On Tuesday, January 22, preeminent tap dance company Dorrance Dance landed in Louisville to embark on a whirlwind visit filled with community engagement, instruction, and powerful performance.
To start their visit, members of the company led beginner tap workshops with 25 ballet-trained dance majors at the Youth Performing Arts High School,
focusing on foot improvisation. Next, company members Nicholas Van
Young and Leonardo Sandoval met with 34 second grade students at Lincoln Performing Arts School
to lead them through a body percussion workshop that layered hand and
foot rhythms to strengthen math skills. That evening, company member
Christopher Broughton led a community tap class comprised of 12 tappers
of all ages from local dance schools in warm-up exercises, foot
technique, confidence building through dance, and a group tap routine.
On Wednesday, January 23, music production students from Jefferson Community & Technical College
observed the company’s technical rehearsal which involved the dancers
and tech crew ironing out the lighting and cues for the interactive
dance floor. The students got a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what goes
into the technical process of moving a show into a new theater in each
city and how Kentucky Performing Arts works with artists and their management
on a show from booking through the final curtain call.
Prior to Dorrance Dance’s public performance on January 23, Kentucky Performing Arts partnered with the Kentucky Music Heritage Foundation
and the National Jug Band Jubilee for a community conversation led by
local author and journalist Michael A. Jones about legendary Louisville
vaudeville tap dance duo “Buck and Bubbles” to a standing-room-only
audience of more than 80 people in the Frazier lobby. Following the
show, which arguably blew away the whole audience, the entire company
participated in a question and answer session led by Kentucky Performing Arts
Vice President of Programming, Dan Forte.