Whitefish local Feat x Feet youth tap ensemble will be performing its annual summer show Friday, June 21, at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish.
The show will feature professional tap dancer Derick K. Grant, from New York City. Each summer Grant makes a special trip to Whitefish to be a part of the experience for the students of Feat x Feet. Grant started dancing under the direction of two-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe. He was an original company member and dance captain for Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk, at both the Public Theater and on Broadway. He was also the tap choreographer for the TV hit “So You Think You Can Dance?” Grant created Imagine Tap, which had a successful run in Chicago, and A Night Out: Tap!, which toured the country for three months. He is a faculty member of Steps on Broadway in New York where he teaches in an effort to celebrate, nurture and cultivate the future of the language and art form of tap.
Along with the Tap Ensemble and Grant, the show will feature some of the Feat x Feet alumni who will be coming into town to perform for this event.
Ashley Smith, owner and artistic director for Feat x Feet, has been bringing tap professionals to the Flathead for the summer workshop for the past 22 years.
“I love watching the kids get that experience,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a fun show. “It’s a really amazing coming together of musicians, professionals and our local students all on one stage. It’s very unique and upbeat.”
“One of the blessings of coming here has been the consistency,” Grant said. “Coming every year and seeing the growth, being part of this community, part of the village raising these kids ... I’m grateful. “Seeing (the students) grow over the years is so cool. It really has become home away from home.”
“Derick is a huge inspiration and role model in my life and in the life of others. I feel so fortunate to be able to have a close relationship with him through tap dancing, also having someone like Miss Ashley, who continues to bring him out annually has been such a blessing to me.” — Olivia Potthoff
“Derick teaches us such a unique style of dance and I am so thankful he can bring his New York influence to the valley.” — Lauren Schulz
“Having traveled around the U.S. for dance and studied from various professionals, I can truly say that there is not one person out there like Derrick Grant.” — Gabbi Paulson