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"High-stepping toe tapping blend of styles." -The Washington Post

Founded in 2011 by Ryan Johnson and Quynn Johnson, SOLE Defined’s mission is to use percussive dance to raise awareness about social and economic issues directly affecting people of color. SOLE Defined uses percussive dance to entertain the masses, educate communities and empower youth. We are committed to creating high quality immersive performances, arts integrated curriculum and policies that advance the visibility of percussive dance. As an Artist in Residence at Dance Place in Washington, DC, SOLE Defined has become on of the leading emerging dance companies in the United States.

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Artistic Director

Ryan Johnson is a virtuosic performer, choreographer and artistic director of SOLE Defined. He is a well-known national and international performer who has been called “purely amazing” by Septime Weber, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet. In 2008 & 2017, was awarded a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council for his choreography. Johnson made history in 2010 by becoming the first tap dancer to win the DC Metro Dance Awards: Outstanding Solo Performance. Johnson has performed in The Beatles LOVE by Cirque Du Soleil as Sugar Plum, and One Drop by Cirque Du Soleil. He was a part of the NYC and touring cast of the hit show STOMP where he played Particle Man and Ringo. For six years of his career, Johnson was the soloist and production manager for the world-renown step company Step Afrika!, and the resident tap dancer for The Washington Ballet’s “The Great Gatsby.” Johnson performed in the Tony Award-winning show After Midnight created by Jack Viertel and choreographed by Warren Carlyle with NCL Productions. He has premiered new works at the International Body Music Festival in Brazil, New York City Tap Festival: Tap International, and Cirque Du Soleil with The Nevada Ballet’s “A Choreographers’ Showcase” in Las Vegas. Of this performance, the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote, “Urban Jungle: The Village, by Ryan Johnson of The Beatles LOVE, is a burst of pure feeling, the most infectious entry of the program.” Johnson credits his passion for the arts to his mother, Vanessa Jackson, and tap teacher Mary Slater.

Arts Education Director

Quynn Johnson (Art Education Director), is a native of Flint, Michigan, a Howard University graduate and Arts in Education Director for SOLE Defined. Johnson is a multi-award winning performer, Wolf Trap National teaching artist, and author. Most recently she toured as the featured tap soloist in the Tony Award Winning Production, After Midnight. She was a featured soloist in the Washington Ballet’s production of “The Great Gatsby” and at The Source Festival. She has performed at The Lincoln Center, in the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s One Drop production “Mosaic”, National Tap Extravaganza in New York City, Tapology Festival for Youth, International Festival del Folklorico in Buenaventura, Colombia, and the Festival del Pacifico in Cali, Colombia. The Washington Post describes her as having a “deliciously buoyant movement quality and a natural organic rhythm,” having received the 2014 & 2017 Individual Artist Award for Dance: Choreography (MSAC). As a teaching artist, Ms. Johnson has reached 5,500+ youth through assemblies, residences, and workshops. Quynn is excited to lead SOLE Defined’s newest initiative, SOLE Stepz Arts in Education Program, promoting the integration of percussive dance with math and reading for youth grades k-12.

Dance Captain

Jodeci Milhouse (Dance Captain), is blazing her way in the industry through music and dance. Originally from Augusta Georgia, Jodeci started her dance training in North Carolina at the age of 6. She then continued her studies in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, clogging and hip hop. She began assisting on the competitive circuit, ``Showstoppers`` alongside Dena Rizzo at the young age of 13. Ms. Milhouse started her professional career soon after. She has worked with renowned Directors and Choreographers such as Kenny Ortega, Debbie Allen, Geo Hubela, and Dena Rizzo. Her professional credits include Jacobs Pillow, Shakespeare Theatre, Disney, The Kennedy Center, and Showtime at the Apollo as well as international performances and numerous instructional dance videos. She became a member of Sole Defined Dance Company located in Washington, DC December 2014. Jodeci currently teaches dance around the Virginia, Maryland and DC area and performs both nationally and internationally with Sole Defined.

"Exceptionally Awesome." -DanceMetroDC

ZAZ

ZAZ

SOLE Defined’s electric performers embark on a spiritual journey through percussive dance. Comprised of intimate, first person testimonies, told from a small speakeasy in New Orleans, this percussive dance performance uses storytelling, digital projection, song and brass music to explore the events of Hurricane Katrina. Get ready for an evening-length adventure that takes audiences on a high-energy immersive roller coaster that takes you from the depths of environmental tragedy to the heights of community triumphs and celebration. [Running Time: 75 mins]

VIBEZ

VIBEZ

The Golden Age of Hip Hop was a defining moment that continues to leave an indelible mark on our culture, identity and way of life even today. VIBEZ takes us back to the roots of hip-hop where it began as an innovative sound, form of social protest, Afrocentric expression and a celebration of life. SOLE Defined’s magnetic performers takes viewers on a journey back in time with a live DJ spinning the sounds of the 90’s, and their toe tapping blend of styles turn anything venue into one big party.

“Percussive Dance at its best" -Washington Performing Arts Society

Sole Stepz® Arts Education promotes positive self-expression through the performing arts. We achieve this by using percussive dance (tap and body percussion) as a tool to educate and promote collaboration, teamwork, and the importance of self-expression. The interactive assembly, workshop, and residency, teach the traditions and history of tap dance and body percussion, basic steps and movement, and improvisation; where students enhance their ability to create their own movement.

The REMIX School Assembly

The REMIX is an action packed, rhythmic rollercoaster, that explores the five elements of percussive dance (rhythm, energy, musicality, improvisation, and our x-factor). This interactive performance fuses Hip Hop music with Tap and Stepping, bringing audiences dancing along the way. The REMIX creates a safe space for students to become both dancer and musician while remixing the elements of percussive dance. Get ready to explore ways to create music with your body as we REMIX your school!

Grade level: Kindergarten- 12th

Classroom Connections: Dance, History, Teamwork, Collaboration

Length: 45- 50 minutes

SOLE Stepz School Residency

The SOLE Stepz residency explores music and movement through percussive dance while embodying collaboration, teamwork, and learning the importance of self-expression. Students learn tap dance, stepping, and body percussion and explore ways to create their own musicality while learning elements of dance and music.

Grade level: Kindergarten- 12th

Classroom Connections: Dance, History, Math, Literacy, Collaboration, Social Emotional Learning

Length: 1 to 2 weeks

SOLE Grooves Workshop

Promoting fun and learning through the performing arts, our workshop teaches basic movements for tap and body percussion. Students learn artist lead choreography and creative ways to combine steps and present their own movement.

Grade level: Kindergarten- 12th

Classroom Connections: Dance, History, Music, Collaboration

Length: 45- 50 minutes