Jaye Allison’s Philly TAP Challenge brings the area’s rich tap dance history to the stage


For its 7th year, Jaye Allison’s Philly TAP Challenge (PTC), honors Philadelphia’s rich history of cyclonic feet and rarely seen rhythmic talent, in a three day festival of tap dance, running Thursday, June 23rd through Saturday June 25th, 2011. Philly TAP Challenge is devoted to recognizing the treasures that Philadelphia holds for Tap, epitomized by such local legends as The Nicholas Brothers, The Condos Brothers, Baby Edwards, Honi Coles and LaVaughn Robinson.

The festival includes over 30 classes and workshops in tap and alternative rhythms by performing artists as well as a world renowned teaching staff. For those who prefer to simply watch, there are three nightly performances, including a Tap Jam, Amateur Showcase and the Philly TAP Concert. And to keep the rich history of tap alive in Philadelphia, there is a series of free lectures and presentations to the public.

The workshops themselves offer something for everyone from beginner to advance in various Hoofing and Classic Tap Dance, Flamenco and Irish Step techniques, plus alternative rhythm courses in Hip-Hop, Capoeira, Dunham, Funk Step and Zumba styles. The teaching staff is a veritable who’s who of tap, with such notables as Emmy Award winner Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold, Karen Callaway Williams, Maurice Chestnut, Hillary-Marie Michael and Yvette Glover (Mother of Savion Glover) , Robert Burden Jr., Jaye Allison, Rochelle Haynes, Corinne Karon, Pamela Hetherington, Darrell Williams, Tim Yue, Anna Rubio,  Jenn Rose, Ron Wood and more.  The workshops are held at Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center 3611 Lancaster Avenue and the Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia. A full schedule may be found on the PTC web site.

This year’s Philly Tap Jam on June 23rd will feature Francoiz Zayas Trio.  On June 24th, the Amateur Showcase is a chance to see the new, rising stars of tap in the region with the culmination of the Philly TAP Idol title to chosen by the audience. On June 25th, to close the festival, The Philly Tap Concert will include the first Lady of Jazz Guitar, Monnette Sudler and her band, the festivals staff and professional performers and Emmy Award winner, Jason Samuels Smith. The Tap Jam and Amateur Showcase will be held at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St., Philadelphia and the Philly TAP Concert at the Arts Bank, 601 South Broad St. Philadelphia.

Philly TAP Challenge is underwritten and organized in conjunction with The Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company, New LEJA Dances, The Philly Tap Mafia, Jaye Allison, Robert Burden, and Darrell Williams, with partially funding by the PA. Dept. of Community Economic Development.

For tickets, a full schedule of events, workshop registration and information visit www.phillytapchallenge.com

About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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