Northwest Tap Connection Instructors
Lakema Bell is one of Otunoba African Dance Theater's lead dancers and co-choreographers; she is an inspirational performer with 20+ years of teaching experience. Lakema trained under the tutelage of great world renown African Dance Professionals including her mother Makeda Ebube' who immersed Lakema in African culture at birth. Lakema will bring traditional African dance and her new fitness creation Afrifit a fusion of traditional African dance movements to modern African American music a fun and exciting celebration of the black experience for everyone to enjoy.
Lakema Bell (African Dance)
Shakiah Danielson (Hip Hop)
My name is Shakiah Danielson, I am a self-taught hip-hop choreographer and have been teaching dance for approximately 8 years. I am currently the choreographer for Restoration of the Arts, a non-profit organization based in Seattle using stage productions to reach at-risk youth. I enjoy fusing different genres of music and dance to broaden the scope, language and usage of hip-hop. I look forward to being a part of the team here at NW Tap Connection, and contributing to such a beautiful movement being birthed in the Rainier Valley.
Dani Tirrell (Modern and House)
Dance artist, performer, choreographer and dance educator. Dani has danced with Jazz and Spirit Dance Theater of Detroit, Monroe Ballet Company, Full Circle Dance Company, Natural Locz Dance Company and Dani Tirrell Dance Theater that he founded and serves as Artistic Director. Dani also created Color Lines Dance Ensemble for youth dance artist ages 12 to 18.
Dani has performed and shown work at Seattle International Festival of Dance (Seattle), Black Choreographers Festival (San Francisco), Gay City Arts (Seattle), Bumpershoot: Velocity Dance Center Showcase (Seattle), Showing Out: Black Contemporary Choreographers (Seattle), Young Tanz Sommer (Austria), Northwest New Works Festival: On The Boards (Seattle), Risk/Reward (Portland), Seattle Art Museum (Seattle), Erased (Color Lines Dance Ensemble) as part of Nights at the Neptune (Neptune Theater, Seattle), Monticello Wakes (Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles) and Central District Forum of Arts and Ideas.
Dani has choreographed works for Kaleidoscope Dance (Seattle), 3rd Shift Dance (Seattle), Jazz Intoxication (Seattle), Broadway Bound Children’s Theater (Seattle), Stone Soup Theater (Seattle), Northwest Tap Connection (Seattle), Full Circle Dance Company (Detroit), Jazz and Spirit Dance Theater of Detroit (Detroit), Detroit Windsor Dance Academy (Detroit) and Vision Center Stage Dance Company (Detroit). Most recently Dani choreographed for the premier of House of Dinah written by Jerome A. Parker and Directed by Andrew Russell. House of Dinah premiered at On the Boards in the 2016/2017 season. Dani has also conducted workshops centered on gender/sexuality/race at Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (Seattle), Texas Festival of Dance Improvisation (Texas Women’s University, Denton, City Arts Magazine 2017 Genre Bender Artist paired with Mary Anne Carter and Allied Media Conference (Detroit).
Dani’s latest work Black Bois premiered at On the Boards (Seattle) in April 2018.
Currently Dani’s work focuses on the queer, gender non-conforming and black experience. In March of 2018 Dani curated On the Boards Open Studio Showcase. Dani will curate the 2018/2019 Season of Central District Forum of Arts and Ideas (Seattle). Dani will continue with the position of lecture in the Dance Department of University of Washington, teaching Street and Club Styles. Dani also incorporates House, Vogue, Whacking and African Diasporic movement in Dani’s artistic practice and work. Dani teaches throughout the Seattle area with Northwest Tap Connection and formally at Massive Monkees Studio: The Beacon.
Shaina Proctor (Rhythm Tap)
Shaina was born in Seattle, WA. She has studied all types of dance but her main focus is tap dancing. She studied under the Dr. Darrlyn Smith. Currently she is a teacher at Northwest Tap Connection. She has performed at many venues: Minneapolis Tap Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and Tap City: The New York City Tap Festival, LA Tap Festival, and Seattle’s Annual Dance This: 2003 – 2006, Intiman’s Theater Black Nativity and Dancing with the Stars.
Scott Miller (African Drumming)
Scott has played sports from the age of 8 starting with football, hockey, lacrosse and crew. At the (late) age of 18 he began his dance career, performing and studying Modern Dance in Washington DC with Jan Van Dyke (Dance Project) and Carla Perlo (Dance Place). He attended the American Dance Festival at Duke University for 2 years, then moved to New York City where he was on scholarship at the Martha Graham School and the Alvin Ailey School. He also studied at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Finis Jhung Ballet Studio, and danced with the June Lewis Dance Company as well as other New York area artist. In Washington he has danced with Melanie Kirk-Stauffer Dance Theatre Northwest in Tacoma and with the Aria Dance Company in Federal Way. He is a martial arts enthusiast and has studied kung fu and kickboxing.
Scott is also a Licensed Massage Practitioner who is the chair of the Washington State Board of Massage and on the board of directors for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards . He has been in the massage business for 15 years and previously held a contract with Boeing for 10 years providing onsite massage. He has taught kinesiology, business,ethics and massage theory and practice. He is a student of Pilates for the past 8 years and continues to study Muay Thai (kick boxing). Scott started and completed his Pilates certification when he met Dorothee VandeWalle co-owner of Metropolitan Pilates and a world-class teacher/trainer who would help refine and strengthen his skills as an instructor as well as challenge his abilities as a practitioner. He has taught at Metropolitan Pilates, Momentum Dance Academy, and teaches at Burien Park and Recreation as well as with Sonia Dawkins Segue. He is now the director and lead instructor at Highline Athletic Club in Burien Washington. Hobbies include kayaking, roller blade, skiing, pickle ball, kick boxing and dancing.
Pamela Yasutake (Rhythm Tap)
Pamela Yasutake (Performer - Choreographer - Instructor) recently made her Broadway debut in the original cast of "Shuffle Along, Or , The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed". Directed by George C. Wolfe and choreographed by Savion Glover, the critically acclaimed production received ten 2016 Tony Award Nominations including Best Musical.
Originally from Seattle, WA and now residing in New York City, Pamela's television credits include the 70th Annual Tony Awards (CBS), Maya & Marty (NBC) and So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). Other credits include sold-out concerts with Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies in New York City, Washington, DC and Dubai, performing with Emmy-Award Winner Jason Samuels Smith and his company Anybody Can Get It (A.C.G.I.) at Davidson College in North Carolina, performing and choreographing for Seattle Theatre Group’s production of “Dance This…”, eight seasons of the Black Nativity Play of Seattle in which she performed the lead dancer role of Mary for two consecutive seasons, and performing at various tap festivals across the country alongside legendary masters of Tap.