WHAT IS A TAP LAB?
Heather's Tap Labs are a place for focused, independent learning in a supportive community environment. The classes are kept small to encourage one on one communication between musicians and dancers and to nurture an understanding of the collaborative nature of music and dance. Heather strongly believes that artists should learn in the process of creativity, not imitation, and so supports the students in developing their own unique voice through discovery and listening.
“After spending some 40 hours of interviews and countless hours in the studio I can say that Heather’s tap labs is a must for any tap dancer looking for a formative, challenging, and inspiring experience.” Anthony Morigerato - Dancer, Choreographer, Director, Producer
And here is what happens:
We start the morning with a musical tap technique class. This is not just a regular technique class, it is one that connects your tap technique directly to the many styles of music that we'll be working with. We'll discuss the way that we practice and draw inspiration and new approaches in collaboration with musicians. Live music. You'll be working on nuances of phrasing, tonality, time and groove - in the music and the dance.
At noon we take a break, talk tap, eat from the great deli in town or go for a walk in the woods or a bike ride in the park. On the weeks in collaboration with a musician, there will be a music session once or twice, where you can ask specific questions directly of the musician. On the other days, the studio is open and available and the students are encouraged to further their work as a community, or just play together.
In the afternoon/early evening there is a 3 hour session where we focus on the theme of the week in our "Tap Lab".
On Tuesday evenings we go to a local music jam session in Nyack at Maureen's Jazz Cellar, where the students are welcome to sit in. Other evenings are spent watching videos, jamming in our studio or attending concerts and jams of local musicians, many of whom play for the Labs. Thursdays we host our own tap jam, either in the studio or at a local restaurant or bar. We begin the evening with an informal performance that all are invited to partipate in. Fridays we usually have a longer session as we end out our week together. This year, select students will offer community classes on Saturdays in their own physical percussion styles. These classes will happen at venues around the area.
Exception for 2020: Session one, the Manhattan Tap Reboot, will be run as a company rehearsal, so will have it's own schedule that will be determined by the dances that will be taught and the casting. The schedule will be posted daily and the session runs an extra day to include a performance on the last Saturday.
Visit the classes link to read more about the weekly themes.