Co-Directors:

Jill Fitzgerald earned her BA degree in Dance from DeSales University with an emphasis on Dance Management. She furthered her training by studying with a wide variety of dance masters including Dr. James ‘Buster’ Brown, and LaVaughn Robinson. Ms. Fitzgerald continues to advance her tap study by regularly attending master classes with many current tap masters including Shelley Oliver, Germaine Salsberg, Diane Walker, Sarah Petronio, Lane Alexander, Jason Janas, Acia Gray, Barbara Duffy, Baakari Wilder, Michelle Dorrance, among others. Jill spent 8 years in Richmond, VA as a vital member of the arts community. She was an adjunct faculty member for Virginia Commonwealth University's Dance Department, Business Manager and full-time faculty member at Richmond Dance Center and choreographer/dance instructor for SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community). Jill also served as an advisor for the nationally recognized Richmond Children’s Museum. Some of Ms. Fitzgerald's additional dance experiences include serving as Assistant Entertainment Manager for Busch Entertainment Corporation, at Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA where she helped to develop the entertainment program there, and in Osaka, Japan. 

Jill is most proud of her work with the Great Valley Girl Scout Council and SPARC as a volunteer dance instructor and choreographer for inner city youth programs. As a performing member and Assistant Executive Director of the T.A.P. Company from 2001-2005 under the direction of Nicole Hockenberry, Jill has shared her rhythm tap knowledge and performing skills with the Lehigh Valley tap community. Her teaching and choreographic abilities have been put to use by many established programs including the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, Cedar Crest College, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Third Coast Rhythm Project in San Antonio, TX, and for Lehigh University and Moravian College Dance Companies. Most recently, Ms. Fitzgerald is honored to serve as guest faculty for the Capitol Kickline in Harrisburg, PA and the Badlands Crowning Stars Competition and workshops in Glendive, Montana.

Jill is a Founding Member, Co-Director, and performer with Tap Ties, a community based professional tap company in the Lehigh Valley, which provides instruction and information to tap dancers by conducting year-round Community Tap Classes, hosting Tap Dance Festivals and a National Tap Dance Day Celebration annually in May. She is currently on faculty at Nardi Dance Studios in Easton, PA, and the Bostick Dance & Wellness Center in Allentown, PA is adjunct faculty at Cedar Crest College, and is excited to be joining the dance faculty at her alma mater, DeSales University, beginning Fall 2017 as adjunct faculty. Jill is very happy to be able to share her diverse dance experience with the Lehigh Valley Dance Community.





































Company Members:

Crystal Bartolacci has been dancing for 49 years and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.  She has owned her own studio for over a quarter century, celebrating her studio's big 25th year anniversary last season.  She is also a licensed Zumba® Instructor and Zumba® Jammer (a Zumba® Instructor who shares her choreography with other Zumba® Instructors) as well as a certified group fitness instructor.  She has been a member of the Tap Ties Company since its inception and has also just recently joined the Magnolia Sadies, a local Vintage Dance Troupe.  As well as being an instructor and performer, Crystal finds it equally important to be a lifelong student with the firm belief that you can never stop growing, building and learning.  When not teaching, she can be found on the other side of the classroom from local classes in the Lehigh Valley to NYC, Florida and wherever else she can squeeze in a class!  Crystal is so thankful that she has been able to follow her passion throughout her life with the amazing support of her husband, Tom, children, Tyler, Kasey, Arianna and Sophia and grandson, Christian as well as friends, colleagues and students. And she also thanks her parents for planting the seeds and making it possible for her to immerse herself in the dance world from the age of 2-adulthood.  "Dance is a way to find yourself and lose yourself...all at the same time."

Grace Conti studied ballet from age 3 through high school. She was a founding member of the Bethlehem Ballet Co. (now the LV Ballet Guild) in 1958. After graduating from Syracuse University she received her MSW from the University of Michigan, married and raised 5 children. As an adult she studied ballet and jazz with Carol Welton Kelly and Laura Hausmann. In 1997 she pursued her interest in tap , studying with Shelley Oliver and Nicole Hockenberry. While attending many tap festivals throughout the country she had the opportunity of studying with many of the tap masters. Recently she has been certified as a Zumba and Zumba Gold instructor. She continues her study of tap with Shelley Oliver and Rochelle Haynes and enjoys dancing with Tap Ties.

Jerri Brown graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business. She was a member of the MMC Dance Company for two and 1/2 years, performing off-Broadway. While studying in the city, Jerri taught at the 92nd Street Y and The Neighborhood Playhouse. She was the Studio Manager and Ballet Mistress at Star Maker School of Performing Arts in New Jersey where she wrote, directed and choreographed original ballets as well as competitive lyrical, tap and jazz routines for The Entertainers Dance Company. Jerri is Dance Director of the Dance Division at Pennsylvania Youth Theatre in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. She also teaches tap to the competition team at Showbiz Kidz in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Jerri is the choreographer for the Freedom High School Theatre Company in Bethlehem and the Dance Educator for Easton State Theatre’s Annual Acting Camp. Many of her students have gone on to do professional work for world touring companies, Cirque du Soleil, Broadway, Knicks City Dancers, Rockettes, film and television. She has taught master classes for Hunterdon County Teen Arts, Acrodanse Theatre's Junior Dance Company and choreographed for the Amwell Community Children's Theatre and Flemington Raritan Community Theatre. Jerri has judged and choreographed for dance competitions and worked with models for A Wish Come True, a costume catalog company that services dance studios across the country. She is also certified as a group fitness instructor through the American Council of Exercise, the National-Dance-Exercise Instructor's Training Association, and MMC as well as a Pilates instructor through the Pilates Institute of America.

