Jenai Cutcher

Tap dancer. Choreographer. Teacher. Journalist. Archivist.

Jenai Cutcher’s creative practice spans the page, the stage, and the screen and includes dancing, choreographing, teaching, movie making, writing, and researching histories of dance. In 2015, she became the founding artistic and executive director of Chicago Dance History Project, for which she received the 2019 Ruth Page Award. Jenai has performed with tap dance artists such as Brenda Bufalino, Michelle Dorrance, Barbara Duffy, John Giffin, Savion Glover, Derick Grant, Katherine Kramer, Max Pollak, and Lynn Schwab and her own choreography has been presented throughout the country. She has written articles for several dance publications including Dance magazine and the Village Voice, three dance books for children, and Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance. Her first feature-length documentary, Thinking On Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, explores the work of the women who resurrected and revolutionized the art of American tap dance and continue to pioneer the field. Jenai has a BA in English and MFA in Dance, both from The Ohio State University. In addition to directing CDHP, she teaches tap dance and dance history and is an artist-in-residence with Chicago Park District.


BA, English

The Ohio State University

MFA, Dance

The Ohio State University

Awards (selected)

Ruth Page Award; Chicago, IL

Pierson College Fellow, Yale University

Fellowship for Emerging Artists; Columbus, OH

Presidential Fellowship; OSU Graduate School


2013 - present



Choreography & Performance


Out of the Woodwork; Chicago, IL

International Festival of Arts & Ideas; New Haven, CT

Rebound Dance Festival; New Haven, CT

Summerstage; New York, NY

Symphony Space; New York, NY

Drums Downtown; Columbus, OH


Company works: Tap City, Rumba Tap, Barbara Duffy & Company, Ritmico

Independent works: Brenda Bufalino, Michelle Dorrance, John Giffin, Savion Glover, Derick Grant, Kristina Isabelle, Katherine Kramer, Lynn Schwab, Ann Yee, Mark Yonally


Northwestern University, Salve Regina University, Educational Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, United Nations International School, Berger Park, Steps On Broadway, Peridance Center, Neighborhood Music School