Jared Grimes’ mother taught dance and he credits her with getting him interested in his chosen field by giving him his first pair of tap shoes when he was just three years old. Growing up, Jared watched films and TV shows that drew on showbiz tradition, and was drawn to such performers as Bill Bojangles Robinson, Jerry Lewis and Fred Astaire. “These guys were the Michael Jacksons of their time,” he says. “Without them, there would have been no Michael Jackson.”
Combining natural talent with the intense discipline that tap imposes, Jared went on to make his mark performing alongside legends such as Gregory Hines, Fayard Nicholas, Author Duncan, Ben Vereen and Debbie Allen. Jared has performed across the United States and abroad touring first with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. He later toured with Mariah Carey and has also danced for artists such as Common, Salt-N-Pepa, En Vogue and the Roots.
“Most dancers who make it to a certain level become choreographers and they feel that everybody has to learn from them,” says Jared. “But that’s not really the case for me. I feel that when you become a choreographer, that’s when you can really start learning from other people and come up with something totally new.”
Jared’s stage credits include Babes in Arms at the Goodspeed Opera House, Sammy, directed by Debbie Allen, Scottsboro Boys, directed by Susan Strohman, Pure Country, directed by Peter Masterson, Vaudeville, directed by Christopher d'Amboise and Broadway Underground directed by himself. He has appeared in commercials and on television shows and his feature film credits include Little Manhattan, First Born and The Marc Pease Experience.
On January 19, 2009, Jared Grimes performed with Wynton Marsalis at the Kennedy Center on the occasion of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
“What better way to introduce a new approach to tap dance than Banana Shpeel?” says Jared. “If I had to sum it up, I'd say this show is respect – respect for where we came from. Respect for the history and tradition of Vaudeville and Broadway, a world where performers worked 18 hours a day to perfect their art. The difference is, in this show dance isn’t a self-contained act. It helps tell a story. When the dance comes in, it’s powerful. And because it’s coming from Cirque du Soleil, and not from Broadway, it’s something that is going to be really different.”
Jared Grimes was born in 1983 and lives in New York.