the_company deborah mitchell artists repertory board and staff
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Principal Dancers      
Maurice Chestnut, dancer   Maurice Chestnut, Soloist
One of tap's brightest young stars, Maurice Chestnut is an original member of the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble. His extensive list of credits includes his appearance at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe with the Geri Allen trio as a featured soloist, and his performances in productions with Savion Glover such as Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk, Improvography, Classical Savion, Tappin' Into Monk, Invitation to the Dancer and on "ABC-TV's Dancing With The Stars." At the turn of the 21st century, the Newark Star Ledger's arts reviewers named Maurice "one of the twenty New Jersey faces to watch for in the new century."
Dana Fisch, dancer   Dana Fisch, Principal Dancer
Dana holds a degree in Dance Management from Oklahoma City University. She has worked behind the scenes with Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Battery Dance Company and Kaleidoscope Theatre. In addition to her work with New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, her performance and choreography credits include Push Factor Dance Company, Off-Broadway rock opera "The Capital Mall," and "DanceTracks NYC 2007." Dana was the tap instructor and company manager for "DanzJam." www.danafisch.com
Dewit Fleming Jr., dancer   Dewitt Fleming Jr. , Soloist, Dance Captain
DeWitt hails from Washington D.C. A graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Marymount Manhattan College with a BA in Acting, Dewitt is the current Dance Captain and a soloist with NJTAP. His credits include (Off- Broadway) Dutchman, Highlights in Jazz, Tribute to Tap Legends, Richard III, and Finnegan's Farewell. As an acclaimed tap dancer, he has performed throughout the United States and abroad. He played the leading role in the Equity Showcase production of Dance Bojangles Dance, and has been the host and co-creator of the Off-Broadway hit, Broadway Underground. In addition to his work with NJTAP, DeWitt has danced with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, and Victor Goins. DeWitt is also a percussionist, playing the drum set weekly for numerous artists throughout the tri-state area. He is also a member of The Young Hoofers,and Theater for a New Generation.
Jeffry Foote, dancer   Jeffrey Foote , Principal Dancer
Jeffry was inspired to become a rhythm tap dancer after seeing a performance of Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk. Though he claims to have arrived late as a tapper (beginning at the age of 20), Jeffry has compiled an impressive list of tap credits with NJTAP along with his credits as an actor. He has appeared in numerous musical theatre productions including The Full Monty, Dance Bojangles Dance, Dreamgirls, Swing, Smoky Joe's Café, Side Show and Ragtime. He has also appeared in Shakespeare productions including The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night. Jeffry studies at the CCM Modern Dance Company, but owes much of his confidence as a rhythm tapper to Deborah Mitchell, Karen Callaway Williams, DeWitt Fleming and Omar Edwards.
Shauna Hanlon, dancer   Shauna Hanlon , Principal Dancer
In addition to her work with the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, Shauna is an instructor and choreographer of tap, modern, lyrical and jazz. She has performed extensively with the company, appeared in presentations at the County College of Morris, choreographed the musical Fame for Montclair State University, and has worked with young artists in arts education programs in the public schools.
Stacey McFadin, dancer   Stacey McFadin , Principal Dancer
Born and raised in San Antonio Texas, Stacey graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Philosophy, after which she headed to NYC to dance. In 2001, she discovered the NJ Tap Dance Ensemble through an audition, and it's been a perfect match ever since. Stacey has taught tap in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts, and was a teaching artist to fifth graders with the American Ballroom Theater Company. If you look closely, you might see her in the hit documentary, "Mad Hot Ballroom." Most recently, Stacey earned her J.D. from NYU School of Law. These days, when she is not tapping, she can be found practicing law in Manhattan.
Alicia Smith, dancer   Alicia Smith, Principal Dancer
Alicia Smith is Artistic Director at AIM Dance & Fitness Center, Home of the Artistry In Motion Dancers in Westland, MI. She is Michigan’s first recipient of the Leo Tap City 2005 Tap Teacher of the Year Award from the new York City Tap Festival. She was also featured in the March 2006 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine as a selected member of the Honors List recognizing Dance Education. A student of many great tap legends, she was mentored, encouraged and taught primarily by Mr. Robert Reed, founder of The Robert L. Reed Tap Institute and Home of the annual St. Louis Tap Festival.
