Tristan Bruns - InstructorDuring his youth, Tristan Bruns had the opportunity to participate in a production of the play 42nd Street. As a requirement of this production, cast members needed to take a class in tap dance. For Tristan, this was a defining moment. Tristan had discovered his passion and made tap dance his life-long pursuit.
Tristan had a typical suburban dance student upbringing in his hometown of Itasca, Illinois, performing at recitals and competitions under Donna Johnson of Art Linkletter Dance Studio and later the Academy of Dance Arts. Eventually Tristan moved to Chicago's South Loop to pursue his bachelor's in music performance at Columbia College Chicago.
While studying at Columbia, in 2003, Tristan was accepted into the Chicago Human Rhythm Project's performing ensemble, BAM!, under the direction of Lane Alexander. This was Tristan's introduction to the professional dance community. He was a member of BAM! for seven years, performing at locations such as China, Mexico, and Spain, and at local venues such as the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
In 2008, Tristan expanded his professional career by joining The Cartier Collective, under Julie Cartier, and shortly after, MADD Rhythms, under Bril Barrett. Tristan's credits outside of local dance companies include a featured performance in the Chicago Dance Crash production of Busta Keaton, several appearances at Dance Chicago, and local theater performances of his own vaudeville-style comedy-dance act, Tapman.
Currently, Tristan has turned his attention to creating his own dance business ventures, including a tap dance company under his direction, aptly named The Tapmen, and his own production company, Tapman Productions, LLC. Tristan's goal with his new ventures is to have a vehicle through which to showcase his own work, and to grow as and artist and producer in Chicago.
Tristan currently teaches at several suburban dance studios, and has also started a program in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood for home-schooled children. He hopes to give the home-schooled students a broader artistic education, as well as provide them with physical activity and social interaction.
When Tristan isn't performing or teaching, he's sharing his love of tap through his articles on DanceAdvantage.net, where he researches tap dance's history, artists both legendary and contemporary, and current trends. His mission is to share an understanding of tap dance so that it isn't lost on future generations.
Finally, Tristan would like to acknowledge his mentors and inspirations that have encouraged his journey thus far. They include Donna Johnson, Ted Louis Levy, Lane Alexander, Martin Tre Dumas III, and the legendary hoofer Chuck Green.