by Rosie Steinberg
The American Tap Dance Foundation has been supporting and inspiring tap dancers since 1986. Its founders Brenda Bufalino, Tony Waag, and Charles 'Honi' Coles are known for their work on the stage, however this program may be the most important piece of their legacies. It began as a New York City studio for performances, classes, and workshops, but has blossomed into an influential community outreach program. Perhaps its most well known and appreciated program is the Tap City Youth Ensemble. The group offers the opportunity for young tappers to work with world famous choreographers and perform at venues that any artist would drool over. Practically the pipe dream of any percussion enthusiast, ATDF hosts "Tap Jams", in which dancers use overturned buckets, drumsticks, and their tap shoes in sessions of improvisation (which are sometimes accompanied by a jazz ensemble!). ATDF preserves the history of tap, immerses dancers in the progress of the art today, and secures a future of phenomenal artists through its work in collaborative choreography, Tap Preservation Awards, scholarships, youth outreach, and community events.
The American Tap Dance Foundation is hosting their annual Tap City festival, and anyone who loves Monkeyhouse should absolutely attend! Master classes, collaborative tap sessions, performances, and events will be taking place all over NYC. Make sure to check it out!