Meet the

ACADEMY COLLABORATORS

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Kelly Bach

 

Kelly's wellness journey began in college when she started working at Texas State University's Rec Center as a group fitness instructor. While teaching step, cycling, toning, and other classes she fell in love with wellness and fitness. After moving to Austin, Kelly completed her 200 hr vinyasa training at Yoga Yoga and now has over 200 hours of teaching experience. Kelly loves to be outdoors. She also loves to dance, sing, and live her best life every single day while encouraging others to do the same in their own way. You can often find her riding her bike, hula-hooping, or dancing around Austin.  When you come to Kelly's class, you can expect to have fun and to sweat! Kelly loves to teach a challenging class that is accessible to all levels by giving alignment-based instruction and offering many modifications and advancements. Her positivity and excitement are contagious, and her smooth and calming voice will help guide you through your toughest postures to your most relaxed state. Kelly seamlessly intertwines western anatomy, yogic philosophy, pranayama, and meditation to create a holistically nourishing experience.

Jesse Berry

 

In his third season with Tapestry, 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.

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Jonah Ende

 

Growing up in Sydney, Australia, Jonah started tap dancing at age 10 under the direction of Dein Perry, the founder, and creator of the world-renowned show Tap Dogs. As a child Jonah had the opportunity to appear on TV in The Living Room and Dance Academy, sporting event telecasts such as the V8 Supercars race and the opening ceremony of the World Master Games as well as the live TV broadcast of the Sydney Lord Mayor’s New Years Eve Party at the Sydney Opera House. After high school, Jonah traveled to New York City to take part in Broadway Dance Centre’s International Student Visa Program where he met and was mentored by Aaron Tolson. During this time abroad Jonah was able to attend ‘The Intensive’ run by Aaron Tolson and Derick Grant, Orange County Tap Festival, Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project and Andrew Nemr’s ‘Tap Dance Freedom’ intensive. Once back in Australia, Jonah continued his training under original Tap Dog member Nathan Sheens who prepared him to dance alongside the Tap Dogs at the Sydney Theatre Company’s Gala Fundraiser organized by Cate Blanchett and as a Tap Dog himself for corporate functions. Jonah has also performed for charity events and at a Sydney nightclub while also regularly teaching around the city sharing the knowledge he has gained overseas and sharing the passion for the art form that his teachers have passed onto him. Jonah was thrilled to be accepted into the 2019 School of Jacobs Pillow Tap Program and joined Tapestry Dance Company for their 2019-2020 30th anniversary season.

Acia Gray

 

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 gradualte 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.

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Kaz Kazanoff

 

Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff lives in Austin, TX and sings, plays tenor sax and harmonica, writes songs, and does arrangements for The Texas Horns. Born in Northampton, MA, Kaz was raised on the Blues in Chicago, where he heard and played with stars like Magic Sam, Howlin Wolf, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Bob Margolin, Little Walter, and Big Walter Horton. Since 1981, Kaz has been a big part of the Austin, TX music scene playing with a cavalcade of Blues, Jazz, and Western Swing stars, as a member of the famed Antone’s House Band in the 1980’s; as a member of Al Dressen’s Super Swing Review since 1985,  and currently as the leader of The Texas Horns. Kaz recently retired from his teaching post at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin. He taught Music Theory, American music history, and directed the jazz band program for 25 years. Kaz was a founding member and first president of the Austin Blues Society, and he has been on the Tapestry Dance board of directors for several years. As a horn player, arranger, producer and band leader, Kaz has recorded on over 250 CD’s. Kaz won a Grammy Award for his work on Delbert McClinton’s 1989 CD Live From Austin TX. His contribution to Anson Funderburgh’s 1986 CD Sins won him several awards including a Handy Award (now the Blues Music Award). His latest production project, Whitney Shay’s Stand Up on Ruf Records, reached #1 on the Roots Blues Music Chart in March of 2020. Kaz has played and recorded with Marcia Ball, Jimmie Vaughan, Earl King, Anson Funderburgh, Al Dressen, Johnny Nicholas, John Nemeth, Cornell Dupree, Pine Top Perkins, Robert Ward, and dozens of other blues and jazz greats. The Texas Horns, led by Kaz, have released two critically acclaimed CDs. The most recent, Get Here Quick on Severn Records, was released in 2019. The Horns continue to record with a who’s who of International blues artists.

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Kassie Kelly began her dance training with Nancy Sulik and Kay Ledbetter in Corpus Christi, Texas. Growing up she performed with Corpus Christi Concert Ballet under the direction of Nancy Sulik and Thom Clower. She has studied with Ballet Austin, Glenda Brown Choreography Project, and Burklyn Ballet Theatre. Kassie holds a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin where she danced for the university’s Dance Repertory Theatre performing works by Ohad Naharin, Mark Morris, David Parsons, and Merce Cunningham as well as many faculty and student works. Kassie has had the honor of touring in Austria with Young! Tanzsommer twice, performing with both Dance Repertory Theatre as well as Corpus Christi Concert Ballet. She has performed with many companies in Austin including Andre Torres Dance Company, and The Theorists’, and Shen Jun Movement Effect.

