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STOMP, PHANTOM Alumni Teach Kids Tap and Ballet Classes At 92Y

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Youngsters can study Ballet, Pointe, Swing, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop and more.

In the last century, dance legends Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, and Merce Cunningham evolved the art form at 92Y Harkness Dance Center, but today, the dance world's rising stars of the dance world will teach New York City's children now, in person. Youngsters can study Ballet, Pointe, Swing, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop and more by practitioners of the form from Broadway and major dance companies.

This fall, under the leadership of 92Y's School of Dance Director Alison Manning, several of the professional dance educators have Broadway backgrounds including tap instructor Nicholas Young, who toured with STOMP for nearly a decade as the lead performer and rehearsal director and is a member of the famed Dorrance Dance troupe, and ballet teacher Ayaka Kamei, who toured worldwide in The Phantom of the Opera for 2 years and has taught in the US and internationally. For more information about all of 92Y's dance classes for kids, which start soon, go here: https://www.92y.org/dance/classes.asp.

Nicholas Van Young is a dancer, musician, choreographer, and a 2014 Bessie Award recipient. 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. Nicholas is the Associate Artistic Director of Dorrance Dance and is thrilled to have found a home co-creating and developing ETM: Double Down, and the Guggenheim Rotunda Project, both collaborative efforts with Michelle Dorrance the company's founder and Artistic Director.

Ayaka Kamei is a freelance dancer/teaching artist based in New York. She most recently concluded her two-year contract with the world tour of The Phantom of the Opera as a dancer/singer. Following her early training at Tatewaki Hiroko Ballet School in Ehime, Japan, she graduated from Northern Ballet School in England as well as SUNY Purchase, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a President Award for Achievement in the Conservatory of Dance. She was selected to study abroad at Codarts in the Netherlands and Springboard Danse Montréal as well. Ayaka has danced with many companies including The Metropolitan Opera, MorDance, New York Theatre Ballet, AZOTH Dance Theatre and Ayalis In Motion. She has performed works by choreographers such as Balanchine, Cunningham, Tudor, Roy Assaf, Aszure Barton, Dario Dinuzzi, John Heginbotham, Jessica Lang, Austin Mccormick, Keith Michael, David Needham, Matthew Neenan, Alexei Ratmansky, Taryn Kaschock Russell and Bettijane Sills, among others.

As a teaching artist, she has had the pleasure of teaching ballet, contemporary, jazz and yoga in Japan and New York at places such as SUNY Purchase, Gibney Dance, Chen Dance Center, Dance Project of Washington Heights, Artistry Dance Project, Greenwich Dance Studio, Hariyama Ballet, Tatewaki Hiroko Ballet School, Musashino University, and more. Being a versatile dancer, she takes a contemporary approach to the traditional forms and emphasizes the importance of musicality and fluidity in the dancing body. Dancing is a source of happiness for her, and she is delighted to share it with everybody.


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