Whitman Women: HERstories

Whitman Women: HERstories

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:00 GMT | 11:00 PST | 14:00 EST | 20:00 CET £6/£4

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Who were the Whitman Sisters? Join us to learn how the Whitman Sisters were trailblazers, performers, producers, and businesswomen as they brought innovative tap dance to Black Vaudeville. Dr. Karen Campbell Kuebler presents her findings from the media of the time, sharing the fascinating life stories that highlight the links between then and now. As an experienced educator, Karen offers ideas and resources to broaden your approach to teaching tap dance history considering issues such as race and gender in performance.

Karen Campbell Kuebler is always moving and learning. As an undergraduate dance major in the 1980s, Kuebler realized her knowledge in dance history was severely lacking. This initiated a career-long research initiative to explore, connect, and apply dance history in her teaching and learning process. Kuebler began teaching Dance and French in Baltimore County in 1991. Since 2009, Kuebler has taught Dance History courses at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland and presented her research at conferences near and far since the 1990s. Kuebler shares her passion for dance history with her elementary students, colleagues, university students, family, and friends. She is excited to share the HERstory of the Whitman Women in her first textbook and looks forward to more revelations in dance history research.

Network Session February 2022: Teaching Tap – Improvisation

Network Session February 2022: Teaching Tap – Improvisation

Tuesday 22 February 19:30 GMT | 11:30 PDT | 14:30 EST/EDT | 20:30 CEST FREE

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The next few sessions will focus on key areas of tap dance teaching and education. In each session, Trish Melton and other members of the group, will share their thoughts and experiences from their own teaching practice and research in tap dance pedagogy.

Improvisation is a core skill of a tap dancer and this discussion will highlight teaching strategies in use in various practices which are aimed at developing improvisational skills through listening to the music through our ears and our feet. 

Trish Melton will share games and activities drawn from practices used back in vaudeville but updated for todays studio: trading and “stealing” steps, for example. Jess Murray will share her approach to delivering tap classes and training programs that centre improvisation to develop technique, musicality and creative devising strategies.

As well as sharing ideas, techniques and resources, we will open the floor for you to have group conversations, ask questions and share your own approaches.

 

Network Session January 2022: Teaching Tap – Repertoire

Network Session January 2022: Teaching Tap – Repertoire

TDRN UK Network Session: Teaching Tap – Repertoire

Tuesday 18 January 2022 19:30 GMT | 11:30 PDT | 14:30 EST/EDT | 20:30 CEST FREE

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The next few sessions will focus on key areas of tap dance teaching and education. In each session, Trish Melton and other members of the group, will share their thoughts and experiences from their own teaching practice and research in tap dance pedagogy.

We are fortunate that today we still have access to Tap Dance Masters who have a link to the originators of iconic, authentic tap dance repertory.  In this discussion Dr Trish Melton will share ways to incorporate repertory in our tap dance classes to develop our knowledge of tap dance origins, our understanding of jazz music and the structure of historical repertory routines.  She will discuss the importance of acknowledging our teachers and the provenance of the repertory.

As well as sharing ideas, techniques and resources, we will open the floor for you to have group conversations, ask questions and share your own “research-in-progress” to gain feedback in developing your own approaches. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the future development of tap dance teaching.

Network Session November 2021: Teaching Tap – Online

Network Session November 2021: Teaching Tap – Online

Tuesday 16 November 2021 19:30 GMT | 11:30 PDT | 14:30 EST/EDT | 20:30 CEST FREE

Book here

The next few sessions will focus on key areas of tap dance teaching and education. In each session, Trish Melton and other members of the group, will share their thoughts and experiences from their own teaching practice and research in tap dance pedagogy.

The COVID pandemic has challenged us as tap dance teachers as we converted to virtual delivery of our classes. As studios reopened there was a collective sign of relief as some bid a farewell to zoom – but for others there has been a benefit to this rethinking of our pedagogy and how we can effectively deliver when on-line.

Dr Trish Melton will discuss her research on the  benefits of on-line teaching and what delivering on-line can support when we return to the studio. Approaches to hybrid teaching will also be discussed.

As well as sharing ideas, techniques and resources, we will open the floor for you to have group conversations, ask questions and share your own “research-in-progress” to gain feedback in developing your own approaches.

