“Our cruise is full,” said Director of Theatre Melodee Halbach
who announced the 50-member student cast for FWCD's spring musical, Anything Goes
. Click here
for the cast list. Renowned tapper Abi Abel
was on campus, thanks to a Supporting CAST grant, to start teaching tap choreography to the students
. Supporting CAST—Creative Arts Students and Teachers—funds visual and performing arts programs at FWCD over and above what is supported in the general budget. These experiences enhance students’ artistic vision, open their minds to the arts world beyond FWCD and engage them in hands-on work with dynamic professionals.
A Fort Worth native and Texas A&M graduate, Abel is a lifelong tap dancer who began her dance training at age 3 with Frances Lea and then went on to study under her tap mentor Larry Howard when she turned 8. She has studied with many great tappers, including Ted Levy, Ryan Kasprzak, Miller & Ben, Andrew Nemr, Jason Marquette, Sarah Reich, Anthony LoCascio, Omar Edwards, Robin Reed and Max Pollak.
Abel’s professional theatre career began at Casa Mañana when she was 7. She was a featured tap-dancing orphan in Annie. At Casa, she performed in more than 20 productions, working and learning from many greats, including Bud and Franny Franks, Ed Holleman, Joel Ferrell, Kevin Ligon, Tom Orr, Jody Madaras, General McArthur Hambrick, Mel Dacus and Guy Stroman.
Some of her favorite shows and roles in the Dallas-Fort Worth area include Anything Goes (Bonnie), Annie Get Your Gun, Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel), Moon Over Buffalo (Eileen), 42nd Street (Diane Lorimer), The Desert Song (Azuri), The King and I and Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Abel has been seen as a featured dancer in Sonic commercials, in promotions for PB Max Candies, and as featured performer for Dr Pepper industrials in Orlando. She also has done commercials for Fort Worth hospitals and Junior Achievement. Her choreography credits include Into the Woods, Fiddler on the Roof, Addams Family, Drowsy Chaperone, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Seussical Jr., Carrie the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sound of Music, Wild Party, Sunset Boulevard, Tenderly, Cinderella, Man of La Mancha, Young Frankenstein, Peter Pan, RENT, Catch Me if You Can and American Idiot. She also is involved in many local art and entertainment projects and is a judge for Casa Mañana’s Betty Buckley Awards and the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards.