Tap | July 29—August 19

Dormeshia and Michelle Dorrance, Program Directors

Artist Faculty: Brenda Bufalino, Derick K. Grant, Jason Samuels Smith, Maria Torres, Dianne Walker, Sam Weber, Josette Wiggan-Freund with Music Director Grant Richards, Bass Player Kate Davis, and Drummer Cameron MacIntosh. Read more about Artist Faculty.
For 25 performers at a professional or advanced pre-professional level, age 16 and up.

Dancers will learn new work and timeless classics from legends in the field; some will set their own works for the stage requiring them to coordinate multiple elements necessary to mount an evening-length benefit performance. Working knowledgeably with jazz music and musicians and being mentored to push inside the jazz tradition as both improvisational soloists and practitioners of jazz vernacular dance will evolve each dancer’s individual voice. Works-in-progress sharings with Festival audiences on the iconic outdoor stage will be held on August 3 and 10. Gotta Dance, a benefit for The School at Jacob’s Pillow will be held in the Ted Shawn Theatre on Sunday, August 18 and features works created by and on the dancers.

This truly dance-immersive experience includes living onsite and having exclusive Festival artist interactions each week such as Master Classes led by artistic directors and career-building discussions with company members. Dancers see 15 Festival companies on three stages, attend Festival events such as artist and scholar-led talks, and research dance interests and assignments in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives. These experiences are integral to the development of a unique artistic point of view. Check out companies performing in Festival 2019.

Program Directors


Dormeshia is a two-time Bessie Award winner (as performer and choreographer), a Princess Grace Award winner, and an Astaire Award winner for Best Female Performer in Broadway’s After Midnight. Additional Broadway credits include Black and Blue and Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk.

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Michelle Dorrance

Michelle Dorrance is a New York City-based performer, choreographer, teacher, and the Artistic Director of Dorrance Dance. Mentored by Gene Medler (North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble), she was lucky to study under many of the last master hoofers.

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