directed by Aleta Hayes, Ronnie Reddick, Raissa Simpson, and amara tabor-smith

Join the TAPS dance faculty to audition and learn more about the four choreographers who will present work in the Spring of 2022-2023. This concert will be a TAPS Mainstage production in Roble Gym’s premiere theater space, the Harry Elam Jr. Theater. This production is supported by the Theater and Performance Studies Department, in collaboration with the Committee on Black Performing Arts (CBPA). Students will receive credit for participation in this concert in the Spring.

Above photos: Left, “Fashion Fable” by Aleta Hayes, photo by Jamie Lyons | Right, “REVIVAL: Millennial reMembering in the Afro NOW” by amara tabor-smith, photo by Frank Chen

In addition to its scheduled performances, this production may be live-streamed or recorded for public viewing.

Stanford TAPS seeks to build a diverse cast for this production and encourages members of any race, gender identity, and ability to audition. If any accessibility accommodations are needed please email tapsinformation@stanford.edu for assistance.



  • We will focus on creating a poetic “weather simulator” as a vehicle to explore the relationship between weather and human social-emotional life. We will engage in a collaborative making process to both become weather and respond to weather.
  • We invite dancers, movers, and emerging creators of all styles and backgrounds! We are also seeking interdisciplinary dancers to continue the practice of creating intermedia performances using dance, poetry, live music, video projection, and AI technology. 
  • Please contact ahayes1@stanford.edu with any questions.


Aleta HayesAleta Hayes is a dancer, choreographer, performer, educator and lecturer. Hayes holds an M.F.A. (1993) in Dance and Choreography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a B.A. (1991), with Departmental Honors, in Drama, with a concentration in Dance and the Visual Arts from Stanford University.

Hayes worked in New York City for fifteen years, choreographing solo and group dance pieces. Performances interpolated acting and singing with dance. She had leading roles in major productions such as Jane Comfort’s dance/opera Asphalt (book by Carl Hancock Rux, music and lyrics by Toshi Reagon) and Robert Wilson’s The Temptation of St Anthony (with music and libretto by Bernice Johnson Reagon). Hayes taught for eight years at Princeton University in the Program in Theater and Dance and the Program in African American Studies. While at Princeton, she developed pedagogically innovative courses that combined cultural history, theory, and performance. 

In 2004, Hayes returned to Stanford on a Ford Foundation Resident Dialogues Fellowship through the Committee on Black Performing Arts. A Lecturer since 2006, Hayes’s contemporary dance classes are a hybrid of dance, drama and performance. Introduction to Contemporary Modern Dance: ‘Liquid Flow is the gateway, foundational dance and movement course for Contemporary Dance in TAPS. Other notable classes include, Dance Improvisation StratLab, Afro-Styles and Dance-Making and Musical Theater Dance. For the course Stanford Dance Community: Inter-Style Choreography Workshop, taught since 2018, guest instructors include leaders and choreographers from dance clubs on campus.

The Chocolate Heads Band started as a performance-making workshop created by Hayes to teach choreography, interdisciplinary research, and collaboration. An admixture of dance styles, genres, and contemporary performance, this class welcomes student artists from dance, music, visual and spoken word art, and design, as well as from non-art fields. Taught each Fall as a choreography workshop and performer training lab, Chocolate Heads becomes a ‘prototypical’ dance troupe that performs frequently around the campus.

Hayes also teaches at the d.school, (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) and other arts entities and programs on campus. At Stanford, Hayes has had many leading roles as a dancer, singer and actor including, most notably: Suzan-Lori Park’s In the Blood, directed by Professor Harry J. Elam, Jr. (2005). In the spring of 2006, she choreographed, performed a multimedia solo piece, Deianeira (an adoption of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis) created for her and directed by Drama and Classics Professor Rush Rehm. She performed the role of ‘Mama’ in Raisin in the Sun (2019), directed by Elam. Hayes has choreographed musicals and plays in TAPS, including Everybody (2020), directed by Michael Rau, ReViVal: Remembering the Afro Now-One Nation Portal to the Future (2019) directed by Amara Tabor-Smith, Spring Awakening (2016) directed by Elam, and Helen/Hecuba (2018), directed by Rehm.


  • I am looking for hip hop style groups (to be featured)
  • Freestylers (bboys, poppers/lockers, African grooves) and dancers comfortable doing hip hop/and commercial style jazz choreography
  • Email questions to ronnie.reddick@gmail.com


Ronnie Reddick

Ronnie Reddick is one of the Bay Area’s most dynamic and multi-talented choreographers with an edge of what’s happening in the world of dance and fashion today. This multifaceted San Francisco based Choreographer/Dancer made his mark by combining Hip Hop, Jazz, Fashion and Theatrics to create one of the most explosive and dynamic styles to hit the dance scene recently, making him one of the most sought after Hip Hop/Contemporary choreographers in the Bay Area and beyond. Along with his busy career, Reddick is also the Choreographer/Show Director at Asia SF. This unique restaurant/dining experience is taking the world by storm and features one of the most beautiful gender illusionists in the world.

