Dr Trish Melton, will share a small aspect of her current Tap Dance Pedagogy Research. She will be joined by Lisa La Touche and Mark Yonally who will give their views on the research, and then the three will discuss before opening the floor to Q&A.
‘Speak honestly and your body will bring the music you sing’
Drawing from his up-and-coming book Solo’s that Speak – A Tap Dancer’s Guide to Authentic Expression, Simeon Weedall leads us on a journey through tones, textures & timbres – an exploration of the more unusual sounds in tap.
You can sit back or get up and put your shoes on to experience how Simeon works with sound inspired movements such as ‘Glick’ (gliding click), and ‘Glam’ (gliding flam).
John W. Bubbles was the ultimate song-and-dance man. A groundbreaking tap dancer, he provided inspiration to Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, and the Nicholas Brothers. His vaudeville team Buck and Bubbles captivated theater audiences for more than thirty years. Most memorably, in the role of Sportin’ Life he stole the show in the original production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, in the process crafting a devilish alter ego that would follow him through life. Coming of age with the great jazz musicians, he shared countless stages with the likes of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Ella Fitzgerald. Some of his disciples believed his rhythmic ideas had a formative impact on jazz itself. In later years he made a comeback as a TV personality, revving up the talk shows of Steve Allen and Johnny Carson and playing comic foil to Bob Hope, Judy Garland, and Lucille Ball. Finally, after a massive stroke ended his dancing career, he made a second comeback―complete with acclaimed performances from his wheelchair―as a living legend inspiring a new generation of entertainers. His biggest obstacle was the same one blocking the path of every other Black performer of his time: unrelenting, institutionalized racism. Yet Bubbles was an entertainer of the old school, fierce and indestructible. In this compelling and deeply researched biography, his dramatic story is told for the first time.
During the first half of the 20th Century, many British dance performers were both Tap dancers and Step or Clog dancers.
Step dancer Simon Ramsey-Harmer takes us on a trip into the Instep Research Team archives to share images and footage of famous dancers such as Sam Sherry. Their repertoire gives us an insight into the way that steps and styles of percussive dance developed in the UK during this period.
Simon Harmer is a dancer, teacher and choreographer well known in the folk dance world. He has learnt from some of the most renowned English step dancers. He is a Trustee of the Instep Research Team, a charity whose focus is clog and step dancing. Whilst an enthusiastic researcher into the background of these dance forms he is also interested in collaborating with dancers from other genres and creating new material.
Susan Filipiak will lead discussion around tap dance notation methods, uses and opportunities before we open the floor for group discussion.
Tap dancers all have their most favorite, comfortable learning strategy – be it visual, aural, spatial, verbal, musical, kinesthetic. To reach all their students, and especially beginners of all ages, tap teachers need to utilize all learning modes.
Susan Filipiak will lead discussion in using the spoken and written mode. Looking at tap dance notation systems (Stanley Kahn, Joan Hill, and her own “Tap Alphabet” she designed for children), Susan will show the strengths of including a linguistic approach to teaching tap dance.
Susan Filipiak, Dexter, Michigan, US, recently retired after 40 years of teaching dance. She was happy to learn from the master/mentors and was proud to carry forth their history, choreography, and lessons. Susan spent equal time teaching in her studio, in higher education, and in regular K-12 classrooms (bringing dance into the classroom).
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.
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.