In 1965, when tap dancing hit a lull, Berry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown Records, recruited Charles “Cholly” Atkins to teach his newfound vocal groups to dance. The former vaudevillian, tap dancer & Tony award winner became the house choreographer at Motown, working with such notable acts as The Temptations, The Four Tops, (Gladys Knight &) The Pips, & even Michael Jackson. He gave these acts a more sophisticated style on stage, which he labeled Vocal Choreography. “Make your movements a physical drama to what you are singing about.” I was privileged to take Vocal Choreography classes from Cholly for 4 summers. He made sure his choreography was meticulously executed. Students will learn how to take their on-stage presence of dance to a higher level.
Susan Ruddock began dancing at age 16, taking an Interpretive Dance class from Sr. Jeanine Therese. She found her passion & escalated her talent by taking thousands of diverse dance classes: modern, ballet, tap, jazz & musical theatre. Tap dancing so fascinated her that she dedicated 35 years to The Skylark Tappers dance company, retiring in Dec 2018. In 2010, Suz was chosen as a local Rockette to open the Radio City Rockettes’ show in Portland. Over the years, Suz honed her tap skills by interacting with taps masters Cholly Atkins, Brenda Buffalino, Honi Coles, Linda Sohl-Elison, Fred Strickler, Portland’s own Terry Brock & countless other tap masters. Suz enjoys engaging in theatre as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer or assistant director with over 40 shows to her credit. A recent venture was choreographing Disney’s The Lion King for Kids.
13405 SW Hall Blvd., Tigard, OR 97223
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