Michela Marino Lerman
Michela Marino Lerman first appeared on Sesame Street at the age of 5. In February 2002 she was showcased on the cover of Dance Teacher magazine with Gregory Hines. In 2005, she was named by Dance Spirit magazine as one of the 20 hottest tap dancers under 20 and in 2008, Dance magazine named her as the only female tap dancer in its “25 to Watch in 2008.” Michela has appeared in both the Tap Extravaganza and Tap City numerous times over the past ten years. She won first prize in the Harlem Jazz Dance Festival’s, “Hoofer’s Challenge” in both 2002 and 2003. In 2002, Michela performed with Jennifer Holliday on Broadway in Nothing Like A Dame and also in 21 Below at Town Hall. In 2003, she was inducted into the famed Copasetics as their first and only female lifetime honorary member. In 2004-2006, Michela toured Spain and Japan with Rafael Amargo’s Enramblao. In the fall of 2005, her choreography was featured in the tap section of the opening number for the Bermuda Music Festival with UDP, starring Al Green, Angie Stone, and Patti LaBelle.. At the age of 19, she was commissioned by Dixon Place to create and direct her own show, entitled AM+bu$h+ED. 2007 saw Michela tour Europe for 3 months as a lead dancer in the hit show Magic of the Dance and also appear in Sarah Savelli and Ayodele Casel’s Tappy Holidays. In 2008-2009, she was featured in the show hit “Wonderland,” an all tap show set to Stevie Wonder’s music and also in Chris Scott’s show W-L-U-V. In 2008 she appeared on CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars with Grammy award singer Mya, performing the choreography of Emmy award winner Jason Samuels Smith. Since 2007, Michela has been a featured performer at NYC’s hottest nightclub, The Box. She recently danced with the Roy Hargrove at the Jazz Gallery and the Village Vanguard. She has also been commissioned by the American Tap Dance Foundation and HarlemStage to show her new work entitled Tapsploitation. Michela is grateful for the mentoring and guidance given to her by Buster Brown, Gregory Hines, and Leroy Myers. She has also studied with Jason Samuels Smith, Henry LeTang, Baakari Wilder, Ayodele Casel, Derek Grant, Dianne Walker, and many other gifted teachers. She has taught in numerous schools, studios, and programs throughout the NY metro area. As a performer, teacher, director, and choreographer Michela is dedicated to spreading the art of tap around the world.