The StepCrew Performs in South Miami-Dade with Fusion of Step Dancing, Tap Dancing and Traditional Irish Music

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Culture Shock Miami Brings Unique Professional Dance Company to Students at only $5 per ticket.

Culture Shock Miami Presents The StepCrew, a new company that brings together three styles of rhythmic dance forms – Ottawa Valley stepdance, Irish stepdance, and Tap. With a cast of 11 dancers and musicians who have performed with groups including The Chieftains, Cherish The Ladies, and Bowfire, this cast of professional artists takes its audience on a dance journey as champions in their respective art forms. Audiences will discover the amazing similarities and differences between these three captivating styles when the company takes the Main Stage of South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM.

To get a taste of the The StepCrew, visit

$5 tickets are available to 13-22 year olds and one accompanying guest each, exclusively through $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets are not sold through the SMDCAC Box Office. Culture Shock Miami ticket sales for this performance end on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at midnight.

Full price tickets are $35 to $15 online at or through the SMDCAC box office by calling 786-573-5300.

According to The Palm Beach Daily News, “ The StepCrew offers and captivatingly shares its own exuberant, delicious and most importantly unpretentious feat of genuinely authentic musical performance…”


The StepCrew is the new Celtic inspired dance production that features the world's top talents in Irish, Ottawa Valley and Modern Tap dancing. With a cast of five outstanding dancers, one of the genre’s most talented fiddle players, and backed by an amazing five-piece band, The StepCrew is set to take Celtic dance to the next level as this production continuously transitions from modern interpretations of traditional Celtic music and dance to completely original musical compositions and choreography created especially for the show.


CARA BUTLER - Under the tutelage of renowned Irish dance master Donny Golden, she went on to win numerous Irish dance championships at world-class levels, including five regional and six national titles. Her competitive years were also intermingled with performing with the best of Irish music exports, including Cherish the Ladies, Greenfields of America, and Solas. In 1992 she forged an ongoing relationship with the six time Grammy award winning The Chieftains, which still exists today. Cara is famous for her starring role as the principal dancer in the nationwide Folgers coffee commercial, A Dancer's Morning, and can be seen dancing in Shania Twain's video, "Don't be Stupid." In 1999, Cara opened as a principal dancer in Jean Butler and Colin Dunne's Dancing on Dangerous Ground in London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane. She continues to work with her sister, of Riverdance fame, doing dance workshops and appearing in Jean Butler's Masterclass, an instructional DVD. Cara Butler's expertise lies in her formal Irish dance training, but is not limited by it. She is a performer at heart and her various talents have enabled her to excel in many mediums. In 1996, she toured with Ashley MacIsaac showcasing her virtuosity as a singer and dancer.

JULIE FITZGERALD - from Bancroft, Ontario, Canada, first got into the world of dance and music through old-time fiddle competitions. Julie is a two-time Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and a two-time Canadian Open Stepdance champion. She has toured over the past few years with the band “Everything Fitz,” performing in venues across North America. Although Julie got her start in Ottawa Valley stepdancing, she is proficient in Tap dancing as well. She has had the opportunity to perform internationally with many of her lifelong musical 'idols' including Leahy, Natalie MacMaster, Troy MacGillivray and Wayne Rostad. Julie is currently attending Humber College, enrolled in the Jazz/Contemporary Music Degree Program for violin.

JON PILATZKE - Hailing from the Ottawa Valley of Ontario, Canada, Jon Pilatzke has been stepdancing and playing the fiddle for over two decades. With his original musical training in the style of Canadian Old Tyme fiddling, Jon garnered himself countless awards across Canada in the competition circuit. He is also the three-time winner of the Canadian Open Stepdancing Championships. Jon has had the pleasure of performing in many different musical and theatre productions, the most recent being Bowfire – a virtuosic display featuring ten of Canada’s best violinists from all different genres. Jon also created his own ensemble called Quagmyre – a group of six musicians and dancers who creatively melded Celtic styles with contemporary themes such as funk, reggae, rock, and blues. Quagmyre was honoured in 2005 when their sophomore release Of Cabbages and Kings was nominated Best Instrumental Album for a Canadian Folk Music Award. For the past eight years, Jon has been ecstatic to stepdance and fiddle all over the world as a permanent fixture with The Chieftains. Performances with them have included everything from Late Night with David Letterman to the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Awards. In recognition of their talents, Jon and his brother received a Gemini Award (the Canadian equivalent of an American Emmy) in 2005 and performed alongside The Chieftains for the 2006 Grammy-nominated album The Chieftains Live From Dublin: A Tribute to Derek Bell. Jon’s playing can also be heard throughout the most recent recording project for The Chieftains entitled San Patricio, featuring the great Ry Cooder. This recording is set for release in March 2010. Jon was very happy to expand his horizons in the summers of 2009 and 2012 as the violinist for Canada’s own instrumentalist and vocalist Loreena McKennitt, playing at some of the most prominent outdoor music festivals across Canada and in Europe.

