The 2017 recipient of the “Hoofer Award”, Ayodele is a native New Yorker and began her professional training at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is also a graduate of The William Esper Studio in NYC, having studied directly with the masterful William Esper.
Ayodele Casel recently premiered her one-woman show "While I Have The Floor" at the Spoleto Arts Festival to rave reviews. She also served as choreographer for Carole King and Maurice Sendak's musical "Really Rosie" for New York City Center's Encores! Off Center this summer under the direction of Leigh Silverman.
Hailed by the legendary Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world,” Casel has been creating and presenting her work since 1999 and added Spoleto Festival USA to her list of eager recipients this season in her World Premiere.
Ms. Casel's television and film credits include “Third Watch”, “Law and Order”, “The Jamie Foxx Show”, “Bojangles”, "Savion Glover’s Nu York”. Ayodele originated the role of Yvonne in Nelsan Ellis' heart-wrenching play "UGLy" to great reviews at NYC's Fringe Festival and Santa Monica Playhouse. She also originated the role of "The Doll" in Derick Grant's "Imagine Tap!" which premiered at The Harris Theater in Chicago. Ayodele currently serves on the Artist Board for New York City Center's Encores! under the artistic direction of Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori.
She has earned her commissions from Aaron Davis Hall/Harlem Stage and the Apollo's Salon Series, where she presented "Diary of a Tap Dancer". She was also selected by acclaimed composer Rob Kapilow to collaborate on a Tap dance concerto which premiered at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Ayodele co- choreographed "Tap Into Peace"; a show with the incredible music of Stevie Wonder as its inspiration and soundtrack. The show has been presented at NY City Center's Fall for Dance and PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland.
She has performed at New York City Center, The White House, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Off- Broadway in Savion Glover’s Downtown: Live Communication. Ms. Casel also co-choreographed and was featured on PBS’ “Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty”. She has been creating and presenting her own works since 1999 in venues that include The Apollo, New York’s City Center, Aaron Davis Hall/The Gatehouse, The Lisner Auditorium, Lincoln Center "Out of Doors", Symphony Space, Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop, The Triad Theater and Joe's Pub at The Public Theater.
Ms. Casel has appeared on the cover of Dance Spirit, American Theater Magazine, The Village Voice and has been featured in many other magazine articles. She has worked and performed with the greatest tap dancers and companies including the late great Gregory Hines, Jazz Tap Ensemble, American Tap Dance Orchestra and Savion Glover as the only female in his company N.Y.O.T.s. (Not Your Ordinary Tappers). Her work has been presented nationally and internationally, and she continues striving to make Tap Dancing a relevant presence in the arts.
Ayodele, also a Capezio Athlete, was featured alongside Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff in Off-Center Encores! Jamboree! at New York City Center and performed her work "While I Have The Floor" at City Center's Fall for Dance 2016 season. Recent performances include "Broadway For Hillary" Fundraiser at the St. James Theater in NYC for with Michael Mayer as director. She is on faculty at A BroaderWay, LA Dance Magic, and Marymount Manhattan College. She is the co-director of Original Tap House and Operation: Tap.