Mass. native turned New Yorker returns to his roots with “Transitions”: An Evening of Tap Dance

Jun 13, 2013

Former Massachusetts resident Ryan P. Casey will return to his roots on Friday, June 14th as director and choreographer of an evening of tap dance, “Transitions,” presented at The Regent Theatre in Arlington at 8:00 p.m.

The show, Casey’s first full-length endeavor, will feature original tap choreography – solo, duet, trio and ensemble work – set to a variety of music, from Dinah Washington and Tower of Power to Harry Connick, Jr. and Shel Silverstein.

Poetry, humor, hip hop and other elements are also included in the program.

Some of the material has been previously presented at such venues as the Massachusetts Dance Festival, Dance for Life Boston, Monkeyhouse Dance’s “Against the Odds” Festival and The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard.

Casey, 22, studied at The Dance Inn of Lexington and Arlington for 13 years, honing his tap skills under the tutelage of Director Thelma Goldberg and Kelly Kaleta while also training in other styles. During his time with the studio’s Legacy Dance Company, he performed at venues like Tap City: The New York City Tap Festival, the Boston Center for the Arts, and the annual Boston Dance Alliance gala.

Additionally, the 6’8” hoofer was the recipient of a YoungArts award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, appeared on an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” and was a student of the inaugural tap program at The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

Now on faculty with the Legacy Dancers, he continues to work both as a soloist and choreographer while also dancing for Bessie-award winner Michelle Dorrance in her New York City-based company, Dorrance Dance.

In May, he graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a self-designed B.A. in “The Sociology and Morality of Literature” and had the honor of performing at Lincoln Center.

Several former Legacy Dancers will also join him onstage for the show. Kaleta, a Boston native now living and teaching in Connecticut, will perform a series of duets with Casey that the two choreographed together.

“The show is entitled ‘Transitions’ because I created a lot of this work during, or as a result of, changes in my life and my career,” Casey said. “Some of it was inspired by my pilgrimage to New York City; some of it explores how I overcame the hindrances and self-consciousness caused by my unique body type; and the show overall represents a shift into my newfound roles as choreographer and director.”

Tickets ($27, or $20 for groups of 10 or more) will be available online and at the door. More information can be found at or