Tap innovator and New Jersey native, Mike Minery, has been a staple in the dance community since his teenage years. Not only did he create the “shiggy bop”, which became frequently seen in his classes and choreography to this day, but he also made a name for himself by earning titles such as the 1997 World Tap Champion, as well as being the recipient of the Princess Grace Dance Fellowship Award. To add to these great honors, Minery also toured with the internationally acclaimed Manhattan Tap company and has had the opportunity to be featured in The Supper Club on Broadway. With all of these accolades and many more under his belt, the possibilities were endless as Minery created his own tap company, Tapaholics.
The momentum has not stopped as Minery has choreographed dances for various companies and studios around the world, including The New Jersey Tap Ensemble and the North Carolina Youth Ensemble. As the Director and Choreographer of tap workshop and off-Broadway show SLIDE, Minery has been a pioneer for the tap community all while spreading the love of tap and educating young dancers. With all these responsibilities and projects in mind, Minery continues to leave his mark with every convention or project he is involved with, including JUMP dance convention.
Here, Minery tells Dance Informa about his history with JUMP and what it has meant to him.
“I was at the very first JUMP city ever,” he recalls. “I was the original tap teacher on JUMP and have stayed on the faculty since the very beginning. I’ve only missed a handful of cities in the past 15 years. I have missed one city for each of my children being born and a few cities for professional work, but not many. It’s an amazing job, and to be able to travel and teach the art form you love through such a prestigious convention is as good as it gets for me.”
With a deep-rooted relationship and history with JUMP that has withstood the test of time, Minery will not only get to spread the love of tap throughout various cities as a teacher and choreographer, but as the new Director of JUMP as well. Minery will now be thrust into yet another leadership role in a workshop setting, and it has certainly been a learning experience thus far under the guidance of Gil Stroming.
After receiving the news, Minery says, “I was surprised and excited. Gil Stroming, the owner of Break the Floor Productions, and I have become the best of friends and like to joke with each other. My first question was. ‘What do I have to do?’ I figured there was some catch or something. But so far, he’s been showing me what the job entails, and it’s been an eye-opening experience. I never really realized how much goes into putting these big conventions together until this year.”
Although Minery is still learning the ropes of being the Director of JUMP, one thing is certain, the experience from those in attendance will continue to be one of enjoyment. Attendees new and old can expect the same great JUMP vibe and energy and enjoy a weekend jam packed with dance and fun with world-renowned choreographers and teachers. Even with this in mind, Minery hopes to bring something to the table as a Director that may differ from previous years. His vision is clear for the future of JUMP and one that will continue to help this prestigious convention thrive for many years to come.
“The thing that I hope to bring to JUMP as Director that may be different from the past is to be a positive presence on site who understands everyone’s point of view,” says Minery. “Being on faculty as well as being a studio teacher, performer, judge, husband and parent gives me the experience and training necessary to see problems before they happen. I hope to make sure the faculty, crew, office staff, teachers, parents and students all have everything they need to make JUMP one of the most inspiring and enjoyable weekends of the year.”
For JUMP tour dates, as well as other information,visit www.jumptour.com.
By Monique George of Dance Informa.