AUGUST 16-19, 2019
AARON TOLSON * LUKE HICKEY . * ESTEFANIA PORQUERAS
Join us for our 2019 RIFFlette, August 16th-18th. We will have a 3 day workshop with some of the hottest talent in the tap industry today. RIFF is proud to welcome to Dallas 3 international tap artists.
AARON - A New Hampshire native, Aaron started dancing at the age of ten. At 14 the tap prodigy was invited to perform in the Great Tap Reunion at the Apollo Theatre alongside tap legends Derick Grant, Savion Glover, and Gregory Hines, as well as the rest of the cast of the movie TAP! That same year Aaron joined his high school track team. Throughout his four year high school career Aaron set every school record in every event he competed in, including the 55 and 300-meter indoor dashes and the 100 and 200-meter outdoor events. His times qualified Aaron to compete in the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials and earned him induction into the Memorial High School and Manchester, NY Halls of Fame. He also earned a full scholarship to St. John’s University, where he once again set records in track, a number of which still stand to this day. In 1996 he was invited to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials. When not on the track or in class studying communications, Aaron was in Manhattan honing his tap skills. During his senior year he successfully auditioned for the New York Shakespeare Festival tap program, also known as Funk U! Soon Aaron became a company member of Manhattan Tap and worked in the show Tap Dogs. Jumping feet-first into choreography, he landed a job with Absolut in a national tour titled Absolut Tap! Soon after, Aaron accepted a role in the national and international tours of Riverdance. He was a featured soloist and captain of the tap dancers for six years as he performed on Broadway and at Radio City Music Hall, on various TV shows, at NBA games, and on stages the world over. In 2006 Aaron began working with longtime friend Derick Grant on Imagine Tap!, a Chicago-based show whose formation would become the subject of a feature-length documentary, titled Tap or Die. As a faculty member at The Boston Conservatory and Plymouth State University, Aaron choreographed, produced and directed Something to Tap About, Tapped, Tapped In and Inspired, all featuring performers from his own New England Tap Ensemble. Aaron formed New England Tap Ensemble, a non-profit organization, in May of 2007 to promote the art of tap in the community while fostering a sense of individuality in a professional artist. From Montana to Moscow, Aaron has performed and taught at numerous festivals including LA Tap Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Beantown Tap Fest, Tap United, Tampa Bay Tap Festival, Tap Kids Brazil International Tap Festival and FeetxFeet. Other favorite performances include Brookline Chorus’ Duke Ellington Sacred Concert, The Late Show with Liam O’Conner in Ireland, and playing Drosselmeyer in Clara’s Dream in A Jazz Nutcracker. Aaron was on faculty with Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center in New York City and is the director of The Intensive. In addition, he is the national spokesperson for SoDanca, and the Director of Speaking In Taps, a pre-professional youth company that is entering its 7th season. Aaron is the creator of Sole Power Fitness, a project that allows him to share his love of tap with non-dancers while working out and staying fit at the same time. In 2017, Aaron resumed teaching at The Boston Conservatory, and remains a dedicated faculty member today. He also hosts his own TV show, The Aaron Tolson Entertainment and Variety Show, showcasing talent in the New England Area. All of this while continuing to travel and share his love for the art of tap dance.
LUKE - Professional tap dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker hailing from Chapel Hill, NC. Hickey was a company member of the internationally acclaimed, North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble (NCYTE) for 10 consectutive seasons under the direction and mentorship of Gene Medler, touring all over the world. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Hickey is an alumna of the School at Jacob’s Pillow and Pace University NYC (BA Film & Screen Studies). In 2017, Hickey was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine to breakdown the legendary BS Chorus. In the Fall of 2018, Hickey made his choreographic and directorial debut with his work “A Little Old, A Little New” at the world famous Birdland Jazz Club in NYC. Hickey's choreography is also featured in the new Independent feature film "A Bread Factory" which was listed on The New Yorker's "The Best Movies of 2018".
ESTEFANIA - Born in Barcelona, Estefanía started studying different art forms at the early age of 4. She trained in ballet, Spanish dance, theatre, modern jazz, music theory and played the drums. Finally, when she was 10 years old, she was introduced to tap, and gradually found herself entirely dedicated to it.
She is qualified in the Rosario Contreras Spanish Dance Pedagogy Program and in different ballet levels of the Royal Academy of Dance. In Barcelona, she studied tap with local and internationally acclaimed teachers such as Sharon Lavi, Laia Molins, Guillem Alonso, Basilio González and Anna Guix. Further on, she enriched her studies in New York with Lynn Schwab, Barbara Duffy, among others. Nowadays she continues her training in different workshops in Barcelona and participates in diverse international festivals (Los Angeles, New York, Stockholm, Madrid, etc.). In 2017 she joined the Tap Program of Jacob's Pillow, becoming this way part of the alumni of this renowned Dance Institution.
She gave her first professional steps in 2003 as a dancer in Basilio González’s Clak&Roll, performing in different theatres in Spain.
As of 2004 she has been occasionally featured in the show Nora i el Jazz with the Big Band de Granollers, taking part in some notorious events such as the 38th Barcelona Jazz Festival.
Also in 2004, she entered TAPEPLAS (Sharon Lavi Company), in which she was a dancer of its 4 full length programs, among which EPIC, was successfully premiered and co-produced by Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona at 2009. Currently she is soloist of the company's latest production, FRAGMENTS. Besides different tours in Spain, as its member for so many years, she had the opportunity of performing in countries such as UK, Italy and France.
In 2010 she became part of the well-known veteran Barcelonan troupe CAMUT BAND. Having been introduced into the band during a spring/summer season in Teatro Goya and Sant Andreu Teatre in Barcelona, she was the first regular female dancer in the band’s well acclaimed shows Life is Rhythm and Big Drums. In 2011 she was part of the group when it premiered Africa-Camut-Barcelona with which she performed in L’Auditori de Barcelona, Teatre Grec of Barcelona and the Murcia Three Cultures Festival among others. Currently, she is part of the company’s new work SONORITATS which was premiered at the Temporada Alta Festival of Girona in November of 2013 and effected season at Teatre Victoria in Barcelona in July of 2014.
Since the beginning and at the same time she was an active performer inside such diverse projects, she has been a regular tap teacher in different dance centers. As of 2012, she is part of the tap faculty of Escola Luthier, one of the leading tap centers in Barcelona. In parallel, she's invited to teach and perform in different European tap festivals and workshops. (Warsaw, Stockholm, Madrid, Turin, etc.). To check the list of all the events click here.
Her own creative trajectory was launched in 2011 as a result of GeTAP&GO – a project she developed together with tap dancer Joan Terrasa. Along 2 consecutive years she directed, choregraphed and danced in different venues in Mallorca, which included both large scale theatres and outdoor events. Among different pieces that were put together inside of this project, she created Amélie. This short “tap poetry” has been accompanying her ever since in the different festivals and workshops she attended, and has been praised by audiences and other faculty members alike.
In 2015 she founded UNUM Project, her following creative step. This unique encounter between tap dance and live electronic music debuted its first 30 min show in Turin (Italy, December 2016). More info in www.unum-project.com
Recently she started working as a tap dance Assistant guiding the renowned choreographer Aixa Guerra in the construction of the tap dance piece included in the successful musical La Jaula de las Locas (premiered in Barcelona on September 2018).