Vancouver Tap Dance Society Tap Dance Festival 2010

The Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival

2015 Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival
AUGUST 27 - 30, 2015

Welcome to the 16th annual Vancouver International Tap Festival!

August 22-26 -- Gabriola on Tap-'GOT' advanced training program More info
August 27 - Thursday --
CRUISE, BUFFET & TAP JAM aboard the "Queen of Diamonds" - see Events
August 28 - Friday -- SARAH REICH’S TAP MUSIC PROJECT at the Norman Rothstein Theatre - see Events
August 29 - Saturday -- 151 RED Presents “Swingin' Time” at the Norman Rothstein Theatre - see Events
Aug 28 - 30- comprehensive master class program for youth and adults

2015 Vancouver International Tap Dance FestivalMusic, Music, Music. You can't help but note our focus in 2015.

Here's why. Each year we watch and also listen carefully. Review our own work – and what everyone else in the world of tap is doing - to produce the best festival possible. Stretch ourselves, raise the bar as high as we can reach.

This year is no exception. In fact, 2015 is exceptional. We're standing tall on the shoulders of 15 years of hard work, good ideas and innovation. But, this year, we're also dancing on the very foundation of our art form, showcasing music as a platform for tap. We invite you to join us in jumping, jivin’ and swingin’ to music, all kinds of music. From making music with Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project, and sharing Hollywood's Golden Era of jazz and romance with Derick Grant’s 151 RED “Swingin' Time,” to the big idea of bringing musicians of equal stature, front and centre, on-stage and in class.

Start the music. The 2015 VITF is proud to present TWO CANADIAN PREMIERES! Sarah’s Tap Music Project features five stars of North American tap, sharing the stage with five equally talented and experienced musicians, in a magnificent collaboration to create truly exciting, original music. We're thrilled to share this groundbreaking, stage-shaking, boundary-busting, highly imaginative and entertaining work. A musical team of 10 to leave a permanent artistic imprint on you and our festival. And don't miss the experience of the critically acclaimed Derick Grant’s 151 RED “Swingin' Time.” We have all heard so much about this work which we are now presenting here in Vancouver.

Premier musicians? We've got them. Joining our 2015 faculty are five famed LA musicians who will make previously unheard-of contributions to the rich content of our master class program. It's a leap for a festival to fully engage seasoned musicians and offer more than a dozen classes which include this level of musical training. This exciting, unprecedented stream of music will spill out of classes; live music and livelier tap. A major step forward for our festival and the development of tap talent. Raising awareness, knowledge and enjoyment at an individual and community level.

“More,” is all we heard on Gabriola Island last year. It was music to our ears. So “Gabriola on Tap “is back for an encore. And yes, you've heard right. Derick Grant and Elizabeth Burke are among the teachers and performers who are taking part in this year's edition of top-level tap training in Paradise. Tap Dancers, Musicians and You, an unbeatable combination!

Sas Selfjord ~ Producer.

We will be posting information as it becomes confirmed as part of the 2015 Festival so check back to this page periodically for 2015 Festival updates.

Here is an initial taste of what is to come:


PRINTABLE Festival 2015 Registration Form now here.

ONLINE Festival 2015 Registration Form AVAILABLE SOON.

See the Adult Classes

See the Youth Classes

See the Instructor Bios

See the Tap Festival Events

See Gabriola on Tap 'GOT' - August 22-26-advanced training program

A Few Words About The Classes


Continuous Classes are classes that are scheduled at the same time, with the same instructor, with the intention of covering continuous work over a 2 - 4 day period. All Single Classes that may repeat an instructor, level or narrative are uniquely different individual classes. None of these classes are continuous or repeated. Double classes are delivered on the same day and are back-to-back as a double class. Two 90-minute sessions for a total of three hours.


Leon Collins: 3-day Continuous
August 28, 29, 30, 2:45pm - 4:15pm
Jessie Sawyers assisting, with musical accompaniment. For years Dianne has taught many of Leon Collins routines at our festival. VTDS has provided the opportunity to video these routines through a professional development opportunity. The natural progression is to take the work beyond “ teaching the routines”, and into a rich musical/percussive journey. With musicians, we will focus on the musical ideas and arrangements with an emphasis on staging, and presentation. (Knowledge of Leon’s routines is helpful but not absolutely necessary).

Choreography, Choreography, Choreography; 3-day Continuous
Adult Advanced
August 28, 29, 30, 1100am - 1:00pm

Choreography from the maestro of moves.

