The Tri-Tone Adult Rhythm Ensemble

Tri-Tone Adult Rhythm Ensemble was created to facilitate an expressed interest for a consistent training platform with other Adult Tap enthusiasts. The mission is to provide an opportunity for Adult Tap Dancers and Rhythmic artists, to experience a collaborative company atmosphere in a supportive, process oriented, creative setting. The focus will be on developing solid technique and musicality, pass along historical repertoire, as well as collaborate in the creation of new works. The program is tailored to dancers who wish to have a more intensive course of study and are willing to make a weekly commitment, to move forward as a unit with other Adults who are passionate about Tap.

The ensemble will have the opportunity to work with Tap Masters, Body Percussionists and Choreographers from around the world during the Rhythm Body and Soul Festival, February 13-15, 2015. In addition, the ensemble will perform, participate in the technical and stage production aspects of producing concert work and has the opportunity to learn how to work with live musicians. Directed studies are available, including teacher training mentorships, and music studies to students of interest. The ensemble is also given the opportunity to travel to Conferences to gain technical and performance experience in Canada and abroad.

Accepting new 2014/2015 members by private audition only.

Tri-Tone Adult Ensemble Training…

* Technique classes
* Improvisation Skills
* Sequencing Combinations
* Music Training and Theory
* Working with Live Musicians
* Tap History
* Historical Tap Repertoire
* New Creation Repertoire

* Body Percussion
* Guest Artists and Choreographers
* Performance Training
* Community Performances
* Collaboration with Ensembles
* Developing Skills and Confidence
* Supportive Atmosphere

The Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensembles are supported in part by:



Member Bios

In her younger days, Cari Campbell was a professional modern dancer who stopped dancing and started a career working with children with special needs. A few years after her own son was born, she decided to return to the studio, but this time with tap shoes on her feet. She met Tasha a couple of years later, and is thrilled to be studying with her and the ladies of the Tri-Tone Adult Ensemble, feeding her love of percussive rhythm, movement and performance.


Charlene Valdo is a professional singer and pianist with a love for rhythm. Originally from Edmonton, Charlene holds a diploma in jazz studies from Grant MacEwan College. Charlene traveled for many years as a guest entertainer playing in piano bars, cruise ships and hotels worldwide. She has lived in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Toronto. Charlene is married to a bass player and they have 2 children who both enjoy hip hop dance. She began tapping in January of 2014 and a month later she met Tasha, the day before the Rhythm, Body and Soul festival. Charlene is grateful to have found Tasha and is excited to be part of a group of people who share the same passion for rhythm tap.


A native of London, Ontario, Ellen Kuenig started dancing at six years old and was tapping by age 7. She danced until she was fifteen and also played the trumpet in both her elementary and high school bands. Two years ago she moved to Calgary and began dancing again. Ellen met Tasha Lawson at Freehouse Dance Plus, and joined the Tri Tone Rhythm Ensemble at its inception this year. She is currently working on her PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Calgary, and dances to take a break from school work and for a little piece of sanity in her busy life. When she’s not dancing or studying, you’ll find Ellen curled up with her knitting needles or a good book.


Dancing since the age of three, Ericka Esplin has had the wonderful opportunity to perform and train both locally and internationally. Ericka has studied many styles of dance over the years, but tap has always been her favourite. International performances have been the highlight of her dance career, and include locations such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France. She has also had the opportunity to train in New York, Los Angeles, and London, England. Ericka is so excited to be a part of the Adult Ensemble, and is very thankful for the opportunity to perform with such amazing artists and dancers.


Kim Tyers has been dancing since she was four years old. She was inspired to put on her dancing shoes by a long family history of ballroom dancers, including her parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Growing up, she studied tap, jazz, ballet, acro and Chinese dancing in Lethbridge, Alberta. In University, Kim dabbled in break dance, hip hop, ballroom and Latin Dance. She has had the pleasure of taking workshops with tap masters Josh Hilberman, Derick Grant, Danny Nielsen, and Dianne Walker.

