#HoofersAtHome is a series of short films featuring First Company and Apprentice dancers of The Lady Hoofers Tap Ensemble performing at home and around Philadelphia during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Released March 2020 - present Improvisation by The Lady Hoofers Video Editing by Meg Sarachan
*See more #HoofersAtHome films below
With dance performances across the country postponed until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Lady Hoofers Tap Ensemble launched #HoofersAtHome, a weekly series of short dance films designed to keep our roster of professional dancers rehearsing remotely while offering audiences some much-needed levity during the pandemic. The brainchild of Managing Director Katie Budris and longtime ensemble dancer and videographer Meg Sarachan, #HoofersAtHome films have been shared around the world, and many of the ensemble’s Facebook fans are now asking where they too can get their own tap boards.
“We had so many gigs and performances lined up in the coming weeks, including our annual spring concert series, On Tap, at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre,” notes Artistic Director, Kat Richter. “But we’re tap dancers: our art form is one of resilience. We’re used to getting by with very little and having some fun in the process.” During the pandemic, instead of rehearsing in person, the all-women company is honing its craft in basements, backyards, and living rooms across PA, NJ, and DE. Each week, Sarachan assigns a new song and the dancers record themselves improvising a solo. During the first week of the social distancing “lockdown,” it was “Put on a Happy Face.” Week two called for Lizzo’s “Good as Hell.”
“If you think back to the 1930s and 40s, tap is an art form that has brought people great joy during difficult times,” explains Sarachan, who produces each film by editing the footage together from the ensemble’s 11 First Company Dancers and 14 Apprentices. “We wanted to create something that would lift people’s spirits during the pandemic.”
The films have proven so popular that for the third installment of #HoofersAtHome, Sarachan asked the dancers to create percussion using not just their tap shoes but everyday objects around their house. She then layered the footage to create a series of intricate polyrhythms set to Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
“You’ll see babies, kids, even the occasional dog,” says Richter. “It was important to me that we do not try to erase the work of parenting while also being an artist, and that we find a way to keep our dancers working—and keep paying them for their work during this time.”
View all our #HoofersAtHome films below or on our YouTube channel.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, dancers around the world are practicing their craft at home, The Lady Hoofers included! To support the wider tap community during this time, we have compiled information for purchasing or making your own at home tap board. We hope you find our recommendations useful. Please tag us on social media @theladyhoofers to show us your #HoofersAtHome moves on your new board!