The Big Apple Tap Festival Highlights 2017

Lisa Parsons Education, Recent Events, Tap 0 Comments

Miss Jillian and Mr. Charlie DuHadway traveled to New York City to perform at the Big Apple Tap Festival the weekend of November 10-12, 2017.

“We experienced so much style, history and genuine love for the art of tap dance.  It was very inspirational and full of good friends and tremendous spirit!  Performing on stage with my son (Charlie) was definitely the highlight of the weekend.  The vibe in the audience was electric as the tap masters graced the front rows of the theater and we all watched the festival honoree, Lady Dianne Walker, take the stage and dance with some of her proteges.”  –Miss Jillian

Miss Jillian and Mr. Charlie would like to share some of their favorite memories of the weekend with you!

On their first night in NYC, Mr. Charlie and Miss Jillian made a trip to visit Carlo’s Bakery, home of the Cake Boss, where Buddy Valastro specializes in baking up the sweetest treats, wedding cakes and custom cakes for any occasion.

Mr. Charlie and Miss Jillian attended their first class with master teacher Debbi Dee. Debbi Dee has earned the honor of being referred to as a “teachers” teacher. She is known as a true technician as well as a dynamic stylist whose energy is unsurpassed. Her expanding knowledge can be seen on platforms through out the United States and is Internationally recognized as a Master Teacher.

Another class was taken with tap teacher extraordinaire Brenda Bufalino.  Ms. Bufalino is a trailblazer in the renaissance of jazz and tap dance, and she has been one of the guiding forces in the creation of numerous Tap Festivals, Summits, and Reunions. In 1986, in order to develop her choreographic concepts of tap fugues and counter rhythms, she created The American Tap Dance Orchestra.

Here Mr. Charlie and Miss Jillian are pictured with tap master Germaine Goodson.  She was last seen in Duke Ellington’s Broadway show Play On. Germaine has also appeared on Broadway in Black and Blue and Off-Broadway in Back in the Big Time. Every year Ms. Goodson teaches master classes in Tap and Jazz all over the world.

And, of course, a quick selfie in between classes showing off those concentration faces!  So far it has been an awesome day!

Day 2 started off with Heather Cornell leading our warm up.  Ms. Cornell is an artistic director for Manhattan Tap, one of the busiest music/dance companies in the world in the 80’s and 90’s.  She is also known as a mover and shaker of the tap dance renaissance.  (We LOVED her!)

Mr. Charlie and Miss Jillian are pictured with tap phenom Sarah Reich.  Sarah has emerged as one of the new leaders in the Art Form of Tap Dance. At the young age of 15, this Los Angeles native was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine’s article, “20 Hot Tappers Under 20” and was named one of the “25 To Watch” in the 2009 Dance Magazine article. Ever since, Sarah has been sought after to perform, choreograph, and teach in over 40 countries.

Here Mr. Charlie and Miss Jillian are at Birdland Jazz Club to watch an amazing string and jazz quartet perform a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.

Their final class of the weekend was with Barbara Duffy!  Barbara Duffy is hailed as “A riveting performer” (Independent UK, London), amazes audiences around the world with her “highly sophisticated approach to music and … jazzy, expressionistic moves ” (Chicago Sun Times). According to the late Gregory Hines, “Barbara Duffy is one of the most inventive tappers around…”

And, when your are in NYC one should take in the skyline at night!  Mr. Charlie and Miss Jillian rode the subway to Brooklyn and walked back to NYC just to see the lights!  Both agree, “It was AWESOME!”.

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