To call Jason Samuels Smith a superstar of tap dance sounds just about right.
Still in his mid-30s, he has won multiple dance honors, including an Emmy Award and American Choreographer Award for Outstanding Choreography, a Dance Magazine Award and the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award. As a child, he performed on Sesame Street with Savion Glover, who became his teacher and mentor. At age 15, he was hired as an understudy for Broadway's Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, later earning principal and lead roles in the production. An international performer, teacher and humanitarian today, Jason Samuels Smith has numerous TV, film and stage credits (Psych, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, Debbie Allen's Cool Women, Outkast's Idlewild, among others). He tours with his own dance company, A.C.G.I. (Anybody Can Get It) and is the director of The L.A. Tap Fest.
This weekend, Jason Samuels Smith will perform with fellow tap stars, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derick K. Grant, as part of Dance Month at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston. Their program includes his own piece, Going the Miles, inspired by jazz icon Miles Davis, as well as excerpts from Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards' And Still You Must Swing.
While in town this week, Jason Samuels Smith stopped by Houston Public Media to talk about falling in love with tap at a young age, the art of improvisation and more. And he tap danced in the Geary Studio!
Hear and watch what happened, above.
Special thanks to videographers, Mark DiClaudio and Troy Schulze, and audio engineer, Todd Hulsander.
The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston presents An Evening of Tap with Jason Samuels Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derick K. Grant on Saturday, February 11, 8pm. Additionally, all three dancers will teach Master Classes on Sunday, February 12.