NATHAN PILATZKE - Undoubtedly one of the most dynamic and energetic stepdancers to ever hit the stage, Nathan has been performing for upwards of 25 years. Hailing from the Ottawa Valley of Ontario, Canada, Nathan (who has been aptly nicknamed Crazy Legs) started stepdancing at the tender age of five. Since 2002 Nathan has been touring the world with Irish supergroup The Chieftains, visiting countries including Sweden, Norway, China, Japan, Australia, and most of Europe and North America. He has performed everywhere from The Ryman Auditorium with Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, and Allison Krauss to Late Night with David Letterman and Conan O'Brien. 2005 proved triumphant for Nathan when, together with his brother they garnered a Gemini Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy) for Best Performance in a Variety Program on “The Chieftains in Canada”. Back in Canada, Nathan has teamed up with fellow StepCrew alumni to join Chieftains’ harpist Triona Marshall in an Irish/Canadian traditional music and dance project called TREAD. They were honored to record their first CD “Live From Matt Molloy’s” and have toured Japan, Italy, Scotland, and Ireland extensively.

Proudly based in Toronto for over a decade, ALLISON TOFFAN is quickly becoming an arts ambassador by stirring up momentum in the Canadian tap dance community. Recognized by both the Canada Council for the Arts and FACTOR, Allison has been awarded grants as an emerging dance artist. She has studied privately with world-renowned tap dance artists Heather Cornell, Brenda Bufalino, and Max Pollak. Career highlights include dancing on the series finale for Warehouse 13 (Jeff Dimitriou), her role as a principle dancer with Turn On The Tap under the direction of Paula Skimin, featured tap dancer in the 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Festival Dance Encore with Tri-Tone Productions under the direction of Tasha Lawson, and the Artistic Producing of the Toronto Rhythm Initiative, a platform she created for Toronto’s professional tap dance community to voice their artistry through consistent collaboration with live music. Allison has been on faculty at Sheridan College, at Randolph Academy and has been a guest instructor at various dance schools in Southern Ontario. For the 2012-13 season Allison was the artist in residence with the Ottawa Rhythm Initiative, and was thrilled to mentor the Ottawa tap dance community with their development. Most recently, she was presented at the 2013 TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival with the Toronto Rhythm Initiative, on faculty at the Montreal Tap Festival and shared the stage with living legend Arthur Duncan, and performed with Lisa La Touche in Tap Internationals as part of the Tap City Festival in NYC.

MAEVE MACKINNON hails from Glasgow, Scotland. Immersed in traditional music from an early age, she is a singer twice nominated for Gaelic Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards, and remains one of the youngest artists whose debut solo album featured in the Classic Albums series at Celtic Connections 2008. Recent forays into composition, theatre and broadcasting have been augmented with involvement in an array of diverse projects such as Salsa Celtica, The Island Tapes, Nasc, and Michael McGoldrick’s Future Trad Collective. Maeve’s second solo album, Once Upon An Olive Branch has already been met with critical acclaim, including five stars from Scotland On Sunday. It is available on Maeve Mackinnon Records.

ROB BECKER (bass) is well known as one of Vancouver’s most fluid and melodic bassists. His smooth playing and his adept facility with all styles of music has earned him many award nominations. He was the BCCMA’s Bassist of the Year in 1996. Rob has toured extensively throughout Canada and the US with Canadian country singer Patricia Conroy and has been a part of her band for over 15 years. He has also taken part in two Canadian Forces Show Tours that have taken him to Bosnia and the Middle East. Rob maintains a busy work schedule and is equally at home in the studio or on stage having recorded and toured with the likes of Barney Bentall, Theresa Sokyrka, Lee Aaron and Jeremy Fisher.

