Winter workshop faculty 2023
Friday, December 29, 2023
Dance Productions Unlimited: Arnold, MO
Sydney Burtis, originally from central Florida, is a performer, choreographer, teacher, and multidisciplinary artist based in NYC. At a young age, she discovered her artistic voice through tap dance and has been mentored by Michelle Dorrance, Derick Grant, Sarah Reich, Anthony Morigerato, and Danny Wallace.
In 2017, Sydney was recognized as one of "Tap's Next Generation" in Dance Spirit Magazine, and was featured on the October 2018 cover. Some credits include, The Billy Elliot National Broadway Tour, SYTYCD, Little Island, Dorrance Dance (understudy), Demi Remick & Dancers, and Max Pollak repertoire.
With a passion for choreography and gift of storytelling through movement, Sydney founded her tap company “Elements of Sound” in 2022, which performed at OC Tap Festival, Steps Beyond Foundation, Battery Dance Festival, and Arts On Site. She is an Artist in Residence at The American Tap Dance Foundation, a 2017 YoungArts Silver award winner, a 2018 Presidential Scholar in the Arts semi-finalist, an alumnus of the Jacob's Pillow Tap Program, and co-founder of the Orlando Tap Festival.
Sydney is a positive and dedicated teacher who loves connecting with dancers of all ages. She travels throughout the United States and abroad choreographing and teaching for dance studios, tap festivals, and intensives. Sydney is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, tours with Adrenaline and Revive Dance Conventions, and is a guest teacher for Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pace University with a BA in Communication Studies. Tap Dance has always been at the forefront of Sydney’s life inspiring her to present her honors thesis: “Tap Dance as a Form of Non-Verbal Communication for Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
Kelly Ging is a teacher, arts administrator and performer in St. Louis. She began her dance training in Washington, MO studying tap, jazz, ballet, and pointe with Jo Nolting Phinney. To further develop her tap training, she commuted into St. Louis for weekly classes and attended the annual St. Louis Tap Festival, LA Tap Festival, and Tradition in Tap (NY). Kelly received a double major in Arts Management and Dance at Lindenwood University in 2011 where she received the Lindy Award from the Dance Department and graduated magma cum laude. With over 15 years experience as a teaching artist, Kelly has that knack of creating a high-energy, fun environment that challenges every level of student. Her passion for teaching and developing artists keeps her busy at COCA - Center of Creative Arts, Gateway Center of Performing Arts, STL Rhythm Collaborative as well as guest teaching for workshops, intensives and setting choreography throughout Missouri and Illinois. Formerly, the Pre-Professional Division and Dance Program Manager at COCA, Kelly led the accreditation efforts of the organization, developed curriculum, and helped students carve their path in their arts education. Now, Kelly works administratively for the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis. Kelly is honored to be a part of moSTLy TAP and be a small part of the growth of the tap community here in St. Louis.
A native of St. Louis, MO, Shelby started early training at Dance Art Studios and Spirits Gymnastics. She danced competitively with Motion Express School of Dance and Acrobatics then began pre-professional dance training at the Center of Creative Arts as a member of COCAdance. She studied further at NYU’s Tisch Summer Residency Festival, Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, Alvin Ailey Professional Summer Intensive, and Complexions Professional Summer Intensive.
Graduating with honors and a BFA in Modern Performance from the University of the Arts, she received the Stella Moore Prize for Four Years of Achievement and the Philadelphia Ballet Choreography Award. Shelby was a jazz instructor for the Pre-College Festival at UArts and rehearsal assistant for numerous artists; Hope Boykin, Mark Caserta, Meredith Rainey, and Gary Jeter to name a few. She danced professionally as a principal company member of Eleone Dance Theatre, a guest artist with both Waheed Works and DanceSpora in Philadelphia, PA.
Shelby's the Owner & Creator of ENERGY SPACE® - a hybrid wellness center where she guides people along their journey to HEAL & ALIGN the connection between the body, mind, soul & spirit. She instructs trainees in the Saint Louis Ballet Professional Training Program in Chesterfield, MO as well as the DPU Company at Dance Productions Unlimited in Arnold, MO as the Head of the Modern Department. Shelby's a Pilates Instructor and the Media Marketing Manager at St. Louis City Fitness in Brentwood, MO. She’s an internationally certified Meditation Teacher specializing in Pranayama and Third Eye Awakening Techniques as well as an Usui Holy Fire® III Reiki Master Practitioner.
