My tag line for this year was Bringing The Best of Tap Dancing To The Feet of Dallas. I need to put a giant check mark next to this on my to do list! This year's event was beyond my expectations. I always knew that I could bring an amazing festival experience to Dallas, but I am so grateful at how smoothly it all came together this year.
First, can we talk guest artists?! I am honored that these amazing people were gracious enough to share their times and talents with us here in Dallas. Each artist offered such a unique perspective and gift such as Chloe with her amazing inspirations, to Sarah with feet that should be registered as a lethal weapon, to Nicholas for his brilliant poly rhythms, to Acia for her great knowledge and command of tap dancing, to Justin for his great passion, to Matt for his boyish charms that always steal the show, to Kaelyn for her I Can Do This soul, to Emily for being that amazing young artist that every young tap dancer should strive to be, to Nick D for his infectious personality matched only by his fabulous tap styles, to Anthony for always pushing us to do better and to be better. These artists brought the best of their worlds to our world of RIFF.
Second, uh hello...The Wyly! I LOVE this theater!
And lastly, there is an amazing group of people whose generosity humble me and their efforts inspire me to continue on this path. There of course is My Mary...yes, that truly is what I call her. Without Mary, you would see me running around like a chicken with her head cut off. She is my person. She puts all of the details in order to all of my grandiose plans, enabling me to keep dreaming. I love her dearly. I'd also like to thank my generous sponsors...Centurion America, Evolv, O'Mara Sprung Floors, Next Step Dance, and Company Cafe. Thank you for your support and for believing in the great art of tap dancing. I hesitate to put names on all of the rest because I'm fearful that I will leave someone off. Please forgive me if I do! Thank you to all of my behind the scenes people...Shelly Santillan, Freddie, Mike and Sabrina Magolnick, Shane and Kristy Hendricks, Judy Barnes, Erin Vasquez, Jennifer Carter, Jen Mendolia, Mardece Edwards, and Teylor Hare. It takes a special family to be a host family...you guys rock! Thanks to Mehrdad Moayedi, Pamela Moayedi, Stephanie Buford, Jo Ann Mikolitch, Michelle Monger, and Sally Scott. I'd also like to thank our ensembles that participated in INFUSION. Our youth groups showed us that tap dancing is continuing to grow in the hearts and feet of our youth. Thank you to RPM, Hyperfeet, Choreo Records, JAM Youth Project, and NSD Youth. Our professional companies were stellar! Thank you to Rhythmic Souls and to the group that always puts a smile on my face, Dallas Tap Dazzlers!
RIFF was always a dream of mine. I am so glad that I took that giant step to take this on. My beautiful family have been very supportive and understanding of the countless hours I have poured into this festival. Kevin, your support means more to me than you will ever know. Maddie and Mia, this is our journey together and it gives me such great joy to share this passion with you. Charlie, you are my favorite little boy on this planet. Thank you for loving me and sharing me with so many other children.
So, RIFF 2017 is in the plans. Stay tuned as this is only the beginning! Much love to you all and always, always, keep tapping!