Jan. 13, 2021

Amplifying Women's Voices with Ayodele Casel

Amplifying Women's Voices with Ayodele Casel

World-renowned tap dancer, Ayodele Casel, shares her thoughts on mentoring, remembering the women who carved a path for her, and amplifying women's voices. Learn more about her perspective as we discuss:

  • her Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University
  • being the only woman in Savion Glover's Not Your Ordinary Tappers (NYOT's)
  • Lois Bright, Juanita Pitts, and the many forgotten black women of tap
  • mentoring young women through A Broader Way
  • why her grade school teachers called her "Mohammed Ali"

Guest Biography
"One of The New York Times' "Biggest Breakout Stars of 2019", Ayodele Casel, “a tap dancer of fine-grained musicianship” (The New Yorker), was a 2019-2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Hailed by the legendary hoofer Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world”, she is an internationally sought-after artist and a powerful voice for the art form. Born in The Bronx and raised in Puerto Rico, Ayodele began her professional training at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her origins in theater and love for storytelling and tap dance have significantly contributed to the narrative nature in her work, which is rooted in the expression of identity, culture, language, and communication.”

Connect with Ayodele:

Episode References

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Lady Grey is an award-winning international entertainer and educator. She has been at the helm of numerous performing arts organizations and has performed everywhere from Broadway to the Sydney Olympics. She currently serves as Artistic Director of Lady Grey's Lovelies and continues to work as a mentor and empowerment coach.

Connect with Lady Grey

Ayodele Casel

Globally Renowned Tap Dancer, Radcliffe Fellow, & Mentor

One of The New York Times' "Biggest Breakout Stars of 2019", Ayodele Casel, “a tap dancer of fine-grained musicianship” (The New Yorker), is a 2019-2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where she is researching and developing her next theatrical work. Born in The Bronx and raised in Puerto Rico, Ayodele began her professional training at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her origins in theater and love for storytelling and tap dance have significantly contributed to the narrative nature in her work, which is rooted in the expression of identity, culture, language, and communication. Her commitment to the personal development of young people throughout her career landed her the role of Director of Graduate Programs for A BroaderWay Foundation, where she currently mentors young women in NYC.

A frequent New York City Center collaborator, she was commissioned to create an interactive performance engaging NYC communities for their inaugural “On The Move” series. Ayodele recently collaborated with legendary Latin jazz composer Arturo O'Farrill premiering a show at The Joyce Theater in the fall of 2019.

Ayodele is continually striving to have tap dance and its artists included in conversations and spaces surrounding all art and culture. She has become an internationally sought after artist and a powerful voice for the art form. Her work is predicated on the belief that when we reveal our stories, we expose our shared humanity and make a more significant impact with our work.