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Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company

Organization Type

Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company was founded by Derek Jayson Rusch. The company’s name came from the middle name of the founder. The name originated from his orphaned period during the Vietnam War in 1974. Van Ngoc Son was the name given to him by a nun that cared for the orphans at the New Haven Nursery in Vietnam. During that time, the U.S. Government launched a program called U.S. Operation Babylift.  Jayson was part of the program and was brought to the US in 1975 to be adopted by his loving family in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Derek Jay-Son formed the company in Washington, DC in 2000 and received great response from the Washington Post and DC community. The company became his “diary” of trials and tribulations of his unique life.

In 2002, Mary Tisa and Derek Jay-Son merged their artistic backgrounds to form Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company.  Both artists are Asian American and adopted focusing on their actual conflicts of growing up in America with their choreography.


"The choreographer has a knack for arranging and spacing groups on stage. Jay-Son has some compelling stories to tell; he is still learning how to tell them."

By Lisa Traiger, Washington Post Staff Writer


Our Mission

Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company (JTDC) is contemporary/modern dance company dedicated to making art universally appealing with choreography as an outlet of emotions and stories. JTDC reflects on the diversity of Chicago with each dancer bringing their own experiences of trials and tribulation to the company. Their experiences will be imported and expressed with choreography and performance. A primary goal for the company is to create compelling choreography that is provocative, intimate and universal for the audience. The company will also focus on community-based residencies and outreach activities in the community. 













Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary


Jay-Son Tisa Dance Company

5418 N Laporte Ave
Chicago, IL 60630-1530


Lauren Warnecke | Feb 16, 2017

Past Events