Heather Taft

Heather Taft, Dance Instructor at the Asheville Arts Center

A talented dancer, an accomplished vocalist, and a gifted actress, Heather Taft has turned her achievements into her profession. She shares her passion for dance and love of musical theater with all ages. She especially enjoys helping children discover their special talents and learn to express their star qualities. Heather grew up in Cleveland, OH and began dancing at the age of 4. She studied Traditional Irish Step dancing, and by the time she was 12 years old, she was winning awards and earning top placement in a variety of regional competitions. She danced with Sheila Murphy, and the Murphy Irish Dancers. Heather was frequently involved in musical theater productions throughout her school career, and performed in the local community theaters. She has performed in such roles as: Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods; Lola in Damn Yankees; the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; and a lead Follies Girl dancer in Crazy for You. Heather graduated from UNCA in 2002, with a BA in psychology, and began teaching at Asheville Catholic School, as the director of their outreach program. She directed school Christmas musicals, and taught Irish Dance as an after-school program. She directed 80 members of the childrens and youth choirs at St. Eugene Church, and was a vocalist in the church. Heather has also choreographed and performed in a number of shows throughout Western North Carolina. Later Heather acquired her Kindermusik license and certification so she could expand her capacity to bring music and movement into the lives of children. She taught musical theater and Broadway dance classes, and worked with Asheville Community Theater instructing musical theater for their summer programs and additional classes offered throughout the year. In 2004, Heather founded the Asheville Arts Center. The Arts Center is focused on providing a nurturing, supportive environment to allow children of all ages to experience the performing arts. Focused on music, dance, and drama, the Arts Center has quickly expanded, and today has three locations in Asheville and over 400 students. Heather continues to teach. Her special passion is the Gallagher Irish Dance School offered through the Arts Center.

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