Department: Dance - Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre
Joined Hochstein Faculty in: 2011
Cheryl Johnson has performed off-Broadway, at international dance festivals, in music videos, TV specials, nightclubs, and touring dance companies. In Seattle, she was dance consultant to the Jimi Hendrix Museum: Experience Music Project (now MoPop) and an ambassador of rhythm tap dance, hosting festivals, master classes, educational programs, and creating choreography for musical theater and the concert stage. In New York City, she was a member of Gail Conrad’s Tap Dance Theatre, Jerry Ames Tap Dance Company, and performed as a pioneer dancer for the original creation of MTV.
In Rochester, she has enjoyed gigs with the likes of the Vision of Sound Original Music & Dance Concert Series, Bill Evans Dance Company, NYS Dance Force Duets Concerts, the NYC New Mix Festival, the Key Bank Rochester Fringe Festivals, and collaborations with the Richard DeLaney jazz trio. Johnson is a dance educator at the University of Rochester, Nazareth College, and The Hochstein School.
In 2019, she choreographed “Suite Noir,” a three-part view of the film noir genre with live original music by The Rita Collective. She looks forward to reviving her choreography for Morton Gould’s “Tap Dance Concerto” with pianist Gary Palmer and creating a new tap dance/toy piano collaboration with Paula Rodney Bobb in 2023.
Johnson earned a B.A. in Dance Theatre from SUNY at Buffalo and has had the great privilege of honing her craft with tap masters such as Charles ‘Cholly’ Atkins, Brenda Bufalino, Gregory Hines, Arthur Duncan, Dianne Walker, Steve Condos, and the Nicholas Brothers.
More About Cheryl Johnson
Hometown: Rochester, NY
What inspires me: Music, nature
Why the arts matter: Art is the expression of culture. It is cathartic, uplifting and calming.
Favorite things to do in Rochester area: Experience music
When I’m not at Hochstein, you can find me: At the University of Rochester, the College at Brockport, Nazareth College, Planet Fitness, growing flowers
Favorite places to travel: Italy; Montana
What people would be surprised to know about me: Some things are best left to the imagination
Photo credits: Auston James, Neal Ganguli