To conclude our fourth year residency program with Moffett Elementary School, we presented an in-studio performance at Mascher Space Co-Op, where our residency classes takes place. We've never experienced such an enthusiastic audience before! The kids applauded and cheered throughout the pieces, and recognized many steps that they had learned during the school year.
After our performance, the students asked questions about how long we have been tap dancing, why we like it so much, and who our favorite tap dancers are. We invited all 75 students to lace up their tap shoes (donated by Capezio!) and to join us for a final Shim Sham Shimmy - the universal tap anthem. Many of the students chose to take their tap shoes home to continue dancing, while those who are already outgrowing their shoes donated them back to us for next year's residency.
Over three dozen students joined us for our second round of master classes with Dolores Sanchez! Based in New York City, Sanchez is a strong versatile mover well versed in tap dance, street jazz, contact improv, and capoeira. Her high-energy, fast-paced classes gave us all a run for our money!
The Lady Hoofers are proud to announce the production of our first commissioned work. With the support of a Project Stream grant from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, we are bringing rising tap artist Dolores Sanchez from New York City to set a new work on the ensemble. Her piece "CMYK" combines rhythm tap with hip hop and modern movement to use the whole body and push the boundaries of what many audiences consider tap dance.
This project was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
With the continued support of Mascher Space Coop and Capezio, we are engaged in the fourth year of our residency program offering free weekly tap classes to the entire fifth grade class of Moffet Elementary School.
Each week, the students walk across the street with their teachers to Mascher Space where they lace up their donated tap shoes and learn how to shuffle ball change. This year, the program is lead by First Company Dancer Deedee Mann who is assisted by First Company Dancer Emily Marshall.
After three months of instruction, students performed the Shim Shim Shimmy, a historic and universally known tap dance, at their school's holiday concert.
Our 2016 Youth Ensemble dancers are hard at work in the studio on choreography for this year's preview of Tapcracker, our all-tap Nutcracker. These 16 young dancers (our largest group to date!) will premiere two new works choreographed by Kat Richter: "Squeak" (the mice) and "Sugar Rush" (chefs in the Land of the Sweets). For the second year, they will also perform "March of the Toy Soldiers" by guest choreographer Sarah Mason, a piece which premiered in The Nutcracker on Broadway in 1999.
As part of our ongoing mission to provide educational opportunities in tap dance, The Lady Hoofers welcomed rising Broadway star Danny Gardner to the Performance Garage for a series of master classes. Last seen on Broadway in the Radio City Rockettes' Summer Spectacular and as “Lucky” in the premiere of Dames At Sea, Danny was also recently seen performing along-side Tommy Tune in Encores! production of Lady, Be Good! He has performed with symphonies nation-wide in Here to Stay – The Gershwin Experience! and toured with the Broadway productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and 42nd Street. The sold out classes gave the First Company, Apprentices, Youth Ensemble, and dancers from the greater Philadelphia area the chance to tap, clap, and slide across the floor with a Broadway triple threat.
The Lady Hoofers and Mascher Space Co-op participated in the Philly Stake micro-grant event at Christ Church Neighborhood House. We were honored that attendees voted to award us first place funding of $1000 to continue our residency program with Moffet Elementary School's 5th grade students. This is our third year offering free weekly tap classes and shoes to 75+ students in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood.
Philly Stake is a recurring event celebrating locally sourced food and creative community projects; organized completely by volunteers. Stake dinners are seasonal meals sourced from local farms and purveyors. At each dinner, project proposals are presented to the diners. Community members pay a $20 donation for dinner and an opportunity to vote for the project they deem most worthy of funding. These projects aim to contribute to the vitality of Philadelphia in a multitude of innovative ways. Awardees will leave with the dinner proceeds and will present their project at the next meal.
Shuffle. Dig. Cramp Roll. Tip. Irish.
These are just a few of the steps dancers learned at the School of Dance Arts Musical Theater Summer Camp this weekend! First Company member Deedee Mann led an informative and energetic class filled with learning basic tap steps, experimenting with elements of choreography, and playing rhythmic games. For many of the dancers, this was their first time tap dancing. Thanks to Access 2 the Arts' tap shoe donation program, we were able to provide tap shoes to all students who did not have their own.
This June brought our largest youth ensemble audition to date with talented young dancers traveling from as far as two hours away and three different states to show us their skills. The girls dazzled us with their shuffles, their smiles, and their shiggy bops!
