap Fest, & MADD Rhythms own Chicago Tap Summit. Internationally, she’s taught and performed in Brazil, Poland, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, & Mexico.

Recent projects include performances with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards in SPEAK: Tap meets Kathak; and Jumaane Taylor’s A Love Supreme which was recently presented as part of Tireless, a curated performance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She’s been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine (Artist on the rise & Speed demon), Dance Teacher Magazine (Music for tap), & The Chicago Reader. Besides MADD Rhythms, she’s performed as a guest with such companies as Michelle Dorrance’s Dorrance Dance, Jason Samuel Smith’s ACGI, Lane Alexander’s Bam, and Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies. She’s currently on staff at numerous dance studios and schools in and around the Chicagoland area.

Derick Grant

Derick K. Grant (Performer, Chreographer, Director) has an established career that spans over three decades. Under the direction of two time Tony Award winning director George C. Wolfe, he was an original company member and Dance Captain for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk at both The Public Theater and on Broadway and also starred in the role of ‘da beat for the first National Tour of Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. He created the critically acclaimed show Imagine Tap! and was appointed as the Co-Artistic Director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Summer Festival.

Mr. Grant was the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artist, The Helen Hayes Award (Washington D.C.) for Outstanding Featured Actor as well as two additional for his role in Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk.  Mr. Grant also received two Los Angeles Ovation Awards for choreography and for best Ensemble performance in Noise/Funk, and was most recently recognized for Best Choreography for Imagine Tap! He was also nominated for the Lester Horton Dance Award for Best Male Performance from the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles.

Choreography and performance credits include The Apollo Theatre’s Get On The Good Foot (James Brown Tribute) local and national tour; The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ AFRICAN ODYSSEY program (EXPRESIONES LATINAS Festival); Opening number for Daniela Mercury with Brazilian artist Nego Gato; The Aaron Davis Hall Black History Month Celebration; The Queens Symphony Opera’s DUKE ELLINGTON CONCERT, Ann Arbor’s ARTS FESTIVAL; The Embassy in Portugal; THE CONNECTICUT BALLET COMPANY’s celebration of MEN IN DANCE with Brett Raphael; and as a special guest artist with The Jazz Tap Ensemble. Mr. Grant’s own production of the history of tap, A NIGHT OUT: TAP! toured the country successfully for three months. Mr. Grant also joined Mr. in Yonkers, NY, Vermont and Boston. He also appeared with violinist Sa-Idah for a tribute commemorating The Colonial African Heritage’s African Burial Ground Reinterment produced by the Schomburg Center.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson, named a “virtuosic tapper” by The Washington Post, is native of Baltimore, Maryland and began dancing under the direction of his mother, Vanessa Jackson Johnson, at Turn Out Performing Arts Center. He continued to develop his passion for dance at Slater’s Dance Studio in Annapolis, Maryland.
Ryan is a well-known national and international performer, who has been called “purely amazing” by Septime Weber, Artist Director of The Washington Ballet. At the age of 22, he created Raw Sound Tap Company with the purpose to teach, restore, and preserve the history of Percussive Dance in the Maryland area. He has been commissioned by studios and festivals to create choreography through workshops and residency programs.
Ryan’s achievements include being cited for his choreography and solo dance performance, receiving a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2008. He is the 2010 award winner of the DC Metro Dance Awards: Outstanding Solo Performance and finalist for the Emerging Artist Award. Ryan has performed in Cirque Du Soleil Mosaic, The Washington Ballet The Great Gatsby, and DansEncore 2010 International Dance Festival as a featured solo artist fusing step and tap dance.
Recently Ryan was the lead choreographer for the 2010 Season Premier of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, in Baltimore MD were he created a Step Extravaganza. As well as premiering new works at the 2010 International Body Music Festival in Brazil performed by Step Afrika!, Ryan currently performing the role of Particle Man in the hit Off Broadway show STOMP and is a past soloist with the world renowned Step Afrika!.
Ryan is known for creating innovative choreography fusing stepping, tap dance, non-verbal acting, and audience participation. He has performed on stages and taught in studios across the world including The United States, South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco, South America, Canada, and South East Asia

