Ayodele Casel

Ayodele Casel

Artist-in-Residence Fall 2018-Spring 2019
Ayodele Casel. Photo credit: Michael Higgins.
The 2017 recipient of the  “Hoofer Award”, Ayodele Casel is a native New Yorker and began her professional training at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is also a graduate of The William Esper Studio in New York City, having studied directly with the masterful William Esper. She premiered her one-woman show While I Have The Floor at the Spoleto Arts Festival in 2016 to rave reviews, and most recently served as choreographer for Carole King and Maurice Sendak's musical "Really Rosie being presented at New York City Center's Encores! Off Center this summer under the direction of Leigh Silverman. Recent performances include Broadway For Hillary fundraiser at the St. James Theater in New York City for with Michael Mayer as director. She is on faculty at A BroaderWay, LA Dance Magic, and Marymount Manhattan College. She is the co-director of Original Tap House and Operation: Tap.

Hailed by the legendary Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world,” Casel has been creating and presenting her work since 1999 and added Spoleto Festival USA to her list of eager recipients this season in her world premiere. Casel's television and film credits include Third Watch, Law and Order, The Jamie Foxx Show, Bojangles, Savion Glover’s Nu York. Casel originated the role of Yvonne in Nelsan Ellis' heart-wrenching play UGLy to great reviews at New York City's Fringe Festival and Santa Monica Playhouse. She also originated the role of "The Doll" in  Derick Grant's Imagine Tap! which premiered at The Harris Theater in Chicago. Casel currently serves on the Artist Board for New York City Center's Encores! under the artistic direction of Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori.

Casel has performed at New York City Center, The White House, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Off- Broadway in Savion Glover’s Downtown: Live Communication. She also co-choreographed and was featured on PBS’ Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty. She has been creating and presenting her own works since 1999 in venues that include The Apollo, New York’s City Center, Aaron Davis Hall/The Gatehouse, The Lisner Auditorium, Lincoln Center "Out of Doors", Symphony Space, Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop, The Triad Theater and Joe's Pub at The Public Theater.

Casel has worked and performed with the greatest tap dancers and companies including the late great Gregory Hines, Jazz Tap Ensemble, American Tap Dance Orchestra and Savion Glover as the only female in his company N.Y.O.T.s. (Not Your Ordinary Tappers). Her work has been presented nationally and internationally, and she continues striving to make Tap Dancing a relevant presence in the arts. Read more at www.ayodelecasel.com