Tapestry Dance Company Presents



Available Now!

All ticket options give you access to the full series (from date of purchase forward)

Tapestry Dance Company, under the direction of co-founder Acia Gray, premieres Looking Forward/Looking Back - New Perspectives as a six episode TAPFLIX series. Each episode will be livestreamed Sunday evenings at 7:30 P.M. CST beginning November 22 and ending January 3.

Looking Forward/Looking Back - New Perspectives is a tribute to Tapestry Dance Company’s
history, legacy and future. Alumni dancers, including Nicholas Van Young (Associate Director of Dorrance Dance), Tasha Lawson (TriTone Productions – Calgary Alberta Canada), Jason Janas (acclaimed master teacher and choreographer worldwide), Jeremy Arnold (University of Texas Dance Faculty), Matthew Shields (Post Modern Jukebox and HyperFeet) and Siobhan Alexis (2008-2019), returned to the company as choreographers and created new works on Tapestry’s current company, dance artists from Australia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Mexico and Texas. An exciting and thought-provoking tap dance series premieres works of some of the company’s brightest stars - the tap headliners who started their professional career with Tapestry!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the original performance, scheduled to premiere March 26,
2020 at The Long Center/Rollins Theatre, has been reimagined for a virtual audience. Tapesty’s
dance artists took to venues across the city of Austin for each choreographer’s work to be captured on film. The audience can expect to see brilliant dance works in new contexts, from
new angles, and with new perspectives.

The TAPFLIX series will be Live Streamed from Tapestry Dance Company’s YouTube page.

Meet the

Alumni Choreographers

Nicholas Van Young is a dancer, musician, choreographer, a 2014 Bessie Award recipient and Associate Artistic Director of Dorrance Dance. He began his professional career at age 16 under Acia Gray and Deirdre Strand with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, Texas, eventually rising to principal dancer and resident choreographer. Since moving to New York he has performed with Manhattan Tap, RumbaTap, Dorrance Dance, and Beat the Donkey; he has toured as a drummer for Darwin Deez; and he spent almost a decade performing with STOMP, where he performed the lead role and acted as rehearsal director. Young tours both nationally and internationally teaching and performing at various tap festivals, and founded Sound Movement dance company and IFTRA, the Institute for the Rhythmic Arts. He is thrilled to have found a home with Dorrance Dance, co-creating and developing ETM: Double Down, and the Guggenheim Rotunda Project, both collaborative efforts with Michelle Dorrance.

Nicholas Van Young
Tasha Lawson

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Tasha Lawson’s diverse background and passion for dance makes her a sought after educator, choreographer, director, and performer. Tasha is a graduate of Grant MacEwan's Dance Teacher Training and Dance Performance programs. Tasha continued her studies in Vancouver at Simon Fraser University, while working as a multi-form dancer, performing with collectives and independent modern dance choreographers, including Donna Redlick Dance and Rhonda Cooper. She then met Dianne Walker, who inspired her to relocate to New York, where she furthered her training in tap and body percussion with acclaimed artists, such as Roxanne Butterfly, Max Pollak, Heather Cornell, Brenda Bufalino, and Keith Terry. From 2002-2008, Tasha performed and toured with Tapestry Dance Company based in Austin, Texas, where she had the privilege of working with many legendary tap artists. She was nominated for “Best Dancer” by the Austin Critics Table Awards in 2007 for her performance in Acia Gray’s, The Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration to American Tap Dance. During this time, Tasha also directed six new full-length concert works for Tapestry’s pre-apprentice company, Visions In Rhythm. Tasha has performed and taught at international festivals across Canada, the United States, Europe, and South America. She has been an “artist-in-residence” at Capilano University and a faculty member for the inaugural tap residency program at Jacob’s Pillow, under the direction of Dianne Walker. Tasha has taught body music classes in Las Vegas for Cirque Du Soleil, and toured with Cirque, as Assistant Artistic Director for Kooza, in the US and Japan in 2010-2011. Currently, Tasha Lawson is the Artistic Director of Tri-Tone Productions and Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble, training youth to pre-professional dancers. The ensemble focuses on integrating the arts, both locally and globally, into the greater

community and providing a solid foundation for emerging artists to pursue a professional career in dance. Tasha is also the founder and AD of Calgary’s Rhythm, Body and Soul Festival, a four-day event that celebrates, preserves, and promotes tap dance though education and concert presentation. She is delighted to be returning to Austin for Soul to Sole and Tapestry’s 30th Anniversary celebration.

Jason Janas is originally from New Jersey. He began his tap dance instruction under Ms. Deborah Mitchell and was the first charter member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble. He then found a love for the dance and continued to learn and study the art form. He also trained and was a member of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble under the direction of Gene Medler. His first professional company after high school was Tapestry Dance Company in Austin TX, under the direction of Acia Gray. He was a principal dancer there for 5 years. His hard work ethic began to take notice and Derick Grant invited Jason to be in his show Imagine Tap! which ran for 6 weeks in Chicago, and changed his life. His other show credits include The Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance (among others) with Tapestry Dance Company, Wonderland with Sara Savelli and Ayodele Casel, and co-choreographed and was featured in Tap Stars with Rasta Thomas. He has taught at tap festivals in New Jersey, Chicago, New York, L.A., Charlotte, Austin, San Antonio, Vancouver, Zurich, Curitiba (Brazil), Moscow, and Barcelona! Jason is currently the resident tap instructor for Radix Dance Convention and co-founder of The Foundation House in Detroit with his beautiful wife Bianca.

