2020 Virtual Faculty

BARBARA PHILLIPS Dancer, teacher, choreographer and producer, Barbara is the founder and artistic director of Third Coast Rhythm Project, now celebrating their 23rd season. She has appeared as a guest artist with Especially Tap Chicago, Soul to Sole Festival in Austin, “Everything on Tap” in Dallas, Hoofin Ground Festival in Charlotte, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Summer Festival, “The Legacy Tap Project”, Rhythm Body and Soul in Calgary, AB, and in the live concert series of “JUBA” Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance with Mr. Lane Alexander.


Barbara is artistic director of R.P.M. ( Rhythm.Percussion.Motion ) Youth Tap Ensemble, teaches and heads the adult tap program at Third Coast Rhythm Project’s Tap Studio in San Antonio, and teaches as a faculty member and guest artist in both public and private dance institutions. She is the producer and artistic director of Third Coast Rhythm Project’s annual summer International Tap Festival, bringing together world class artists and musicians to San Antonio in a rhythm packed 4 day educational program.


Barbara is dedicated to sharing the joy of tap dancing with the adult community, passing it on to the next generation, mentoring young dancers through accessible programming, scholarship opportunities, community outreach, concert performances and collaborations within the extended dance community.


Barbara was recognized by San Antonio Women magazine as San Antonio’s first lady of tap, is the recipient of the 2009 Texas Tap Legend award by the Dallas Dance Council for her contribution to the art form, artistic and educational achievement and service to the tap community, and honored at Space City Tap Fest for her outstanding contribution to the Texas Tap Community

Barbara Phillips
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Yukiko "Smilie" Misumi
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NICOLE HOCKENBERRY, a PA native, has been tap dancing professionally for over 20 years. Nicole became a performing member of A&G Dance in 1991, under the Artistic Direction of Germaine Salsberg and Manhattan Tap in 1992, under the Artistic Direction of Heather Cornell.

As the founder and director of T.A.P. (1995-2006 & 2013-ongoing), Nicole has been asked to teach and perform with the New York Foundation for the Arts, the St. Louis Tap Festival, Soul to Sole (Austin, TX), Columbus Taps, Third Coast Rhythm Project (San Antonio, TX), Southeastern Tap Explosion (Atlanta, GA), Everything on Tap! (Dallas, TX), Traditions in Tap (New York City), Tap Jam (Albuquerque, NM), Chicago Human Rhythm Project, The Big Apple Tap Festival, SoFlo Tap Fest and Tap City: The New York Tap Festival.

Nicole’s choreography has been commissioned by tap companies throughout the country, including RPM (San Antonio, TX), Tap Ties (Allentown, PA) and In Motion (Chester, NJ). Nicole joined Germaine Ingram, tap partner to La Vaughn Robinson, for performances in the Philadelphia DanceBoom! Series in 2005, held at the famous WILMA Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. Nicole was a founding member of the women’s tap trio, The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers, under the Artistic Direction of Shelley Oliver and the Musical Direction of David Leonhardt from 1997 – 2002. Nicole is a featured speaker and performer on behalf of Dr. James ‘Buster’ Brown, in the Doctors of Dance Documentary filmed in February 2002, at Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma.

Nicole spent twelve years as an adjunct professor of Dance at Cedar Crest College (Allentown, PA) and three years a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA), teaching tap courses involving Musical Structure, Tap History and Improvisation as well as directing both the Cedar Crest and UArts Tap Ensembles. Currently, Nicole is a part-time Lecturer of Tap in the Dance Department of Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA) and runs the MCDC Tap program.

In 2013, TAP – Teach All People was recreated by Nicole and her husband Mark. TAP produces a Fall TAP Workshop & a summer event, TAP Fest. TAP’s events have included such world renowned tap artists as Nicole Hockenberry, Dianne Walker, Jimmy Tate, Lisa Hopkins, Martin Tre Dumas, Lisa La Touche, Derick Grant and Karissa Royster.

