Top tap dancer Fred Strickler has pioneered the creation of a series of 38 instructional tap dance videos, each featuring one of the world’s best instructors. Strickler undertook this project in Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program (SELP).
Strickler writes that in the process of coaching the SELP, he wanted to create a project that impacted his favorite community, and he thought about the challenges of a student finding high level instruction with ease. Most of the world’s best tap instructors only come together at a few festivals – what about a video series that put the best tap dancing instruction all in one place? Strickler had noted that what tap dancing instruction was available on-line mostly covered only basic steps.
Strickler wanted to expose students and afficianados to a wide range of styles and techniques, knowing that every dancer and instructor is unique in what and how they teach. He began with a list of ten top instructors, starting with Shelley Oliver of Manhattan Tap, whose video contribution is shown below:
Oliver was excited to participate and so was almost everyone Strickler asked. Everyone he spoke to had suggestions about who else should be included, and soon his original list of ten instructors had expanded many times over. In the end, the 38 instructors participating include dancers from every era, ranging in age from their 20’s to their 90’s.
With the help of webmaster Ryan Armen, Strickler got all the all the videos up in May on his Youtube channel and his new website, Masters of American Tap Dance, in time for National Tap Dance Day. His next plan is to take all the videos and other material he has collected and give it to the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library’s Dance Collection.
Got to the Masters of American Tap Dance website above to view all of these varied videos.