We are pleased to welcome six returning youth ensemble dancers (all of our 2014 girls!) and six new members for our 2015 season. These twelve young women will train with us this fall and will perform in our annual Holiday Concert scheduled for December 4th & 5th at Performance Garage in Philadelphia.
We had a great time dancing for the third consecutive year at West Park Arts Fest. The annual outdoor festival features live music and dance, plus local vendors selling food and crafts. West Park Cultural Center is a community based nonprofit that uses arts and culture as a central tool in programs that help youth tap their creative and academic potential, and where residents can access the arts, education, and other development opportunities. We're proud to support an organization with a mission so in line with our own!
Thanks to Mascher Space Co-Op, The Bartol Foundation, The Lady Hoofers just completed our third year residency program with Moffett Elementary School. Due to budget constraints, all free extra-curricular activities have been cut from the school, leaving a void we seek to help fill.
Teachers at Moffett say of the program that it "allows the children to see all of the possibilities of education; it removes the walls from their classrooms and takes them out into the world... We have observed students who do not participate in the classroom engage in conversations with the instructors and visiting artists and the students are more willing to take risks as they work through the lessons."
Artistic Director Kat Richter led this year's program with assistance by first company dancer Deedee Mann and Lindsey Hamilton. Over 60 fifth grade students received weekly tap lessons throughout the fall semester and into the spring. Students also had the option to keep their tap shoes at the end of the program, all of which had been donated through Access 2 the Arts and/or by Capezio.
Earlier this summer, we held auditions for our 2014 Youth Company and accepted nine young ladies to work with us this fall. We're thrilled to have three returning and six new members! Dancers have begun learning choreography and perform in our annual holiday show.
Congratulations and welcome to our 2014 Youth Company!
Directors Kat Richter and Katie Budris led a lecture demonstration for students at School of Dance Arts studio in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. Students learned about the origins of tap dance, saw some Lady Hoofers repertoire, participated in creating polyrhythms, and even tried on tap shoes to learn the first part of the Shim Sham Shimmy!
The Lady Hoofers presented a 45-minute lecture demonstration at the Bakers Bay Condo Association. First Company Dancers Johanna Lockwood, Becky Mastin, Kat Richter and Meg Sarachan performed a selection of company repertoire along with Student Apprentice Beccah Edelman.
As part of DanceUP's Dance in Public Places initiative, The Lady Hoofers were selected to hold open rehearsals in the Gallery at Market East along with three dozen dance companies from Philadelphia. Shoppers were able to stop by to see the company in action on February 4, 11, and 20 from 10:30am-1:00pm.
After three months of tap lessons and rehearsals at Mascher Space Co-op, students enrolled in The Lady Hoofers outreach program at Moffet Elementary School performed in their school assembly. Access 2 the Arts collected gently used tap shoes from studios throughout NJ and PA for the program.
Thanks to support from Mascher Space Co-op and Access 2 the Arts, The Lady Hoofers launched their first outreach program at Moffett Elementary School in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood. Through the program, over 60 fifth graders will receive free tap shoes and tap lessons for three months.
Summer campers at the School of Dance Arts got to experience tap first hand thanks to Gabrielle Ammirato and Access to the Arts. Gabrielle, a new Youth Company Dancer with The Lady Hoofers, has been collecting used tap shoes for our arts education programs as part of her arts advocacy volunteer work.
The Lady Hoofers were honored to perform at the annual DanceUSA Conference alongside Philadanco, Kulu Mele African Dance and Drum Ensemble and six other companies at the Mandell Theater. Kat Richter, Michelle West, and Katie Adkins also received scholarships to attend the full conference.
We hosted our second Master Class with Guest Artist Karen Callaway Williams at the Institute of Dance Artistry in Plymouth Meeting. Karen taught two great classes, one for Beginner/Intermediate dancers and one for Advanced. We also unveiled our new logo design and our first official Lady Hoofers t-shirts!
The Lady Hoofers partnered with Gabrielle Ammirato of Access 2 the Arts to collect used tap shoes for use in our new arts education programs. Drop off sites were set up at Kays Act II Dance Studio in Trevose, PA at Dance! By Debra DiNote in Turnersville, NJ.
The Lady Hoofers Performance History
Raising the profile of rhythm tap in Philadelphia and beyond