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Kassie Kelly

 

Born and raised in Mexico City, Sharon's choreography has been listed numerous times as one of the top ten dance events of the year by the Austin Chronicle, and she is a three-time winner of the Austin Critics Table Award for Outstanding Choreographer. Sharon has created pieces for Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre, Big Range Austin Dance Festival, Forklift Danceworks, Ballet East, Hot September Flurries, Tapestry Dance Company, and many others. Her production, The Materiality of Impermanence, based on her experience with breast cancer, was honored with awards for Best Dance Concert and Best Dancer. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Sharon is a dual language elementary school teacher, and the proud mother and stepmother of two teenage sons.  http://sharonmarroquin.wixsite.com/dance

Sharon Marroquin

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Anu Naimpally

 

Dancer/Choreographer/Educator/Collaborator. Being raised by art-loving Indian parents in Canada, Anuradha has had the best of many worlds. Her western upbringing along with her traditional training in India and deep-rooted spirituality, make her a unique teacher and performer of Bharata Natyam dance who connects with people from across the globe. She is founder and Artistic Director of Austin Dance India, her organization of nearly 30 years through which she teaches regular classes and presents her work. She has trained numerous dancers from beginner to professional level and continues to mentor students and young artists. She is a 2018 inductee into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame for her significant body of work and a juried artist on the touring roster of the Texas Commission on the Arts. The Austin Area Critics’ Circle has nominated and awarded her Best Dancer and Production numerous times. She has received several awards in India including Sringara Mani and Mayura Natya Tarakai. She is a recipient of the 2020 and 2017 Artistic Innovations Grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. The Austin Chronicle included her in their list of Movers and Shakers for her valuable contributions in the dance community. She tours regularly as a soloist or as a collaborator with local and international artists of different genres. Anuradha is passionate about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is a member of the Global Artists 2030 Network. Her social practice projects include work with refugee teens, South Asian seniors, and social justice, and climate change. Her work with girls’ empowerment through dance was featured in the PBS series, Arts in Context. Anuradha can be seen at various schools, libraries, and museums across the state presenting performances on Indian dance and culture. She is deeply dedicated to arts in education and making art available to all children. Interested in creating and performing works that not only historically preserve artistic traditions, she engages in art as social practice to build community and bring awareness to global issues.

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Natalie Rodgers

 

Natalie was raised right here in Austin, TX and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Advertising & Graphic Design. She has a great passion for rhythm and dance – her greatest love is Latin social dance. She dances Cuban Style Salsa, On 1 Salsa, Bachata, and a variety of other Latin dance styles. She is currently a Salsa and Bachata instructor for Tapestry. You’ll likely see her around town teaching workshops and attending dance socials. She got her start while working in Nicaragua for one year for the global leadership non-profit, AIESEC and hasn’t stopped dancing since. She also hasn’t stopped working with AIESEC. She currently serves on the local Board of Advisors for the Austin chapter and is the local alumni coordinator as well. In her professional career, Natalie supports small businesses and their leadership teams with strategy development, operational efficiency, and management training. In all that she does, helping people learn and grow and realize their potential remains at the core. She is proud to serve the Tapestry community and support its great mission.

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Claire Sheek

 

Claire Sheek has over 20 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 company Rocky 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. She is excited and grateful to join Tapestry Dance Company this season.

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Deirdre Strand

 

Now retired as the founder and directoro of the St. Stephen's Episcopal School Dance Program, Ms. Strand is the co-founder and Education Director of Tapestry Dance Company and started her professional career includes Fort Worth Ballet, James Clouser’s Space/Dance/Theatre and Austin on Tap. She started her degree work at Texas Christian University and has taught for the University of Houston where she holds her B.F.A. in Dance.  In addition, she has studied with Manolo Agullo, Fernando Schaffenberg, Edward Villella, Arthur Mitchell, and Melissa Hayden among others. She has staged unique contemporary ballet and modern/jazz works for Tapestry Dance Company as well as the British Olympic Association, the New Orlean’s World’s Fair and numerous professional and training organizations worldwide. In addition to Tapestry Dance Company, Ms. Strand heads the Dance Department of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, and hosts numerous dance educational residencies that have included The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Jane Comfort & Company, Rennie Harris, Zen One, Zell Miller and numerous international artists.  She was also the long-standing adjudicator for Festival de DanseEncore in Trois Riviere, Quebec, Canada and currently with the Brownsville ISD Dance Program.

Sharon Marroquin