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

Our steering team is made up of nine individuals that are performers, educators, artists, academics, writers, producers and often many of these at once.

We want to reflect a broad understanding of what research in Tap Dance is, and can be by engaging with the public, Academia, the Arts sector and cultural industries. We do this through holding our own events, presenting at conferences and festivals, publishing our own material and sharing information and resources through our website and social media.

Become a TDRN UK Member!

As a member you will support our work as a non-profit organisation and benefit from:

  • Free access to 4 ticketed events per year (normally costed at £6 each)
  • Automatic links to our month Network Sessions
  • Discount ticket price for our annual TDRN UK Summit
  • Other discount perks throughout the year…

For further details and how to register as a member here

The TDRNUK Research Festival is back for a 2nd year! This year’s theme is ‘UK Tap Stories’. We have a fantastic range of online and in-person events that combine discussion, information sharing, and lots of opportunities to get on your tap shoes in practical workshops. 

 We celebrate the performer, educator and choreographer Tobias Tak. Join us as we discuss his contributions to the UK tap scene and how he influenced a whole generation of UK tap dancers. The archives of Tak and bebop jazz hoofer Will Gaines will also be shared alongside oral histories and unique insights from those who were mentored by them. We go in search of the legendary William Henry Lane ‘Master Juba’, exploring the events of his time in 19th Century Britain and the mysterious circumstances of his death and burial in Liverpool. 

 As well as looking back to retrace our steps through UK tap history, we also shine a spotlight on the ‘UK Tap Stories’ of today with an exciting array of UK-based artists and educators. Choreographer and artistic director Jack Evans shares his  journey to take new tap musical Feet Keep Me Flyin’ from initial concept to a fully produced stage show. Simeon Weedall leads a practical workshop where you can try out ideas from his recently published book Solos That Speak. For those interested in tap dance education and training opportunities, you can learn about a range of community, vocational and pre-professional training routes that are currently available in the UK. Learn how different expert educators embed creative and cultural learning when sharing tap dance repertoire to create UK tap dancers of the future. 

The Festival is also an opportunity to bring tap dancers from around the UK and the globe together, make connections, and enjoy this dynamic and ever-growing community. We close the in-person day with a live music tap jam and improvisation workshop for beginners. 

Monthly Network Sessions hosted by the TDRN UK steering group. These informal but structured sessions that are FREE and open to all. Connect with other people that are interested, or involved in doing research around tap dance.

For the next few sessions we are getting in to all things tap dance and sound! Shoes, microphones, floors, live sound, recording… These sessions lead by Lee Payne and Annette Walker will share information about suppliers, contacts and resources, as well as opening up the chance to have group conversations and ask questions.

Our next Network Session – Wednesday 29th November 2023

Tap Cafe

Read our blog entries for previous sessions so you can see what we have been discussing and get some helpful resources around particular topics.

March 2021: Opening Session

April 2021: Tap Dance Folk Traditions

May 2021: Tap Dance and Vernacular Dance

June 2021: Tap Dance and Popular Culture

July 2021: Floors and Mics

August 2021: Shoes and Taps

September 2021: Building Tap Floors

October 2022: Step Dance with Simon Ramsey Harmer (recording of presentation)

Our Online Talk Series creates a platform for researchers to share their work with a wider tap dance audience.

Next Online Talk Series event – Tuesday 16th May 2023

Moving the Music: Duke Ellington’s Dancers with Allana Radecki

Shaped by the tidal forces of the New World, jazz music and dance are rooted in the Africa where the arts form a unified complex of interlocking relationships. The great composer and bandleader, Duke Ellington, exhalted the African aesthetic tradition, consciously aligning his music and imagination to serve all forms of jazz dance, throughout his long career. Known to keep “one eye on the audience and one eye on the act,” he most frequently called upon tap dancers to “step inside” his music and deliver a range of styles, percussive color and visual excitement to performance. A great collaborator, just as he practiced communal composing with his musicians, he also worked directly with dancers as allied artists. This presentation will share stories of these collaborations gleaned from oral histories and autobiographies of the jazz dancers who moved his music including: Bunny Briggs, Brownie Brown, Peg Leg Bates, Howard “Stretch” Johnson, Alfredo Gustar, Bessie Dudley, Talley Beatty and more.