In the entertainment world, Reddick has worked with such artists as Michael & Janet Jackson, Deborah Cox, Paula Abdul, Kristine W., Tony, Toni, Tone, Jody Watley, Santana, Kelly Price, RuPaul, Robin Thicke, Snoop Dogg, Overtone Band and M.C. Hammer along with many corporations like Sony, Sony PlayStation, Intuit, Prudential, Gap, Macy’s, MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Starbucks, API, Apple Computer, Google, Yahoo, Xilinx, Sun Micro Systems, BEBE, Univision Television, E*Trade, Coca Cola, and Microsoft.

In addition to teaching at Stanford, Reddick teaches at Santa Clara University and has taught master classes around the world, including Princeton University, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Canada. He continues to work with, train, and inspire dancers that are now dancing around the world. Reddick also teaches dancers about the business of dance and how to work in today’s world as a professional commercial dancer.

“Technique is only the beginning of what makes a memorable dancer, and we don’t start dancing to end up doing chorus,” says Reddick. “You have got to have that extra something.” It is through his experience and selfless devotion that Ronnie Reddick is inspiring a new generation of talent.


  • Raissa is developing an all-new contemporary modern dance involving multimedia and/or creative technology. The dance piece will cast 11+ dancers and welcomes anyone with an overall dance experience in modern, release-based techniques, jazz, hip hop and ballet. As a cast, we will develop a storyline for the dance based on a social change topic of our choosing. 
  • Students are encouraged to take Contemporary Modern II/III
  • Email questions to raiisas@stanford.edu 


Raissa Simpson

Raissa Simpson is a scholar and artistic director of the San Francisco-based PUSH Dance Company. Her multidisciplinary dances are at the intersection of complex racial and cultural identities and centers around discourse on the complex experiences of racialized bodies. 

A graduate of SUNY Purchase with an MFA from UC Davis, Simpson had an extensive performance career with Robert Moses Kin and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre. Her choreography honors include Magrit Mondavi Award, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, California Arts Council, San Francisco Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and Grants for the Arts. 

Simpson has also taught for PUSH’s robust outreach program, which encompasses engaging youth with elements of dance and technology. She has held positions at UC Davis, San Francisco State University, Santa Clara University and as a visiting scholar for Sacramento State University. She is currently a lecturer at San Jose State University’s Communication Studies dept. teaching Race and Performance in addition to Contemporary Modern Dance at Stanford University. 

She has been presented by Joyce SoHo, Aspen Fringe Festival, Dance St. Louis, Ferst Center, Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival and Black Choreographers Festival. She has held creative residencies at Dance Initiative Carbondale, Bayview Opera House, Margaret Jenkins’ CHIME, African American Theater Alliance (AATAIN!) and CounterPulse. Her most recent writings on dance and technology were published in the Afrofuturistic anthology Critical Black Futures by Palgrave MacMillian.


  • “Glory” will be a dance theater work inspired by the life and writings of author, educator, feminist and social activist, Bell Hooks (1952-2021). Our creative process will include reading and discussing excerpts from Hooks’ works, then co-creating a movement based theater piece that celebrates this important feminist writer/thinker. 
  • I am looking for dancer/movers and folks who are comfortable speaking/reading text in performance. Previous performance experience is welcomed but not required.
  • Email questions to amarats@stanford.edu

ABOUT amara tabor-smith

amara tabor-smith

amara tabor-smith is a dancer, choreographer/performance maker, and the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater based in Oakland. She describes her work as Afro Futurist Conjure Art. Her site responsive and community specific performance making practice utilizes Yoruba Lukumí spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity, and belonging. tabor-smith is a 2021 inaugural recipient of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Fellowship. She is also a 2019 Dance/USA Fellow, and a 2018 United States Artist Fellow. Her work has been performed in Brazil, the Republic of the Congo, New York, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area where her company is based. tabor-smith has performed in the works of Ed Mock, Joanna Haigood, Anna Deavere Smith, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and was formerly the associate artistic director and company member with Urban Bush Women. Other grants and awards include, A Blade of Grass Fellowship (2019); Creative Work Fund grant (2016); Sacatar artist in residence (2018); MAP Fund grant (2017); Kenneth Rainin Foundation grant (2017); Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellowship (2017), and she is a co-recipient of the 2016 Creative Capital Grant with longtime collaborator, Ellen Sebastian Chang. tabor-smith received an MFA in Dance from Hollins University and the University of Music and Performance in Frankfurt, Germany.


During this audition, students will get an opportunity to experience the movement and aesthetic ideas of each choreographer, ask questions, and express interest in being a part of one or more of the choreographer’s works.

If you cannot make these audition dates but would like to audition, please email any of the Spring Dance Concert Choreographers to inquire about their piece.

Please arrive to Roble Gym (375 Santa Teresa St) Dance Studio 113. Remember to dress ready to move.


TAPS is also seeking design and rehearsal assistants for this production. Applications are due via email to Production Manager Jane Casamajor (janecasa [at] stanford.edu). General crew and behind the scenes inquiries are welcome as well.



Thursday, October 13


Roble Gym 113


May 26-28 in Harry J. Elam, Jr. Theater


Must be logged in on an @stanford.edu account to view

Tech Schedule


If any accessibility accommodations with auditions or callbacks are needed please email tapsinformation@stanford.edu for assistance.


This production was made possible in part the Committee on Black Performing Arts (CBPA), the Pigott Fund for Drama, the May Ellen Ritter Production Fund, and the Drs. Ben and A. Jess Shenson Fund.