A Focus on The Little Things
Advanced Beginner
August 30, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Learn the importance of fundamentals and how they’re the foundation for all the complexity that follows. From something like “Slides,” and the exploration of moving sound, to utilizing the discovery and advantages of slides and moving through space.

Talking History and Style: History from two masters - Derick Grant and Terry Brock
All Levels/All Ages
August 28, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Coming from two different career trajectories – committed to excellence, diversity, and ensuring the art form remains relevant. Envisioning the future of tap requires an understanding of the evolution of its styles. Explore this journey with two ‘Tapologists,’ who’ve danced generations of style and will enthusiastically share their unique takes on the stylistic range of tap.

August 30, 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Learn more about Brazilian rhythms. Bring your energy, leave the stress behind and let’s have some irresistibly universal FUN.

Eleanor Powell’s LEGENDARY soft shoe
August 30, 11:15am - 12:45pm
One of three presentations of the Soft Shoe, learn this authentic soft shoe, step for step, as Eleanor performed it with Fred Astaire in “Broadway Melody” (1940) Essential tap history.

Adult Intermediate Audition Intermediate
August 30, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

“5,6,7,8.” Put your best foot forward, and bare it all. Go for it, take the shot. Show them your stuff, and get the gig. Auditions can be brutal unless you learn how to get the pay-off for your sweat. Terry and Melinda will give you the inside scoop, and show you how. AN AWARD WILL BE GIVEN TO THE DANCER WHO GETS THE CALL in the adult and youth class!.

Take on the Soft Shoe
August 29, 11:15am - 12:45pm

Another of the three takes on the Soft Shoe, we’ve programmed. Melinda shares her sensibility and the charm of the historical dance.

Adult Intermediate Audition
August 30, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

See info above with Terry Brock

Drills/ Combos
Advanced Beginner
August 28, 11:15am - 12:45pm

Tré’s AAB class comprises warm up drills, concepts and combinations to help take your dancing to the next level. This class will be for musically “grown folks.” Great tunes from Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and Oscar Peterson. Don’t miss this one!

All over the Map; 2-day Continuous
August 29, 30, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Take Tré’s AA2DC class if you’re ready to sweat. Warm up drills that emphasize dexterity, musicality and clarity. Musically, all over the map: Hip Hop, Jazz, Classical, R&B, and more.

August 28, 9:30am - 11:00am

The only expectation you should have is to have FUN. Tré learned from greats like Lady Di’ and Ted Levy. And like them, he enjoys talking about his approach to choreography, select steps and personal experiences.

Tap and Tiny Instruments; 2-day Continuous
Advanced Beginner
August 29, 30, 9:30am - 11:00am

Tap and Tiny Instruments (Thanks Barbara Vargas for the inspired idea) Participants will learn about and create a musical arrangement involving tap dance and tiny instruments, They’ll get to play it ALL through this quirky approach to understanding song form and structure. This class should be as fun(ny) as it sounds in the title.

Swingin’ Hard;
August 28, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Starts off with various exercises to improve stamina, clarity and timing, followed by a challenging combination.

Refining the Basics
August 29, 9:30am - 11:00am

Focus on understanding our basic tools and using them to further explore our craft.

Playing with Chance;
August 28, 11:15am - 12:45pm

The famed Coles and Atkins’ Soft Shoe, “Taking A Chance on Love” transposed into body percussion.

TEACHERS, Teaching methodologies
August 28, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

How to reach everyone in the room, to create and grow an ensemble and a well-rounded program (new and traditional). Inspiring and developing the “thinking artist.” The basis and philosophy of teaching.

Moving in and out of feels
Advanced Beginner
August 28, 9:30am - 11:00am

Learn material that hones the skills of going from eighth notes, to triplets, to all kinds of other musical lands and feels, with ease.

Classical hop scotch
August 28, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Learn some of Elizabeth’s material to a Vivaldi concerto in which the bar structure is constantly changing. Wahoo!

It’s always Drake season
August 28, 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Learn a combination to one of Elizabeth’s favourite “mix-tape Drake” tracks: #throwbackdrizzy y’all.

Left side, Trouble side
Advanced Beginner
August 30, 11:15am - 12:45pm

Everything learned on the right will be done on the left, leading
dancers to understand the groove and phrasing of routines.

Advanced Beginner
August 30, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Understand ‘groove’ and its elements. Explore how to establish and maintain a groove, through exercises and a routine.

Swingin Acapella to the Count, and Count Basie
Advanced Beginner
August 29, 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger
August 29, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

An athletically challenging class geared to improving strength, endurance, and control. Prepare to sweat.

