Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards has been apart of almost every major Tap movie or show that has appeared in the history of tap dance since the 80's. Accolades include an Astaire Award for Best Performance in After Midnight on Broadway; Bessie Awards for Outstanding Performance (Jason Samuels Smith at The Joyce Theater) & Outstanding Choreography (The Blues Project); The Hoofer Award from The American Tap Dance Foundation; Best Actress nomination in the lead role in the award-winning Independent film "The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang"; a Princess Grace Award; and the cover story for Dance Magazine.
In addition to opening the Harlem Tap Studio, Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards continues to appear as a special guest for shows and festivals around the world. She was elected to the Advisory Board as the Tap Advisor for Dance Magazine and served as the official Tap Spokesperson for Capezio along with her family, with featured them in their international advertising campaign. Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards was also the private tap instructor to the legendary Michael Jackson over the course of 11 years.
Dormeshia’s career includes acclaimed runs on Broadway and off-Broadway in shows such as Black and Blue, the Tony Award Winning Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk, International Tour of Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (dance captain/principal dancer/understudy to the lead role), and Imagine Tap! (featured soloist). She has collaborated as a special guest performer with Grammy & Tony Award winning artists including Fantasia (tour), and in celebration of International Jazz Day at The Kennedy Center with Al Jerrou and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Other stage performances include the national tour of Wild Woman Blues and Debbie Allen’s SAMMY (the life and times of Sammy Davis Jr.). She was also featured at the Freedom Sounds Festival launching the first Smithsonian African-American Museum in the US this year. Film credits include “TAP” with Gregory Hines, Spike Lee's “Bamboozled” (Assistant Choreographer), and “The Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty”. Choreography credits include Michael Jackson's music video “Rock My World”, Apollo Club Harlem (tap choreography) and the Sophisticated Ladies which is featured weekly at the world famous Cotton Club in NYC.
TV credits include NBC’s Superstars of Dance (representing the USA), a national commercial for Tops and on MTV’s hit television series MADE. Dormeshia debuted her project “And Still You Must Swing” at Jacobs Pillow for a successful 1-week sold out run along with co-creators Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K. Grant, Camille A. Brown and Musical Director Allison Miller. Excerpts from the project has since been performed in LA, Texas, Vancouver with a future engagement at The Joyce (2019) to name a few.
She credits her solid foundation and all-around training to her principal instructors Arlene and Paul Kennedy of Universal Dance Designs. Dormeshia has been and continues to be revered as one of the most dynamic performers in the industry today.
Are there enough words in the dictionary to praise Ms. Sumbry-Edwards? If ever there were a performer to prove that tap is equal parts dance and music, it is this singularly authoritative artist. Fiercely elegant, she uses her entire body to create rhythms and finish phrases, while never suggesting mere decoration. You see and hear the music most clearly in her dancing, but you also see beyond it. She is dynamite, no matter her style of shoes. - Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times
Grant brought out one of the world's best female tappers, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, for the festival last October and considers it vital to inspire the next generation. "It's important to see the greats. After all, if the kids can't see Shane Warne they're not going to want to be a spinner." -Fiona Scott-Norman, The Age (theage.com.au)
“Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards... dance(s) with a zeal that is infectious.” – Tracy Lyon, talkinbroadway.com,
"The two real stars of the evening, however, were the
Americans Jason Samuels Smith and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, who both blew the audience away with their style, their technique and their raw energy." – Simonetta Dixon, Ballet.co Magazine
“Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, deceptively petite but forceful, showed that she is a true jazz musician of the feet.” - Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Dance Magazine
“Smith, Glover and the US's biggest female tap star, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, who also made her first trip to the UK this month, are all artists who idolise the original hoofers of Harlem rather than the stars of the silver screen.” - Lyndsey Winship, The Independent
“…a lot of the fiery footwork in the touring "Noise/Funk" revival is coming from Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, a fine female tapper breaking into what was once a young boys' club.” -Chris Jones, Variety