Tap Dancing Inspiration for #NationalTapDanceDay
Tappers! It's #NationalTapDanceDay, and today the dance world salutes you, your magical musicality, your impressive respect for the history of your art and your infectious love of movement. Huzzah!
We have a ton of tap stories in our archives (find them all here!) and we love to put beautiful tappers on our cover (Hi Michelle! Hi Gaby!). Since we have so many stories, we thought we'd highlight a few of the best, for tap experts, novices and fans alike. Check it out!
For Non-Tappers: We can't all be Anthony Morigerato, tap dancing version of The Flash. So here's an in-depth story for those of you stepping into your first pair of percussive shoes. The takeaway? In an audition setting, fake it until you make it, then turn around and get to class.
For Beginners: Ready to master the time step? It's likely to show up at any Broadway audition that calls for tapping, so make sure you can execute it confidently.
For Experienced Dancers: Is it time to take your improvisation to the next level? Try your hand (or feet, rather) at a cutting contest, a tap battle where participants are required to stay with a set beat and make up their moves on the spot.
For Experts: Sometimes dancers get so caught up with amazing feats of technicality that they forget about emotional expressiveness. The same is true for the amazing feets* (sorry) of tap dancers. We investigated ways to use tap dance to tell a story.
For Everyone: Curious about the term "hoofer"? It has an important place in tap history, and isn't to be used lightly—just like you wouldn't call every ballet dancer a ballerina.
To close out our tap love-fest, who better than some of the art form's leading women? The Syncopated Ladies are doing great things for tap, for female dancers and choreographers, and for each other. And, this tribute performance to Prince is everything:
*Yes, I know that "feets" is not a word. But c'mon, it's such a good pun!
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night: