On Tuesday, July 5, a cruise ship full of tappers will pull away from Pier 83 in New York City. And the boat will be rocking, as tap jams, performances, impromptu classes and a whole lot of music keep the party going all night long. This opening event of the American Tap Dance Foundation’s 11th annual Tap City festival pays tribute to the Copasetics, the fraternity of tap artists founded in 1949 whose annual swinging boat rides are something of a tap legend.
“Tap City: A Salute to the Copasetics” takes over the Big Apple, July 5–10, and includes master classes featuring the Copasetics’ signature styles, lectures, awards to leaders in the field and performances by top hoofers, including the ATDF’s own Tap City Youth Ensemble. New this year, the festival introduces its first tap competition open to attendees 12 and older. “My personal goal is to show the variety of tap dance that many people don’t realize exists,” says ATDF director Tony Waag. “There are just about as many different tap styles as there are dancers.”
This year’s festival celebrates the 25th anniversary of ATDF. Originally the American Tap Dance Orchestra, founded by Waag and Brenda Bufalino in 1986, the organization has grown to produce performances and workshops worldwide and offer year-round tap classes by a distinguished faculty in its NYC home. “In a way, we’ve taken on the philosophy of the Copasetics,” says Waag. “Like them, we always have a positive attitude, and we’re open to anyone who is interested in tap dance.” Info: www.atdf.org
Photo: Tap City members in the Shim Sham finale (by Debi Field, courtesy of ATDF)