Tap Team Two & Company

The Philadelphia-based, professional dance company, Tap Team Two & Company, Inc. was founded by Robert Burden and Arthur Taylor in 1988. They use street tap, better known as hoofing, as the basis of their choreography. Robert and Arthur received BFAs from the University of the Arts, specializing in Dance, Jazz Theater and Theater Arts. They studied hoofing under LaVaughn Robinson and Germain Ingram.

Tap Team Two presents an old form of percussive dance called street tap dance, or hoofing. Hoofing is an American art form that evolved from the roots of Irish clogging, African dance, street and social dances of the early 20th century. Sounds made by the feet are the “voices” or instruments of the performers, forming an “orchestra” capable of expressing a variety of moods, colors and poetry of movement. For many years, hoofing was neglected in formal dance education. It has gained national prominence and recognition thanks to films and Broadway musicals. Some great hoofers are King Rastus Brown, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Pittsburgh’s own Gene Kelly, Steve Condos, John Bubbles, Honi Coles, Bill Bailey, Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Germaine Ingram and LaVaughn Robinson

They initially began as the Young Audience Program. The company later became incorporated as a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving tap dance as an art form. The company has been rewarded for its excellence in education through the support of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Bolfinger-McMahon Foundation, Douty Foundation, The Quaker Chemical Foundation, The Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and the New Impulses for the University of the Arts.

Robert F. Burden, Jr. received his BFA in Jazz Dance from the University of the Arts in 1988 and studied with LaVaughn Robinson and Germain Ingram. The Philadelphia style was epitomized by LaVaughn Robinson, who died last year, having evolved from South Street’s corners to the pinnacle of the dance world.  Mr. Burden, his protegee, now carries the responsibility of preserving this dance history and passing it on to others. Mr. Burden received an Independent Performing Artist Award from the Community Education Center in 1992. The Pew Foundation recognized him as a Discipline winner in 1996. He has also been awarded the PRDI by the Pew Charitable Trusts in conjunction with Dance USA and the Philadelphia Dance Alliance. In 1997, he received the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Award for Emerging Dance Choreographer.

Saturday, March 14th at 7:30 PM
Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Avenue, Phila.
$12 general admission, $10 seniors and students
New tap works and old hoofin’ favorites!

Robert Burden was recently featured in the Daily News