Jessie in a red suit and white tank top. She is dancing in front of a blue backdrop.

Dance

Want to book Jessie? Send her an email

Jessie in a red suit and white tank top with blazer flowing in the wind in front of blue backdrop

Jessie is a performer, educator, producer, and force of positivity who has traveled across 6 continents to over 10 countries. She has been teaching tap dance for 18 years and working professionally for 22. Her artistic expression is melodic, powerfully rhythmic, graceful, and exudes a deep love for improvised music collaboration.

 

Her studies began under the tutelage of Ginger Roberts who then connected her with Cheryl Johnson and Anthony Peters in Seattle. Jessie was fortunate to be given a well-rounded education that included learning and appreciating the history of the art form as well as music theory and how to work with musicians. As a young dancer, she frequently performed at retirement homes and community events, along with annual dance and live music concerts where she performed alongside her instructors.

 

Jessie has had the honor of studying around the U.S. and internationally with late tap greats Cholly Atkins, Ernest Brown, Harold Cromer, Fayard Nicholas, LaVaughn Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, Prince Spencer. At 16 years old, she was invited to share the stage with the late great Gregory Hines, and at 19 worked with Savion Glover as part of the Seattle Theatre Group’s DANCE This concert.

As a performer, Jessie’s first professional work began at 13 years old as a tap dancing clam mascot in a commercial for the Seattle seafood restaurant, Ivar’s. She continued working with them for promotional events at their restaurants and sports stadiums for 7 years. As an educator, Jessie has been on faculty at numerous international tap dance festivals including Australia, Brazil, Calgary, and Vancouver, and was a principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, TX, in 2014 for their 25th Anniversary Season.  In 2015, Jessie was a guest performer at the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, collaborating with the band Mokoomba and Iranian cajon player Ramin Khalatbari. She frequently assists tap legend Dianne Walker in passing on the late great Leon Collins’ body of work.

Jessie teaching with Dianne Walker
Jessie performing at concert

At 24 years old, Jessie produced Flow, her first evening length concert with a quartet of musicians and guest dance artists including Mark Mendonca, Travis Knights, and VAM Performance at the Triple Door in Seattle to a sold out crowd of 300. Five years later, Jessie was hired as Creative Director for the Women In Tap concert presented at the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival. She organized and led the monthly Seattle Tap Jam event for years at music venues around the city, welcoming dancers of all ages, abilities, and all dance studio affiliations. In 2016, she released a global music video called Music of Humankind, which involved taking a solo trip around the world and collaborating with over 100 dancers and musicians she met along the way. 

In addition to tap dance, you might also catch Jessie on vocals. In 2018, she collaborated with GRAMMY-Nominated pianist and producer Josh Rawlings to create their first album of sound healing music, for which she sang and included tap dance on some tracks as a percussive element. The music was originally created as a supplemental tool for clients in her signature Self-Expansion Unlocked™ coaching program, but she and Josh have plans to share the full album and more with the public in the near future.

Videos

Oscar Peterson Experience
Calgary, Canada

This concert was called  "The Oscar Peterson Experience," in honor of the famed late jazz pianist. Jessie also spent time teaching tap dance classes as part of the festival's faculty. 

Chava Mirel Collaboration

Seattle, WA

This guest performance was the second time Jessie appeared onstage bald after shaving her head to find full acceptance of her hair loss!

Teaching & Mentorship

 

Jessie is available to teach at studios, festivals, and other events. She is available for private mentorship on a limited basis. Jessie loves to teach the following topics and can also work with you to create custom areas of study:

 

  • Strengthening Your Foundations

  • Relaxed Technique

  • Clarity & Speed

  • Choreography Retention

  • Drills & Rudiments

  • Tonality

  • Slides

  • Working with Musicians

  • The Leon Collins Repertoire

  • Improvisation

  • Playing grooves

  • Tap Dancing Melodically

  • Tap Dance as a Percussive Instrument

 

(Can be tailored to different skills levels and ages)

Jessie in red suit and white tank top jumping in front of a blue backdrop.

To contact Jessie regarding private tap dance mentorship or to book her to teach or perform at your facility, festival, or other events, send her an email.

Jessie teaching students at Portland Tap Dance Festival