Network Session October 2021: Tap Cafe – Open Space

Network Session October 2021: Tap Cafe – Open Space

Thursday 14 October 19:30 BST | 11:30 PDT | 14:30 EST/EDT | 20:30 CEST FREE

Join us in the Tap Cafe – an online open space to come and talk all things tap dance! 

You might have a question, a conversation topic, some news to share, or simply enjoy the opportunity to connect with other tap dancers from around the world. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

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Network Session September 2021: Tap Sounds Series – Building Tap Floors

Network Session September 2021: Tap Sounds Series – Building Tap Floors

Took place online on Thursday 16 Sept

A fantastic session with some great information shared! 

  • Lee Payne from TDRN UK shared his experiences of dancing on different types of pre-made floors and building his own portable performance floors.
  • Susan Filipiak spoke about building a triple sprung studio floor based on the tech specs for the legendary floor at Woodpeckers Studio in New York which was built by Brenda Buffalino and the home of the American Tap Dance Orchestra.
  • Victor Perkins joined to tell us about his recently patented Jaia Board which he created with his daughter and is now retailing.

See below for more information and links…

From Lee Payne:

Some companies that provide portable floors of different sizes

https://uk.harlequinfloors.com/en/sectors/dance/tap-dance-floors

https://emea.rosco.com/en/product/rosco-subfloor

http://www.theballetbarrecompany.com/sprung_flooring.

https://uk.harlequinfloors.com/en/shop/home-practice/dance-boards/tap-turn-board-tap-dancing-board-harlequin-floors?utm_source=Google_PPC&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_campaign=14295173187&gclid=Cj0KCQjws4aKBhDPARIsAIWH0JVuhD4qJJo2ZFDrLDWzqqavkeh-BGb3EQb_abS3WH_q6uaMTsTlI7UaAsCjEALw_wcB

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/697168457/dance-board-48-x-24-personalised?gpla=1&gao=1&

https://www.danceandstage.co.uk/smart-flex—sprung-flooring-for-dance-gyms-fitness-studio-floors

From Susan Filipiak:

“I was inspired by the wonderful floor (= instrument) that Brenda Bufalino had in her NYC Woodpeckers studio from 1989-1995.  What a wonderful sound, full bass notes, high treble and everything in between.  I built my studio in 1995 and have shared the plans with so many dancers (among them, Heather Cornell). Here are some photos and text to explain how I built a “triple-sprung, basketweave” floor.

Here is the original building specs for Brenda and the American Tap Dance Orchestra from 1989

Here’s my notes to Heather Cornell, describing how I built the floor

Here’s photos of my studio floor being built in 1995

 

Some useful links – 

Tung oil – https://www.realmilkpaint.com/shop/oils/pure-tung-chinawood/

“Here are photos of a portable dance floor ‘Step-a-Tune’ made by Angelo Graziano, cabinet maker husband of clogger, Sheila Graziano and his description of his production:  ‘The step-a-tunes are constructed of premium 2×4’s. they are jointed and thickness planned. A rabbet joint is cut (with tadoo blade) on one edge to a 3/4″ depth to accept a 3/4″ thick piece of birch cabinet grade ply. The corners are a 45 degree angle cut with splices added for structural and art form. Sanded 80 grit with boiled linseed oil finish. pricing is based on cost of materials plus labor. Elderly music store does sell them and ships them’”

Step-a-Tune boards used by clog dancers – https://www.elderly.com/products/step-a-tune-portable-dance-floor

 

From Victor Perkins

Jaiaboards

“JAIABOARDS are eletronic tap boards that picks up vibrations and connections to an amplifier with out the use of microphones. 

Microphones by nature suppress vibrations and picks up all sounds that travel through the air. As a result when tap dancers put microphones next to their boards they are not only picking up the sound of the taps but the sounds of the band in the background.

Using JAIABOARDS technology vibration sensors are used to to pick up the original tap sound caused by vibrations on the tap board without picking up any other sounds. This will allow the tap dancer to be heard over the band and plug into the sound system just like all the other instruments” (https://www.gofundme.com/f/jaiaboards-electronic-step-and-tap-board-patent)

Instagram link https://www.instagram.com/jaiaboards/?hl=en