The Founder

Rasta Thomas
Founder / Director
Rasta Thomas was born in San Francisco, California in 1981 and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He studied at the Kirov Academy in Washington D.C.

As a teenager, Rasta made dance competition history, winning the Special Jury Prize in the International Dance Competition in Paris, 1994, the Gold Medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition, Junior Division in 1996, and the Gold Medal at the Jackson USA International Ballet Competition, Senior Division. He became a member of Le Jeune Ballet de France in 1995, and was invited to be Principal Dancer with the Hartford Ballet in 1997. Some of his guest credits include American Ballet Theatre, Victor Ullate Ballet of Spain, National Ballet of China, Joffrey Ballet, Lines Contemporary Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

In 2001, Rasta was the first American to become a member of the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia and in 2003 he joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Principal Dancer. He has danced diverse roles from "Albrecht" in Giselle, "Basilio" in Don Quixote, "Ali" in Le Corsaire, to works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Debbie Allen, Ulysses Dove and Jerry Mitchell. Rasta has been in several TV documentaries, performed at the Academy Awards, was a featured dancer in an international Benefit campaign by GAP, and appeared in the feature film "One Last Dance" starring Patrick Swayze. He performed at the White House for the President of the United States and opened for Aretha Franklin at Harlem's famous "Apollo Theater". In 2005, Rasta starred on Broadway in Twyla Tharp's hit musical "Movin' Out". In 2007. He performed as a guest artist in the title role in "Othello", for the Met season of American Ballet Theatre. Rasta is the founding director of "Bad Boys of Dance" and in 2008 he created Rasta Thomas' Rock the Ballet with his wife Adrienne Canterna.



Bad Boys of Dance

Chris Broughton
dancer, swing
was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Chris Broughton began dancing at the age of 12 under the instruction of Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance. He became a member of the Kennedy Tap company, responsible for such tap greats as Savion Glover and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.

He is a two time recipient of the national award for the NAACP Act-So competition. Broughton's dancing led him to travel all over the world, however, in 2007 hardship struck Broughton's life. He spent over a year recovering from three gunshot wounds to the left leg, but has returned at the peak of his game. Since his triumph Broughton has performed with such greats as Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold, R&B singer Mya, and Ted Levy. Christopher Broughton owes his sincerest gratitude to his sister Chantel Heath, who introduced him to the world of dance, Tonie Nicholas, son of the legendary Fayard Nicholas, and Paul and Arlene Kennedy; without whom, he wouldn't be where he is today.


Christopher Erk
dancer
is from Connecticut and began dancing at the age of 4, training at the School of the Hartford Ballet, and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

At the age of 15, Christopher toured with the production of Tap Dogs. He has worked on Gil Stroming's "Break the Floor" as a teacher, judge, and Creative Coordinator. Christopher also has performed, and choreographed for Tee & Jam Productions, on over 100 Corporate sponsored functions worldwide. Teaching venues include Broadway Dance Center, Steps, and Dance Masters of America. As a member of Jared Grimes's company "TADAH" and he was original cast member of the off-Broadway showcase, "Broadway Underground." Currently, Christopher lives in Dayton, Ohio, and is full time student. He is proud to be teaching tap at Wright State University and Sinclair Community College. Christopher is the founder of The Tap Factor, a group that is raising tap dance awareness in Dayton through community outreach and performance opportunities.


Jason Janas
dancer
originally hails from the Northern New Jersey area. He is a charter member of The New Jersey Tap Ensemble, where Jason began his rhythm tap career under the direction of Mrs. Deborah Mitchell. He has performed at the Supper Club in NYC with Mike Minery, with Adrienne Canterna in Washington, DC for the Vice President Dick Cheney, and many more.

Jason has taught for Dance Power Express, Dance Masters of America, Starpower’s Power Pak, and Stepp With Me Dance Conventions. His tap choreography has won numerous awards and is a principal dancer with the Tapestry Dance Company, under the direction of Acia Gray. He founded his own tap festival called, Hoofin’ Ground in Charlotte, NC. Recently Jason was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine, along with the rest of the cast of Derick Grant’s “Imagine Tap.” Janas has been a featured dancer in Ayodele Casel's "Wonderland (A tribute to Stevie Wonder)" and "Diary of a Tap dancer.” Jason is a National spokesperson for Capezio tap shoes, appearing in ads in every major dance magazine in the U.S.


