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Jenai Cutcher

Jenai Cutcher
Tap dancer. Choreographer. Teacher. Journalist. Archivist.

Jenai Cutcher’s creative practice includes dancing, choreographing, teaching, writing, videography, archiving, and researching histories of dance to present in a variety of media. She has performed nationally and internationally with tap dance artists including Brenda Bufalino, Lynn Dally, 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. Cutcher has written articles for several publications including Dance magazine and The Village Voice, three dance books for children, and Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance. Her feature-length documentary, Thinking On Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, explores the work of women who resurrected and revolutionized the art of American tap dance and continue to pioneer the field. 

Cutcher was the founding Executive and Artistic Director of Chicago Dance History Project, a digital archive of original and collected research. Under her eight years of leadership, she conducted 131 interviews and produced 55 public events featuring 361 prominent individuals in the dance field: artists, educators, collaborators, administrators, advocates, and more. CDHP has acquired 50 collections donated from community members and digitized over 18,000 files including programs, photographs, and footage from the past seven decades. Cutcher now works independently with the performing arts community at large to develop new methodologies and techniques for generating and sustaining archives and audiences. She has recently collaborated with the Auditorium Theatre, Mark Morris Dance Group, the American Folk Art Museum, and Yale University on various archival and research projects. 

Cutcher is the 2019 recipient of Chicago’s esteemed Ruth Page Award. She has a BA in English and MFA in Dance, both from The Ohio State University. 


BA, English

The Ohio State University

MFA, Dance

The Ohio State University

Executive & Artistic Director 2015 - 2023

A 501(c)(3) community-based digital archive of original and collected materials

Books, Documentaries, and  Other Publications

Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance

Bob Fosse, Rosen Publishing

Gotta Dance: The Rhythms of Jazz and Tap, Rosen Publishing

Chicago Dance History Project - Producer, Director, Interviewer, Videographer

Thinking On Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance - Director, Editor, DVD Author

CultuCuba - Director, Editor, DVD Author

Defining Standards: Documenting the Jazz Tap Legacy

Chicago Dance History Project: Local History/Digital History

Heard Before Seen: The Renaissance Women of American Tap Dance

Dance Heritage Coalition, Dance Teacher, Dance magazine, Dance Spirit, The Village Voice, Ballet-Dance, Columbus Alive

Choreography, Performance & Video works


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, Emily Coates, 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

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