Canadian SHANE COOK (violin) "rates at the top of the short list of the finest fiddlers in the world today," says the Canadian Fiddlers' Hall of Fame. Shane has distinguished himself as a leading exponent of the Canadian old-time fiddle tradition and enjoys playing in an array of fiddle styles ranging from Irish and Scottish to French-Canadian, Texan, and Bluegrass. Shane is a three-time Canadian Open National Champion, a three-time Canadian Grand Masters Champion, a Grand North American Champion, and is the only foreigner to have ever won the US Grand National Championship. Shane’s most recent recognition came in 2012 when he was granted the Young Tradition Bearer Award by the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival for his dedication and contribution to traditional and roots music in Canada. Shane leads his own group and has five solo recordings. Shane also performs regularly with several ensembles including the PBS hit, Bowfire and has toured extensively in Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Germany, China and Taiwan. He is a graduate of UWO and resides in London, Ontario.

NATE DOUGLAS (guitars) is a sought-after accompanist for many artistic styles, including fiddle music throughout Ontario. He has recently completed a North American tour performing with Natalie MacMaster as her guitarist. Nate also frequently performs with The Fitzgeralds (aka Everything Fitz), and The High Drive – two contemporary Celtic bands that fuse fiddle music with funk, jazz, and rock. His playing can be found in the studio, in session work, playing in numerous bands & genres and on the live stage of musical theatre. Developing a keen interest in guitar in his early teens, Nate began to embrace the wonders of jazz, blues, and classical guitar. His progress continued through his undergrad studies at the University of Western Ontario where he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree. His classical guitar training and the rich musical experiences it offered lead him to expand his chops and explore his long-time passion for jazz, which he pursued further at Humber College.

ANGELO MICELI (percussion) fondly known as “Crisco”, was literally born on the road while touring with his father’s classic rock band. Young Angelo ultimately fell in love with drums and percussion the moment he discovered how much noise he could produce playing them. In order to feed his drumming obsession, Angelo has studied percussive styles both personally and professionally including jazz, rock, R&B, marching percussion, funk, and heavy metal. He currently not only tours the world full-time with popular Celtic Rock band Seven Nations, but drums for many other side projects including Audible Effect (rock) and The First Degree (hip-hop rock). In his valuable spare time, Angelo builds custom drums under the name Creative Drum Company and is an instructor of percussion and theory classes at the Orlando School of Music.

JASON ROACH (keyboards) was born and raised in Cheticamp, Cape Breton, where he has played Celtic music from a young age. He won the Cape Breton Drive 'Ers Award with his first self-titled CD in 2007, and has since been fortunate enough to record piano with fellow winners Colin Grant, Dawn and Margie Beaton, as well as Chrissy Crowley.


The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, designed by an internationally-acclaimed design team that includes Arquitectonica International, Inc. (architects), Fisher Dachs Associates, Inc. (theater design), Artec Consultants, Inc. (acoustics), and AMS Planning & Research Corp. (theater management), provides, for the first time, a state-of-the-art cultural venue and community gathering place in the southern part of Miami-Dade County. Located at 10950 SW 211th Street in Cutler Bay, the Center is an integral part of the economic and cultural development of the area, offering quality artistic programming and community accessibility. The Center features prominent works of art created by Miami artist Robert Chambers who was commissioned by Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program to design a kinetic light wall and sculptures for the theater.

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community. More information about the Center and its programs can be found at


Culture Shock Miami, celebrating its 10th anniversary, was inaugurated in 2004-05 as High Five and as Culture Shock Miami for the 2005-06 season by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with a generous grant from The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. Since then, it has more than 43,000 tickets through its website A core group of arts organizations participate regularly in the program, including Actors' Playhouse, Adrienne Arsht Center, Cleveland Orchestra Miami, Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, Pérez Art Museum, New World Symphony, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and ZooMiami.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences. The Department directs the Art in Public Places program and serves its board, the Art in Public Places Trust, commissioning, curating, maintaining and promoting the County’s art collection. The Department also manages, programs and operates the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a campus of state-of-the-art cultural facilities in Cutler Bay, as well as Miami-Dade County Auditorium, Joseph Caleb Auditorium and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, all dedicated to presenting and supporting excellence in the arts for the entire community. Through staff, board and programmatic resources, the Department, the Council and the Trust promote, coordinate and support Miami-Dade County’s more than 1,000 not-for-profit cultural organizations as well as thousands of resident artists through grants, technical assistance, public information and interactive community planning.

The Department receives funding through the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other support and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council.

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The facility is accessible and assistive listening devices are available. To request materials in accessible format, and/or any accommodation to attend an event at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, please contact Stephanie Aponte, 786-573-5314, Saponte(at)smdcac(dot)org, at least five days in advance to initiate your request, TYY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).

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Nicolle Ugarriza
Arts Marketing Network
since: 12/2011
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