Riley Korrell

Riley Korrell is tap dance instructor, performer, and entertainer from Frederick, Maryland. He is a featured dancer with Sole Defined Dance Company in DC. and has performed at distinguished venues such as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Discovery Theater at the Smithsonian in D.C., The Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center and various stages at the APAP Conference in NYC and Velocity convention in Washington D.C.  Riley has studied with Chicago Rhythms Project’s Institute of Rhythmic Arts and STOMPS month-long Bootcamp in NYC. Riley is a member of the American Tap Dance Team and has represented the United States in 2016 and 2017 as the Senior Males Soloist as well as competing in Duos, Trios, and groups. He continues to attend festivals and intensives like DC Tap Fest, RIFF, Tap Untied, Taps Alive and more. He has studied under many credited artists like Michelle Dorrance, Derick Grant, Aaron Tolson, Charles Renato, Ryan Johnson, Nicholas Young, Ted Louis Levy, Joseph Dodd, and countless others. He enjoys learning, performing,  teaching and inspiring young through the arts and dance.

Jimmy Tate

Jimmy Tate began his tap career in the Broadway musical, “The Tap Dance Kid”, where he ultimately played the title role. Shortly after the run, Jimmy studied and performed with Tony award-winning choreographer Henry LeTang. After graduating Sarah Lawrence College, Jimmy danced in Jelly’s Last Jam with Gregory Hines, Ben Vereen, and Savion Glover. After a Broadway run, and 1st national tour run of “Jelly’s”, Jimmy found himself as an original member of the hit show, “Bring in ‘da Noise Bring in ‘da Funk”, where he again danced with Glover, and eventually did Savion’s leading role in the tour. Jimmy has danced on the Grammy awards, Drama desk awards, Kennedy Center Honors, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, The Rosie O’donnell Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Twice on the Tony Awards, and three times on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Jimmy won a best choreography award for his work in his NYC Fringe Festival show – “Thunder”, and an Ovation award for his work on the “Bring in ‘da Noise” tour.

Jimmy Has been teaching tap for 26 years, with years of classes at Steps, and Broadway Dance Center. He has taught and judged for Canadian Dance masters, Showstopper Dance Competition, Stepp With Me Dance Competition, and for New York City Dance Alliance. In addition to teaching master classes and doing competition choreography all over the country, Jimmy has taught for Tap City in NY, Lisa Hopkins’ “Tap Kids”, The Big Apple Tap Festival, and the Columbus Tap Festival. Jimmy has performed twice in Switzerland with Derick Grant, and danced in tribute to the late tap choreographer Danny Daniels; with Dule’ Hill, and Jason Samuels Smith at the New York City Center.

Mark Orsborn

Mark Orsborn is a tap dancer, choreographer, and master teacher.  Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Mark began his dance career at the age of five.  He was a soloist with the Tap America Project (TAP) and featured in such events as the Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary and Smithsonian 150th Anniversary.  Mark is a former member of the tap company, Tappers With Attitude (TWA).  During his time with TWA, Mark had the opportunity to perform on a regular basis on stages and theaters across the country. Mark was also an original cast member in the Debbie Allen production of Brothers of the Knight at the Kennedy Center.  At the age of 16, Mark began assisting Laurie Johnson on the Tremaine Dance Convention circuit.  He parlayed his experience and extensive training to begin teaching and choreographing.  Mark quickly built a following and became an in-demand choreographer and master tap teacher.  For years, Mark choreographed and taught for numerous dance studios and companies.  Mark is currently on faculty for conventions and tap festivals such as the KAR Dance Convention, Starpower Power Pak, Dance Masters of America, Groove, and D.C. Tap Festival.  Mark is the co-founder of the company, The JaM Project, and was recently recognized by Dance Spirit and The Washington Post for choreography and concept video production.