Kim performed in Free House Dance Plus The Experiment, and in the 2014 Alberta Culture Days Block Party live outdoor showcase with Tri one Rhythm Ensembles. Her favorite dance performance was on her wedding day, when she danced a choreographed fox-trot with her husband. Kim is currently taking the Tri-Tone Teacher Training course with Tasha Lawson. She teaches adult tap at Counterpoint Dance Academy, is a licensed Zumba, Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr. instructor, owns En Vogue Dance and Fitness, and is currently teaching at the YMCA. Kim has lent her teaching talents to numerous fundraising events, including Free the Children, Alberta Red Cross Flood Victims, and Alberta Animal Rescue Society. She currently works as Event Coordinator and Assistant for Tri-Tone Productions.

Kim sends a big “thank you” to Devin, Ezryn and Lexie who have always supported her in all of her dance pursuits. She also thanks all of the tap dancers in the world who inspire her every day, and her mentor, Tasha Lawson who has reignited her passion for tap dancing, and opened her eyes to the world of rhythm tap and jazz music.


Lisbeth Maidment is a dancer, actor, performer, teacher and choreographer from Calgary. She began dancing at a young age, pursuing mostly tap and jazz. She continued taking class all through her younger years but always dreamed of acting on stage and in film. After high school she followed this passion and attended both theatre and film school, gaining a degree in acting for theatre and film. She worked professionally as an actor for several years and enjoyed being a part of several plays, films, commercials and TV shows. She discovered Hip Hop a bit later on and couldn’t get enough of it! She decided to pursue this passion and make the move to Toronto. There she attended dance school and stayed to dance professionally for a couple years afterwards. She is happy to be back in Calgary close to the mountains, family, friends and fellow tap enthusiasts.


Melanie Markell-Cygman grew up with music in her bones. She started dancing at age three, and continued to train in ballet, jazz, tap, and musical theatre until she was 17. After high school she changed her focus to making music, and has been singing with her band, Chickweed, since 2001. Melanie recently dusted off her tap shoes after a 17 year break to join the Tri-Tone Adult Rhythm Ensemble, and is working hard to perfect her “flaps.” She sits on the Board of Directors for the Tri-Tone Rhythm Society, and is excited to support her sister, Tasha Lawson in furthering the opportunities and experiences available to tap dancers in the community. Along with a love of all things musical, Melanie has passion for cooking, HBO, Batman, bacon, her cats and her new husband, Adam…..but not in that particular order.


After many years, Michelle Dertell is so happy to be tapping again. She is the daughter of a tap dancer and began tapping at the age of 5. Michelle picked up tap again at the age of 35 and studied several years with Lisa LaTouche, Danny Nielson, Barbara Duffy, and Heather Cornell. For many years she attended Heather Cornell’s Rhythm Tap Workshop and Tap City in New York, and Vancouver Tap Festival. Recently retired from nursing, she is so happy to have found Tasha Lawson and Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble. Michelle is also an aspiring jazz singer and working on her keyboard skills.


Roxanne Rout started tap dancing in Edmonton at the age of four. Since then, she has been an enthusiastic teacher, performer, choreographer and student of various forms of dance. After raising three children and teaching Tap, Hip-Hop and Jazz for twenty years in both Canada and New Zealand, Roxanne returned to study at Simon Fraser University where she took a wide variety of dance, theatre and education courses. Her life-long passion for tap dance ultimately led her to further her training with some of the world’s best, and while in Vancouver, Roxanne studied for three years with renowned rhythm tap dancer, Van Porter, and had the opportunity to attend various workshops and international tap festivals. A major highlight of this time was being part of the opening of the Masters of Tap Concert, “A Tribute to Jimmy Slyde” in 2002 at Vancouver’s Playhouse Theatre.

