Adam Jacobs Broadway veteran and star of Disney's new hit musical "Aladdin" on Broadway
"Derek is an excellent teacher. His patience and energy was a good fit for me when I was rehearsing for Aladdin. He breaks down steps in an easy way, gives tips and tricks for good technique, and genuinely has fun while teaching. Thanks D!"
Randy Skinner 3-time Tony Nominee, Broadway Choreographer
"Besides being an exceptional tapper himself, Derek is a great teacher who really knows how to break down and demonstrate the technical steps that are required to build a solid foundation in tap. He creates an atmosphere where everyone feels very comfortable. I highly recommend Derek for all levels of tappers."
Holly Taylor Star of the TV Series "The Americans" and former cast member of Broadway's "Billy Elliot"
"Derek was one of my first tap teachers and I learned so much from him. Even when I was only 8 and learning at a beginner level, Derek showed a passion for tap that encouraged me to continue with the style. His choreography was always diverse and fun!"
Kat Edmonson American vintage-pop and jazz recording artist, #1 album on Billboard Traditional Jazz Chart
"I love to dance but struggle with picking up choreography. I went to several different tap teachers and he was the only one I didn't feel self-conscious in front of. Derek brings such a spirit of play to his teaching that I began to overcome my insecurities because I was having so much fun. Also, he had the best taste in music of all the teachers!
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
- Albert Einstein
Derek has been on faculty in New York at the famed Steps On Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, the Institute for American Musical Theatre, CAP21 Conservatory, and Marymount Manhattan College. His teaching experience includes workshops and master classes at universities and studios across the US, UK, Canada and Germany, including: American Academy of Dramatic Arts; The Broadway Workshop; Niagara University; Nazareth College; Dance Masters of America; New Dance Group Arts Center; Harbour Dance Center (Vancouver); City Dance Corps (Toronto); Dance Base (Edinburgh); TapBeat (Berlin); Blue Tap (Berlin); Manhattan Dance Project; and Peridance.
Derek’s students have performed on Broadway in such shows as Billy Elliot, 42nd Street, White Christmas, Mary Poppins, Gypsy, Dames at Sea, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Les Miz, Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera, and Lion King. He has also taught and coached numerous Radio City Rockettes, and was recently hired by Disney to coach Adam Jacobs as he prepared to play the role of “Aladdin” in the new Disney musical on Broadway.
Derek teaches various disciplines including tap dance, musical theatre dance, theatre movement, playwriting, and acting, and he is also available for audition coaching.