Carol Hebert is a graduate of the Hartford Conservatory of Music and Dance and received her BFA in Dance with honors from UMASS Amherst where she was a performing member of the University Dancers. After graduation, Carol furthered her dance studies in New York City at Peridance Center, the Limon Institute, Dance Space, and performed with the Deborah Carr Theatre Dance Ensemble, Soundance, and several independent choreographers. Carol has attended many workshops and festivals throughout the Northeast including the Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival, White Mountain Summer Dance, and Jacob’s Pillow. She has studied with many master tap teachers including Brenda Bufalino, Josh Hilberman, Pam Raff, Diane Walker, Jeannie Hill, and Nicole Hockenberry. Her Teaching credits include the New England Dance Conservatory, The Hartford Conservatory, Springfield College, Elms College, the Hartt School, Mount Holyoke College, and the school of the Hartford Ballet. Her choreography has been performed by the UMASS University Dancers, Springfield College Dancers, and the New England Dance Theatre, where she was also a performing member. Since moving to Pennsylvania in 2004, Carol has performed in National Tap Dance Day Celebrations in Allentown and Bethlehem, and in the University of the Arts 60th Annual Alumni Dance Celebration in Philadelphia. She presently teaches dance throughout the Delaware Valley, and continues her studies as a performing member of both Tap Ties in the Lehigh Valley and Tap Team Two in Philadelphia.

Arenda DiPasquale started her dance training at the age of 3 at Nardi Dance Studios in Easton. She has learned and experienced many dance forms throughout her career including ballet, modern, lyrical, jazz, tap, contemporary, theater, pointe and hip-hop. After graduating high school she continued her education as a dance and business management major. She has been a part of various dance companies including Monarch Dance Company, NCC Dance Ensemble and Acta non verba. Arenda has also danced professionally for the Lehigh Valley Outlawz and Lehigh Valley Storm. In 2010 she served as a captain for the Indoor Football League's Precious Metal dance team (Lehigh Valley SteelHawks). While serving as a captain she had choreographed crowd appealing routines as a well as directed the first annual youth dance clinic at Stabler Arena. After all her hard work and dedication as a captain she was promoted in 2011 as dance coordinator for the professional dance team. Arenda is also frequently taking master classes in the Lehigh Valley as well as NYC. Recently, Arenda accepted the position of Assistant Director at Nardi Dance Studios in 2014. She is the Co-Owner of the Grand Jete` Studio of Dance in Macungie with her twin sister Amanda.
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Company Bio

Tap Ties Company members are professional dance teachers, studio owners, and performers who have traveled the country sharing their knowledge and love of tap dancing. They have studied with a great variety of tap masters including LaVaughn Robinson, Buster Brown, Brenda Bufalino, Dianne Walker, Jay Fagan, Shelley Oliver, Nicole Hockenberry, and many others. 

Tap Ties has been invited to teach and perform throughout PA, NJ, and NYC as well as in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. They continue to bring their joy and enthusiasm for tap dancing into the Lehigh Valley community. Please join them in the celebration of this true American art form by participating in classes and workshops throughout the year and support them by attending performances throughout the Lehigh Valley. 
Tap Ties is proud to be the Tap Company In Residence at Cedar Crest College
www.cedarcrest.edu/stage
Performing Arts
@ Cedar Crest College
Amy Browne Smith received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts (U of A) in Philadelphia. In addition to studying modern dance she trained intensively in ballet, jazz and tap dance with distinguished University of The Arts Faculty. After graduating from U of A, Amy joined Tap Team Two and Company, Inc. under the direction of Robert F. Burden Jr. She trained, performed and taught extensively with Tap Team Two throughout the Pennsylvania and New Jersey independently and as part of community outreach programs and the Young Audiences program. She also toured the Penn State campuses with the company. Ms. Smith performed with Tap Team Two and Co. for five years and was proud to dance the titled role of Cyndi’ella at The Painted Bride Arts Center. Amy then joined T.A.P. Teach All People directed by Nicole Hockenberry. Ms. Smith was Assistant Artistic Director, teacher, choreographer and performer/soloist with T.A.P. She has performed in many venues including a feature performance for the New York Foundation of the Arts at Town Hall in NYC.

Amy has never stopped training as a dancer and teacher. She attends tap festivals across the country each year where she has studied with many tap masters. She has traveled to Texas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York City and, while in Massachusetts, she attended Rhee Gold Dance Life Retreat for a tap teacher Intensive where she was proud to study with Thelma Goldberg. She has also had the opportunity to perform at the Third Coast Rhythm Project in Austin, Texas and Big Apple Tap Festival in New York, NY. 

She has shared the stage with tap legends LaVaughn Robinson, Germaine Ingram, Shelley Oliver, Jason Samuels, Brenda Bufalino, Buster Brown and Germaine Salsberg. She is the former Program Director of the Lehigh Valley Dance Forum as well as the Director of Dance at the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre where Amy also served as an instructor and choreographer for 12 years.  

Currently, she teaches at Art of Dance studio where she has been teaching for more than 20 years. Ms. Smith is a guest choreographer for the Moravian College Dance Company as well as an adjunct professor at Cedar Crest College and has been invited to teach at many performing art schools and universities including The University of the Arts. Recently, Amy was invited to Glendive, Montana where she taught a workshop and judged Badlands Crowning Stars Dance Competition.

Amy is proud to be a founding member of Tap Ties, a Lehigh Valley based professional tap company which she also serves as Co-Director and performer. As a part of Tap Ties, Ms. Smith teaches community tap classes at Moravian College and Lehigh University and also produces National Tap Dance Day Celebration and Tap Dance Festivals each year which have proudly been sponsored by Good Shepherd Performing Arts Rehabilitation Center.  

Amy enjoys sharing her knowledge, passion and love of dance as an educator, choreographer and performer.