As soloist, choreographer and master teacher, Ms. Gray has toured extensively across the U.S. and abroad and in 1989 co-founded Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, TX with Deirdre Strand and currently serves as Executive/Artistic Director & Artistic Director of The Soul to Sole Tap Festival. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts/NYC, Ms. Gray has shared the stage with numerous legends and contemporaries of American tap dance throughout the US and abroad. She was chosen to work with tap legend Charles ‘Honi’ Coles in America’s first creative residency for tap at The Colorado Dance Festival and again with Jimmy Slyde and was featured in the documentary A Class Act: The Magic of Honi Coles. She was a founding member and Managing Director of the touring company Austin on Tap, served on the Steering Committee of The International Tap Association and was a featured soloist representing the US in the Dance Magazine Calendar. She has also danced, choreographed and taught for Columbia College, The Univerisity of Texas, The Colorado Dance Festival, International Summer School/Cyprus, Dance Masters of America, TASIS/London, Tanzsommer/Austria, The St. Louis Tap Festival, The Chicago Human Rhythm Project, The NYC Tap Festival, Le Festival De Danse Encore and many others. Her book The Souls of Your Feet – A Tap Dance Guide for Rhythm Explorers has been translated in the Czech Republic and China and has been an Amazon.com bestseller in its category. Her numerous awards include the “Hoofer Award” by The New York City Tap Festival and a premiere member of the Austin Arts Fall of Fame. She has received numerous "Best Of" awards by the Critics Table in Austn and her work The Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance was chosen as an NEA American Masterpiece production and toured throughout the US, Canada and China. Currently she can be seen in the tap documentary Tap or Die. Ms. Gray served as the President of the International Tap Association from 2008-2014 and is currently the organization's Director. www.aciagray.com
As a Tapestry Dance Company alumni, Jesse began his dance training at Moschetta’s Performing Arts Center under the instruction of Barbara Mochetta and Jaqueline Moschetta-Warren in Fredericktown, PA. He studied tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. Over his many years of training, tap dance remained his true passion. He has continued to foster his love of tap by not only performing but also teaching and loves sharing his passion for tap dance with younger students. He currently is on staff at Tapestry’s Youth Academy, Evolution Dance Center, Dance by Carly and also teaches at St Elmo’s elementary school via Tapestry Dance Company’s outreach program. Jesse has performed in original TDC works including, One Step at a Time, Of Mice and Music – A Jazz Tap Nutcracker, Listen, Just Tap and the tour of Passing it Forward, the American Dream? and recently returned from a five week tour as a solo tap improv artist in China. Jesse is grateful for the opportunity to work side by side with the talented members of TDC under the direction of Acia Gray. When Jesse is not on stage or in the studio teaching, you will find him downtown performing on the streets with local Austin artists and musicians.
Mario Alberto Ollincoyotl Ramirez
Mario Alberto Ollincoyotl Ramirez (They/Them) was born and raised in Dallas TX, Mario comes from relations to the lands and waters of Cruz De Elorza, Mx. They are Guachichil-Chichimeca. Mario continues their ceremonial dance practices of Danza Aztec/Chichimeca/Mexihcayotl with their local community practices since they were thirteen. Their dance disciplines stem from a mixture of classical modern fundamentals, postmodern theories, somatic-based movement, and Africanist & Indigenous Aesthetics. They have worked and danced with Choreographers such as Charles O. Anderson, Yacov Sharir, Gesel Mason, Abby Zibokowski, Andrea Beckham, Dorothy Oshea Overbey and Shayla-Vie Jenkins to name a few. Mario loves to physically and metaphysically move. They are currently learning to walk with social justice and equity within our education system, dance representation, and Indigenous communities. Mario attended the University of Texas at Austin for their Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance and is on a journey of truth and looking forward to youth-centered organizing, life-long learning, and hearty laughs. http://www.Mariollin.com
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As a Tapestry Dance Company alumni, Claire has over 22 years of experience in various styles of dance, specializing in tap. Along the way she has had the privilege of being mentored by Barbara Duffy, Gene GeBauer, Thelma Goldberg the late Professor Robert L. Reed, not to mention the many master class instructors that have played a huge part in her dance education. As a young tap dancer Claire performed as a member of Prof. Robert L. Reed’s St. Louis Hoofers Club, and has gone on to dance in the Denver-based company 7Dancers, as a guest performer with Anthony LoCasio’s #TapLife Company, with her own companyRocky Mountain Rhythm and as a solo artist. In her early 20’s Claire discovered her passion for teaching tap. She earned two Tap Teacher Training Certificates (Level 1 & 2) from the American Tap Dance Foundation. In an effort to build a stronger tap community Claire founded Rocky Mountain Rhythm in 2014 which has become the go-to resource for tap in Colorado. Since then she has curated many local tap events, master classes, and performances for the community. Claire strives to pass on her love of the art form through her performance and teaching.