Addam Stell, dancer   Addam Stell, Principal Dancer
Hailing from Oregon with a BA in Philosophy from Portland State University, Addam began his dance career at age 7 as a clogger, and studied jazz, tap, ballet, modern and African dance. But he thinks of himself as a tapper and has taught, performed and choreographed tap throughout his entire adult life. He performed and toured with the Jefferson Dancers, the Skylark Tappers, and the Portland Tap Connection. Addam has appeared in many musical theatre productions including Oliver, the Music Man, and Anything Goes (serving as Dance Captain in two different productions). In addition to performing with New Jersey Tap Ensemble, Addam has his own company,Tap Cats, and is a member of the Foot and Fiddle Dance Company in NYC.
Karen Callaway-Williams, dancer   Karen Callaway Williams, Soloist
An original member of the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, Karen Callaway Williams was the company's first dance captain. She can be seen in the documentary, "Been Rich All My Life"(The Story of the Silver Belles). Broadway credits include Play On! and Riverdance, in which she was the first African American female dancer and dance captain. A special guest artist on Sesame Street, she was also interviewed in "Bojangles, the Legacy" for Showtime. Karen tours nationally and internationally with Tap City on Tour and Tap Tel Aviv. She has performed at the Cotton Club and the Apollo, has been featured in Essence, and is on the cover of Flow Magazine's Summer 2007 issue. She has been a guest tap soloist with The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and the Cincinnati Pops. Karen's first children's book, "Gabriella's Tap Shoes," is about to be released.
Musical Direction      
J. Leonard Oxley, Music Director   J. Leonard Oxley, Music Director
A musical theatre conductor and pianist, Mr. Oxley has been the music director for NJTAP Dance Ensemble since the beginning. His inspiration, he says, is Deborah Mitchell's personality. A Julliard graduate, Mr. Oxley's numerous credits include Broadway, off-Broadway, national and international tours. He has accompanied and worked with some of the theater's most celebrated artists including Carol Channing and Robert Preston. Among his long list of Broadway credits: Play On!, Jelly's Last Jam, Black and Blue, "Andre Heller's Wonderhouse," Big Deal, Sophisticated Ladies, Ain't Misbehavin', Hello Dolly!, I Do! I Do!, and A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.
Nicki Denner, dancer   Nicki Denner, Asst. Music Director and Rehearsal Accompanist
Nicki Denner has been a part of the New York Latin and jazz music scene since 1999 and is known throughout the United States and Europe. Nicki is also a devoted teacher, maintaining a private teaching studio and serving on the piano faculty of the Stanford University Summer Jazz Workshop and the Montclair State University Jazz Prep Summer Program. Since 2001, she has led her own trio which features Jennifer Vincent on bass, and Willie Martinez on drums. In 2006, the trio released their debut recording, Moliendo Café, which was named one of the "Top Ten Picks of 2006" in Latin Beat Magazine. Ms. Denner has released two other Latin jazz CD's as a leader, "Don't Just Stand There" and "El Medico de Coqui" (featuring Julian Llanos, former singer with Latin music legend Arsenio Rodriguez) which spent six months in Latin Beat magazine's Top 20 Hit Parade. You can hear her music at www.nickidenner.com.
Supporting Artists      
Elizabeth Glover, Supporting Artist   Elizabeth Glover
Elizabeth Glover is an original member of the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble. She is a well known tap instructor and dance educator in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. In the past, she performed extensively with NJTAP, appeared in numerous industrial films, in instructional tap videos and with The Theatre School Repertory. As a singer/dancer, Liz is also a member of The Real People Theater Company in Alexandria, Virginia.
    Parris Mann
Currently guest choreographer for NJTAP, Parris Mann is one of the original members of the company. Parris has been seen in numerous performances throughout the United States, performed in the European tour of Black and Blue and appeared in the hit show Riverdance. He performed weekly at NYC's prestigious Supper Club from 1996 to 2001. Parris was awarded the State of New Jersey Governor's Award for Dance Excellence.