Jason Samuels Smith has made everlasting scuff-marks on the tap world. At 15 he joined the Broadway cast of Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk as an understudy and soon scored a principal role and understudied the lead. He toured internationally with Savion Glover’s dance group, Not Your Ordinary Tappers, and starred in Imagine Tap! at the Harris Theater in Chicago. In 2003, the number he choreographed for the Jerry Lewis/MDA Telethon earned him an Emmy and an American Choreography Award. That same year, he created the First Annual L.A. Tap Festival, for which he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the city. He also founded the company A.C.G.I. (Anyone Can Get It). Shreveport, LA, even declared April 23 “Jason Samuels Smith Day.” That’s one holiday DS will definitely celebrate! —Monica Levy

Dear Jason,

You’re entering a new and exciting stage of life where the people you meet and the experiences you accumulate will help shape your future forever. You’ll make some tough decisions, but carry no regrets, hold no grudges and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The tap community will become more significant to you over time, and the elders will become your mentors. Listen to their stories, value their wisdom and cherish their enthusiasm. Take time to spend with your grandparents— they can teach you a lot about who you are. Your mother and sister have made major sacrifices for you, as well, work hard and make them proud. Don’t forget to have fun! Enjoy every moment and practice hard. You’ll need lots of humility and patience. You said you wanted to travel the world, right?  Keep doing what you’re doing—I have a feeling you will get many opportunities....

Love,

Jason

Photo: Eduardo Patino

Latest Posts


Nathan Sayers

From "Dance Moms" to Complexions: Ballerina Kaeli Ware's Unconventional Path to Success

Take one look at Kaeli Ware's Instagram page and you'll be captivated. The elegant, impossibly long-limbed ballet dancer has over 110 thousand followers hooked on her every polished move. But the 19-year-old phenom isn't just a social media sensation. Having already conquered the competition scene and the world of dance reality TV, Ware recently joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet as a trainee. These days, she splits her time between NYC and Philadelphia, PA, where she continues to beef up her classical training at The Rock School for Dance Education.

She's not a traditional bunhead, and she's not a run-of-the-mill social influencer, either. Instead, Ware is creating her own hybrid career path—and it's taking her to impressive places.

Keep Reading
Boston Ballet principal Seo Hye Han as Cinderella in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella (Liza Voll, courtesy Boston Ballet)

5 Principal Dancers on the Ballet Steps That Still Challenge Them

Their technique might seem effortless onstage, but even the most seasoned ballet professionals have that one step that still drives them crazy. We asked five principal dancers to open up about the skills they still find challenging, and how they're working to finesse them.

Keep Reading

Dear Katie: How Important Are Private Dance Lessons?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

Do I need private lessons? I'm a professional-track dancer, and my teachers say that I should start scheduling privates to advance more quickly. But they're so expensive. Will I make it if I stick to group classes?

Jenna

Keep Reading
contest
Enter the Cover Model Search