Nicole, along with her husband Mark and children Julia and Alan, make their home in Eastern Pennsylvania and are also the proud owners of Crafty Nicole, (www.craftynicole.com), an online custom designed, clay charm & pendant business.

YUKIKO MISUMI tap dances like a fairy. She is a leader in the Japanese tap community and promotes international cultural exchange through tap dancing.

She studied in NY under the great tap master Henry Le Tang in the 1980's. He named her "Smilie". During the late 1980's Yukiko studied rhythm tap under Brenda Buffalino. She is also influenced by the styles and teaching of Dianne Walker and Dr. Jimmy Slyde.

In Japan, she was a soloist for the Jam Tap Dance Company (Kuniyasu Kato /Founder and artistic director) where she was a dance captain, choreographer and assistant to the stage director. In 1993, 1996, 2004 and 2006, she co-starred with Dr. Jimmy Slyde at that company's performance.

In 1999, she started "African Rhythm Tap Series"; and performed at November Eleventh which is a live-bistro owned by Ryudo Uzaki and Yoko Agi, Sweet Basil 139, American Club, Theater Apple and more.

In 2000, she made her first appearance at NATIONAL TAP DAY in Japan, performed at Tokyo Rhythm Theater, Kawasaki Tap Festival, Keep On Rhythm (osaka), Tokyo International Tap Festival, and Heiwa No Mori hoofers.

Misumi has appeared at the St. Louis Tap Festival as a representative of Japan many years since 2000, in the Chicago Tap Festival, Hawaii Tap Festival, the Barcelona Tap Festival and in the New York Tap Festival.

Yukiko taught all over Japan including: TRADTION IN TAP (NEW YORK) a workshop in HongKong, WORKSHOP in 2009; performed and taught in Taiwan Winter Tap Festival, Taipei Tap Festival, HongKong Dance Festival, and Hawaii Tap Festival in 2010.

Smilie operated Artisitic Rhythm Tap Network through Chacott dance studio. She opened her own studio named ARTN Tap Dance Studio in central Tokyo in 2001.

Tap dancer, choreographer, teacher and Director of Artistic Rhythm Tap Network.


Nicole Hockenberry
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Jay Fagan

JAY FAGAN hails from Chicago and is amongst the most sought after Tap Masters in the industry today. Entering his third decade of international dance experience, his mastery of rhythm tap has been performed, taught, and choreographed worldwide. He’s also known as one of the most fun teachers and entertaining performers of today.

Technically, he has been trained by the very best tap dancers in the business including, Lane Alexander, Gregory Hines, Henry LaTang, Sam Weber and Savion Glover. Jay has shared the stage with Dianne Walker, Lane Alexander, Acia Gray, Barbara Phillips, Sarah Savelli, Ayodele Casel, Derick Grant and so many more. His polished performances have been seen by the President of the United States, Kupio Dance Festival in Finland, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, Canada Windsor Casino Showroom, Las Vegas’ Flamingo, Luxor and Suncoast Hotels, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Third Coast Rhythm Project, Soul To Sole Tap Festival, Scotland B.A.T.D, Germany, Mexico and many more.

Mr. Fagan was an artist in residence for two years at Oklahoma City University at the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management under the direction of Jo Rowan. He has taught all over the Chicago land area for over 20 years and is part owner of Jo’s Footwork Studio and The Dance Workshop.

Beyond his master of tap, Jay has studied and still teaches all mediums of dance. His choreographic works have consistently and always placed within all top ranking national competitions. Jay has worked with Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Dance Olympus, Starquest, Chicago Dance Connection, Texas Association of Teachers and Dance, British Association of Teachers of Dancing (which he is a member), Sheer Talent and many many more.

A recipient of both the Presidential Scholar Award and the American Dance Award, Jay has danced with AM/FM Dance Company, Especially Tap Chicago, Sarah Savelli/Jay Fagan Project and Sibling Rivalry with his sister Connie Fagan.

All this could not be possible without his first dance teacher Jo Irbe (his second mother) who trained him from the start and showed him the love and wonderful life that dance really is. Thanks Jo!