Community Engagement Program
The Tap Factor's Community Engagement Program trains people to be effective stewards of tap dance. From building tap boards boards to bringing performances to an audience, the Tap Factor helps usher tap dance into the lives of non-dancers in all-inclusive, healthful, and meaningful ways.
"I will often have a student teaching a tap step to their peers moments after learning it. I like to say that once you learn a couple tap steps and the rules of how to use them, you will never be bored again."
Founding Artistic Director - Christopher Erk
Build A Board
Sometimes there is not a suitable place to conduct tap sessions. That is why having a flexible solution is key. Portable tap boards are easy to make and safe for dance! They also sound great and won't damage floors!
The Tap Factor offers assistance in acquiring resources for starter materials. The Community Engagement Program is self-generating. Having a group leader on board to conduct practices sessions will help the program thrive.
To the stage
Getting tap dance out in the public is easy. It can be used to raise awareness as well as resources for any interest or cause. With basic tap steps, tap dancers can entertain themselves, each other, and the wider community with very little effort. The Tap Factor's programs can help get you on your way!
Tap steps are rich in their ability to create amazing self-expression. With a few basics and some rules to follow, this activity becomes one that can be done alone or with a group and is easily taught to others. The Tap Factor aims not only to train tap dancers but help form great leaders.
The Tap Factor - Sarasota
In 2013, Founding Artistic Director of the Tap Factor, Chris Erk facilitated the Community Engagement Program in conjunction with the Newtown Estates Community Center and the Manatee School for the Arts. The plan was that the two groups would work independently and together over the course of six meetings over three weeks. In that time, participants built portable tap boards, attended four tap sessions, and danced in two live performances - one at the Sarasota Farmers Market and the other along side Broadway performers in a post-show demonstration following a production of Noah Racey's Pulse at the Asolo Repertory Theater.
"The Tap Factor - Sarasota is extremely important to our history. It is where I learned that our process to get people engaging with their community through tap dance workshops and performance opportunities works in a variety of setting. It was from here on out, I knew there was no project too big or too small to make peoples lives a little cooler with tap dance."
Founding Artistic Director - Christopher Erk
Build a board
On day one, the groups from Newtown Estates and Manatee School for the Arts met for the first time. Here they crafted their boards and got to know each other. During this period facilitators Chris Erk and Anthony Russo held an open discussion regarding what tap means to us as professional tap dancers and how we see it in the world. It was here everyone got excited about the meetings to come.
Sponsorship was received through programs and patrons of the Asolo Repertory Theater in Sarasota, Fl. This covered the cost of instruction, tap board building materials, and tap shoes for those that didn't have them. The Tap Factor is happy to help individuals or group leaders propose the program to potential sponsors.
The Tap Factor's Christopher Erk and Anthony Russo met with the two groups separately. This allowed each group to get to classes more easily and for the instruction to be suited to fit the specific learning style of each group. As they met together at the performances, the participants got to find the common bond of tap dance that they each shared and worked together to present to their audiences.
The Asolo Repertory Theater
Sarasota Farmer's Market
The performance at the Asolo Repertory Theater was where the work of everyone involved shined. Not only did the participants of the Tap Factor Engagement Program perform on stage at their esteemed regional theater, they also performed along side professional Broadway performers. The cast of Noah Racey's Pulse eagerly joined the Tap Factor - Sarasota on stage in an unforgettable post-show presentation.
The Sarasota Farmer's market was a great place to set out for the Tap Factor - Sarasota's first live event. The group was able to separate and roam about the event and find different locations where they could tap freely. There was a set time and location where they met to offer a larger and more structured demonstration and performance. It culminated in a group-led follow along segment, which the crowd could enjoyed.
Find out how the Tap Factor Engagement Program can fit in your community!