Jason Luks
Dancer, Swing
Originally from Northern New Jersey, Jason grew up training in tap, jazz, and ballet. At the age of 16, he won the title of Adult World Tap Champion at the IDO World Tap Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany.

He has a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His credits include Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Broadway Company), Saturday Night Live, MTV VMAs, and Mike Minery’s Tapaholics.

Most recently, Jason had the exciting opportunity to tap at the Kennedy Center for Ted Kennedy’s Birthday Celebration and present his own tap choreography at the Joyce Theater.


Michael Keefe
dancer
trained from an early age at Kerry Smith's Academy of Dance Arts, K&M Studio, Inc. and was a featured dancer with The Massachusetts Youth Ballet. A diverse, competition dancer, Mike won numerous individual titles including "Mr. Headliner". He continued his training at NYU's Tisch School for the Performing Arts.

In addition to performing Mike has gained acclaim as a choreographer, has held multiple teaching positions across the country and was a judge for Hall of Fame Dance Competitions. His professional credits include dancing with recording artist JoJo, performing at the New York City Fringe Festival and being a featured soloist in Rhythmic Circus' "Feet Don't Fail Me Now". He was also a featured tap dancer at the 2005 Presidential Inauguration Celebration & the off Broadway show, Mike Minery & Friends. He is a proud member of Bad Boys of Dance and has been a featured performer in "Rock the Ballet" since its debut in 2008.


Anthony Russo
dancer
His career began at 15, when he was offered his first Equity contract in "Anything Goes" at The Muny in Forest Park, St. Louis.

Two years later, Anthony was hired for the 6th national tour of Tap Dogs and continued with the show for 8 years. Russo also danced with the Tap Dogs at various festivals, industrials, and an NFL half time show in 2003. Other performance and choreography credits include the Off-Brodway production of "At the Diner", Seven Off-Broadway productions of "Break The Floor", and "Iron Beats" China Tour and Tampa Bay - Busch Gardens. He was recently part of the creation and featured tap dancer in the original cast of Cirque Du Soleil's vaudeville project, "Banana Shpeel" which made an appearance on TV's "America's Got Talent." Anthony has entertained for 25+ corporations including Microsoft, Circuit City, Chevrolet/GMC, Mitsubishi, MTX Audio, Charles Schwabb, and Marriott Hotels. Anthony created TAPademics INC. in 2003 and continues to travel the world, both teaching and performing.


Jumaane Taylor
dancer
is a Chicago native, has been tap dancing since the age of 7 He began his training at the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre where he currently teaches. He has had the esteemed opportunity to perform and study with Idella Reed Davis, Martin Dumas III, Jimmy Payne Jr., Lisa LaTouche, Sarah Savelli and George Patterson III.

Jumaane made his professional debut with the group M.A.D.D. Rhythms and now serves as Assistant Director of the company. Jumaane has performed and taught nationally and internationally including the Chicago Tap Summit, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Cleveland Tap Intensive, L.A. Tap Fest and ETA Creative Arts Foundation.

He was featured in "Dance Spirit Magazine" as "One of the Top 20 Hoofers under 20" and in 2006, and was proclaimed in The Chicago Tribune as one of the top five dancers in Chicago. Taylor was apart of the ensemble for "Imagine Tap!" directed and choreographed by Derick Grant, the cast of "A La Recherche De Josephine" that toured France, and was a principal dancer for the production "Wonderland: A Tap Tribute To Steve Wonder" directed and choreographed by Sarah Savelli and Ayodele Casel. Jumaane is a member of a jazz sextet, Abstrakt Pulse, and an instrumentalist in the group Sidewalk Chalk, performing at jazz events throughout the city of Chicago.


Cartier Williams
dancer
is a hoofer, choreographer, filmmaker, and performer hailing from Washington, D.C. He began his tap dancing career at the age of four. Cartier learned his first tap steps from his grandmother Audrey Williams.

At the age of six Cartier performed at the prestigious Apollo Theater Distinguished as one of The Apollo Theater's youngest "Apollo Legends" and Kennedy Center Honors along side Robert Downey Jr. At 10 he co-starred with Tap Legends Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde and Dianne Walker in the International tour of FOOTNOTES and shared the stage with tap pioneers and masters Peg Leg Bates, The Nicholas Brothers, and Gregory Hines. He has appeared on many television shows including the acclaimed THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW.