Jason Janas
Matthew Shields

Matthew Shields is a tap dancer, a born and raised Canadian an avid fly fisherman. Over his many years abroad, Shields has been involved in numerous productions, companies, performances, residencies, events, and fundraisers and has traveled to teach and perform as a tap dancer globally. Based in Austin, Texas. Shields is currently in residence with gypsy jazz band SCRAPELLI at the famous Tamale House on E 6th Street and at Radio Coffee and Beer. Shields is the Artistic Director of Hyperfeet Productions and HYPE (Hyperfeet Youth Performance Ensemble) in Austin as well as Artistic Director of Leap TAP Ensemble in Katy, Texas. Shields has appeared with Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox at The Mirage in Las Vegas, at SunFest in West Palm Beach, Fl, in Sardinia, Italy, the 2019 US winter as well as fall tours. For over a decade, Shields was a principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company and was an original cast member for the company's national and international tours of The Souls of our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance as well as many other productions throughout his tenure. He also served as Interim Artistic Director of TDC in his final year with the company. Shields quickly become a crowd favorite with the regional ZACH Theatre in Austin, Tx. Appearing in the award-winning productions of  Singing in the Rain, Mary Poppins & in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies that starred Jennifer Holiday. Shields has won Austin Critics Table Awards & a B. Iden Payne award for his work at ZACH. Shields has directed many productions including A Chronological Life Story Of A Few Tap Dancers, the restaging of Tapestry productions of April Fools; Of Mice & Music as well as the premiere of XXV, Sound Crash Wave a tap dance expression, TV Music Mixtape & Get Hip Get Hype, Rhythm Lives and In Good Time. Additional performance credits include Toronto and Edmonton International Jazz Festivals, The Edmonton Fringe Festival and Feats Festival of Dance, L’International Festival Le Danse Encore, Quebec, Canada with Tapestry. Tap Dance Days & The Tap Ahead Festival in Dusseldorf, Germany. Vancouver International Tap Festival, Soul 2 Sole & Chicago Human Rhythm Project.

Siobhan Alexis

Siobhan joined Tapestry Dance Company, under the direction of Acia Gray, as an apprentice at 19 years old. Since 2007, she has continued to work her way through the ranks of the company and has performed over 23 original evening-length shows in the Rollins Theater at The Long Center. She also was fortuitous to earn a role in the cast of the NEA American Masterpieces production of The Souls Of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance. She toured with this production for four years to Canada, throughout the United States, then finally to the east coast of China in 2011. In 2012 she joined the cast of A Chronological Life Story of a Few Tap Dancers at The Vancouver International Tap Festival, under the direction of Matthew Shields, and was elated to join the faculty of Montreal Tap Festival as a demonstrator for Arthur Duncan. Additionally, she acted as Dance Captain for Rhythm Lives, under the direction of Matt Shields. The following year she returned to Montreal as a faculty member and soloist as well as The Toronto Rhythm Initiative under the direction of Allison Toffan (2014), Soul to Sole International Tap Festival under the direction of Acia Gray (2014-2019). She has performed in Tapestry and as a soloist, judged, and taught at DansEncore International Dance Festival, in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, under the direction of Claire Mayer (2011-2019). In 2015, Siobhan received an Austin Critics’ Table Award as "Best Dancer In Austin."   Siobhan also appeared in Thelonious in NYC, a tribute show to Thelonious Monk, under the direction of Parisian tap legend, Sarah Petronio. Siobhan is currently the Artistic Director of Visions in Motion, Tapestry’s nonprofessional Adult Dance Company. She completed her 11th season as a Principal Dancer and her fifth season as the Dance Captain of Tapestry Dance Company this past season.  Siobhan is currently returning to school to become a Dance Trauma Therapist and is pursuing a career in public speaking to inspire individuals to revitalize their lives after facing adversity. 

Jeremy Arnold holds an MFA candidate in Dance and Social Justice at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his B.A. cum laude, from Muhlenberg College in 2012. He is a graduate of the tap program at Jacobs pillow under the direction of Michelle Dorrance and is a former member of the nationally touring Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers and Chloe Arnold’s Apt 33. Jeremy was a principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company from 2014-2017 and has danced with Charles O Anderson's Dance Theatre X since 2012.  He has worked as a lecturer on the faculty of the University of Texas Dance Department teaching classes in rhythm tap, jazz dance, composition, and music theory since 2015. Jeremy tours nationally with Revive Dance Convention and the National Dance Honors. He has has served on the faculty of Riff, the Soul 2 Sole Festival, True Sound Rhythm Festival, Dance Olympus/Dance America, Dance Masters of America, DanZa, and the Cecchetti Council of America. Third Coast Rhythm Project, Tap Ties, and McLennan College have all commissioned his work. 

Jeremy Arnold

2015 East Riverside Drive /  Austin TX  / 512-4-RHYTHM  dance@tapestry.org

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