Mark Alan Knowles has directed and/or choreographed over 300 productions nationally and internationally, ranging from the South American premiere of La Cage Aux Folles in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Disney’s Hercules Electrical Parade in New York City, viewed by over three million people. His work has been seen on film and television in such shows as The Ice Pirates, at MGM, Small Wonder, at Fox, Boone, at CBS, and, a promo for Married With Children, and Columbia Bandstand for Columbia Pictures Television. For four years, Mark was senior direc- tor at Stiletto Entertainment, directing and developing production shows for five ships on the Holland America Line.
He has authored four books – The Tap Dance Dictionary, Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing, winner of the Library Association’s 2003 Choice Award for Best Academic Writing, The Wicked Waltz and Other Scandalous Dances, and The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock, a biography of Hollywood choreographer Alex Romero.
Mark has been a dance history consultant for the Summerhill Television documentary The Church of Elvis, and as an expert on Waltz history for Jason Feifer’s Podcast The Pessimists Archive. In 2014, he was interviewed as a tap history expert for radio and print by BBC World Service Arts correspondent Vincent Dowd for Savion Glover’s tap-dancing mission heads to the UK.
Mark served as an adjunct professor at Occidental College and U.C. Irvine for several years, and has been a dance his- tory lecturer nationwide at various universities, libraries, and lecture halls. In 2002, he was one of eleven people chosen to serve on the President’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, working to create programs utilizing the Arts to treat the effects of addiction. A member of the Core faculty and Head of the Movement Department, Mark currently teaches at the Los Angeles campus of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.