After an adventurous summer at New London Barn Playhouse, I finally got to receive tap classes regularly at the Hartford Conservatory...but not feeling very stimulated, I focused on my own tap choreography and presented my very first Tap piece with four singing and dancing ladies as a part of Les Caracteres de L'amour, my very first complete work as a producer.
The biggest and most important change in my Tap Dance world came with my new position as the Dance Instructor and Choreographer of the Loire Valley Youth Theater Festival in Pontlevoy, France in 2004; after which I'd travel through Italy, do some dancing in Germany, but It was only after I had settled in Spain, and moved to Madrid in 2007 that I would meet...
My Tap Story
Ludovico Hombravella, my Hoofer to be. It was only then that I truly began to get tap dance, its true history, the depth of its many facets, the jazz, the improvisation - and that connection between steps, the body and the soul. Though I eventually chose path very different from his of Hoofer, the knowledge I acquired from him and his very close friend and Mentor Roxane Butterfly, brought Tap Dance to a whole new level of respect in my life.
I continue sharing that information with my students and audiences.
My First Tap Dance Steps: Musicals as a child – beginning with The Music Man at Worcester State College in 1991, Stealing steps from Fred Astaire Movies with my bottle cap taps taped on my tennis shoes and occasionally dropping in classes at the Joanne Warren Studio in Worcester, MA.
Tap Classes weren't part of the curriculum at Bradford College where I studied for my B.A .in Performing Arts, But Karen, who studied tap at the Leon Collins Studio before the fire, offered us a noncredit introductory course where we learned about time steps. But, it was on the wooden tables in the Dorms I learned the funner steps like "Maxi-Ford". Luckily I continued doing Musicals in Boston and auditioning, absorbing loads of new Information.
Europe has brought my role as a jazz vocalist to the forefront of my life as a professional artist; Being a jazz vocalist has presented great opportunities to improvise and share tap traditions such as Laura or the B.S. Chorus with grand musicians as well as choreographic presentations, Musicals, Jazz and Swing FESTIVALS, EVENTS AND CONCERTS SUCH AS:
Blue Tap (Berlin, Germany), European Film Festival (Seville, Spain), Madrid Department of Culture (Madrid, Spain), Jazzaza Jazz Festival (Murcía, Spain), Hotel de las letras (Madrid, Spain), AC Hotels Recoletos and Santo Mauro (Madrid, Spain), Fundación Juan March (Madrid, Spain), Alanis Art (Seville, Spain), Clamores (Madrid, Spain), Bogui Jazz Club (Madrid, Spain), Mirajazz Festival (Miranda de Ebro, Spain), Café el Despertar (Madrid, Spain), Clavicembalo (Galicia, Spain), Sala Run Rum (Galicia, Spain), Café Concierto Nido del Arte (Albacete, Spain),
Milwaukee Blues and Jazz Club (Cádiz, Spain), La Escalera de Jacob (Madrid, Spain), Sala Tararí (León, Spain), EnVibop (Soria, Spain), Le Swing Jazz Club (Madrid, Spain), Festival de Jazz de Pinto (Madrid, Spain), El Plaza Copas (Madrid, Spain), El Junco (Madrid, Spain), International Jazz Festival of Madrid (Madrid, Spain), University of Karlstad (Karlstad, Sweden), Big Mama Espanish Blues Festival (Madrid Festival), Médicos sin Fronteras (Doctors with out borders - Madrid, Spain), The Artist Flash Mob (Madrid, Spain), Singin' in The Rain (Boston, MA), Anything Goes (Boston, MA), Ain't Misbehavin' (New London, New Hampshire) and More!
I AM PASSIONATE about Jazz culture, the connection of music and dance as well as the kinesthetics behind rhythm making. As an educator, I have had the opportunity to share this passion with students in different countries from age six to sixty, of varying
cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, abilities, languages and professions. Through regular weekly classes, workshops and intensives, I AIM TO HELP STUDENTS FIND COMPLETE JOY IN TAP DANCING THROUGH THOROUGH COMPREHENSION OF THEIR INSTRUMENT, with music as an essential starting point. Some folks I've had the I've had the privilage of sharing rhythmic love with have been in Dusseldorf (Germany), The Loire Valley Youth Theater Festival (Pontlevoy, France), Madrid Department of Culture (Madrid, Spain) Meet Share Dance Festival, Madrid, Spain), Lindytón (Santander, Spain), Move Your Bottom Lindy Festival, (Valencia, Spain), Camp Canary (Lanzarote, Spain), Mad Tap Fest (Madrid, Spain), Escuela de Gemma Bautista (Madrid, Spain), Escuela de Música Popular (the first kids classes in Madrid, Spain) and More.
NEVER STOP LEARNING - so much to learn! some great tappers I have taken classes or workshops with are: Ludovico Hombravella (Barcelona/Mexico), Jennifer Ruest (US), Clare O’Donnel (US), Alison Portelance (US), Julia Boynton (US), Rubén Sanchez (Barcelona), Basilio Gonzalez (Barcelona), Ulrike Neth (Germany), Jussi Lindroos (Finland), Iván Bouchain (Barcelona/Mexico), Aitor Montesinos (Barcelona), Roxane Butterfly (US/France/Barcelona), Jason Janas (US), Michelle Dorrance (US), Chloe Arnold (US), Jason Samuels Smith (US), Maud Arnold (US), Thanos Daskalopoulos (Greece), Sarah Reich (US), Rocky Mendez (US), heather Cornell (US), Tanya & Travis Knights (Canada)...
I GIVE BACK to the tap community by proposing tap dance to events,or creating opportunities for tappers to learn or share at the Mad Tap Jam, Mad Tap Fest or Swing Events.