Charles Renato

Charles Renato was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. He began tap-dancing at the age of 6 at the Brazilian tap company CBS and hasn’t stopped since. Charles has won several renowned awards throughout his career including Best Dancer of the Festidança Festival (2004) and the Joinville Dance Festival (2002), the latter considered to be the largest dance festival in the world by the Guinness World Records (2008). He was also the winner of the “Tap in Rio Challenge” in 2007 and of a Brazilian network TV Globo Challenge Show in 2009. Charles was the co-creator of “Brazilian Roots,” which performed at the Rhythm World 2008 – Chicago Human Rhythm Project and he has performed in various cities around the world such as Lisbon, where he joined the cast of the musical “Sinatra – Blue Eyes.” Back in Brazil, Renato was a member of the “KS Tap Company,” directed by Kika Sampaio, which is responsible for bringing together the most sought after teachers of the nation.

Renato has taken classes with many Brazilian tap stars such as Steven Harper, Cintia Martin, Valéria Pinheiro, Cintia Chamecki, Claudio Figueira and Kika Sampaio. He has also taken classes abroad with numerous tap legends including Diane Walker, Jimmy Slyde, Harold Cromer, Ted Louis Levi, Sam Weber, Lane Alexander, Jason Samuels Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Chloe Arnold, Michelle Dorrance, Gene Medler, Van Porter, Robert Reed, Barbara Duffy, Derick Grant, Lisa LaTouche, Steve Zee, Maud Arnold, Jason Janas, Melinda Sulivan, Sarah Reich and Joseph Webb.

Aaron Tolson

A New Hampshire native, Aaron started dancing at the age of ten. At 14 the tap prodigy was invited to perform in the Great Tap Reunion at the Apollo Theatre alongside tap legends Derick Grant, Savion Glover,  and Gregory Hines, as well as the rest of the cast of the movie TAP! That same year Aaron joined his high school track team. Throughout his four year high school career Aaron set every school record in every event he competed in, including the 55 and 300-meter indoor dashes and the 100 and 200-meter outdoor events. His times qualified Aaron to compete in the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials and earned him induction into the Memorial High School and Manchester, NY Halls of Fame. He also earned a full scholarship to St. John’s University, where he once again set records in track, a number of which still stand to this day. In 1996 he was invited to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials. When not on the track or in class studying communications, Aaron was in Manhattan honing his tap skills. During his senior year to successfully auditioned for the New York Shakespeare Festival tap program, also known as Funk U! Soon Aaron became a company member of Manhattan Tap and worked in the show Tap Dogs. Jumping feet-first into choreography, he landed a job with Absolut in a national tour titled Absolut Tap! Soon after, Aaron accepted a role in the national and international tours of Riverdance. He was a featured soloist and captain of the tap dancers for six years as he performed on Broadway and at Radio City Music Hall, on various TV shows, at NBA games, and on stages the world over. In 2006 Aaron began working with longtime friend Derick Grant on Imagine Tap!, a Chicago-based show whose formation would become the subject of a feature-length documentary, titled Tap or Die. As a faculty member at The Boston Conservatory and Plymouth State University, Aaron choreographed, produced and directed Something to Tap About, Tapped, Tapped In and Inspired, all featuring performers from his own New England Tap Ensemble. Aaron formed New England Tap Ensemble, a non-profit organization, in May of 2007 to promote the art of tap in the community while fostering a sense of individuality in a professional artist. From Montana to Moscow, Aaron has performed and taught at numerous festivals including LA Tap Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Beantown Tap Fest, Tap United, Tampa Bay Tap Festival, Tap Kids Brazil International Tap Festival and FeetxFeet. Other favorite performances include Brookline Chorus’ Duke Ellington Sacred Concert, The Late Show with Liam O’Conner in Ireland, and playing Drosselmeyer in Clara’s Dream in A Jazz Nutcracker. Aaron is currently on faculty with Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center in New York City and is the director of Tap2You, an all-tap dance competition. In addition, he is the national spokesperson for SoDanca, and the Director of Speaking In Taps, a pre-professional youth company. Body & Sole Fitness is Aaron Tolson’s latest project, and one that allows him to share his love of tap with non-dancers, while working out and staying fit at the same time. Not coincidentally, Body & Sole was conceived in 2013, the same year he welcomed his daughter Charlotte into the world. Aaron currently lives in New York City with wife Emily, Charlotte, and their miniature schnauzer, Mighty.