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Northwest Tap Connection Instructors

La'twon Allen 

(Rhythm Tap)

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)

William, a native of Philadelphia, P.A. He began his training in middle school at the Rock School of Dance Education. Later attending Creative and Performing Arts High School. He then farther his training, attended and received scholarships from Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, Kevin Malone Summer Intensive, Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), and Adrian Bolton and Katherine Smith Summer Intensive. William had received the Marian Anderson Award in 2004 and 2005. He had the privilege to dance with Tap Team Two and company, Traci Hall and Company, Philadanco and Pennsylvania Ballet. In 2013, he graduated from University of the Arts with a BFA in Jazz Dance Education. He was a part of Eleone Connection from 2007-2010. William was a member of Eleone Dance Theatre from 2011-2013 and Carbon Dance Theater in 2013. Mr. Burden joined Spectrum in 2013.

William Earnerst Davis Burden 

(Beginning Modern)

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.

Erricka Turner Davis has performed with 5th Ave.Theatre (Hello Dolly), Village Theatre (Showboat), Chamber Dance Company, Intiman Theatre (Black Nativity), Seattle Opera (Un Ballo En Maschera, Rigoletto, Florencia in the Amazons), Sankofa Theatre (Maafa Suite), Oakland Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, and as a freelance teaching and Praise Dance artist. She is also Miss October in Black Ballerinas of the 20th Century Calendar. rricka received her Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) in Ballet Education withHonors from University of The Arts, Philadelphia, PA, and her MFA in Dancefrom University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Erricka Turner-Davis 


She has choreographed, taught, and lectured at Broadway Performing Arts Center (11 Days of MLK, Jr.), Harlequin Theatre (Soul on Fire, Let the Good Times Roll), Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet Bellevue, Evergreen State College, Northwest Dance Intensive, Evergreen City Ballet, UW Dance Series, ARC Dance, Rainier Dance Center, Northwest Tap Connection, and other venues throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Monique Franklin

(Rhythm Tap, Spoken Word)

Monique is an Activist, Poet, Artist, Scientist, and Mother. She is a native Seattleite who lives in Rainier Valley. Her Dance and Spoken Word curriculum’s infuse the virtues project for character development, and offer academic enrichment through the enhancement of reading, writing, and research skills while teaching the craft and it‘s history.



Monique is the owner and operator of Inspired Child, a arts organization which has been providing ar ts events for youth and families since 2005. She is currently a tap dance instructor at Northwest Tap Connection’s Dance Studio located in Rainier Beach. She views her art and her vocation as an educator as a vehicle for social change.

Alex began his dancing career at the early age of five. He has extensive training in tap, modern, ballet and hip hop and he has danced with legends: the late Nicholas Brothers and Gregory Hines. He has also trained with dance masters and choreographers: Savion Glover, Dianne "Lady Di" Walker, Donald Byrd, Sonia Dawkins, Jamel Gaines and Kabby Mitchell through his participation in Seattle Theatre Group's annual dance this company, the Intiman Theatre's Black Nativity and dance festivals.  He has been the recipient of many awards in recognition of his technical ability and artistic expression in a variety of dance forms.  Alexander has over fifteen years of experience in dance instruction and choreography through his work with Northwest Tap Connection and other schools and organizations.

Alexander Jamahl Jackson 

(Rhythm Tap, Modern, HipHop)

Maya has been a featured dancer on the musical recordings, James "Blood" Ulmer, No Escape from the Blues and The Yohimbe Brothers, The Tao of Yo. Maya has been blessed with love and wisdom from her Mentors/Teachers of the Dance, including Cheryl Johnson, Barbara Duffy, Dianne Walker, Savion Glover, and the late Great Tap Masters Jimmy Slyde and Buster Brown.Maya currently resides in Seattle, teaching Tap Dance at Northwest Tap Connection, composing music, and singing with various Jazz, Funk and Hip Hop artists, including Candidt, Gabriel Teodros and The Carmel Latte Band. Maya is forever grateful to her family and friends for their love and support, with a special honor and blessing in her mother's memory. Thank you Mom for your spirit and eternal inspiration. To my precious son Miles – Live, Lead With Your Heart…Dance Baby, Dance!!

Maya Jenkins 

(Rhythm Tap)

Maya Jenkins left her hometown of Seattle, WA and moved to New York City in 2000 to attend New York University to study Jazz Piano. From 2001-2005, Maya was a founding member of Savion Glover’s Tap Dance Company, Ti Dii. Company credits include: the opening of the Cannes Film Festival (France), Jerry Lewis Telethon, 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Nijinsky Awards (France), Beacon Theater (NYC...) and "Improvography," Joyce Theater (NYC). Maya had the opportunity to collaborate with Reg. E. Gaines (writer of Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk). They presented "The Mongo Affair" at Summer Stage in Central Park and at Joe's Pub in NYC, with Miguel Algerin, a founding member of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

Dani Long 


Dani Long is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dani Tirrell Dance Theater where he performs as a solo dance/theater artist in the Seattle area. At the age of nine, Danny started dancing in his hometown of Inkster, MI. He started his training with Vivian’s School of Dance, and other dance institutes throughout Michigan and the United States. His love of dance and movement has allowed him to be a part of Full Circle Dance Company, Monroe Ballet Company, and Jazz and Spirit Dance Theater of Detroit. His teaching credits include Jazz and Spirit Dance Theater of Detroit, Detroit-Windsor Dance Academy, Northwest Tap Connection and guest teacher with dance companies throughout Detroit and Seattle. He has toured with VEE Corporations production of Sesame Street Live. In 2008 he made a move to Seattle, WA where he has performed and taught for the past 3 years. companies.            

He has worked with Broadway Bound Children’s Theater with such productions as Disney’s “High School Musical”, Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”, “Hairspray” and most recently “Annie” and “Rent”. Danny is continuing his dance education with various artists in the Seattle area. He was also a member of Soho Dounia, an African Drum and Dance Company. Danny is the Artistic Director of Color Lines Dance Ensemble a pre-professional dance ensemble for dancers 12 -18 years of age. He also serves as the company manager for Northwest Tap Connection’s three performing. 

Shaina Mitchell 

(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.

Pam Yasutake 

(Rhythm Tap)

Pamela Yasutake is an accomplished performer/instructor/choreographer. She is a guest instructor with NW Tap Connection and Rainier Dance Studio. She is also on staff at various studios in the Tri-State area. Locally, Pamela has performed various times at the Paramount Theatre, in Seattle Theatre Group’s “Dance This…” production. In 2009, her choreographed piece was featured as the opening number for “Dance This…” She has also performed eight seasons with the Black Nativity Play of Seattle in which she performed the lead dancer role of Mary for two consecutive seasons. Pamela has performed at various Tap festivals across the country along side legendary masters of Tap.



Pamela has taken master classes from many talented, notable dancers such as The Nicholas Brothers, Prince Spencer, Bunny Briggs, Dianne Walker, Ted Levy, Derrick Grant, Jason Samuels-Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Chloe Arnold and many more. She has also worked with renowned artists such as Jamel Gaines, Sonia Dawkins, Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo, Teatro Del Millenio of Peru and Savion Glover. Pamela is a member of Chloe Arnold’s company, Syncopated Ladies, an all female Tap dancing band.


Pamela is currently working on expanding her solo artistry and has been performing her own shows as a singing and dancing act.


Elise Walker 

(Children's Modern)

Ahmen Taplin 

(Fast Beginner Technique)

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