Ayodele Casel

Ayodele Casel

She // Her // Hers

[ID: A woman of color with long hair and top knot bun wearing a black vest and black-and-white patterned top smiles and looks to her left against a white background.]

Portrait photo by Matthew Murphy.

Choreographer and Tap Dancer
New York, NY
2023 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Mellon Foundation.

Ayodele Casel, “a tap dancer and choreographer of extraordinary depth” (The New York Times), is a 2022 Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Choreography in the current Broadway revival of Funny Girl, a Bessie Award winner for Outstanding Production (Chasing Magic), a 2019–2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a recipient of the Flo-Bert Award and Hoofer Award. Casel is a native New Yorker who began her professional training at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She premiered her one-woman show, While I Have the Floor, at the Spoleto Arts Festival to rave reviews, cementing a trajectory for her work rooted in the expression of identity, culture, language, and communication. A frequent New York City Center collaborator, she was selected to create an interactive performance engaging NYC communities for their inaugural On the Move five-borough tour. She is New York City Center’s 2023 featured Artists at the Center. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Little Island, cocurator of its Little Island Dance Festival, Resident Director (with Torya Beard) for Dance Lab New York’s Tap Dance Project, and a featured tap dance artist on the USPS Forever Stamp commemorating the art of tap. Casel has an unwavering commitment to youth development and education, serving as codirector of Graduate Programs at A BroaderWay Foundation and is the codirector of Operation Tap, an online tap educational resource.

  • Artwork by Ayodele Casel
    "The Sandbox," with Arturo O'Farrill. Performed as part of Chasing Magic.
    [ID: A performer with long, dark brown hair dances joyfully on a dark stage in front of a musician playing a baby grand piano.]
  • Artwork by Ayodele Casel
    Jared Alexander, Ayodele Casel, Amanda Castro, and Naomi Funaki in performance. Photo by Tony Turner.
    [ID: Four dancers mid-motion on a swanky stage with a maroon curtain backdrop. Their motions are energetic; their black-and-white costumes are elegant and fun.]
  • Artwork by Ayodele Casel
    Quynn Johnson, Amanda Castro, Dre Torres, Ayodele Casel, Naomi Funaki, and Keisel Jimenez in performance. Photo by Tony Turner.
    [ID: ​​Four people wearing black dance in unison on a dark stage with dramatic lighting. Photographed in mid-motion, they stand with their legs spread apart and their left arms slightly extended.]
Artwork by Ayodele Casel Artwork by Ayodele Casel Artwork by Ayodele Casel Artwork by Ayodele Casel Artwork by Ayodele Casel Artwork by Ayodele Casel