The "multitalented Alex MacDonald" (NY Times) is a NYC-based professional tap dancer, teaching artist, singer-songwriter, and researcher. He originally hails from Farmingdale, NY, where his first foray into the performing arts was a tap class at the local Oakwood Dance Studio at the age of three. What began as a fun outlet for a child's exuberance eventually ignited a lifelong passion for creative expression and education.
He has traveled throughout North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia as the original tap soloist and tap choreographer for the wildly popular vintage jazz band, Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox. Performance highlights include NYC's Highline Ballroom, City Center, and Best Buy Theater, Denver's Red Rocks Ampitheatre, and The Olympia in Paris, France. Involvement in this project allows him to share his craft with a large, international fan base and raise awareness of tap as a richly musical dance form. To date, his videos with the group have garnered over 9 million views online.
Since 2009, he has continually entertained audiences as dance captain for Andrew J. Nemr’s tap company, Cats Paying Dues. Performance highlights with the troupe include NYC’s Symphony Space, Webster Hall, The Riverside Theatre, Laguardia Performing Arts Center, 92nd Street Y, and Town Hall; as well as live on national television for the 45th annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.
As "Jumpsuit Alex," he is the passionate, tap dancing "hype" man for the Grammy Award winning kindie band, Tim and the Space Cadets. The band's 2015 release, "Home," won the Grammy for Best Children's Album. Performance highlights include NYC's Musical Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl, Symphony Space, D.C.'s Smithsonian Museum, Austin City Limits Festival 2013 and 2015; and Chicago's Lollapalooza Festival 2017. In 2018, the band traveled to Nigeria through the U.S. Embassy's Exchange Our World program, where they held a series of concerts and tap workshops for children and families, including some who are internally displaced due to conflict in the northeast.
A patient and intuitive teaching artist he is privileged to share his love of tap with students of all levels throughout NYC. Currently, he works as tap faculty for Steps on Broadway, Alvin Ailey Arts in Education and Community Programs, and Edge School of the Arts (ESOTA). He has also taught technique classes to undergraduate and postgraduate dance students at the University of Limerick's Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and substitute taught for Tap 1 and 2 at Queens College. An experienced soloist and frequent collaborator, he has performed internationally in concerts and conferences in Ireland, Germany, England, Scotland, Belgium, France, Norway, and Canada.
In 2012, he was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Student Scholarship to Ireland, where he conducted research on transmission and improvisation in the sean-nós dance tradition. His ethnochoreological work found him interviewing and training with master sean-nós dancers, Páraic Ó hOibicín, Emma O'Sullivan, and Róisín Ní Mhainín. In 2016, his talk, "Oral Tradition in the Age of Smart Phones," was selected for the TEDxFulbrightDublin event held at the Smock Alley Theatre.
An accomplished singer-songwriter and guitarist, his subtle blend of folk and jazz reflect eclectic musical influences. To date, he has released two full-length, independent albums, 2011's "Footprints" and 2015's "Seasons and Shadows."
Alex holds a M.A. in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick, where he graduated with First Class Honors in 2013, as well as a B.A. in Musical Theatre with a minor in Dance from SUNY Geneseo, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2008. An alumnus of the School at Jacob's Pillow, he has studied under such tap luminaries as Dianne Walker, Sam Weber, Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuels Smith, and Nicholas Young.