2019 Mentors

Mentors of The Woodshed Experience 2019

Derick K. Grant (Performer, Choreographer, Director) has an established career that spans over three decades. Under the direction of two time Tony Award winning director George C. Wolfe, he was an original company member and Dance Captain for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk at both The Public Theater and on Broadway and also starred in the role of ‘da beat for the first National Tour of Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. He created the critically acclaimed show Imagine Tap! and was appointed as the Co-Artistic Director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Summer Festival. 

Mr. Grant was the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artist, The Helen Hayes Award (D.C.) for Outstanding Featured Actor as well as two additional for his role in Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. Mr. Grant also received two Los Angeles Ovation Awards for choreography and for best Ensemble performance in Noise/Funk, and was most recently recognized for Best Choreography for Imagine Tap! He was also nominated for the Lester Horton Dance Award for Best Male Performance from the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles. 

“He has had the best of the old and new. With his formal training, he knows how to perform as an old timer. His style is made up of it all. He’s not just a fad dancer. He has substance because he has combined his youth and energy with the technique of the old legends to form his own personal style.” Arlene Kennedy

derick grant

lisa latouche

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Lisa’s recent credit includes original cast member of SHUFFLE ALONG. As part of the cast, she was recipient of the Fred Astaire award for “Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway show” and the A.C.C.A. Actor’s Equity Award for “Outstanding Broadway Chorus”. Previous 

highlights have also included touring with Savion Glover productions in STEPZ, and also performing in both New York’s Off-Broadway and the North American touring casts of STOMP. She was also in the original ensemble of Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards “Sophisticated Ladies” where they performed weekly at The Cotton Club in Harlem and also a member of Jason Samuel Smith’s company A.C.G.I. She was also faculty member of the School of Jacob’s pillow under the direction of her mentor Dianne Walker. She appears as guest faculty at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. She believes whole heartedly that we are all to trust and follow our inspirations and welcome a journey of unlimited opportunities.



DORMESHIA SUMBRY-EDWARDS is a two-time Bessie Award winner (as performer and choreographer), Princess Grace Award, and Astaire Award for Best Female Performer in Broadway’s After Midnight. Additional Broadway credits include Black and Blue and Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk. Dormeshia was integral to Noise/Funk’s International Tour (dance captain/principal) and performed as special guest at International Jazz Day featuring the legendary Al Jarreau and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Choreography credits include Michael Jackson’s Rock My World, The Cotton Club’s Sophisticated Ladies, The Blues Project (co-choreographer/creator), and Jacob Pillow debut And Still You Must Swing (creator/co-choreographer), New York Times’ The Best of Dance for 2016). With over 30 years touring the world, she also spent 11 years as Michael Jackson’s tap instructor.


Nicholas Van Young, a New York-based dancer, choreographer, musician, and master teacher, began his professional career under Acia Gray and Deidre Strand with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, eventually as a principal dancer and resident choreographer. He also has performed with Manhattan Tap, RumbaTap, Dorrance Dance, "Beat the Donkey," has toured as a drummer for Darwin Deez and spent almost a decade performing with STOMP. Nicholas recently premiered his dance company, Sound Movement, and is working closely with Michelle Dorrance on their collaborative project, ETM: The Initial Approach and ETM: Double Down.

Woodshed mentors from 2018

sarah reich

Sarah Reich (Performer, Choreographer, Instructor) has emerged as one of the new leaders in the Art Form of Tap Dance. At the young age of 15, this Los Angeles native was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine’s article, “20 Hot Tappers Under 20” and was named one of the “25 To Watch” in the 2009 Dance Magazine article. Ever since, Sarah has been sought after to perform, choreograph, and teach in over 40 countries. 

Sarah is currently on tour with Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox as the featured tap dancer. Previously she was seen on Season 11 of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance with Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies and Season 8 with Jason Samuels Smith's, A.C.G.I. With her own company, Tap Music Project, she has choreographed and performed at the Ford Amphitheatre, UCLA’s JazzReggae Festival, Blue Whale, and the LA County Holiday Celebration. Sarah was also a performer at Madison Square Garden for the opening of the NY Knicks 2013-2014 season.

In addition to her vast international travels and countless television appearances, Sarah has had the honor to perform at some of the most prestigious venues back home in Los Angeles such as The Hollywood Bowl, the Ford Amphitheatre, the Greek Theater with Mexican Pop-Star, Cristian Castro and the Kodak Theater with the great Herbie Hancock.

Sarah is developing new exciting works with her company, Tap Music Project and Sole Sisters – a collaboration with Melinda Sullivan. Sarah produces a weekly class/tap jam for the Los Angeles tap community, Monday Night Tap Experience. 


charles renato

Charles Renato, of São Paulo, Brazil, began tap-dancing at the age of 6 at the Brazilian tap company CBS and hasn’t stopped since. Charles has won several renowned awards throughout his career including Best Dancer of the Festidança Festival (2004) and the Joinville Dance Festival (2002). He was also the winner of the “Tap in Rio Challenge” in 2007 and of a Brazilian network TV Globo Challenge Show in 2009. Charles was the co-creator of “Brazilian Roots,” which performed at CHRP’s Rhythm World 2008 and he has performed around the world such as Lisbon, in the cast of the musical “Sinatra – Blue Eyes.” Back in Brazil, Renato was a member of the “KS Tap Company,” directed by Kika Sampaio. 

As a choreographer, he has won several awards and has gained recognition at many Brazilian dance festivals like the Joinville Dance Festival, Passo de Arte Dance Competition, Festidanca Festival, and Litoral em Danca Festival. He was awarded for best choreography on the hit Brazilian TV show Domingão do Faustão in 2010 as well as at the 2013 Festidança Festival. In 2012 Charles was also nominated for Best Choreographer at the Prêmio Desterro Festival. Renato has choreographed for the Águia de Ouro Samba school, where he was responsible for the carnival float titled “The Biggest Festivals,” which hosted some of the most distinguished performers in Brazilian music such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Rita Lee, Cauby Peixoto, and Angela Maria. In 2013, he was also invited to choreograph the hit TV show Chiquititas. In 2013 he was invited to represent Brazil in Chicago at the Rhythm World, directed by Lane Alexander.