It’s impossible not to get caught up in the moment when you watch Jason Janas tap dance. Electricity rumbles in his fast-moving feet and reverberates up through his body. You come away wondering how such athletic dancing could also seem so loose and easy. How did Janas hone his talents? After training with Deborah Mitchell and performing with the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble and the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, he became a principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, TX. He caught the eye of tapper Derick K. Grant, who invited Janas to join his show Imagine Tap! Janas went on to start his own tap festival in Charlotte, NC, and tour as a dancer and co-choreographer in Rasta Thomas’ Tap Stars. Today you can catch his classes at festivals and conventions across the country. Read on for The Dirt! —Helen Hope Rolfe
If you could dance with any performer, past or present, who would it be? John Bubbles, my favorite tap dancer of all time.
Biggest guilty pleasure: Ice Cream. I can’t get enough.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I love to write stories/poetry.
Who is your dance crush? I think Melinda Sullivan is pretty amazing…super talented.
What’s the strangest thing in your dance bag? A room key from this amazing hotel I stayed in when I was in Sardinia, Italy. I can’t part with it.
Do you have any performance habits or superstitions? I always walk on stage with my left foot first.
What’s your most embarrassing onstage moment? My pants ripped onstage. I was 15. Black trousers. White underwear. Not good.