Tap Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer, Humanitarian
Jason Samuels Smith
Jason Samuels Smith is an award-winning tap dancer, teacher, choreographer, and humanitarian. He is a multi-talented leader and lifelong champion of tap dancing. Smith’s accolades include an Emmy, a Dance Magazine Award, an American Choreography Award, and the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award—one of his most cherished honors. He has also received a number of grants and residences to support his projects. Television, film, and choreography credits include Idlewild, Black Nativity, Psych, CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, Tap Heat, Tap World (Executive consultant), and Debbie Allen’s Cool Women. Stage credits include: Broadway’s Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (principal/lead roles); Debbie Allen’s Soul Possessed (leading role); and Imagine Tap! (leading role). Samuels Smith has toured worldwide for more than 3 decades as a soloist, with his company, and various projects at premier venues including Award-winning collaboration co-starring the late Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das which was immortalized in the critically acclaimed documentary Upaj: Improvise. Other projects have included JaJa Productions Band, A.C.G.I. Tap Company And Still You Must Swing, and Going the Miles, Chasin’ the Bird. Jason has performed as a special guest with Grammy Award winning artists, Lalah Hathaway and Jennifer Holliday. Smith has appeared in the internationally televised documentary on Fred Astaire and was featured in a spread with model Michelle Buswell in RED Magazine (UK). Jason utilizes his art form as a vehicle for growth and change and has created several mediums to support these efforts. He is the director of the annual L.A. Tap Festival as well as the annual celebration of National Tap Dance Day known as the Tap Family Reunion in NYC which offer numerous mentorship and training opportunities to youth in their respective communities. As a humanitarian, Jason continues to support organizations including Dancers Responding to Aids, Tied to Greatness, Career Transitions for Dancers, Tap into A Cure, Groove with Me, and Move the World among others. He also designed and developed an affordable professional tap shoe sold exclusively by BLOCH. Jason aims to promote respect for tap dance and continue to create opportunities for upcoming generations as he continues to travel as an ambassador for tap around the world.