Primary School Residency Program
Through all-inclusive lecture demonstrations, active workshops, and assemblies, the Tap Factor Primary School Residency Program emphasis the importance of self awareness and team work. Each student earns a fresh perspective of how they approach new and challenging opportunities with the confidence.
The Tap Factor - Harwood Union School
"It got to a point where I was convinced that the Tap Factor could work anywhere."
Founding Director - Christopher Erk
Speech-Language Pathologist Maureen Charron-Shea saw the Tap Factor's project with Best Buddies International during their 2014 Leadership Conference and thought it would be a great idea to have them to her school to host a workshop and assembly for the day. She contacted Chris of the Tap Factor and made arrangements for what would be a memorable event for all involved.
Maureen, being the chapter president of Best Buddies at Harwood, thought it would be a good idea to create an experience and workshop for the students of the school that is all-inclusive in nature. This experience would culminate in a short demonstration of what they learned for their peers during their monthly assembly. After the assembly, the Tap Factor's director and founder Chris Erk, as well as professional tappers Jimmy Sutherland and Dan Mitra toured to classrooms to have Q & A sessions with the students. It was a powerful day at Harwood with some great testimony from students, faculty and staff!
In a matter of minutes, students and teachers were able to acquire basic tap skills and use them to communicated with one another. Regardless of age, gender, or social class, the Tap Factor helps showcase the bonds that each participant has with one another. After and hour workshop, the Tap Factor and Harwood group gave a live demonstration to their peers.
A testimony from Maureen
I saw The Tap Factor for the first time at the Best Buddies International Leadership
Conference at Indiana University and I was thrilled. They were doing something
very special. They were sharing their art – tap dance - with students and adults of all
shapes and sizes, of all abilities, of all ages, and together they created, performed,
and had fun. I saw how they are changing our world one tap dance at a time, one
friendship at a time. The Tap Factor showed us how art can promote social change
and equity for all.
So when a student who I brought to the Best Buddies conference asked, “Wouldn’t it
be great if they could come to our school assembly?” I knew I had to pursue her idea.
Their work supports our vision of building an inclusive school and community.
Christopher Erk, founder of The Tap Factor, answered my email and was very open
to all our ideas.
Two months later, they came to our school to workshop and perform with our
middle and high school students. The workshops were instructive, accessible, and
fun. During the assemblies, the excitement was palpable. The students and staff on
stage formed a diverse group, all bubbling with energy and pride. The students in
the audience were entranced, and the faculty and administration agreed it was one
of our most powerful and creative school assemblies ever.
Later that day, The Tap Factor visited a class and engaged the students in a
thoughtful exercise, asking them to reflect on what each individual brings to the
group. The answers were as diverse as the students and their take-away was we all
bring different talents to the group. Likewise, The Tap Factor definitely brought
something unique to our school!
Maureen Charron-Shea, M.S., CCC-SLP
Harwood Union High School
Student Newspaper Review
Being a senior at the Halloween assembly, I would hear Jeff Robins’, a.k.a. JRob, rendition of “Monster Mash” for the last time. Although I was saddened by this, my heart was uplifted by the workshop and presentation done by The Tap Factor. Their workshop brought together students of all shapes, sizes, and abilities for a fun and inclusive experience. “It was really outgoing [on stage]. People were able to join in with other people they didn’t usually talk to, to dance, be crazy and show who they are,” said Jackie Bora, Vice President of Best Buddies.
I first found out about Tap Factor this summer in Indiana. The Tap Factor hosted a full-week workshop with people at the Best Buddies Leadership Conference. They had their big showcase at the end of the conference, which inspired Maureen Shea and I to invite them to our school. They have a mission which they’re spreading across the country. “The Tap Factor aims to introduce tap dancing in a way that is very non-traditional,” says Christopher Erk, founder of Tap Factor, “By presenting it in a more general environment, like a school, it allows us to reach out to a variety of different demographics.”
Erk had some very nice things to say about our school, “The school has a very awesome energy to it. It seems very welcoming. The art on the walls is beautiful. People are very friendly in the hallways and very encouraged about us doing our project here.”
After the workshop, I was walking around, and I noticed Brittney Evans tapping her way down the hallway. I asked her if she had fun and if she wanted to keep tapping. She lit up with a smile and giggled with excitement. I brought it up with Erk, and he said, “Since you say that, that gives me an idea [for a new] model [Tap Factor Clubs] is something worth pursuing… We may be moving forward for creating a program like that, that could be sustainable in every location we hit.”
My buddy, Destiny Mason, had a great time at the workshop. She was right up in the front with Erk, having a total blast. What the Tap Factor is doing, is bringing smiles upon the faces of everyone they meet. They’re creating a forum for people to come together and have fun in a creative way. I’m very grateful to them for visiting our school. I also want to send out a huge thank you to Mrs. Shea for making this happen. Destiny Mason said she had a lot of fun and she was making new friends.
Find out how to get the Tap Factor to your school!