Danceworks On Tap (DOT) is a collective of dancers dedicated to sustaining tap dance as a recognized art form. Through education, performance and by making tap dance accessible to the community, DOT hopes to contribute to the preservation of this truly American dance form.
Danceworks On Tap was founded in 2000 by Amy Brinkman-Sustache and Patrick Kendall. Since then, the goal has been to sustain tap dance as a recognized art form through presentations, performances and community outreach events.
As a founding member of Danceworks, Amy Brinkman-Sustache has a long history with the organization as a teacher, choreographer, and administrator. In 1998 she became the Studio Director for Danceworks and now serves and the Education Director. As a performer, Amy has an extensive background in both dance and musical theater and has the opportunity to perform throughout Europe, California, Florida and the Mid-West. As an educator, Amy developed a dance curriculum for Pius XI High School Theatre Arts program where she taught and choreographed concert dance and musical theatre from 1992-2000. She has had the privilege to serve on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, Dance Masters of Wisconsin and Chicago and was the state representative for the International Tap Association for 10 years. When she can, Amy also enjoys guest teaching and working with young dancers from other local studios. Amy founded Danceworks on Tap (DOT) in 2000 and loves nothing more than tapping with the talented ladies of DOT.
Kelly Kotecki-Escorcia is a founding member of Danceworks On Tap. She attended UW-Milwaukee earning a BFA in dance with a K-12 certification. She has been on faculty at Danceworks since 2000 teaching and working in many roles throughout the organization. Currently, Kelly is also starting her 15th year teaching in the MPS school district at Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts sharing her love of dance with young creative minds.
Annette Smedema is a dancer and physical therapist who graduated from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance/Choreography and graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2018. Currently, she works in inpatient rehab at the Milwaukee VA medical center. She incorporates as much dancing as she can with the veteran’s she works with and (typically) they love it just as much as her! She has been tapping and choreographing with Danceworks On Tap since 2010 and is so happy to be tapping again this summer. In addition to being a tapper, Annette has a modern dance background and has performed with Elizabeth Johnson’s company, Your Mother Dances.
Victoria “Tori” Isaac is a dancer, educator, and creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A dancer of 18 years, Tori began cultivating her training under the mentorship of Yesenia Valverde at the Valverde School of Performing Arts in Southern California. Relocating to the Midwest, she then continued under Cait Jones of Transcendance Dance Studios in Oak Park, Illinois before pursuing dance collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Sociology. Tori has performed extensively throughout the West Coast and Midwest and has taught dance and movement education in a variety of settings, including primary schools, youth detention centers, and collegiate institutions. She is currently an outreach teaching artist with Danceworks MKE and a company member of Danceworks on Tap and Panadanza Dance Company. She is also a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Holly Heisdorf joined Danceworks On Tap in 2012. She graduated from the University of Iowa with her BBA in finance and a BA in dance. She is currently working as an Assistant Commercial Lender at the State Bank of Newburg and is also on the teaching faculty at Nancy Diane Studio of Dance.
Kate Krause-Blaha first performed with Danceworks On Tap as a guest artist in the summer of 2016, and officially joined as a company member in 2017. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Journalism (double major) in 2009, and Masters in Library and Information Science in 2015. Kate taught for Danceworks Mad Hot Rhythm (formerly Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap) for 7 years, and now spends her days as the Lead Youth Services Librarian at the New Berlin Public Library where she gets to share her love of dance, movement, and physical literacy to children in a different atmosphere!
Rachel Payden has been a company member of Danceworks On Tap since the spring of 2007. She is currently the Outreach Director at Danceworks and is a member of the studio, summer camp, Danceworks Generations and Danceworks Mad Hot teaching faculty. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2006 where she received a BA degree in Theater Arts and a minor in Dance. Rachel is also a proud member of a local all-female a cappella group called the Mil Town Treblemakers who are similar to Danceworks On Tap but make music with their voices instead of their feet!
Nikki Platt has been dancing since the age of two at many of the most prestigious dance studios around the mid-west and east coast. Nikki attended Columbia College Chicago, where she studied musical theater and dance. In 2001, she made her way to NYC under scholarship and attended Broadway Dance Center where she obtained her expertise on the Broadway stage. She had the honor and privilege to work and dance with some of the hottest choreographers in “The Big Apple.” Nikki credits her tap skills to Lane Alexander, Mike Minery, Savion Glover, Michelle Dorrance, the late Gregory Hines and many more! Nikki has also directed and choreographed numerous musical productions with local groups in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and the Chicago area.
Gabi Sustache, a Milwaukee native, is a performer, choreographer, and dance educator. A recent graduate from UW-Milwaukee, where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance from the program in Spring of 2020. She is currently a member of Danceworks On Tap, Danceworks’ resident tap dance company and Danceworks Performance MKE. Gabi also enjoys performing with various Milwaukee-based hip hop crews, including S.A.I.N.T.S, Gabi has had the opportunity to perform at events such as the 2019 Milwaukee Sports Awards and Summerfest. Her choreography has been featured at Milwaukee Bucks halftime performances, for several high school musical theater productions in and around the Milwaukee area and was selected in 2019 to be adjudicated at the American College Dance Association’s North Central Conference.
Tina Wozniak attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she earned her BFA in dance in 2001. She was the director of the Pius XI High School dance program in Milwaukee from 2002-2010 and the Bradford High School Dance Department in Kenosha, WI from 2010-2019. She is currently the Assistant Principal at Grandview High School in Milwaukee, WI. Tina has been a member of Danceworks On Tap since 2003.
For information on Danceworks On Tap, contact Amy Brinkman-Sustache, Artistic Director, at 414.277.8480 x6002 or via email.