Mr. Williams has performed for 2 U.S. Presidents, and in 1998 Co-Starred in the PBS Special: In Performance at The White House with President Clinton. He toured the in the Tony Award Winning BRING IN 'da NOISE, BRING IN 'da FUNK, Co-starring with Savion Glover. Williams has performed for many celebs including Oscar winner Tom Hanks and pop-star Usher. Cartier is currently a student of The New York Film Academy and performing his latest production A BEAUTIFUL CHAOS created by Cartier, Matt Denoma and Max Schiano. He's appeared in Spike Lee's Film Bamboozled and at The Opening of the Cannes Film Festival for Moulin Rouge. He released his first Instructional DVD: CARTIER WILLIAMS' HOOFING WITH THE BASICS in March 2010.


Joseph Monroe Webb
dancer, rehearsal director
Award winning actor, dancer, and poet Joseph Monroe Webb has showcased his talent in a number of performances throughout the years including the Tony Award winning Broadway production, Bring in 'Da Noise Bring in 'Da Funk with notable tap dancer, Savion Glover.

Following his Broadway success, Webb ventured into acting appearing in the Martin Scorsese film Bringing Out The Dead, and in numerous print and television ads. He played the lead in the acclaimed touring production of “Thank You Gregory: A Tribute to Legends of Tap” and has performed on talk shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, The Oprah Winfrey Show. His band Beautiful Fire has received rave reviews by the New York Times and his album is currently available on iTunes.



Creative Team

William Cusick
Video & Projection Design
Cusick is a video artist, filmmaker, and projections designer based in NYC. Recent designs for theater, opera and dance include - Broadway: The Coast Of Utopia (Lincoln Center Theater); Off-Broadway: The Other Place (MCC); Arjuna's Dilemma (BAM/Next Wave), The Clean House (LCT), and Dead City (3LD). International: Rasta Thomas' Rock The Ballet (tours), Temporary Distortion's Welcome to Nowhere (Bullet Hole Road) and Americana Kamikaze (tours), Der Schuh Des Manitu (Berlin).

Cusick is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers for 2009-2011. www.williamcusick.com.


Lutin Tanner
Lighting Design
Hails from Mankato, MN. He received a BA in Dance and Theatre from Western Michigan University. He started his career as a dancer with Garth Fagan Dance, whom he performed with for 5 years. He then went on to become Resident Lighting Designer & Production Manager for Dance New Amsterdam for four years. He is currently Resident Lighting Designer for EMIA and continues to design lights for dance and theater.

Lutin is proud to have been with Rasta Thomas's Bad Boys of Dance since its premier at Jacob’s Pillow, 2007. Thanks and love to his wife Adrienne, for her understanding of the late nights. Big UP, To his sons Lucien & Ellington. Peace!


Jan Kühne
Audio Editing & Live Sound Design
Was born in 1978. Since 1999 he has worked as a sound engineer and since 2006 as a sound designer for several bands, Theaters and Industrial events. In 2004 he began toured extensively with numerous productions. Later he teamed up with Niel Anders and did the remastering for "Rock the Ballet".


Niels Anders
Audio Editing & Live Sound Design
Was born 1981. In 2004 he started working as an audio engineer and studied audio engineering at SAE, graduating in 2008 with a diploma. Since then he has worked for several companies as audio engineer and sound designer. Since 2007 during Niels's studies he has teamed up with Jan Kühne for several collaborations one of which was the remastering of "Rock the Ballet" .



About the Company: Bad Boys of Dance

Bad Boys of Dance was founded by dance superstar Rasta Thomas in 2007. Bad Boys of Dance first appeared at the 75th anniversary season of the world renowned American dance festival "Jacob's Pillow". Since then, the Bad Boys have been a hit with all audiences; from the catwalks of New York Fashion Week for the opening show of designer Richie Rich, to the popular Swiss TV show “Benissimo”.

These amazing dancers are virtuosos who expand the boundaries of dance with athletic feats, endless turns and gravity defying leaps. The Bad Boys of Dance are sexy, versatile, and fun! They are the stars of the international hit show Rasta Thomas' Rock the Ballet. (www.badboysofdance.com)

Rasta Thomas’ Tap-Stars
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