The tapping feet of local tap dancers will be stomping out a sassy sound in support of Florida’s Tap Industry at the 2nd Annual Dunedin Tap Dance Festival on September 13th -14th. The highly-energetic, toe-tapping, feel good, free-to-the-public event is sponsored by Kayla Cowart, the Tap Girl of Florida, and hosted by Dunedin’s Patricia Ann Dance Studios.
The Dance Festival is a part of the Florida Tap Dance Project, founded by Clearwater resident Cowart in 2015 as an initiative to build a vibrant and sustainable tap dance industry in the Tampa Bay Region. By showcasing talented local dancers, Cowart’s goal is to brand the Tampa Bay area the “Capital of Florida’s Tap Dance Industry.”
“Last year’s Festival was a huge success thanks to the outpouring of community support,” said the festival’s founder Kayla Cowart, dancer/choreographer, instrumentalist, and passionate New York cast member of “Stomp,” Off-Broadway’s long-running musical production. This year’s two-day event is one for all ages and abilities of tap dancers and those spectators who enjoy being immersed into the world of tap dance.”
The free-to-the-public weekend event kicks off Friday evening with a “Tap On Tap” Networking Reception at Dunedin House of Beer. This will be a casual night and an opportunity for tap dancers to perform during a Tap Dance Improv and Tap Dance Jam Session. This is not a tap dance contest or competition; just a relaxing evening for dancers to connect, take the stage, and network. The public is also invited to come and enjoy impromptu performances.
On Saturday, September 14th, dancers wanting to participate in free Tap Dance Workshops at Patricia Ann Dance Studios will be greeted by “Rhythm” the 6-foot tall mixed media dolphin, decked out in tap shoes, that stands outside the studio. “Rhythm,” was donated last year by Kayla Cowart and her Florida Tap Dance Project in honor of Ms. Elaine Forestier (Patricia Ann’s mother) who founded Patricia Ann Dance Studio over 57 years ago.
All Tampa Bay area tap dancers are welcome to participate and enjoy the opportunity to take dance instruction form the Tap Dance Ambassadors of Florida. The Ambassadors are comprised of some of the hottest and hippest tap dance talent in the State of Florida. These Florida tap dance champions include: Kayla Cowart, Tap Girl of Florida and Off Broadway entertainer; Morgan Storrison, Artistic Director of Tapped In, Inc.; Ruth Mendoza, Artistic Director of Truth Tap Company; Ashlyn Bolton, Artistic Director of the Rhythm and Sole Tap Ensemble; Jenne Vermes, Artistic Director of Noise Complaint and Rhythm Theory; and Cathy D’Amico Scavelli, Artistic Director of Tap Sensation. Classes will run parallel and will be arranged so as to allow students to rotate classes and instructors throughout the day.
The weekend’s activities will culminate in Dunedin’s John R. Lawrence “Pioneer Park,” with Tap Dance Performances in the Park by the Tap Dance Ambassadors of Florida, Tap Dance Performance Companies/Ensembles, and local dance studios. Saturday evening performances in Pioneer Park are also open to the public at no charge. Mark your calendar for September 13-14. The 2nd Annual Dunedin Tap Dance Festival is a musical treat for all ages. To learn more visit the website at www.dunedintapfest.com for additional information.