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Encore for Tap Festival

In our fall 2005 issue we announced the first annual Finger Lakes Tap Dance Festival. Started by Ithaca College students and held on campus and in downtown Ithaca last winter, the event was a smashing success, attracting people from a slew of northeastern states and even from Canada.

The toes that tapped here last year will return next spring for the second annual festival hosted by the Tap Legacy Foundation™ (founded by dancers Andrew J. Nemr and the late Gregory Hines). And with these tapping toes returns the event’s cofounder, Arleigh Rothenberg ’06, who is now working full-time at the foundation.

Photos by Kevin Kirner '09
Andrew J. Nemr, Jason Samuels Smith, Edward "Rocky" Mendes III, Michelle Dorrance, Diane Walker, Orlando Hernandez and Arleigh Rothenberg '06 tap along with members of the Ithaca College Tap Dance Club and the Ithaca College Jazz Workshop at last year's festival (left); IC tappers (right)

“The festival enables us to returns the highest level of talent in the tap community to people in a smaller area,” says Rothenberg. “Tap doesn’t get the same exposure in Ithaca as it does in New York, and [last year] people were astonished by the information they were receiving.”

This year’s three-day festival, which will be held March 30 to April 1 at Ithaca College, will feature all levels of tap workshops, an informal student showcase and jam session, a panel discussion, screening of tap dance footage from the Tap Legacy Foundation archives, and the cornerstone performance of Walking in Time at Ithaca’s historic State Theatre. The festival is open to the public.

“This will bring an increased awareness of tap dance, and its uniquely American art form, to Ithaca,” says Rothenberg. “Ithaca is such an arts-based area, and this will extend that culturally and artistically. We love to show people what’s available.”

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