ITA Board of Directors

Acia Gray, President

A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts/NYC and starting her career touring the country with Austin on Tap throughout the 1980’s, Ms. Gray is the Artistic Director of Tapestry Dance Company as well as The Soul to Sole Tap Festival in Austin, TX.  Over the past 25 years she has had the honor to work with some of our greatest tap legends including Charles “Honi” Coles, Jimmy Slyde, Lon Chaney, Chuck Green, Eddie Brown, Buster Brown and Steve Condos among many other great rhythm masters. She also sends love and appreciation to her greatest rhythm friends Brenda Bufalino, Sarah Petronio and Dianne Walker for holding her hand along the way. Ms. Gray has also served on the NEA funded Steering Committee for the National Tap Plan and is currently touring her work The Souls of Our Feet through the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative. Her critically acclaimed book The Souls of Your Feet is available at all major bookstores.

 

Lane Alexander

Lane Alexander founded and directs the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. His career has spanned over 30 years and has included concerts with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall, the first recording in 50 years of Morton Gould's Tap Dance Concerto and the co-production of the Emmy nominated, PBS documentary - JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance. Lane has received two Illinois Arts Council Choreography Fellowships, was recognized by the Chicago Tribune as a "Chicagoan of the Year", and recipient of the Chicago Dance Coalition's Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field in 2000 and the 2004 Music and Dance Alliance Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. Lane teaches and choreographs around the world and designs shoes in collaboration with Leo's Dancewear.

 

Tony Waag

Tony Waag founded the American Tap Dance Orchestra in 1986, in collaboration with Brenda Bufalino and the late Charles "Honi" Coles, and toured extensively throughout the U.S. and around the world.   From 1989 to 1995, he co-created and operated, with Brenda Bufalino, the Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center in SoHo. In 2001, he renamed the organization the American Tap Dance Foundation and created Tap City, the annual New York City Tap Festival. As Executive and Artistic Director of the American Tap Dance Foundation, Waag currently directs year-round training programs for kids, teens and adults in New York City, and has initiated the annual Tap Preservation and Hoofer Awards, the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame, Tap City on Tour, the Gregory Hines Youth Scholarship Fund, and the Gregory Hines Collection of American Tap Dance Archives which are now housed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

 

Sas Salfjord

Co-founder and Executive Director of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society, Sas (Sandra) Selfjord began the first phase of her career in the investment industry that began with mutual fund financial management to the hectic and demanding task as head stock trader for several leading brokerage firms. In the early 80’s as consultant and educator she developed and delivered seminars designed to empower women with financial and stock market knowledge in the successful “Women and Investing” courses.  Armed with financial background, Sas entered the non profit arena with BC largest non government social service agency becoming engaged in board development, volunteer support, program delivery, risk management and governance best practices. The non profit sector matched Sas values and she continued her studies completing a degree in Non Profit Management at Simon Fraser University.

 

Katherine Kramer, Secretary

Founding Artistic Director of Katherine Kramer Projects, Inc., Katherine lives in Bozeman, MT, where ten times since 1996 she has produced “Rhythm Explosion”, an interdisciplinary summer festival workshop featuring tap. She is currently developing an artist retreat center in Montana, supporting reflection and collaboration.  In 2007 she received a Creation Fund Grant from the National Performance Network, with which she created an evening-length work, Stop Look Listen – featuring an original score and a blending of tap and contemporary dance with musicians who move.  In 2008 she received a Fulbright Grant, which allowed her to collaborate and perform with both classical and jazz musicians in Prague and which will take her to South America in 2011. Katherine has been a vital presence in the resurgence and evolution of classic jazz and tap dance since the 1970’s.  She is grateful for having had the opportunity to work with the finest of tap’s masters and innovators.

 

Heather Cornell

As Artistic Director of Manhattan Tap, Ms. Cornell is one of the leading tap teachers and choreographers on the scene today. The blend of original material from her mentors, the development of her own style of concert tap, and her extensive work in collaboration with top musicians in jazz and world music results in a teaching style that is rich with tradition, experience, musicality, and inspiration. She established the Manhattan Tap Apprentice Program that is responsible for training today's generation of tap artists including Max Pollak, Michael Minery, Roxanne Butterfly, Bob Carrol and Jeannie Hill, as well as cast members of Manhattan Tap, Stomp, Bring In da Noise, Bring In da Funk, Tap Dogs, Cool Heat Urban Beat, and Riverdance. She travels extensively, mentoring new tap communities, and teaching master classes and residencies throughout the world.

 

Bruce Bradley

Alfred Bruce Bradley, performing artist and educator, is a Flint Michigan native, Mr. Bradley is the founder of Tapology Tap Festival for Youth, The Flintstone Hoofers and co-founder of Creative Expressions Dance Studio.   In the Detroit area he teaches tap at the Fem Fatale Dance Studio, The Motor City Dance Factory and Miss Harriett’s Dance Studio.  Bradley is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and began his theatrical training.  Upon returning to the Flint area after college he became actively involved with the McCree Theatre as a performing artist.  As a result of his work through the McCree Theatre he was given the opportunity to work professionally in the hit Off Broadway musical One Mo Time in the lead role as Papa Du which resulted in an extended run at The Village Gate in Toronto, Ontario.

 

Stephen Harper

Steven Harper, an American citizen who spent many years in Europe, has been living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 1991, where he became a strong driving force behind the tap dance scene. His style is the result of his cosmopolite background and of his professional experience in several fields of dance and percussion. Whether as performer, teacher, speaker, producer or writer, he dedicates himself to the advancement of tap dance and the discovery of new horizons for this fascinating art form. Much in demand internationally, Steven participated in many prestigious festivals in over 10 countries. He also leads a tap company, organizes the annual festival Tap in Rio and represents the International Tap Association in Brazil.

 

Barbara Phillips

Founder / Director of Third Coast Rhythm Project, Barbara is an educator, choreographer and producer dedicated to nurturing a new generation of rhythm explorers, providing opportunity through accessible programming, concert performances, outreach programs, and collaborations within the extended dance community. She is Artistic Director of R.P.M. Youth Tap Ensemble and founder/ director of Third Coast Dance Center providing a hub for teachers, choreographers and dancers to share and create, through comprehensive training opportunities and infrastructure that supports all Third Coast programs. Barbara was recently recognized by San Antonio Women magazine as San Antonio’s first lady of tap and honored as the recipient of the 2009 Texas Tap Legend award by the Dallas Dance Council for her contribution to the art form, artistic and educational achievement and service to the community.