Find out more about ENERGY SPACE® www.energyspace.center
Maria has been teaching dance throughout the St. Louis area for over 25 years. Maria began her professional career in New York with the touring performance ensemble, Manhattan Tap, under the direction of world renowned tap dancer and musician, Heather Cornell. Maria joined the ensemble for their European and North American tours and had the extreme honor of touring with late tap dance great, Dr. Buster Brown. Maria was an original cast member in Manhattan Tap’s “Excursion Fare,” a full production featuring the musicians of Keith Terry and Crosspulse and premiered at the Joyce Theater in New York. Since returning to St. Louis in 1999, Maria has been on faculty with many area dance programs and has served as a consultant for dance education programs throughout the region. She worked alongside the late Professor Robert L Reed for the production of the St. Louis Tap Festival, which she attended annually for 20 years and served on the Board of Directors. Maria and the members of moSTLy TAP were honored to partner with Anthony J. Russo for the Show Me Tap Fest in 2018 and work on faculty. Maria founded STL Rhythm Collaborative in 2019. The unending passion, support, and expertise of the organization's artists, volunteers, and staff are the driving forces behind the Collaborative. In addition to her work with STL Rhythm Collaborative, Maria is honored to be an adjunct professor of dance, teaching jazz and tap dance at Missouri Baptist University, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and is a guest instructor at Washington University, St. Louis and Webster University.
Megan Mayer is a performer based in St. Louis, Missouri. She began her dance training at the Professional Dance Center in St. Louis studying ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. Growing up, she performed with the MUNY, Dance STL, and Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, where she competed as a finalist in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition and received the Fromm Family Dance Award. Megan is a proud alumna of the Tap Program at the School at Jacob's Pillow (2021) and Lindenwood University with a BFA in Dance with an emphasis in Contemporary (2022). With Lindenwood University, Megan performed at the American Collegiate Dance Association, St. Louis National Dance Week, and American Tap Dance Foundation's "Something's A'foot!" (2019). Additionally, she is the 2022 recipient of the Lindenwood University Dance Award. More recently, Megan has performed and choreographed with St. Louis Rhythm Collaborative in the debut of "In Due Time" and "Latin Pulse." Other performance credits include Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World 32, RIFF Dallas TAPN2TAP Concert, "Deadman's Party" and "Love At First Fright" at Six Flags St. Louis, "Celtic Fyre" and "Phantoms of the Festhaus" at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Lorraine “Rain” Stippec, began her versatile dance training at the Professional Dance Center and earned her BFA in Dance from Webster University - graduating Magna Cum Laude with LGCFA Department Honors. After graduating, she toured China with a hip hop crew through Sterling Plus Entertainment and returned to her alma mater as Department of Dance Associate. Rain has thrived in St. Louis performing professionally including credits at The Muny and with The Fabulous Fox Theatre Tellerettes. Choreographically, she has created full-length productions for community and professional theatres, fundraising and company concerts, dance studio pieces and so much more!
In 2017, Rain became a victim of a random act of gun violence and since surviving to tell the tale of her recovery has returned to the stage. Along with podcast, radio and local network appearances, she has been a keynote speaker for numerous events - appearing on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk interviewed by Jada Pinkett-Smith and a national commercial for The CW Network.
Rain is thrilled to be performing with moSTLy TAP and is grateful to be engaging with young tap dancers as the Pre-Professional Student Program Director for STL Rhythm Collaborative. She continues to teach and choreograph for dance students throughout Missouri and Illinois while also on staff at MAC Dance, the Professional Dance Center, Celebration Talent Competition and Impact Dance Adjudicators.
Tommy Wasiuta, described as a "breath of dance freedom" (New York Times) is a tap dance performer, educator, and choreographer based in New York City. He has performed at the Joyce Theater, Chelsea Factory, American Dance Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New Victory Dance Festival, and the inaugural Caribbean Music Festival. Tommy is on faculty at Steps on Broadway and Beyond the Stars Dance Convention, and has been an instructor with Sarah Reich's Tap Music Project, the Joffrey Ballet Tap Intensive, and the Swingin’ into Summer Tap Festival. He is a founding member and choreographer for the St. Louis Rhythm Collaborative (STLRC). Most recently, Tommy performed with Dorrance Dance at the 92nd Street Y. He has also choreographed and performed the entirety of Morton Gould’s Tap Dance Concerto, marking his symphonic debut with the Saint Joseph Symphony. He is an alumnus of the University of Missouri - St. Louis (2020) and the Tap Program at the School at Jacob’s Pillow (2017).