Advanced Beginner
August 29, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

VTDS is loving Motown this year. So is Lee. Tap into this beloved, iconic music.

Sarah ReichSARAH REICH: Tap Music Project 101,
(Sarah + 5 Musicians, Residency), Six hours

August 29, 30, 9:00am - 11:00am

Learn how to compose music in collaboration with instrumentalists, explore simple rhythmic ideas and put melodies to them. Play music with your body and feet and explore musicality to new and greater depths.

Advanced Beginner
August 29, 11:15am - 12:45pm

This class will give the platform to tap on!

Cardio Push
August 30, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Get ready to reach further and be pushed to sweat while learning the hottest moves. Adult Adv. Beginner; Tap Foundations: Tap technique essentials that will open the door to the steps that are in your wildest hopes and dreams.

Jenna WerhunBarbara VargasBARBARA VARGAS and JENNA WERHUN:
Music in the Classroom

August 29, 30, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

This class includes basic music theory – snare drum sheets and rudiments, simple and compound meter, and working through a 32-bar standard and the blues. Also games, how to play what you hear, speak their language, with helpful websites and apps. The inside scoop on studying and teaching tap through music.

Swing Swing Swing
August 30, 9:30am - 11:00am

The king of swing from Japan.

More Swing
Advanced Beginner
August 28, 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Keep it slow, keep it soft, it’s a beautiful thing.

Tap Festival MusiciansMusicians:
Composing from the Sole; 2-day Continuous
August 29,
30, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Gain invaluable insight into how to write music in collaboration with instrumentalists. Discover your inner melodies through an exciting workshop with Tap Music Project.

Introduction to Melodic Rhythm
August 29, 2:45pm - 4:15pm

How to engage a melodic conversation with a live band. Learn the basics of composing with your feet.



Note all youth classes are delivered to an intermediate level

Nicholas YoungDIANNE WALKER:
Right or Wrong
Aug. 28, 11:15am - 12:45pm

Dianne is well-known for saying: ”If it’s not right... It’s wrong!” Say it again,”If it’s not’s wrong.” Discover the true meaning of this phrase and tap phrasing..

Just Imagine
Aug. 28, 2:45pm - 4:15pm

If you can, for a moment, Just Imagine the possibilities.

Aug. 30, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Work on your Pull-backs, Wings, Slides, Over the Tops and other “hard” steps through nerve-wracking, but exciting exercises.

Say Whaaa?
August 28, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

What are ya sayin’ with your feet? Figure out tap meaning.

Youth Audition class
August 30, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

“5,6,7,8.” Put your best foot forward, and bare it all. Go for it, take the shot. Show them your stuff, and get the gig. Auditions can be brutal unless you learn how to get the pay-off for your sweat. Terry and Melinda will give you the inside scoop, and show you how. AN AWARD WILL BE GIVEN TO THE DANCER WHO GETS THE CALL in the adult and youth class!

Youth Musical Theatre; 3-day Continuous
August 28, 29, 30, 9:30am - 11:00am

This incredibly jam-packed, fast-paced class is a shot at Broadway through the amazing lens of Melinda, who has insight from the inside on what works on stage and what doesn’t.

Youth Audition class
August 30, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Terry and Melinda (see description under Terry Brock listed above).

Speed and Clarity
August 29, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Various drills and exercises to help build speed, stamina and clarity in your dancing.

Consider the Source
Aug. 29, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Rudiments, drills, grooves and accents culminating into a musical arrangement inspired by Ramsey Lewis’ album Consider the Source.

Perfect Timing; 2-day Continuous
August 29, 30, 11:15am - 12:45pm

Reunite with our best friend in dance and music, the “1”. Through different exercises and techniques we will gain a better understanding of time and how to use it.

Groovin’; 2-day Continuous
August 29, 30, 2:45pm - 4:15pm

How to make and play music – not only with your taps – but with your body, as well. Embodying the groove.

2015 Holiday Inn Hotel Accommodations

Rate: $158.00-Single/ Double Occupancy (Valid from Aug 27- Sept 1, 2015)
Code: TAP
Hotel Toll Free: 800-663-9151 (Canada & US)
Holiday Inn: 800-HOLIDAY (toll free)
Phone: (604) 623-6866
Fax: (604) 684-4736
Web Booking:
Location: Hotel is located at 110 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC 1 block from the Scotiabank Dance Centre where the classes are held. Limited block of rooms guaranteed to August 1, 2013.
More info: See the VTDS Festival Hotel page

2011 Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival