‘Tap Dance Knowledges’ A Panel

We are thrilled to be presenting a Panel at the Modes of Capture Symposium held by the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, Liz Roche Company & Dublin Dance Festival. This year’s symposium explores the theme of decolonising structures, thinking and embodiment within current modes of dancemaking and documentation.

‘Tap Dance Knowldges’ is a panel exploring the concepts of legacy, tradition, innovation and authenticity within today’s global tap scene. 

This paper/practice sharing discusses tap improvisation practices as knowledges in teaching, creative process and performance. We explore the concepts of legacy, tradition, innovation and authenticity, as well as reflecting on the rich and diverse global tap scene of today. An important part of skill acquisition, transmission and dissemination of information about the art form is from preservation of twentieth century American tap performance repertoire and understanding of improvisation practices from jazz music. Applying a historical framework reveals how this initiated with the performances of American tap dancers being celebrated and presented as a form of legacy. Our questions are: How and where are these knowledges held? What role does legacy have in evolving performing knowledges? How do we acknowledge the history and legacy of American tap dancers and produce new knowledges in the twenty first century?

Furthermore, we explore the under-representation of tap dance in UK Higher Education, in teaching and research. We advocate for rethinking curricula and decolonization of tap dance as a form created through African American cultural practices. The UK has a particular context within which tap dance sits, linked to the US, Ireland and other communities. We seek ways to highlight cross-disciplinary connections and evolving interpretations of tap dance legacies, different methods of practice and performance that may evoke new knowledges, the importance of communities of practitioners in disseminating information, performer identities and embodying new knowledges.

Become a TDRN UK member

Become a TDRN UK member


TDRN UK provides a space for researchers, artists, academics, educators and enthusiasts to share knowledge, information, and research around Tap Dance.

As a member you will benefit from:

  • Free access to 4 ticketed events per year (normally costed at £6 each)
  • Joining our monthly Network Sessions
  • Receiving the quarterly ‘Research Round-Up’ newsletter
  • Discount ticket price for our annual TDRN UK Summit
  • Other discount perks throughout the year…

To become a member register here and pay £10 annual membership fee reduced rate (for the rest of this year until March 2022) via the PayPal link in the registration form. You will have the option to renew your membership for the following year in March 2022. Thank you for supporting our work as a non-profit organisation.


You are welcome to attend one of our monthly FREE Network Sessions to see if TDRN UK membership is for you.


More about TDRN UK membership benefits below…


Free access to 4 ticketed events per year 

Hear from a diverse range of researchers, artists, practitioners and educators. Learn about people who have shaped the past and present of UK tap dance, creative processes and different approaches to teaching and learning. Each 1.5 hour session includes a presentation to gain more knowledge as well as interactive activities, discussion and a Q&A.

Our next event is about the amazing Buddy Bradley!

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Buddy Bradley was coaching many stars of Broadway musicals, including Fred and Adele Astaire, Ruby Keeler, and Eleanor Powell. However despite being well known (and well paid) within show business he never received credit for choreographing a show with a white cast in America. In 1930 Buddy was invited to London to choreograph for Jessie Matthews’s show, Ever Green at the Aldephi Theatre for which he received his first choreographic credit. It was a great success for both Jessie and Buddy and in 1934 it was made into the first British musical film, Evergreen, launching him into the emerging English film industry. Buddy staged over thirty musical productions during the 1930s and choreographed a number of British musical films during his thirty-eight years in Britain.

There is little reference of Buddy’s creative work but researcher Annette Walker has sourced clips of his choreography from several British musical films, including an uncredited, rare glimpse of Buddy himself. There’ll be a presentation about Buddy’s life and work in America and Britain and a closer look at his style through film footage as well as a discussion about his wider influence on dance.



Monthly Network Sessions: Jess Murray and other members of the steering group will host these informal but structured sessions that are FREE and open to all. You can connect with other people that are interested, or involved in doing research around tap dance.

Hear from researchers and practitioners about what they are working on and have learned through their projects. Learn about different approaches to learning in the field and pick up valuable tips and insights to help you pursue your own tap dance learning. A great opportunity to ask questions, swap tips for researching and developing projects, share information about resources and opportunities.

These sessions are FREE to all, so you can join prior to becoming a member to meet the team and the research community. 

Our first Network Session is on Thursday 4th March 19:30 – 20:30 BST on Zoom. Sign up here



Quarterly ‘Research Round-Up’ bulletin 

As a TDRN UK member you will have access to our quarterly ‘Research Round-Up’ Newsletter. This includes: 

  • features on particular researchers
  • lists of resources and links
  • what’s happening around the world in tap dance research
  • opportunities and call outs for papers and presentations


Our annual TDRN UK Summit

Get a discount on the ticket price for our annual TDRN UK Summit which will bring the tap dance research community together with researchers and practitioners from other fields to explore, discuss and enjoy all things related to tap dance. There will be workshops, discussions, Keynote speakers, sharings of performance work, networking and social events. We can’t wait!


Other discount perks

TDRN UK often present at tap dance events around the world and where possible, we like to extend discounts and perks that are offered to us to our members.

If you have any questions about our membership offer or how to get involved, contact us at info@tdrnuk.com