The fifth annual Australian Tap Dance Festival (ATDF) stomps into Melbourne these September school holidays as a cavalcade of world-class dancers arrive in town from across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA. With an action-packed week of tap and choreography master classes, jam sessions, dance-offs and special events on September 24-October 1, the ATDF offers something fun for all ages and levels and is the only festival of its kind in Australasia.
“The ATDF is about bringing the tap community and the interested public together to learn, share, meet new people and, most of all, have fun!” exclaims Winston Morrison, creative director and founder of the festival and Melbourne Tap Dance School.
“We select the highest caliber faculty from across the world to deliver a truly unique immersive festival experience for our guests,” Morrison adds. “Many of our festival sessions book out quickly, as there is no other chance for Aussie tappers to learn from the best in one place.”
Morrison is himself highly regarded in the tap world as the Australian representative for the International Tap Association, experienced teacher and an in-demand performer across Australasia and America.
One of the most sought-after tap dancers in the world today, Michelle Dorrance, will be headlining the festival this year. A 2015 MacArthur Fellow and multi-award winner, Dorrance has been labeled “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” by the New Yorker magazine.
Sample sessions at this year’s ATDF include: a free beginners class for all ages and abilities; learning the Shim Sham, the anthem of tap dance; a Cutting Contest, the ultimate tap battle; and Talking Tap, a moderated Q&A with Michelle Dorrance and faculty.
The festival culminates with the Rhythm Warriors Tap Gala on Saturday, October 1. It will feature an ear-popping performance array of the crème de la crème of the tap world and live music. For more information, visit www.australiantapdancefestival.com.au.
To enter to win one of three double passes to the Rhythm Warriors Tap Gala on Saturday, October 1, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the answer to this question: Who is headlining this year’s ATDF? Title your email entry “Australian Tap Dance Festival Giveaway” and include your full name, your date of birth and your address. This competition opens Monday, September 5, and closes Friday, September 23, 2016.
Photo (top): Michelle Dorrance’s feet in performance. Photo by Ian Douglas.