Linda Sohl-Ellison, Professor of Dance at Orange Coast College since 1978, teaches choreography, improvisation, dance methodology and the advanced level modern dance, jazz and tap classes. She directs the annual OCC student dance concert and mentors students with career goals in dance. Ms. Sohl-Ellison has a BFA from Ohio University in Dance and Graphic Design and an MA from UCLA. Her background includes extensive training in modern dance, ballet and jazz, and mentorships with the great tap masters Foster Johnson, Eddie Brown, Honi Coles and Buster Brown. Linda is Artistic Director, choreographer and soloist with Rhapsody In Taps (RIT), a tap dance and live music touring company that she co-founded with Toni Tack in 1981. She has toured the United States, Mexico, Asia, France and Germany performing and teaching with Rhapsody In Taps and as a soloist. In 1990 she rehearsed and helped stage Gregory Hines’ choreography, Toeing the 3rd and Fifth for Rhapsody In Taps. Linda was also the founder and director of the Southern California Tap festival produced by Rhapsody In Taps at Orange Coast College from 1993-1997.
Recognized for her choreographic innovation in tap, Linda has been awarded five Choreographers’ Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Irvine Fellowships in Dance, a Dance: Creation to Performance grant from the James Irvine Foundation, and she was nominated for the prestigious Alpert Award in Dance. She has received Artist Fellowships from the California Arts Council, Long Beach Arts Council, Public Corporation for the Arts, National Association for Regional Ballet and California Community Foundation for her choreography. She received a first place choreography award from the 2003 Palm Desert Choreography Festival, a Lester Horton Dance Award for Outstanding Choreography from the Dance Resource Center, a Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio University in 2006, a Milestone Award from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for more than 25 years of performances, programs and arts leadership in Los Angeles in 2007, and a Tapestry Award from the 2010 Soul to Sole tap festival in Austin, Texas for 30 years of contributions to the field of tap dance.
Her film/TV credits include the movie, TAP featuring Gregory Hines, and three film documentaries: Women of the Tap Renaissance, You Gotta Move and JUBA, a televised documentary of Chicago’s 1998 Tap Festival. Linda and her husband Monti Ellison perform a duet repertoire of tap/percussion works and teach internationally, including tap festivals in New York, Chicago, Portland, Austin, Los Angeles, Paris and La Montagne, France.
Instructor of: Modern and Tap