Maya Jain is from Boston, MA. She began her training at Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios. After meeting Aaron Tolson at his intensive Tap2You, she joined Speaking In Taps as a company member and captain. In 2013, Jain’s final year with the company, she was awarded the gold medal for her solo performance at the IDO world tap dance championships. She has recently graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. As a student at Purdue, Jain experienced modern dance as a member of the University’s faculty-led dance company, Purdue Contemporary Dance Company. Jain has also participated in/performed at many intensives, including Rhythm World, DOVA (Doug Varone and Dancers’ workshop), and ACDA. Jain will be moving to Dallas, TX in August 2018 to work as a research associate and plans to continue exploring the intersection of modern and tap dance.
Elizabeth was a captain of Speaking in Taps’ original company, from 2013 through 2015 when she moved to New York for college. To add to her dance career, she was a competitive dancer at Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios and competed in multiple styles. Now, Elizabeth is entering her senior year at Fordham University where she studies Political Science, Humanitarian Studies and Spanish. She is spending this summer interning with Doctors without Boarders at their USA Headquarters in New York.
Shanna Bonanno joined Speaking in Taps for its very first year as a pre-professional tap company. Leading into her sophomore year of high school, she earned her spot as captain of the company, and remained captain for 3 consecutive years. She performed with the company at a variety of shows, pageants, and tap festivals. Throughout her time as a dancer, she was a part of the competition team at Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios for 10 years. As a senior in high school, she became the captain of this team as well. Her favorite style of dance has always been tap and she has participated in many tap intensives across the country. One of her favorite memories was competing in Germany and becoming a four time World Tap Champion. Currently, Shanna is a full time student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She is pursuing a double major in Biomedical Engineering and Professional Writing. Along with the heavy course load she is a part of a sorority (Alpha Xi Delta), joined the Biomedical Engineering Society, became Dancer Relations Chair for an organization that raises money for Boston Children’s Hospital, and more! She looks forward to earning her degree at WPI and traveling to complete projects along the way.
Dancing since the age of two Rae is trained in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, African, Ballroom, Musical Theater, Tumbling and Gymnastics. She is a 2013 Graduate of the Dance Teacher Education Program with the Dance Teacher's of Boston. She is a teacher for and a company member of the Elite Feet Artists Company under the direction of Amy Trager-Tomes and a previous Company Captain of Speaking in Taps under the direction of Aaron Tolson. Rae is also a certified “Sole Mate” for Aaron Tolson’s Sole Power, A Tap-fitness experience! Her many performances include: Times Square, Symphony Space, The Duke on 42nd Street with the American Tap Dance Foundation, Beantown Tapfest, Salvatore Capeizo Theater in NYC, and Tap United with Aaron Tolson’s Speaking in Taps Company. Rae is a recipient of many awards and scholarships including the Buster Brown Award and is a three time recipient of the Gregory Hines Youth Scholarship from the The American Tap Dance Foundation. She is a scholarship winner through Artist Simply Human, New York City Dance Alliance, West Coast Dance Explosion, Harlequin Floors many more!
Born in Queens and raised in Putnam County, N.Y. Rhiannon began dancing at the age of 6, studying all forms of dance leading to her exceptional love for tap dancing. In 2012 Rhiannon was part of a small group chosen to represent the United States at the IDO World Tap Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany earning a Gold Medal. Upon returning home Rhiannon began studying under her teacher and mentor, Aaron Tolson and Derick Grant, along with many other great teachers. In January 2015 Rhiannon became a company member of Speaking in Taps and shortly after was named SIT captain. Rhiannon currently attends school at Manhattanville College earning a degree in Business with a minor in Dance Therapy. Rhiannon teaches at a studio in her hometown called Happy Feet passing on her knowledge and passion for dance. When Rhiannon is not teaching or at school she is taking classes in NYC with teachers such as Derick Grant and Charles Renato.
Lindsay began dancing at age five, training in several different styles at Nancy Chippendales Dance Studios. She joined the competition team, competing in regional and national competitions, as well as the World Tap Championships in Riesa, Germany in 2013. She met Aaron Tolson through Dance United, and joined Speaking In Taps in 2014. In 2016, Lindsay stopped competing, choosing to focus on tap. As a senior, she was selected to be a captain of Speaking In Taps for the 2017-2018 season. Although she has graduated, she plans to remain a member of the company. She has performed in Tap United, Beantown Tap Festival Showcase, Peridance Capezio Dance Center Faculty Showcase, Be BRAVE Gala, TAP - An Evening of Rhythm, and a variety of other shows and pageants. She graduated from Masconomet Regional High School in the spring of 2018, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, tutored chemistry, and studied for her EMT certification. Lindsay was also a Lead for the Relay For Life Event Leadership Team (ELT) after having been a regular team member as a junior. She attends the University of Connecticut where she studies economics and accounting.
Victoria joined Speaking in Taps when the company started in 2013 and was a member until she graduated high school in 2018. Her senior year she earned a spot as one of the captains. She has been dancing since the age of 3 at Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios. For ten years she was a member of their competition team as well as their team captain for the 2017-2018 season. There, she studied many styles, but her favorites were ballet and tap. Victoria graduated from Haverhill High School as a member of National Honor Society. She is attending The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester where she studies Biology and the Classics. She hopes to continue her dance career in college with the Holy Cross Dance Ensemble.
Lauren Dattis has been dancing since the age of two. Although she studies all types of dance, tap has always been her most beloved. Receiving the Jenny Lagon award for “On the Verge of Breaking Out” and being selected as Captain for Speaking in Taps are two of her most proud dance moments to date. Lauren also participates in musical theater performance training in NY. She hopes to perform professionally someday and successfully open and operate a dance studio of her own in the future.
Yael Schwartz is 18 years old and is currently in her fifth year with Speaking in Taps and her second year as one of the dance captains. She started dancing at the age of 5 at Nancy Chippendales Dance Studio and recently moved to dancing at Creative Steps to focus more on tap. She loves traveling to different tap festivals and performing in shows. She recently started teaching tap classes at Fusion Dance Academy and upon graduating in June, she is hoping to pursue a career in tap dancing.