It is Philadelphia's Regional TAP Dance Festival
Philly TAP Challenge is dedicated to assist in keeping Philly's tap dance community alive and vibrant. We hope you will join us -- and also support all the other tap events demonstrating the vitality and legacy of Philly Tap!
The Influential JAPTC Staff gathers to share as many tap dance trade secrets as they can during this brief and rare opportunity in the Philadelphia 5-County region to honor Philadelphia's rich tap history and keeps it alive with tap workshops, performances and history.
Who: Tappers of all ages and abilities, tap enthusiasts and those looking for fun family entertainment!
1. 12+ Tap & Alternative Rhythm courses daily!
2. Live Tap Jam
3. Live Tap Circle
4. Student Showcase
5. Professional Showcase
7. Tap Movies(Nostalgia each day!) and Documentaries
8. Virtual Quilt Project Honors women in tap
9. Philly Master of Tap Award given on special occasions
10. Philly TAP Idol CHALLENGE
- STEP 1: Registered students and or volunteer staff in each age category challenge one another in four rounds, acapella style. These distinguishing moments show the personality, talent and skill level of each dancer, opening opportunity for creative potential.
- STEP 2: Audience selects winner as esteemed panel of Judges qualify their decision.
We: assist in keeping diverse styles of high quality tap dance synonymous with Philadelphia, and a vital part of American dance culture accessible to everyone; planting seeds of nourishment for the arts through outreach, performance education and training for all.
Jaye Allison's vision for a family atmosphere surrounding and driving the tap community to develop its principles as enriching engagements. Included are:
The Philly TAP Challenge began when it bothered me how much I missed performing tap at the National Tap Dance Day Celebrations by Beverly, then Tap Team 2. it had been a couple years. I had no local place to inspire my young tap kids or myself any longer, and neither did anyone else! It needs to live again, and I can’t be the only person who feels this way, so believing in that simple thought, I integrated tap and percussion people to infuse the Coffeehouse gatherings.
JA'sPTC developed out of ‘the Coffeehouse’, a fundraising event I began at the Community Education Center in 2002 for the benefit of New LEJA Dances home seasons. Each of the 3 years the event thrived, it grew in performer reach and quality and became a friend to the tap dancer and many students testing their skill level in front of a live audience. Next I used the Coffehouse structure as the general format to celebrate National Tap Day and split the playbill with New LEJA Dances for 3 consecutive years until it’s audience had sufficient time to build. It was during this transitional period the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Co. (PCBC) joined as a co-presenter.
Since then , JA'sPTC has been standing on it’s own because of the support of its audience and growing into its established purpose with funding assistance. Highlighting the style and legacy of famous African Americans, their prodigy and the lineage being passed on today through PTC Master of Tap Award given occasionally. LaVaughn Robinson - 2006, the Nicholas Brothers -2007, LEJA-2008. Additionally, in 2009, expanding the idea to not only honor and share the history, but to also actively mentor 6 young dancers in the history of 6 women in tap through its newest component, 'the Virtual Quilt' project.
Today JA'sPTC has successfully added a bridge to the east coast - west coast tap community by attracting world class artists: Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Dianne Walker, Karen Callaway Williams, the Nicholas Sisters and the original Silver Belles to share their collective legacies in the intimacy of classrooms and on stage for the general public.
JA'sPTC provides a much needed outlet for the underserved dance community, especially low income inner city constituents. PCBC is the oldest ballet company in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with over 55 years of creating performance and educational opportunities to the community regardless of age, race, gender and physical ability and striving to be a significant force in the evolution of tradition; PCBC’s mission is “Making Dance accessible to the Masses.” Providing opportunities accessible for inner city low income families through reduced ticket prices and work study opportunities to support children's artistic pursuits is at risk and remains a particular focus for PCBC. We believe everyone, regardless of age, race or economic status deserve access to high quality education in the arts. However, securing funding to provide our programming at no or low cost is an ongoing challenge. PTC also supports Philadelphia’s local economy by bringing high quality, established stars of film, stage and television who are a pinnacle draw to bring constituents to Philadelphia. About half of our total constituents (total 500 for all events) come from out of town and patronize local hotels, restaurants, and businesses for the duration of the festival. We also engage local artists and businesses, putting resources into our local economy.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the physical health benefit of participating in dance. The arts have been linked to promoting an overall healthy lifestyle with physical, mental and emotional benefits. The aerobic nature of this art makes it principle function physical endurance, self-discipline and creative aspects inherent to healthy living standards. Additionally, longevity in the arts is promoted, and personal consultations are highly accessible via the shared community spaces provided.
JA'sPTC is a catalyst that brings the entire Philadelphia tap community together, sparking a strong, cohesive and visible Philadelphia tap community. Without roots or a hub, tap dance becomes reduced to routines learned in dance schools without mentoring and the techniques that truly make a tap dancer an artist! The most notable professional artists, ‘Philly Hoofers’ work together in the planning and production of the festival by participating on the festival committee, teaching workshops and performing in the professional showcase. The TAP Challenge is now an event we collectively take pride in to showcase our community.
Past Sponsors, partners and supporters include: Leeway Foundation, Commonwealth of PA DCED, Dance Advance a program of Pew Arts & Heritage, Community Education Center, Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and Sen. Michael Stack, Sen. Chaka Fattah and most of~ YOU. Thank you very much!
Submitted by Jaye Allison