Gary Geis Tribute Concert: Celebrating Gary’s Life and Legacy

Springfield, OH – The Gary Geis Dance Company (GGDC) of Springfield will present the Gary Geis Tribute Concert on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

Mr. Gary Geis, who passed away in March 2016, was a dancer–an amazing tap dancer–dance instructor, choreographer, friend and mentor to generations of dancers, dedicating more than 40 years of his life building a foundation, appreciation and a love for dance in the Springfield and Dayton areas.  We have witnessed first-hand the inspiring and positive impact that he has made upon his students far and wide, many of whom are now professionals in dance and theatre, returning to perform or choreograph for this special occasion. 

The GGDC Ensemble is comprised of more than 30 multi-talented dancers who are both current students and former students, young dancers and adults.  The Ensemble will be performing Gary’s signature repertory works in jazz, modern and tap.  

The concert will feature eight guest soloists, musicians and choreographers, each honoring Gary in their own ways by sharing their love for a man who greatly inspired them.  Our guest dancers performing solos, Victoria Broshes, Claire Fisher, Bethany Logan and Emily Larger, are former students now dancing professionally, including Broadway, are recent college graduates and are furthering their dance education both in the U.S. and abroad.  

Kristin O’Neal, who directs many amazing dance projects, is currently Rehearsal Director for CORE Performance Company in Georgia.  She will be performing a solo and was also a former student.  When asked what inspired her most about Gary, Kristin says, “Gary’s tireless ability to inspire discipline and creativity through dance consequently built a community based on love and respect. He had a gift for instilling in each of us a drive to find our sweatiest edge.  Gary built his classes to crescendo in a final group unison dance phrase that would bring the diverse class members together in body and spirit. We all looked forward to that, the old ladies, the middle aged men and the tweens.  Gary’s gift of instilling individual uniqueness while relating to and communicating with a diverse group of humans through dance is what I aspire to create in my classroom every day.”

The concert will also feature new choreography by dancer, actor and yoga instructor, Jordan Davis, Leighann Kowolsky of Erick Hawkins Dance Company and live music performed by Yamaha Young Performing Artist and violinist, Kanako Shimisaki with pianist Josh Kline.   Jordan says, “Gary made me feel so comfortable and welcomed from the first day I met him.  Working with Gary always put a smile on my face and made my heart feel warm because he was so genuinely happy to be doing what he loved to do most – dance! I am inspired to provide kindness and compassion to my students as I saw Gary did. I am inspired for them to see how much this art means to me, just like it meant so much to Gary.”  

And Leighann added, “Gary had a sharp level of appreciation and memory for any of his mentors, colleagues and friends in the dance world. This is what really struck me about him – he could recall an event from moons past with compelling detail, and honored that memory and those involved with his whole being. With mutual mentors, colleagues and friends, and mutual appreciation for the value of said individuals, I believe it was there that our connection was born.”

Gary always said “The students come first,” and that holds true each and every day.  Our dancers are our focus and our future and we take great pride in being able to provide them with the tools necessary to succeed in a very competitive field.  Please join us as we honor Gary’s legacy through dance and music, celebrating his life, his artistic impact, vision and joyful inspiration that he brought to so many lives and to our dance communities.

Tickets are available online through, at, or by calling the Clark State Performing Arts Center Box Office at 937.328.3874.  More information is also available at

Founded in 1999 by Gary Geis, Mark Cummings and Lori Common, the Gary Geis Dance Company is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) performing company in Springfield , Ohio, whose mission is to advance the appreciation of the art of dance and to bring focus on dance education in Springfield and surrounding communities. With the wide range of experience that our artistic staff have to offer, our goal is to provide the members of this pre-professional dance company with a highly diverse curriculum, master classes and performance experiences. By design, this preparation and training will act as a springboard into a professional career with a major dance or musical theatre company.