In 2003 Roxanne returned to New Zealand where she taught Tap at AUT in Auckland and at various studios. She also improvised and performed throughout the North Island with a variety of talented musicians at arts festivals, schools, theatres, coffee houses and jazz clubs In 2004, Roxanne presented her one-woman show, “The History of Tap: It’s Roots and its Revival” at the beautiful Century Theatre in Napier. By combining storytelling and music with rhythm tap, Roxanne both entertained and educated her audience about the often misunderstood Art of Tap Dance. In 2005, Roxanne was invited as a performer and teacher to the Melbourne International Tap Festival along with greats such as Emmy Award-winning Jason Samuels, Grant Swift, and former members of Australia’s Tap Dogs.

In 2006 Roxanne and her husband returned to Canada to meet their first grandchild, and they stayed. For six years, Roxanne taught tap at DJD in the winter and at Eagle Arts Academy in the summer. Now, Roxanne is thrilled to be reconnected with friend Tasha Lawson and is excited to be part of the development of Tri-Tone in Calgary.


Stephanie Mitschke grew up dancing at Macdonald Wilson Dance Academy, learning Tap, Jazz and Ballet from age 6. Tap was always her favorite. She left the studio in university and promptly took up partner swing dancing. She has been learning Lindy Hop, Charleston and vintage jazz for the past 10 years. During this time she has travelled to Vancouver, Seattle, and Edmonton for dance camps, workshops and competitions.

Stephanie fell in love with all things swing including the music, dance and fashion of the 20’s 30’s and 40’s. She joined the Calgary based swing dance performing group, Fireball Swing, with her dance partner and now husband. She danced with the group for five years and led the group for 2 years until the performance group retired in 2012. With a little more time on her hands, Stephanie was inspired to put her tap shoes back on after attending Camp Jitterbug in 2012, where she took some tap classes from Chester Whitmore as a part of the swing dance camp. Stephanie is currently a member of The Sugar Sweets, a vintage jazz chorus girl team specializing in performing dance routines from the vintage jazz era from the 1920s-1950s.

Stephanie joined the adult tap classes at Free House Dance, where she had her first experience learning from Tasha Lawson in fall 2013 and was introduced whole a new side of tap dancing connected to traditional jazz. Wanting to absorb as much history around tap and pursue her passion for tap dance, she joined the Tri-Tone Adult Rhythm Ensemble. Aside from dancing, in her spare time Stephanie enjoys crocheting and sewing.


Tanis Baer has been dancing in Calgary her entire life. She is trained in many dance forms, including jazz, modern, ballet, hip hop and of course, her favorite, tap. A graduate of the University of Calgary with a minor in dance, Tanis also studied at Edge Performing Arts in Los Angeles, California. Tanis has performed in SCPA’s Mainstage Dance, Theatre Alberta’s Dance Montage, and Alberta Dance Explosions. In 1996 she founded En Corps Dance Collective, and is currently a board member for the Tri-Tone Rhythm Society. Tanis served as an Artist in Residence with the Calgary Board of Education for several years. She taught at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks for ten years, and has recently returned to teach the children’s program and some adult classes. This is Tanis’ second season working with the Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensembles. As an educator in the dance community for 20 years, Tanis believes that being a teacher with lots of tools and training is very important. She is very inspired by working with Tasha and is grateful and excited for the opportunities and training that she has received.


Teresa Goulding started dancing at age seven, inspired by her father’s jazz music. She trained for 6 years at Tapped and Taylor Dance Studio (later became Keyano Conservatory). After a year break in seventh grade, Teresa returned to dance at MacDonald Island Dance academy. After moving to Calgary in 2014, Teresa joined the Tri-Tone Adult Rhythm Ensemble. Teresa is currently a first year student at the University of Calgary studying accounting. When she is not studying or dancing, you can usually find her watching Doctor Who. Teresa would like to thank her family for always telling her that she could tap even when she did not believe it herself.