2017 Artistic Achievement Award

CNADM’s Artistic Achievement Award goes to Tom Alexander —
an individual perpetually striving for excellence in his craft—and willing to share his knowledge with others.

From performing with Debbie Reynolds to Marie Osmond … from choreographing for Crystal Cruises … and now as guest of honor at CNADM’s 105th Annual Awards Banquet!

A native of North Carolina, Tom began dancing at age 13 with Master Teacher Ray Hollingsworth. Tom won top place for a solo at a Showstoppers event at age 17 in 1979, at his first competition. During the next couple of years, Hollingsworth occasionally called on him to judge or teach a competition workshop class. Over the next two decades, Alexander judged sporadically as he pursued a performing career.

And, what a career! During his performing career, Tom has worked with stars such as Debbie Reynolds, June Allyson, Dolly Parton, Rita Moreno, Marie Osmond, Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Hope. Tom’s beginnings on the professional stage were with Carowinds, Busch Gardens and Tokyo Disneyland theme parks. Tom also taught in Japan for Shojiku Kageki Dan and Osaka Kageki Dan dance companies, and performed, co-choreographed and trained dancers for Crystal Cruises.

His most recent work for Crystal Cruises was co-choreographing their newest million dollar musical entitled “Standing Room Only.” He has taught dance at Buffa’s Dance Studio Ltd. in northern VA since 1984.

In 1996, judging competitions became an almost full-time job. Today, he judges for DanceMakers, as well as for clubs and organizations such as CNADM and Southern Association of Dance Masters. Tom was also commissioned in the summer of 2014 by CNADM for a jazz piece that would open their banquet show honoring legendary Ann Reinking.

A favorite at CNADM workshops, Tom is a frequent instructor of jazz, tap and lyrical. Tom takes pride in knowing that he is not just teaching dance steps, but giving valuable life lessons to all of his students.

“I see the little ones looking up to the older ones, and to the judges and teachers at the workshops, with stars in their eyes. That’s what’s kept me in there,” he says. “I know at some point over the weekend I’m going to be able to say something to those children that will help them in some way.”

(quote originally printed in Dance Studio Life, September 2016.)

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